The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles features some great puzzles and a little too much padding
The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles features plenty of intricate logical readers for franchise fans to chew between poorly paced conversations.
If you are not aware of Capcom As Lawyer franchise, you are no doubt familiar with memes. The image of Phoenix Wright, dressed in his voluminous suit and spiky hair, shouting “OBJECTION!” while aggressively pointing across the courtroom is perhaps one of the most iconic video game images of all time. For good reason, too, those who have been in the rush to refute the testimony of a sneaky witness will no doubt understand the adrenaline rush that fuels As Lawyerbattles of logic and deduction. The latest entry into the franchise, The Chronicles of the Grand As prosecutor, offers everything fans of the previous game were looking for in the series while also introducing elements and characters that set it apart from its predecessors … if you’re willing to sit down with copious amounts of filler.
The Chronicles of the Grand As prosecutor combines two prequels of the franchise initially released only in Japan: The Great Ace Attorney: Adventures and The Great Ace Attorney: Solve, in a handy package available on Nintendo Switch and Steam. The story follows Ryunosuke Naruhodo, a Japanese student who finds himself embarking on a trip to London to learn the ways of the country’s evolving legal system. Along the way, Ryunosuke will have to defend clients, investigate crime scenes, and interact with a wide range of colorful characters who are there to help or hinder his progress.
Fans of the previous one As Lawyer games will feel right at home in Chronicles. Much like all games in the franchise, the gameplay formula is iterative, taking the established core of the franchise and sprinkling a dose of unique mechanics. Starting every case feels like a new opportunity to grow alongside Ryunosuke, a man clearly overwhelmed but willing to push himself to be the lawyer he was meant to be. Investigations are complex affairs, spread over several days and trials that allow players to really delve into the logical puzzles at several levels of the game. Although its layout may seem basic at first glance, most of the puzzles presented throughout of the game are more than a little difficult, requiring a keen sense of observation and deduction to be solved.
The Chronicles of the Grand As prosecutor is a game that rewards attentive players. While many of the game’s more obvious puzzles wave their clues like a flag fluttering in the wind, these alone aren’t enough to solve a case. Witnesses may present the more rudimentary facts first, but the more they are in the spotlight, the more convoluted their accounts become. If you’re not careful, a vital clue can slip under your nose; Given the theme of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle thriller game, it is fitting that players are forced to carefully observe and assess the testimony of each witness, much like the great Herlock Sholmes himself.
It may sound boring to the uninitiated, just listening to people and reporting lies. Still The great ace attorney takes the fantasy of winning an argument on the internet and condenses it in a courtroom. It’s compelling from start to finish, helped by the beautiful presentation of the game. While the graphics don’t quite stand up to close scrutiny (these are the origins of 3DS games), the character models and artistic design are breathtaking. No two characters are alike, and while there are only a handful of animations to do, they are all filled with so much life. Seeing the proud confidence of a witness slowly dissolve as the beautifully composed music begins to swell is a unique experience only found in the As Lawyer franchise, and Chronicles the book in spades.
Of course, to achieve these satisfying moments, players will have to sift through a lot of filler. Too much filling. Both Adventures and To resolve are decently long games, but it often feels like most of that runtime is filled with unnecessary conversation. While the characters themselves are wonderful and interacting with them is a treat, it quickly becomes evident how much repetition is inserted into these dialogues. Courtroom Battles and Deduction Dances (a new game mechanic introduced in Adventures) are always worth the long spreads, but reaching these points can seem daunting. If you don’t skip the dialogue every now and then while the characters are discussing a topic that has already been covered three times, you’re a more dedicated fan than most.
Yet even within these convoluted and sometimes bleak discussions, the game can still shine. As Lawyer is known for his quirky character writing, and Chronicles has some of the best in the series. Ryunosuke is surrounded by people who often steal the show, most notable being Herlock Sholmes, who serves as both a pastiche and a satire of the iconic Sherlock Holmes. No character is lost; everyone has a moment to shine and prove themselves in what very easily could have been a hyper-centered Ryunosuke story, given that her lineage is directly linked to Phoenix Wright.
While The Chronicles of the Grand As prosecutor at those moments that slow the pace of the game, they are never enough to truly steal the excellence of the game. Accepting these moments makes for some of the most fascinating and unique fights in video games, where your guns are your own calculated deductions. . The Chronicles of the Grand As prosecutor serves both as a great starting point for players who have always avoided the series, and as a beautiful continuation of the franchise that longtime fans will no doubt play over and over again.
The publisher has provided CBR with a copy of this game for review.
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