The Great Ace Attorney: Chronicles - Review

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Martí Micolau


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Review for The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles. Game for PC, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch, the video game was released on 27/07/2021 The version for PC came out on 29/07/2021 The version for Nintendo Switch came out on 29/07/2021 The version for PlayStation 4 came out on 29/07/2021

If the courtroom is your battleground, you've come to the right place. Capcom's lawyers they are about to return, with a good deal of customers to acquit and an avalanche of objections to present screaming at the top of his lungs.

The saga of Gyakuten Saiban (better known in the west as Ace attorney) is a series of graphic novels that sees the very first debut in the now Jurassic 2001 on the glorious Game Boy Advance, and then moved from laptop to laptop - strictly Nintendo - up to the present day.

The goodness of writing, the over-the-top characters and the intricate cases to be solved, promptly divided into an exploratory phase in a point and click style and a second more narrative phase aimed at mystery solving, have made the saga and its creator, Shu Takumi, iconic. So iconic to generate, before this The Great Ace Attorney: Chronicles, about 13 titles between sequels, spin-offs, crossover, collection and remaster of the same.

As unfortunately and too often happens, to see an oriental title land on our market, you have to wait some time (it's the recent case of Persona 5 Strikers), but we waited six years to enjoy the last two spin-offs of the saga on our screens. In fact, we have been looking forward to getting our hands on since 2015 The Great Ace Attorney: Adventures e sul suo sequel diretto: The Great Ace attorney 2: Resolve (2017).

On July 27th we will finally be able to enjoy both titles on the western market, offered in a single solution on PlayStation 4, Steam and Nintendo Switch. We at Epictrick have had the opportunity to experience both and are here to tell you about them.

We are in the Meiji period, in a Japan that looks to Europe greedy for modernization and soon we will find ourselves catapulted into Victorian London, in order to acquire the key knowledge of the legal procedures of the old continent. If from a purely "technical" point of view we do not have access to the most advanced investigative tools of the contemporary era, we will be able to count on the witty (?) deductions of Herlock Sholmes and his fearless assistant.

In this prequel we will play the role of Ryunosuke Naruhodo, accompanied by his assistant Susato Mikotoba, who will soon find themselves collecting the very heavy legacy of the Phoenix Wright-Maya Fey duo from the original series (no, we are not forgetting Apollo and Trucy), surrounded by a cast, as per tradition, extravagant and over the top. We want to reveal as little as possible about the narrative origins of this diegetic couple, because Naruhodo's professional metamorphosis is the central theme of the second case of Chronicles. Suffice it to say that we are talking about a student who is anything but familiar with legal procedures.

As always, the adventure is divided between exploration and courtroom. As for exploration, we are in graphic adventure territory, where we will have to interact with all the interactivity of the backdrops of the various maps, collect useful items, then talk to all the characters on the various screens, present the contents of the inventory and unlock new interactions. Of course compared to a traditional graphic adventure, this section has always been thinner.

As for the courtroom, we will be called to defend our client on duty and cross-question the various witnesses at the counter in order to find some precious contradictions and put them right away. All this translates, in terms of gameplay, simply by pointing to the section of the sentence pronounced by the witness and by submitting evidence stored in our procedural register capable of denying it.

There is no shortage of new mechanics in The Great Ace Attorney: Chronicles, such as the presence of a jury to convince and bring to our side, which is resolved in specific sections of gameplay where we will simply have to compare the opinions of the various jurors to create a bit of confusion and break the unanimity. The new mechanics of the exploratory phases instead concerns the deductions of Herlock Sholmes, often bizarre, to be corrected by examining the various crime scenes and finding valuable clues in order to corroborate the allegations of our scruffy Detective.

Compared to previous titles, the merger between court and investigations was decidedly less cohesive, as we were used to cases consisting of 3 phases of investigation and 3 phases of investigation alternating between them. We were therefore amazed to see cases resolved simply in court or simply by investigating. Unfortunately this sense of lack of cohesion persists even in the advanced phases of the game, unbalancing the game towards multiple phases in the classroom and only one phase (the initial one) as regards the investigation.

As for the cases themselves, we are a long way from the witty complexity of the misdeeds staged in the main saga. In The Great Ace Attorney: Chronicles, the adventure proceeds swiftly and with almost no headaches. To solve the investigation phases, simply examine all the objects on the scene and talk to all the characters and, as if by magic, we will find ourselves in the courtroom.

Even in the court section, the difficulty is set down in an almost childish way. Forget the procedural register swollen with clues and evidence of the past chapters: in Chronicles this appears so thin that it is almost impossible to get confused or go wrong in contradicting a witness. In addition, the suggestions of the characters, present during dialogues in a natural way, they will make it almost impossible not to understand what we need to do next.

We just have to read a huge amount of text (not dubbed) e proceed on a guided adventure, until each case is solved. There is also a lot to say about the quality of the cases. The continuous twists and turns we were used to are now a legacy of the past, giving way to clear dynamics, often not surprising and devoid of the brutality and premeditation worthy of a crime (just think that some of the cases will be resolved by discovering that the cause of a murder is simply an accident).

Even the main characters they cannot in any way reach the charisma of the various Phoenix, Apollo, Miles Edgeworth or Von Karma (but even poor detective Gumshoe), even Herlock Sholmes, in his wall of text full of nonsense and humor, is very often annoying. The surreal halo that has always permeated characters and cases has lost its counterpart: the brutal reality made of knives, blades and point-blank revolvers, falling into the imitation of oneself.

Naturally, the impact of the characters would have been different, if declined in more interesting, more stimulating or simply more difficult scenarios. Spending hours reading a limp story of a case that ends up pretty much on its own isn't the best of pastimes. Of course, this consideration is based on the important legacy of the e saga we believe that the player who faces the brand for the first time will in any case find this unique gameplay formula interesting (with some sporadic cases of successful imitation, see Aviary Attorney), provided you know English. The Great Ace Attorney: Chronicles is not in fact localized in the Spanish language, but written English is school-level, making the bulk of the text easy to digest for the more diverse audience.

Aesthetically, the transition to 3D that took place on 3DS is reconfirmed, as well as the beloved jingles and sounds typical of the saga, from the sound effect of the scrolling of the text to the objections shouted at the top of their voices by our lawyers.

The Great Ace Attorney: Chronicles fails to convince veterans, presenting two spin-off chapters of the saga in one at a budget price, never reaching the quality and charisma of the main series cases and characters. However, this simplicity can represent an excellent entry point into the brand for the novice player, who will be able to enjoy completely new characters and story, without having to recover the six titles of the main saga to align with the facts of the narrative framework of Ace Attorney. The invoice of the title is undoubtedly good and can represent an excellent appetizer before returning to follow the events of modern courts.

► The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is a Puzzle-Adventure type game developed and published by Capcom for PC, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch, the video game was released on 27/07/2021 The version for PC came out on 29/07/2021 The version for Nintendo Switch came out on 29/07/2021 The version for PlayStation 4 came out on 29/07/2021

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