The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is the latest or arguable earliest instalment of the Ace Attorney series of games acting almost as a prequel. Made up of two games The Great Ace Attorney: Adventures and The Great Ace Attorney 2: Resolve that were released a while back in Japan they’ve finally received the western treatment and make their debut in the UK.
You play as Ryūnosuke Naruhodō who is supposed to be an ancestor of Phoenix Wright, yes the very same Phoenix Wright. The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is set in the Japanese version of the Victorian period known as the Japanese Meiji period. At the beginning you are thrown onto the legal stage and have to defend yourself. The plot of The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles double adventure has you following Ryūnosuke Naruhodō, a young Japanese lawyer who has made his way from Meiji period Japan to Queen Victoria’s England to learn about the British legal system, which at that point is telling the world it is the greatest legal system on the planet. Luckily he is not along and has his legal assistant Susato Mikotoba help him attempt to defend those in need of legal help in several courtroom battles.
Although The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles explains Ryūnosuke is Phoenix Wright’s very old ancestor, there really isn’t much connecting these two games with the previous editions. The British environment gives a different taste to both the kind of cases and how they are dealt with, so even if you’re an experienced ace attorney, The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles does offer something a little different. There are several colourful characters in The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles who you will interact with many times, these include Baron van Dieks otherwise known as the ‘Grim Reaper of the Old Bailey’, Scotland Yard Officer Tobias Gregson and Herlock Sholmes who you may have guessed is based on Sherlock Holmes.
Compared to previous games The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles tries to change things up. Herlock Sholmes can go off sometimes so you need to help him keep his focus via a series of mini games, they’re more like deduction mini games but they are somewhat different to the usual evidence gathering you would normally do as Phoenix Wright. The courtroom antics have also changed, no longer just a judge to contend with you must convince a jury of your peers. Multi witness testimonies are also part of The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles, you think you would need to keep an eye on how other witnesses react to another witnesses answer but it’s pretty blatant to see.
The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles has an autoplay mode, so if that is selected then it will just automatically run until a decision is required similar to your standard visual novel set up. You can also choose to play Story Mode which will allow you to skip the many puzzles and decision making processes, if you play it this way then The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles doesn’t really play like a game but a televised court room drama. The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles does lack what previous games have had and that’s the issue of defending friends and family, in The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles it’s less involving because there are a fair few characters you won’t be particularly bothered about. The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles isn’t a particular difficult game to get through, you’ll be on the receiving end of many a hint.
Graphically The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is great to look at. The cinematics as you accuse or have to prove your point are really slick. Objections are met with crescendos of orchestral music and there are plenty of slow plans to various characters as more information comes to light. Musically The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is just as good as it’s graphics. The music gets louder just as big reveals are made and the whole musical accompaniment works well in The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles. There’s roughly 40-50 hours worth of gaming depending on how quickly you crack the cases. Games like this are bit of a slow burner but once you’ve got past the first hour or so you’ll get fully engaged.
The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is an excellent and clever prequel to the Phoenix Wright series. The insight into the British legal system and changed dynamics makes The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles are noticeably different experience to it’s previous incarnations. Whilst The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles may lack that personal touch there are so many interesting and fun things to do. If you’ve enjoyed the Phoenix Wright series in the past then The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is a worthy entry worth several hours of your legal time.