Like many games available on Nintendo Switch, The Great Ace Attorney franchise is a niche title with a decent fan base. The narrative focused experience is not for everyone, which has kept the franchise off the all-time best-selling list for obvious reasons. Still, Capcom and Nintendo felt that a collection of titles might appeal to a wider audience on Nintendo Switch, and the belief is likely going to pay off in Spades.
Although still a niche experience, The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is something all story-loving Nintendo Switch owners should experience. While the puzzles can be difficult at times, the entire experience is driven by fantastic storytelling. It has twists around every corner.
The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is actually a very fitting collection of titles. Published two years apart, both The Great Ace Attorney: Adventures and The Great Ace Attorney: Resolve tell one story across two games, with over 60 hours of story driven gameplay. In terms of bang-for-buck experiences, this one will have you spending pennies per hour!
The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles Details
Platforms: Switch, PS4 and PC
Reviewed on: Switch
Genre: Adventure game, Visual novel
Modes: Single player
ESRB Rating: T (Everyone)
A New Trade Agreement Influencing Japanese Courts
When you think about the Ace Attorney series, you likely picture Phoenix Wright, finger pointed yelling, “Objection!” But that’s not what this collection is about. Instead, let’s head back about 100 years to Japan, where Ryunosuke Naruhodo stands trial for murder. By collecting and examining evidence, and cross-examining witnesses, players will travel to England where the bulk of the experience happens.
But it all begins as you yourself stand trial for a murder you did not commit. However, you were seen with a drawn gun as an English gentleman sits dead in his chair in a restaurant. With the fresh trade agreement signed between England and Japan, all the Japanese court wants to see is a quick resolution, and a Japanese man behind bars for the murder of an Englishman. Seeking justice for yourself is just the beginning.
Simplistic Gameplay, Tough Puzzles
Logic generally drives the experience. You’ll examine bits of evidence that have been entered into the court record, before cross examining witnesses and pulling the lies from their statements. These lies will need to be exposed using evidence collected, otherwise players will earn a strike. Too many strikes, and you lose the case.
But the game doesn’t throw it all at you in one moment. Early cases in the Japanese courts are solely decided upon by a judge, whereas cases in England are decided by a jury, adding in an extra layer of complexity to the court room process.
Things can get tough, but as per more modern game mechanics, there is a way to sidestep the difficulty. The game can play itself, helping you out of jams when the evidence you have just does not seem to work. If you are ever in a panic, the game can help you through a particularly touch section, allowing you to continue.
If the fantastic storytelling and compelling gameplay don’t sell you on this experience, the visuals and audio are sure to impress. This is the second remastered narrative title to come to the Nintendo Switch this year. The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles was preceded earlier this year by the Famicom Detective Club titles, and although the edge in visuals likely goes to the Famicom remakes, The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is turning heads as well.
The environments are beautifully recreated in stunning HD and provides fantastic backdrops that help highlight the outstanding character models. It would be easy to assume that outside of dialogue, a game like The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles could have a hard time fleshing out the various characters, giving them personality. But that’s not true. The beautiful animations give life to these characters in unexpected ways, and greatly enhances the entire plot. When Ryunosuke Naruhodo sweats and stammers on the stand, I don’t need full cut scene animation to highlight his initial flaws in the courtroom. The beautiful art allows me to feel it in that moment.
The audio has also been overhauled, providing both English and Japanese. The sights and sounds of the courtroom are fantastic. And, the dramatic music used to extenuate specific moments in the case is top notch. A lot of care and detail went into these remakes, and it most definitely shows!
The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles offers two great bang for your buck experiences on Switch
Narrative driven experiences like The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles are slowly growing on Nintendo Switch owners, and I think that’s a great thing. There are so many amazing franchises, some of which have come to the West while others have not, and Switch fans should be trying them out. While a game like Famicom Detective Club is probably relatively unknown in North America, The Great Ace Attorney franchise is not.
Whether you’ve played a game in the series or not, most folks with knowledge of the video game industry understand what the game is, and who the main characters are. Although this entry doesn’t feature the notorious Phoenix Wright, the cast here is equally superb, and deliver a fantastic experience mired by only a few small issues.
+ Outstanding scene backdrops
+ Beautifully recreated character models
+ Excellent story spanning two games and 60+ hours
+ Story Mode allows players to bypass difficult puzzles
– Some puzzle elements don’t feel logical
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF THE GREAT ACE ATTORNEY CHRONICLES
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5