Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney - the fourth DS game in Capcom's courtroom text drama Phoenix Wright series - has been given a US release date.

Back at the end of 2007, Capcom confirmed the title would be released in North America in early 2008 and now that has been narrowed down somewhat to February 12th. The game has been available in Japan under the name Gyakuten Saiban 4 since April 2007, but with the English language option that's been included in previous games missing, you probably haven't heard too much about it.

As eagle-eyed detectives might spot, the name Phoenix Wright has been dropped this time around - the reason being our spiky-haired hero has taken retirement and been replaced with newbie lawyer Apollo and a mysterious female magician sidekick.

The latest game is also the first to be originally developed for DS - the previous games were designed for GBA then converted over to the dual-screen console. While the basics are looking like they'll be very familiar for fans, and will feature the usual investigation and courtroom phases, there's also a new Crime Recreation Mode in which you'll be able to reveal hidden clues by recreating the scene of the crime.

Most importantly, players will still be able to shout "Objection!" and "Hold it!" into the DS microphone to halt court proceedings if a witness on the stand is thought to be lying through their teeth.

While news of an English language Apollo Justice is welcome, the US release doesn't necessarily mean it'll be hitting UK shelves any time soon, so impatient fans will need to go down the import route. After all, here we're still waiting for the release of the Pocket Gamer gold medal-scoring third game in the series Phoenix Wright: Trials and Tribulations, which is due for release on March 21st 2008. All this waiting - it's a trial in itself.

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