While both The Great Ace Attorney: Adventures and The Great Ace Attorney 2: Resolve were well-received additions to the Ace Attorney franchise in Japan, western audiences may have never heard of them before Capcom announced they were finally coming to the Nintendo Switch. The worldwide release of The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles, which combines both Adventures and Resolve, is the first time many will have the chance to solve these excellent cases.
The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles serves as a prequel to the main games in the Ace Attorney series. Chronicles is a single-player visual novel, just like the other games in the series. However, unlike the main games, Chronicles takes place in the 19th century instead of the modern-day. The game also takes place in both Japan as well as Victorian England. Players will follow the story of Ryunosuke Naruhodo as he defends his various clients in court. The game contains 10 different cases that all include a wacky and zany cast. My personal favorite is the existence of a character named Herlock Sholmes. The outrageously non-subtle reference made me laugh, and I am not ashamed to admit it.
Chronicles is very clearly an Ace Attorney game, and by that, I mean you’ll spend most of your time trying to solve cases and hoping you found the right clues or answers. If you’re anything like me, you will spend a substantial amount of time resetting and guessing again because you missed something blatantly obvious. I wouldn’t say the game is necessarily hard, but it does require some thinking. The game does include a “story mode” option, though, which takes the guesswork out of the game and just gives you the wild and wacky stories. I think it is a great addition for anyone who wants to enjoy the story and world and not focus on the actual gameplay. It’s not my personal preference, but if it gets more people to check out the game, then I’m completely on board!
The only real knock against the game is that the gameplay itself doesn’t stand out from any previous entries to the series. For fans of the series like me, that’s encouraging to hear, but I can see how the average player might get bored by doing the same thing repeatedly. Thankfully I found myself really drawn into all of the characters and treated each case like I was actually fighting for the innocent. The characters can be quite funny, and there are some really excellent moments throughout that help keep the game interesting despite the repetitive gameplay. Despite being a game all about court cases, Chronicles never takes itself too seriously.
Beyond just fun characters and interesting cases, the game looks beautiful. Personally, I’ve found that most visual novels tend to do a great job at the, well, visual aspect of things, and Chronicles is no different. The characters and settings have very distinct looks that I really enjoyed and appreciated. You won’t see any mind-blowing graphics or anything, but I don’t think anyone plays a visual novel expecting to see something ultra-realistic. The hyper-stylized look is absolutely perfect in Chronicles like it is in the rest of the series.
As always, if you’ve kept up with any of my previous reviews, you will know that the most important part of any game to me is the music. Chronicles does more than just avoid disappointment in this department. The music absolutely brings the world to life, making the tense scenes feel even tenser while bringing even more levity to the more humorous moments. If a physical version of the soundtrack is ever released, you can bet that I will be among the first to pre-order it.
I understand visual novels aren’t for everyone, but it’s hard to find a reason not to suggest The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles to even the most ardent visual novel skeptics. With an excellent story, fun characters, and an amazing soundtrack, it really is an excellent game well worth the time spent playing. It does feel a bit derivative of the other games in the series, and whether that is good or not depends on how much one enjoys the other games. Still, if you have not had a chance to enjoy the world of Ace Attorney before, I highly recommend picking up The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles for the Nintendo Switch and giving this legal gem a try.
The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles releases for Nintendo Switch on July 27th.
The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles
- Rating - 9/109/10
I understand visual novels aren’t for everyone, but it’s hard to find a reason not to suggest The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles to even the most ardent visual novel skeptics. With an excellent story, fun characters, and an amazing soundtrack, it really is an excellent game well worth the time spent playing. It does feel a bit derivative of other games in the series, and whether that is good or not depends on how much one enjoys the other games. Still, if you have not had a chance to enjoy the world of Ace Attorney before, I highly recommend picking up The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles for the Nintendo Switch and giving this legal gem a try.