Platform(s): PC, PS4, PS5,Nintendo Switch
Genre: Lawyer-Filled Visual Novel Adventure Game Set In The 19th Century
I’ll have to be upfront here: I love the Ace Attorney series from Capcom. They’re basically adventure game & visual novel titles featuring lawyers representing the defendants and prosecutors in a battle of wits, arguments, and spiralling anime story drama with sprinkles of comedy and hijinx all around.
The Great Ace Attorney is essentially a grand spin-off tale that predates all the Ace Attorney games, focusing on the ancestor of Phoenix Wright and his fledging lawyer adventures in 19th century Japan, England, and in-between. And it’s just at engrossing as past titles.
The basics of video game lawyer adventure gaming work remain the same: investigate, gather evidence, scrutinise and cross-examine testimonies, and then discover the truth behind the case in question. This iteration of Ace Attorney has some additions that make for exciting “battle anime”-like trials like group testimonials with different witnesses at the same time, and jury appeal bits. Otherwise, the core thrill of anime courtroom battle in adventure game/visual novel form remains the same.
The reason why you want to shell out RM165 for The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is the presentation, the conversations, the story, and the setting. The 3D engine here is similar to the one used in Ace Attorney 5 and 6, but updated and tweaked for dramatic effect. Every staple from the Ace Attorney titles, finger-pointing and all, is showcased with great effect here.
This being a remastered collection, The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is a single tale split across two games (2015’s The Great Ace Attorney: Adventures & 2016’s The Great Ace Attorney 2: Resolve). Obviously this series has a longer runtime -about 30 hours or so- but this entry has less legal filler than past games and feels a tad more tight narrative-wise. With its cast of eccentric characters like the aptly-named Herlock Sholmes to the colourful witnesses and jurors, along with the aforementioned mechanics, there’s a lot to love here. Most of it can be attributed to the localization team at Capcom for doing a bang-up job with translating the lengthy script to what we’re seeing here.
Trial Of The Century
True, there is still the usual “lead you by the hand” moments and having to follow the motions of the story even if you already pieced out what happened a few witness stand bits ago, but that’s part and parcel of the Ace Attorney experience. At the very least, it’s smoothed out here and all the brain teasers and logic puzzles involving debating & arguing here made me feel a tad smarter when I solve them on my own.
As such, you’ll get your money’s worth here if you’re a fan of the series since the original games. Don’t go into this fresh though; a lot of wordplay and easter eggs will be lost on you if you didn’t get a chance to revisit the older titles, which are probably dirt cheap price-wise and in collections right now.
Final Score: 80/100