Have you ever had an experience where you play a game or watch a movie that leaves you so fulfilled that you would dare to call it your favorite? Playing The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles left me with such a feeling. The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is the latest game in Capcom’s long-running Ace Attorney franchise. The series began on the Nintendo Gameboy Advance back in 2001 and this new installment features many gameplay refinements from the many generations of games that have come before. The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles contains both The Great Ace Attorney: Adventures and The Great Ace Attorney 2: Resolve which originally was Japan region exclusives that were released in 2015 and 2017 respectively. Finally, four years later we now have a fully translated game that has been unreachable to those in the west for many years until now.
First, let’s talk about the story. The beginning of the story is set in Meiji-era Japan and follows the main character acting as the defense for his own trial. After proving your innocence with the help of your best friend Kazuma Asogi, you as budding defense lawyer Ryunosuke Naruhodo visit Victorian England where you set up your own legal consultancy. The consultancy is located on the top floor of 21B Baker Street and your housemate is renowned detective Herlock Sholmes.
Herlock helps you with your investigations and provides you with vital clues to help you get your clients their acquittal throughout the game’s many cases. With each new case, you meet a variety of colorful characters, based on real-life people or that originate from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s own Sherlock Holmes stories. Examples of which would be Soseki Natsume based on the real-life novelist of the same name and Gina Lestrade based on Inspector Lestrade from the Sherlock Holmes Novels. Even the cases themselves are based on actual Sherlock Holmes stories. All this combines into an extremely fun romp that contains hours of fun dialogue exchanges between characters as well as a compelling story full of many surprising twists and turns.
Next, let’s talk about gameplay…
Where this game differs from the rest of the franchise though it maintains its visual novel format, investigation segments and courtroom segments is both of its new features being the jury system and the great deduction segments. The jury system is one of my favorite carried-over features from 2014’s Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright, this system adds the ability to cross-examine jurors and combat their reasons for voting guilty against each other in order to sway their opinion toward not guilty. This provides extra action to the courtroom segments and provides much-needed depth to the standard ace attorney formula. On the investigation side, Sholmes’s Dance of Deduction lets you hear out Herlock Sholmes’s theory on the current case which is usually pretty far off the mark, and then change certain details of his theory so that it makes more sense by investigating in further detail. This is accompanied by fantastic music and wonderfully done animation that immerses you in the whole spectacle.
And speaking of the music, good gravy the music is fantastic!!! Yasumasa Kitagawa, Yoshiya Terayama, and Hiromitsu Maeba all composed such amazing tracks that convey all the emotions that evoke the personality of each individual character. They also use this format with the locations as each location has its own theme music that pairs nicely and immerses you into the world of a Sherlock Holmesesqe environment. One stand-out track is Gina Lestrade – A Blast from the East End which is such a jovial tune and has great swing orchestration with good accordion and flute instruments and a tango melody. Another is Nocturn which has really good Japanese-style orchestration with windpipes that give you the impression of a samurai’s return which I think is the feeling they were going for.
In conclusion, I give The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles a solid 10/10 and definitely name it as one of my favorite games of all time. The solid story, characters, and music as well as the extremely refined and fun gameplay both make this a must-have for any Ace Attorney or Sherlock Holmes fan’s library. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time for the next review… peace!