The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Sandy Kirchner-Wilson 26.07.2021

Review for The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles on Nintendo Switch

Capcom's Ace Attorney series began life on the Nintendo DS and found a very successful foothold, reaching such heights that it inspired a burst of applications to law courses in its Japanese homeland. The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles gathers the two Japan-only prequel games set in the 1800s. These have both been touched up and localised for the West and are set for release on the 27th of July 2021. With the stellar quality of the previous entries, this stands to be the definitive Ace Attorney experience.

Ryunosuke Naruhodo is an unfortunate fellow. He finds himself in odd situations all the time, even being on trial himself on one occasion! The story and writing in The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is incredibly good, even with the odd humour the game deploys at times. From eccentric situations to crazy conundrums, there is something for everyone in the story. Both games are part of the same narrative, with the first game starting by detailing the beginning of Westernised court in Japan and the troubles surrounding the connections between Japan and the British Empire. Naturally this precedes the other Ace Attorney games by quite a few years to say the least. Each case escalates the story, culminating in some grand showdowns, all presented with a great flair for the dramatic, there is never a dull moment. All the characters are interesting, if cliché, and embody something relevant to the case at hand. One example of this is the "always undercover" police chief. Without spoiling anything he is almost always involved in the early cases through some very bizarre investigation. Everything is written with loving detail and to be full of character, making the story a joy to experience, which, given that it's around 80% of the experience, is a real win.

Screenshot for The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles on Nintendo Switch

Gameplay itself is slick as well, though it would definitely benefit from the extra accuracy from touch screen investigations like the Nintendo DS games. There are the two series' staple gameplay settings, Courtrooms and Investigations, both of which are the best they have ever been. The courtroom scenes have all the features from the latest Ace Attorney games and allow players quite a degree of freedom in deciding when to take action. They also provide that "IKEA furniture" style of satisfaction on completing a case even when given a lot of hints. Similar to the older games, court cases play out with a recap of the incident followed by witnesses to cross-examine. This includes multi-witness examinations which will really test players' memories and evidence examination skills. In the courtroom players will interact with dialogue, deciding when to call out a witness for lying, then using the court record to provide the correct evidence to disprove their claim. It is inherently satisfying and fun to take part in, especially with the crazy animations as the witnesses break down and find their stories breaking apart. The gameplay is quite detailed and all the buttons and controls are laid out perfectly.

Screenshot for The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles on Nintendo Switch

Investigations take place in the first person perspective and allow investigation through a point and click setup. Like the courtrooms, it has a surprisingly fluid set of rules allowing players to interact not only with the environment to find clues but to also question people within the scene, collecting all the information pertaining to the case at hand. These scenes are well crafted and unlike some point and click titles they lack obscurity, making it easy to investigate an area without missing key details, keeping the narrative flowing and the irritations to a minimum. This game is excellent control-wise, using the joysticks to move the cursor and the R button to access the court record, all feels very natural. Gameplay is excellent as expected and mirrors the setup of the recently re-released Phoenix Wright trilogy on all platforms.

Screenshot for The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles on Nintendo Switch

Visually this game is a treat. Strong outlines, period correct outfits (mostly) and bags of anime styling means characters not only look very "clean" but have a timeless high budget quality about them. They're colourful and there is no repetition in the designs of characters who have roles in the story. Each character also has a host of individual animations built around their character. Naruhodo himself is animated to show his initial hesitancy and lack of understanding with nervous eye movements and quiet slapping of the table rather than a more confident set of animations that he gains if the case is going his way. It is really rather endearing. The characters aren't the only highlight either, environments are also luscious and detailed as well as being incredibly well realised and unique. They are also period appropriate. Quite impressively the developer has managed to create both environments and character models mixing 2D and 3D elements but without them clashing in any perceivably awkward way. There are also some brilliant, animated cutscenes that give a bit of life to the chapters and help set the scene. These feature both English and Japanese voice acting that is well done with the localisers opting to write mostly period appropriate dialogue for the characters and narration. The music is also excellent, featuring new tracks as well as remixed and rethemed tracks from the original games. All of the music in this title helps reinforce the atmosphere of not just the current scene but also of the era in which the story takes place.

Separately there is also the user interface which is incredibly clear and easy to navigate, at least in TV mode. Each menu has a style that suits the game with nice fonts and backgrounds as well as a logical layout. Choosing which game to play at the beginning is simple and visual. The game also has its own achievement system on Switch that unlocks bonus content as players meet the criteria. All of these extras are awesome and help with the replayability and longevity of the game.

Screenshot for The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 10 out of 10

Masterpiece - Platinum Award

Rated 10 out of 10

By far the most polished and interesting Ace Attorney title to date. It perfects the formula and offers a compelling narrative that bridges not just one but two games. The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is a masterpiece of "Courtroom drama" and one in which fans and non-fans will find a stunning experience. Heartily recommended to not only Switch owners but to anyone who owns a console on which the collection will release!





C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  10/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date 07.07.2021   North America release date None   Japan release date None   Australian release date None   


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