During Anime Expo 2016 in Los Angeles, Capcom had a booth set up with playable demos of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice. They even had a witness stand set up to add some proper courtroom ambiance to the scene. Naturally, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to go ahead and give it a try! The playable demo showcased a brief portion of the first trial - something that previous Ace Attorney demos of ages past have done. Fortunately, it did not take too long to get into the new Divination Seance mechanic.
For a bit of background, in Spirit of Justice, Phoenix travels to the faraway country of Khurai'in. He gets wrapped up in an incident and ends up defending a small monk in training, and tour guide, Ahlbi Ur'Gaid (pronounced "I'll be your guide", going in line with Ace Attorney's notoriety for in your face puns - the same character's name is translated to "I'm A Tour Guide" in Japanese), who is training at Temh'pul Temple (Temple Temple). Courtesy of the Defense Accountability Act, when a defendant is found guilty of a crime, so is the representing attorney. This has resulted in trials without defense attorneys, many of them reduced the status of rebels if they aren't corpses. All good news for Gaspen Payne, who has flourished in Khurai'in after he was chased out of the Prosecutor's Office in Dual Destinies.
During the game, Apollo will remain at home in
America Japan Japanifornia (as commented by one of the participants in the Ace Attorney panel at Anime Expo). There, he takes on a Khurai'inese prosecutor, whose ability to sense the karmic flow of the courtroom elevates him to perhaps one of the most formidable opponents Apollo might ever face in the courtroom. Thankfully, Athena will be there to provide her assistance.
The demo itself throws you right into the first case, with very little of the preceding build-up. You will get to cross examine Albhi and then deal with the high priestess and Khurai'inese princess, Rayfa, as she performs her Divination Seance. The Seance has been key for the many convictions made in Khurai'in to date, and it's your job to find the inconsistencies between what you see in the Seance and how Rayfa interprets them. During the Seance, a "video" will play of the victim's final moments in the Pool of Souls through their eyes. Their sensations from all five of the body's sense will be displayed as words upon the surface, bigger words indicating more intense feelings.
During the cross-examination of the seance, Rayfa will deliver her interpretations, you must go through the video and indicate anything that might contradict her reading. To do this, first you must select the statement that might be at odds with the facts, then you must stop the video at the right moment, highlight either the word or the sight that contradicts that statement, and then present it. Be mindful of the point in the video where you present! Timing is everything, especially if there are time sensitive points in the interpretation at odds. In the case of the Seance in the demo, the first contradiction involved the victim's hearing of a Song of Ceremony, which was initially at odds with Rayfa's statements of the murder occurring post daily Song of Ceremony. Secondly, the victims blackout before the sensation of pain taking over him must be presented at the moment before "pain" appears on screen. Each time you point out a contradiction, Rayfa revises her interpretations. You must use these to get to the truth of the matter.
Spirit of Justice will challenge players to use their sense of deductive reasoning. Much in the way of Dual Destinies, some contradictions may require a bit more thinking than they have in precious Ace Attorney series entries. In another note, it appears Khurai'inese trails have returned to the penalty system prevalent in the first Ace Attorney title: five mistakes of any nature and you're done, as opposed to a varying penalty system.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice releases this September for the Nintendo 3DS. Hopefully, you've worked out your "Objection!" stance, as you're going to need it.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice was previewed at the Capcom booth at Anime Expo 2016.