The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles, a spin-off collection taken from the Capcom saga, this year marks the return of cult trials on PC, PlayStation 4 and Switch. Does young lawyer Ryunosuke Naruhodo live up to the franchise’s reputation?
Coveted by Western fans, The Great Ace Attorney: Adventures and of The Great Ace Attorney 2: Resolve, released in 2015 and then in 2017 respectively, are finally exported outside of Japan under the banner The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles. These two spin-offs grouped together in a collection offer you not to find the brilliant Phoenix Wright, but a more fearful ancestor: a certain Ryunosuke Naruhodo. The young hero who is still working on his law courses will experience the courts of the Meiji era, before going to English lands. A trip that won us over.
Unfortunately, The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is not translated into French. A good level of English will be necessary to be able to correctly disentangle the true from the false in the various cases and to understand the few lines of slang spoken by certain characters.
A charming universe in the Meiji era
The journey of our apprentice lawyer Ryunosuke Naruhodo begins in a rather comical way, on the dock. Obviously in the wrong place at the wrong time, the young man inadvertently finds himself suspected of the murder of an English professor. This is really bad, the British Empire has just signed a treaty of friendship with Japan. Although he will have to defend himself, our hero can still be supported by Kazuma Asogi, a wise and charismatic childhood friend who never leaves his katana; which obviously has no trouble passing the security of the court. In the course of ever more incredible trials, you will have the opportunity to surround yourself with other allies, such as the scholar Susato Mikotoba, who will always find excellent advice in his books; you will also cross the path of a certain Herlock Sholmes, nigaude version of the favorite character of Arthur Conan Doyle. And on the witness stand, real cartoons parade, accompanied by a delicious set of animations that will probably get you a little laugh at any moment.
Also the excitement at the approach of a new chapter will always remain partly animated by the discovery of new colorful characters, from the European with the swan wisely placed her head through the grandma who came to knit her sweater on the bench. from jurors to Van Zieks, our prosecutor straight out of the legend of Dracula. Protagonists so eccentric that they transform the court into a theater stage and can easily overshadow our kind hero, a bit quiet when it comes to asserting his personality; let us specify that it remains nonetheless quite nice.
Our history sets its frame at the dawn of the Meiji era; an era that gives life to quite charming settings, sublimated by a 3D modeling of the characters. The writing is consistent with the historical context, our heroes marveling at early modern technologies and even addressing issues of racism and sexism of the time. The whole is carried by an impeccable orchestral soundtrack capable of accompanying our affairs in their moments of tension. In other words, The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is particularly attractive. While some blurry effects are noticed here and there, they can largely be forgiven by the care given to the game as a whole.
Ryunosuke Naruhodo will not remain confined for long within the walls of the Supreme Court of Justice of Japan. Soon he will have to take a trip to London to face new challenges; enough to offer us a rather exotic walk. If the title lets you go through its chapters in a free order, it would be a shame to lose the thread of a plot that takes a long time to develop. And then add that it is quite pleasant to see the characters evolve throughout the story in a fairly consistent way. Overall, the game offers very generous content, with 10 deals for an excellent lifespan of at least 60 hours. The format also lends itself very well to occasional consumption. As a bonus, you can also discover a handful of bonus stories once the great adventure is over.
Trials usually take a single day. If the first of them is very interventionist, it will suffice to be a little patient to access a whole range of new possibilities. You will be presented with your logbook, an essential tool for browsing the profiles of your suspects and analyzing the exhibits. In practice, it will generally be a question of exposing lies and contradictions after having listened to the versions of several witnesses often present at the same time on the stand. Consequently, it will sometimes be necessary to replay the same lines of dialogue several times to detect the flaws; A mechanism that can be redundant at times if you lack the solution. Note, however, that the difficulty is largely affordable, and that a “story mode” gives you the opportunity to pass the conversations and the riddles for you. In general, it is better not to be reticent by nature in front of textual adventures, the tirades being sometimes a bit too wordy, enough to make you feel a slight feeling of heaviness.
The title offers two new features never seen in the saga and devilishly convincing : in London, the English jurors vote the outcome of the trial by literally throwing a flaming weight on the left or right side of a huge scale of Themis. Over and over, you can contradict their arguments to change their minds. This new activity called “Comprehensive exams” brings a certain freshness and a touch of fantasy. To this is added the dance of deduction, the foundation of the duo that Ryunosuke and his new friend Sholmes form to solve investigations. he will listen to the completely absurd deductions of the English detective and then correct him by fine analyzes. The sequences offer always very funny moments. Besides that, it will sometimes be a question of investigating the ground and inspecting the sets, like this time when we were able to go through the streets of Baker Street on the trail of a pawnshop; a possibility which makes it possible to avoid a too closed-door dimension.
Finally, another rather pleasant aspect observed in the course of the cases is that the outcome of a lawsuit is generally never predicted in advance, your client is not necessarily white as snow. But it is clear all the same that each chapter will not fascinate you in the same way. The very first one, for example, is a very useful tutorial for newbies, but ends up being way too time consuming. Others, on the other hand, will prove to be exciting and much better paced, embellished with their twists and turns, classic “objections” and big punches on the table.
- A palette of deliciously extravagant characters
- Awesome animations
- Some exciting cases
- The presence of the jury and the dance of deduction, the two novelties of the saga
- Often very funny sequences
- Very generous content (+ 60h)
- Animated and dubbed cutscenes
- Completely in English
- An inconstant pace between affairs
- Dialogues a bit too wordy at times
To date, The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles probably brings together the most visually accomplished parts of Capcom’s flagship saga. In addition, this generous collection will occupy you no less than sixty hours, introducing you to a slew of eccentric personalities, exciting deals and new and successful mechanics. An adventure which, despite some heaviness in the text and the rhythm, offers a very pleasant taste. Too bad that the lack of translation leaves some of the players on the sidelines.
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By Tiraxa, Writing jeuxvideo.com