Ace Attorney Investigations 2. Just finished. Some thoughts.

So, the fan translation of AAI2 was finally finished a week ago. It had been released in three parts: Cases 1&2, Case 3, and then Case 4&5. I picked up at 4&5 a few days ago and wrapped it up.

  1. First things first, this game is way, waaaaaay better than the original AAI. I played AAI2 because I’m a sucker for the series; but, I didn’t have very high expectations after I played the first game. AAI2 punches it up in every way. The dialogue is less boring, the investigation phases aren’t 4000x longer than the trial phases, the individual cases actually develop Edgeworth as a character instead of AAI’s nonsensical “WER INTERPOL PROSUCUTERZ TAKIN DOWN SMUGGLRZ LOL”, which always had a sort of “Police Academy 7: Mission to Moscow” feeling to me - like there were no creative ideas behind it other than “There should be an AA game that stars Edgeworth!” AAI2, on the other hand, is extremely well put-together.

  2. I wish I could further expand upon the story, but the overarching story premise isn’t revealed until the second case. All I’ll say is, it’s very cool. In my AAI review that I wrote years ago, I said that a game featuring Edgeworth could never be very good, because one of the coolest things about Edgeworth is that he’s mysterious, and he loses that mysterious quality when you play as him. …Well, it’s true he’s not very mysterious anymore, but I was dead wrong about it being impossible to make an interesting story out of Edgeworth. I’d even rank AAI2 as one of my favorite games in the series.

  3. There’s a new gameplay mode in AAI2 called “Logic Chess”. The idea is that you have a limited amount of time (similar to Speed Chess) to make moves and “checkmate” your opponent - in other words, extracting the information you want out of them. You get a set of predetermined questions to ask, as well as some preset responses. You can also choose to say nothing to a response, which can also be the right choice. Eventually, asking the right questions (and holding back at the right times) causes the witness to spill the beans. Incorrect choices take time off of your clock.

This was a cool idea, except if you lose at Logic Chess, it takes the TINIEST sliver away from your lifebar, and you get to try again. Once you discover that, there’s really no urgency to it anymore, unfortunately.

  1. As I played the game, the quality of the translated dialogue seemed to get a lot better. The first two cases had some really weird dialogue here and there, but it was mostly better by the third case. The last two were very high-quality, and made me feel like I was playing an official localization.

Also bear in mind, it has been a long time since the original patch with just Case 1&2 came out, and that’s when I originally played them…So, it’s very possible that the script has long since been cleaned up. I should hope so.

  1. As usual for me, I didn’t really like the last case. I feel like too often, the last cases are just extremely convoluted, long-drawn out affairs that are just trying to be totally epic as fuck. I don’t very much care for this. I do expect some good twists, but for example, my favorite final cases were definitely the first two Ace Attorney games. Not too extravagant, but they were still intense, and the way Phoenix finally proved the killer in the end was really amazing. Comparatively, I can’t remember what the final piece of evidence was in any other game…it took me a minute to remember what the final evidence was in AAI2, and I literally JUST beat it.

…But, I’ll take one bad case for four good ones. Honestly, the third and fourth cases felt good enough to close out a game, in my opinion.

  1. Random thought + spoilers for all games (marked), it’s a good thing they are doing a sort of reboot of Ace Attorney, cos AAI2 made me realize, they’ve done basically every twist possible for the killer in the last case.

AA1: Guest Prosecutor
AA2: Defendant
AA3: Main Prosecutor
AA4: Mentor Character
AA5: The Detective
AAI: Random NPC from the same case
AAI2: Random NPC from an earlier case

There’s only three other twists I can think of, and two of them are just too stupid. …Which makes me wonder if, if the reboot follows a gameplay formula similar enough, if they are going to use the third one.
…And, so yeah. What I’m trying to say is, play it.