What happens when you combine 19th century England, courthouse modernization, and deductions with the Ace Attorney series?
you get Chronicles of The Great Ace Attorney, with Phoenix Wright’s ancestor, Ryonosuke Naruhodo.
However, this is not a new game, but a remastering of the two original titles (Adventures Y Sort out) that were released only in Japan. The reason Capcom took more than five years to bring it to the West is still an unsolved case, but better late than never.
My story with him Ace Attorney The series extends only to the fantastic original trilogy, so I was curious how receptive he would be to this collection. Suffice it to say that I enjoyed my time with Chronicles of The Great Ace Attorneyas it is filled with humorous but heartfelt dialogue, intense court cases, and charming characters.
Objections in two countries
Chronicles of The Great Ace Attorney it takes place in both Japan and England in the late 19th century, corresponding to the Meiji and Victorian eras, respectively. A distinctive highlight between these two time periods is that they come after the Industrial Revolution and bring the advancement of locomotive trains, gas lamps, and more technology to the courtroom.
However, while England has advanced more rapidly during this era, other countries like Japan are trying to catch up. As such, the Empire of Japan decides to form an alliance with England by sending a law student abroad to London.
That is the backdrop of Chronicles of The Great Ace Attorney, starring the protagonist Ryunosuke Naruhodo, a student at Yumei Imperial University, along with his best friend Kazuma Asogi, a law student who will be sent to learn about the British court and strengthen relations between the two countries. Naruhodo ends up being framed for murder (sounds familiar?) Against an English teacher and, with the help of his friend, must defend himself in the Japanese courtroom with a case that has major political consequences.
As Chronicles of The Great Ace Attorney It is primarily a visual novel, I will not delve into the spoilers as the story needs to be experienced fresh. However, what I can say is that there are many twists and turns in these stories and you will definitely need your detection skills to uncover an underlying political drama full of murder mysteries.
The game is on!
The main aspect that the Ace Attorney The series is known for its dramatic court battles. Since you play as a defense attorney, the goal is to receive a “Not Guilty” verdict for your client.
Chronicles of The Great Ace Attorney It is no different, as most chapters require you to participate in lawsuits to defend your client and discover the truth. These trials involve listening to witnesses, pointing out inconsistencies in their statements, and presenting evidence to win your case. They will also ask you to inspect the evidence, which can lead to more clues to help you during your defense.
An element of the game that has been recovered is the presence of several witnesses during a testimony, who you can question at any time if someone reacts to a specific statement.
However, the twist of these trials involves jurors. For those unfamiliar with the English legal system (which is similar to Canada’s), the jury is made up of people selected at random to help decide the final verdict for the defendant. As such, your job is to convince the jury that your client is not guilty and, in turn, win the case.
Because this is Ace Attorney And there is no exception to the drama, there will be cases where the jurors will turn against you and preliminarily judge your client as guilty. From there, he will have to find inconsistencies with the jury and pit two members against each other to overturn his initial verdict. While the jury loses some of its novelty later on, it is a great addition that brings a lot of intensity to the courtroom, especially during his first trial in London.
Thats not all The great Ace Attorney Chronicles adds to the list of new features.
In addition to the battles in the courtroom, you’ll need to investigate the crime scene for clues or evidence lying around (with the second game reintroducing forensic science). This is where you are introduced to Herlock Sholmes (no, that’s not a misspelling), the detective “ace” famous for his legendary stories about solving murder mysteries. Although it is a parody of the real character written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Herlock borrows many traits that the detective is known for and makes them more outlandish.
One of them involves his well-known deductions that are used as another element of the game. These “Spectacles of Logic and Reasoning” involve Herlock Sholmes using his observations of a specific person to uncover clues and expand on the initial case.
Unfortunately, because he is not actually Sherlock Holmes, Herlock will go wrong on some details during his deduction that will lead him to an incorrect conclusion. It is Naruhodo’s job, then, to fix the deductions by looking at clues (be it an object or a person), which is similar to inspecting judicial evidence, and coming to the correct conclusion.
Although I didn’t find these deduction settings difficult, they are charming and cleverly used as they give you aspects of the courtroom and offer you a respite from the investigative parts of the game.
Also, who wouldn’t love to dance with Herlock, snap their fingers, and try to figure out the culprit (in more ways than one)? It makes Herlock feel more unique rather than a direct copy of the detective that we know in modern literature. It also gives Naruhodo a distinct quality and allows him to be his own character rather than an older version of Phoenix Wright.
The Trials and Tribulations of 19th Century London
Although the courtroom is the distinctive focus of the game Ace Attorney series, what really makes these games fun is the lovable, over-the-top characters. I am happy to say that Chronicles of The Great Ace Attorney continues to comply in this regard.
Naruhodo has the same fun nature as Phoenix Wright and his interactions with the court clerk Susato Mikotoba provide a fun and healthy dialogue. Herlock Sholmes is a great iteration of the classic detective, as he is endearing and goofy without sacrificing his intelligence (most of the time). Even unique jury characters have their own pranks that enhance the story.
Due to the setting, the character interactions, and the story, I can excuse my biggest problem with Chronicles of The Great Ace Attorney: its longitude.
Considering that these are story-based games, I felt that both the investigation and the court cases were too long for my liking. Unlike the original trilogy which had a brilliant beat, the dialogue in Chronicles of The Great Ace Attorney it seemed lengthy, both in investigations and in the courtroom.
Of course, this problem is more prevalent in the first game, especially since chapters 1-3 contain tutorials for each addition to the game, so there is more information than you would normally see at the beginning of a game. Ace Attorney play.
I logged 37 hours on Steam for the first game and personally that’s going too far when I was able to beat the first one. Ace Attorney and its sequel, Justice for all, at that moment. However, despite my complaints about the extension, I appreciate that Chronicles of The Great Ace Attorney it introduced new ways to expand investigations without being heinous.
One of my complaints with Justice for all it was the introduction of Psyche-Locks mental barriers, which imposed progression in the story with little added charm when you just wanted to move on. However, Sholmes’s “Spectacular Reasoning and Logic” is much better implemented and serves as an excellent way to advance investigations.
Bringing the joys of justice to all
Enter the ground floor of this screenshot from The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles before it becomes the most reactive meme on Twitter pic.twitter.com/MqXGg7sWw2
– Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) July 27, 2021
Overall, I really enjoyed my time with Chronicles of The Great Ace Attorney. While the pacing leaves something to be desired, its story, characters, and setting make up for it. It’s shocking that Capcom waited so many years to bring the two Great ace lawyer games abroad.
With the Japanese company looking to develop a third game in this series, I would love to see Ryunosuke and Herlock Sholmes together again. If nothing else, I hope Capcom will make a console / PC collection for the Ace Attorney Investigations series, especially since the sequel has not had an official translation for the West.
Image Credit: Capcom
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