Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Aug 232021

Over the weekend, I finished the first half of The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles, the game now officially titled The Great Ace Attorney: Adventures.

The more I played it, the more I wondered if I should think of Chronicles not as a collection of two games, but as one big Ace Attorney game.

Before we get into that, it’s a beautiful game and I love how expressive the 3D sprites are. Some of the animations are simply fantastic when it comes to how much more they can show now. The music is great, too.

Ryunosuke is a good protagonist, and he doesn’t just feel like a copy of Phoenix but a new character in his own right. I like him and the rest of the main cast, with the standout character being Herlock Sholmes (Sherlock Holmes).

I don’t know why they decided to make Sholmes such a wacky character, but I love it. He has a tendency to make elaborate deductions based on clues, but overlook certain necessary details, leading to a new gameplay mechanic called the Dance of Deduction where you find the evidence to steer his wild conclusion back onto the right track. Beyond that, he also sometimes just shows up in the background during investigations, always doing something odd that contributes to this… eccentric portrayal of the great detective.

The new prosecutor, Barok van Zieks, is also interesting. He’s sort of a racist jerk toward Ryunosuke, but he also seems much less corrupt than a lot of the prosecutors we’ve dealt with in the past. He’s fairly dramatic, although not as over-the-top as you might expect from a guy who tosses wine bottles around and occasionally slams the desk with his foot.

Moving on to gameplay, you can investigate most areas for entertaining dialogue once again, and the trials involve both multiple witnesses like in Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright, as well as a jury system.

The jury comes across almost as another set of witnesses, with moments in the case where you need to hear their reasoning and find contradictions in order to change their minds. It’s a bit contrived that you always end up with a jury with information relevant to the case, but in general I found it to be an entertaining feature.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Great Ace Attorney: Adventures… except that, once again, I don’t feel like I finished an Ace Attorney game so much as played half of an extra-long one.

The pacing in this game is strange. The first three cases all feel like tutorials to some degree, and none of the cases have multiple days of investigation. Some of this comes from it really shaking up the Ace Attorney formula a bit, which I liked, but it gives the game a strange feeling. The final case does feel like a typical climactic resolution, but the overarching plot leaves many unanswered questions.

I liked the game a lot, but I wonder how I would feel if we did get the game back when it first came out on its own, instead of being bundled with its sequel. If the second half of this story wasn’t waiting for me, I might not have nearly as positive an impression.

Nevertheless, we didn’t get it alone but as part of The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles, so I’ll save my final thoughts for once I conclude the story! I’m taking a break first to play NEO: The World Ends With You, but after that I’ll move on to The Great Ace Attorney 2: Resolve.

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  4 Responses to “The Great Ace Attorney: Adventures Sets the Stage for Its Sequel”

  1. I agree with your thought regarding the ending of the first game. Seeing as we didn’t even get AAI 2 translated, I think if we had gotten a game with such obvious cliffhangers, were unsure if or even when we would get the next, and have to wait multiple years for resolution… it’s a lot. Almost makes me thankful we got it as a package deal now. I’d say it’s a first in the series where the games were so obviously written as a duology, instead of mostly wrapping up main plot threads to clear the way for the next.

  2. […] I finished The Great Ace Attorney: Adventures back in August, I suggested Chronicles should be instead viewed as one big Ace Attorney […]

  3. […] is a collection of two games following Phoenix Wright’s ancestor, Ryunosuke Naruhodo. I enjoyed the first game and can’t overstate my love for the second, so please play these […]

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