The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles it is proof that, sooner or later, even the most niche titles can leave the Japanese shelves, and finally be adapted for the West as well. Like this, from tomorrow 27 July, fans of the saga of Ace Attorney will finally be able to get their hands on two unreleased chapters, fully polished for the release on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 And PC (via Steam). After having told you a preview of the first case of The Great Ace Attorney Adventures (the first of the two games included in Chronicles) here I am ready to give a complete judgment on the two adventures of Ryunosuke Naruhodo, the ancestor of Phoenix Wright lived in Meiji period. A story that unravels for all ten cases that make up the two games, able to amaze hour after hour until the end. Let’s find out together in this review because The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles it cannot be missing in the digital libraries of graphic adventures enthusiasts.
- Title: The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles
- Platform: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC (Steam)
- Version analyzed: PlayStation 4 (EU)
- Type: Graphic Adventure, Visual Novel
- Players: 1
- Publisher: CAPCOM
- Developer: CAPCOM
- Tongue: English (lyrics), English (dubbing)
- Exit date: July 27, 2021
- Availability: digital delivery
- DLC: Nobody
- Note: Remastered edition of the two chapters for 3DS released respectively in Japan in 2015 and 2017, also containing all additional content
We reviewed The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles with a PlayStation 4 code provided to us free of charge by CAPCOM via Koch Media.
As I had already anticipated in the preview, The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles tells the legal story of Ryunosuke Naruhodo, ancestor of Phoenix Wright who lived between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. As per tradition for the series, it is a series of legal cases in the form of textual adventures, in which our budding lawyer is called to defend the strangest defendants from the accusations of even more particular witnesses. From the point of view of the cast, both chapters do an excellent job, but we will talk about them in more detail below.
Always as anticipated in the preview, the title will be available only in English, both in the texts and in the mediocre dubbing of the animated scenes and, given the huge amount of dialogue, it would be prohibitive for all those players who do not understand the language well. Especially some characters will speak by abbreviations and dialects, a real challenge to translate for an unaccustomed reader. For all the others, however, we are faced with two of the most successful chapters of the Ace Attorney series.
Objections from Japan to London
Usually, when I talked to you about collections on our pages, I did it by focusing first on a title and then on the sequel, giving fair space to mechanics and details. With The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles but I can’t do it, because, with some exceptions, Shu Takumi’s team managed to pack two titles that actually represent one great adventure divided into ten chapters. Once you have reached the credits of the first game (The Great Ace Attorney Adventures) I was left with more doubts than certainties, finding answers as I continued with the sequel cases (The Great Ace Attorney Resolve). Chronicles thus becomes a single great epic, with Ryunosuke protagonist of one of the greatest political intrigues ever seen in the brand.
Each case is connected to the next by a thin thread, which gradually unravels until everything comes back. In the previous chapters this happened for a maximum of two or three cases, while this time nothing was left unfinished, and each investigation will put more and more meat on the fire.
It’s hard to tell you about the backbone of The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles without ruining any twist, wisely places like cliffhanger between one sequence and another. But know that political and equality issues are addressed, in addition to Japan’s lack of conviction in its resources and its extreme servility. We often talk about being worthy, being carried away by the sense of inadequacy that could lead us to no longer believe in ourselves or in others. Even trust, which has always been one of Takumi’s most cherished themes, once again has space as a protagonist.
The music is entrusted to Yasumasa Kitagawa, historical composer of CAPCOM, who also edited the crossover songs with the Professor Layton. The soundtrack ranks quietly among the best of the series, especially with a couple of tracks, including the Sholmes theme music.
Silence in the classroom, more or less
The two chapters obviously also share the gameplay mechanics that follow the classic plot of the series: in the investigation phases we will have to analyze the environments and talk to the characters present, selecting the topics to discuss or showing the clues found. The various evidence collected will be used for the phases in court in which this time we will not only have to challenge the accusation and mislead the witnesses, but also convince a popular jury.
