Review – The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles
Let me start off by warning you that The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is NOT a brand new game. In fact, just like the previously released Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy, this is a collection of remastered versions of 3DS games that had been exclusive to Japan up until now. Does that mean this is an inferior collection, something not worth taking a look? Absolutely not. Despite a few issues not present in other Ace Attorney games I’ve played in the past, The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is still well worth your time.
The two games included in this collection tell the story of 19th Century attorney Ryunosuke Naruhodo, the actual ancestral of fan favorite Phoenix Wright. These games tell the story of how Ryunosuke became a famous attorney, and his adventures in Meiji-era Japan and Victorian Britain, alongside renowned detective… urgh… Herlock Sholmes. I hope you like puns, because The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is infested with them. If you think that’s criticism, think otherwise, I’m all for the puns, ridiculousness, and hilarious dialogue. Thankfully, The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles has all of those in bunches.
The gameplay in these two games follows the same premise as other Ace Attorney games. They are visual novels with slight investigative elements, usually resorting to investigating the scene of a crime, collecting evidence, and then presenting said evidence during trial, as well as pressing testimonies and paying attention to the facial expressions of witnesses in order to get even more info from them. It is a tried and true formula, but it works well enough in here. Sadly, considering the obvious fact that I reviewed a PS4 build of the game, there is no touchscreen support, meaning that you have to deal with a few more menus than usual. You also have to worry about accidentally skipping some important lines of dialogue due to how faulty some of these important plot-related sections work at times.
The most appealing aspect of The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles, besides the fact it’s more Ace Attorney, is its visual presentation. This might be a remaster of two Nintendo 3DS games, but every single character in the game is superbly well-modeled and animated, and every single background is actually rendered in real time with polygons, instead of your typical PNG picture. It is ridiculously gorgeous to look at.
The sound department, which was my least favorite aspect about past Ace Attorney games, has been improved drastically in The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles. Granted, the amount of voice acting is still minimal, often relegated to a handful of cutscenes at the beginning of each case, but the overall quality of the songs included in this collection, both in terms of composition and mastering, is a lot better than any other Ace Attorney game I have previously played.
In fact, the only major gripe I have with this collection is the fact that some of its chapters take waaaaaaaaaaay too long to complete. Its pacing is a bit all over the place. While having more Ace Attorney to experience is never a bad thing, I do feel that the first few games in the series, the ones featured in the previous remastered collection, hit the right spot in terms of the length of each of their chapters. Even the first chapter in the first game of this collection took a few HOURS to complete, and boy oh boy, was that a roller coaster of emotions right from the get-go.
The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is more of what you love, but with a different coat of paint. If you aren’t a fan of the franchise, or visual novels in general, I doubt this collection will be able to change your mind in any way. But if you’re a series veteran, you’ll be in for one hell of a ride. It’s the best looking title in the franchise so far, and it features some of the most memorable (and ridiculous) cases and characters Capcom has ever managed to come up with for the series. Just make sure to cancel your appointments beforehand. These cases will take some time to be solved…
The character models and their animations look so good that it took me a while to realize this collection is a remaster of two Nintendo 3DS games. The backgrounds are still moderately simplistic, but they are rendered in real time at least.
You obviously have to deal with the lack of touchscreen support in this PlayStation build, but taking this setback aside, it’s the same Ace Attorney gameplay loop you already know and (hopefully) love, with the addition of one or two new mechanics during trials.
There is almost no voice acting in here, and Ryunosuke’s “Objection” doesn’t sound as epic as Phoenix Wright‘s, but this collection’s soundtrack is a lot more appealing than the ones featured in previous Ace Attorney games.
Fun Factor: 9.0
Each chapter takes way too long to be solved when compared to other Ace Attorney games, but you’re still getting the same ridiculous cases, amazing characters, and memorable investigations in one hell of a beefy package. Just be grateful for its generous savestates.
Final Verdict: 8.5
The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is available now on PS4, PC, and Switch.
Reviewed on PS4.
A copy of The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles was provided by the publisher.