At a glance, Miami Law looks like the dozens of other DS adventure games that Japan seems flooded with. When it was announced for North America two months ago, I was convinced that it was a localization from D3 Publisher's budget Simple series, a suspicion supported by the game's middling 3D portions.

Miami Law has touches of Phoenix Wright, with segments devoted to examining crime scenes and interviewing suspects, but there are also action and puzzle elements. You can choose to play as two characters with different perspectives on the cases, police detective Martin Law or FBI Agent Sara Starling.

While Law's minigames put more emphasis on action, with car chases and touchscreen-based on-rails shootouts, Starling's segments are puzzle-focused, as she analyzes evidence and plays sudoku (I assume there's some loose connection between 9x9 grids and the case they're investigating). Another example of their unique perspectives -- during one of the game's car chases, you can either command the car as Law, or shoot at the escaping perpetrators as Starling.

It's a completely new title developed by Hudson in Japan, I later learned, and it's being brought to the States with the help of Gaijinworks, a relatively new (established in 2006) localization company founded by Victor Ireland. Those of you who played Lunar, Arc the Lad, or various other Japanese RPGs on the original PlayStation might remember Ireland as the former president of now defunct publisher Working Designs.

Ireland promises that he won't include any out-of-place Bill Clinton jokes, as many complained about after playing Lunar 2, but he will include a dash of comedy in Miami Law's police drama script. "The tone of the game would be similar to something like what we did for Arc the Lad, with maybe a little harder edge," he told Nintendo Power in a recent interview.

He has also made an effort to ensure that the game captures Miami's feel, bringing in hip-hop music production crew Miami Beat Wave for the soundtrack, and taking the Japanese development team on an extensive research trip through Miami that included visits to a local gun range and the Miami Police Department's gun range.

Ireland also went so far as to bring the Hudson developers to a cargo port, where they climbed hundreds of feet up into one of the port's cranes and sat "cowering in fear" for half an hour, according to Hudson's Amar Gavhane. I'm not sure how this played into the game's production, but who knows, maybe there's a portion in which you lift and transport huge cargo containers.

Miami Law will ship exclusively for Nintendo DS in North America this June. Konami plans to publish the game in Europe as Miami Crisis in September.