In fact, in the trials on London soil, Ryunosuke will face six jurors who will be able to have their say on the accused at any time, closing the case in advance with a guilty verdict. Obviously our lawyer has an ace up his sleeve, and he will be able to put jurors in front of evidence, claims or contradictions, as if they were witnesses at the bench. The purpose of this new mechanic is to overturn guilty verdicts by changing their minds to at least four out of six jurors. This is another way to revive the trials, in addition to having more witnesses at the same time at the bench as already happened in Professor Layton vs Ace Attorney.
The other big news on the gameplay side has Herloc as its protagonistk Sholmes, the greatest detective in London and probably one of the most successful characters of these two chapters. Master of deduction, Sholmes will very often illustrate what happened during the investigation, but often taking crabs taken by too much vehemence to show his results. It will be up to Ryuunosuke to put some order in the deductions by directing the detective on the right track, in a sort of duo dance magnificently performed by the polygonal models of the title. While very beautiful to look at, and capable of entertaining, Sholmes’ deductions are the most guided part of the game, and are also the simplest phases. An ease that pervades both of Ryunosuke’s adventures compared to those of his great-grandson.
Takumi’s team has included several options to prevent players from getting engulfed in stories: from an autopilot mode, which allows you to follow all the events as if it were a normal mystery novel by eliminating all stages of gameplay; to Susato, Ryunosuke’s assistant, who will intervene in the trials if we start making too many mistakes. These are extra facilities that help the game to be appreciated even by those who are new to the genre, but which add to the already fairly easy resolution of these two chapters.
An unforgettable cast
Despite the simplicity compared to the past, however, The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles stages one of the best stories in the series. Not only thanks to the aforementioned plot that runs along all ten chapters of the two games, but above all by making use of an incredible and unforgettable cast. If the relationship between Ryunosuke and Susato often recalls that between Phoenix and Maya, the ancestor of our lawyer in blue still manages to shine with his own light and be appreciated as the protagonist. It is a very human character, despite being the hero of a story at times shonen (as Takumi likes it).
The supporting actors are all phenomenal: particular and carnivalesque as per tradition, the prosecutor Van Zieks joins the ranks of the most bewitching rivals, amidst shattered wine glasses and a London reaper aura. Then there is Soseki Natsume, based on the Japanese writer who really existed and active at the beginning of the 1900s, made practically identical both in phobias and in his movements, a truthful character inserted in a fictional universe, in which he manages to have his light and his moments.
But Herlock Sholmes steals the show: based on the detective of Arthur Conan Doyle (and the character design in some movements recalls a very blond Benedict Cumberbatch), the interpretation of Takumi and associates is perfectly consistent with the series, maintaining the fundamental traits of the character. Impudent, deductive, sarcastic and self-assured, Sholmes will win you over with his flirtatious air and gradually become an increasingly fundamental character in the narrative of The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles. This is also thanks to Iris Wilson, daughter of her colleague and companion in adventure, who compensates for all the behavioral defects of Sholmes.
Who do we recommend The Great Ace Attorney to?
If you are already a fan of the series created by Shu Takumi twenty years ago, you will surely have already pre-ordered this collection, and my opinion will not be needed to convince you to buy it. But The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is a great entry point into the brand for those who have always wanted to get close to it.. A new cast, some easter egg and a story full of twists and turns will make all lovers of investigative adventures happy, as long as they know English.
- Unforgettable cast among the best of the series
- Compelling and exciting storyline
- Flawless soundtrack
- Mediocre English dub
- Easier than in previous chapters
- Undubbed and only available digitally
The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles
Six years of waiting completely paid off
The title above was my first thought as the cases of The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles they followed one another, gradually filling pieces of an intertwined and cohesive mosaic, in which questions were asked whose answers would arrive only dozens and dozens of hours later. And despite this, managing to keep myself glued to the TV, to discover the various motives and to prove to the jury that my client was not guilty, alongside Ryunosuke. If we overlook the lack of Italian translation, CAPCOM has done a more than great job, putting all the game extras available in the original editions into one package, making the adventure one. If you love the series or if it has always intrigued you, The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is the right purchase for this sultry summer.