Those who read my blog would probably know that I am a massive fan of the point and click Gyakuten Saiban series (localised in the UK as part of the Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney series). Capcom Japan has decided to host the part of the first case from the new Gyakuten Saiban 4 online as part of a flash game. Because the game is in Japanese (and I am crap at the language), I didn't attempt to play the whole game, least to avoid getting a migraine. But it is there for you guys to peruse if you fancy.
>> spoilers below <<
A quick play (with a dictionary) through reveals some returning characters including lame prosecutor Winston Payne. The judge doesn't seem to have aged despite GS4 looking exactly the same as he was back in GS1. You will role-play as the new protagonist, 22 year old rookie player Housuke Odoroki, with a new mentor Kirihito Garyuu (the long-haired blonde). The mysterious hobo defendant happens to be Naruhodou Ryuuchi (Phoenix Wright - the protagonist of the first three GS games), who is makes a living as a pianist in a Russian restaurant. He is accused of murder (not his first).
Gameplay wise GS4 (at least the first case) is again based on the DS remake of the first Gyakuten Saiban game (released here as Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney). Conversation (and most likely investigation) takes place on the top screen whereas the touchscreen houses the GUI (and the occasional item examining). Tap the top right button to access the inventory. Once there you can tap on the items to view them in more detail. You can view character informations, again through tapping the upper right button. It is very simple and intuitive. I myself actually prefer to play using the face and shoulder buttons.
Graphically it is still 2D. The new game sports new background sprites such as the court house, which now has a much more cleaner and detailed look. The new character sprites seems to be more detailed than before and better animated too. Soundtrack wise, it sounds fantastic. It could even match or surpass the standard set by GS3.
Gyakuten Saiban 4 is due out this April in Japan. Let's hope, as with the first two DS remakes, Capcom includes an English translation.
New protagonist Housuke Odoroki:
Your new mentor, the effeminate Kirihito Garyuu:
Cross examining Phoenix. Notice the life bar that was introduced in GS2: