Ace Attorney Investigations 2 preview: My first game of Logic Chess

Despite the obvious problems with trying to play a graphical text adventure in Japanese, I attempted the Ace Attorney Investigations 2 TGS demo. I was able to glean at least the premise and highlights of the first case: a politician is shot during a speech, immediately following the landing of his plane, and Miles Edgeworth and Dick Gumshoe are assigned to investigate it.

As tends to happen in these games, things got weird almost immediately, as my investigation led to a giant Steel Samurai balloon submerged in a body of water. That's probably an important clue! Ace Attorney nerds will be happy to know that the Steel Samurai seems to figure heavily in this game -- not only does that balloon appear in the first five minutes of play, but Capcom's booth included inflatable Steel Samurai decorations, as well.
Shortly thereafter in the demo, I encountered reporter Mikiko Hayami (who reminded me a lot of Lotta Hart) and attempted to extract some information from her with the new Logic Chess system. Again, I couldn't quite get the details of the conversation between her and Edgeworth, but I got an idea of the new mechanic. Unlike most arguments in the Ace Attorney series, which involve presenting evidence to point out contradictions, Logic Chess is completely based on statements.

Edgeworth has two choices at every point in the conversation, and occasionally, a chess piece icon will appear next to one of the statements. If you think that statement (and thus, that piece) is strong enough to knock out one of the opponent's pieces, you can select it, and risk depleting your timer. If you don't, you select the other choice and try to get to a more advantageous point at which to launch your probing question. Sort of like positioning your pieces on a chess board!

Other than this new system, Ace Attorney Investigations 2 seems identical to the first game in terms of gameplay and presentation, using the same sprites for the main characters, and keeping the pre-existing logic and investigation systems as-is. In other words, Capcom has begun iterating on its Ace Attorney spinoff just like it did the original series; a development to which we have no ... protest.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.