The day has finally arrived for my much-awaited review. As a devoted fan who has delved into every nook and cranny of the Ace Attorney series, I chronicled my gaming adventures in TechNews. My reviewing saga had been paused, awaiting the translation of “The Great Ace Attorney” – initially a Japan-only gem.
Thanks to the relentless efforts of the translation maestros at Scarlet Study, fans like me got a taste of the game. With whispers and leaks suggesting its entry into the US market, I penned down speculations, eagerly waiting for an official announcement.
From Rumors to Reality: The Chronicles Arrive
Come April 2021, our wishes were granted with the announcement of “The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles” (simply termed “Chronicles” henceforth). Having experienced the fan-translated version of the first game, my anticipation was now fueled by the prospect of playing its sequel, untouched by fan translations.
Steering into the review, kudos to Capcom’s localization team for breathing life into “Chronicles.” Their attention to linguistic nuances, encapsulating diverse accents ranging from the mellifluous Irish to the gritty East End London, endowed each character with a vibrancy missing in the series till now. Contrary to the fan translation which sprinkled only a few accents, the official localization painted each dialogue with a distinct dialectic hue.
A Renewed Verdict on The Great Ace Attorney Series
While I won’t re-tread my review on “The Great Ace Attorney 1,” I must admit, the second rendezvous was sweeter, courtesy of the revamped localization. The dialogues seemed richer, rendering characters more dynamic than their earlier static demeanor.
Despite negligible major differences between fan and official translations, there were notable changes: Sherlock Holmes metamorphosed into Herlock Sholmes, and John Watson was rebranded as John Wilson, a nod to copyright intricacies. Additionally, the game’s sharper edges, where racial undertones were evident, were smoothed out in the official rendition.
Without further ado and before you start to play, let’s get into the review
Gameplay: Nothing really changed in terms of gameplay between the first game and the second game. Throughout “Chronicles,” the gameplay remains consistent. The game feels like an “Ace Attorney” game, but also requires a little bit more exploration as you have to constantly examine evidence that you have in your court record. However other than that it’s the same old “Ace Attorney” we know and love.
Music: The music in this game is fantastic. Nothing else needs to be said. In the last review I rated the music as 10 out of 10, well this one deserves an 11 out of 10. It takes the incredible music from the previous game and makes it even better – if that’s even possible. The soundtrack is fantastic and I find myself listening to it constantly. It’s simply wonderfully composed.
Case 1 – The Adventure of the Blossoming Attorney
A relatively simple case but still highly entertaining. This case takes place back in Japan. While the murder is simple and the culprit is kind of obvious (though still entertaining), it sets up the rest of the game. It’s not like other “Ace Attorney” games where the first case is kind of just like a throwaway case or it’s too simple and unforgettable, this one, at the end, kind of feeds into the next case. It gets you hooked and makes you want to continue playing the game which is what it’s supposed to be.
Rating – 7/10. Fun beginning, doesn’t overstay its welcome. I like it.
Case 2 – The Memoirs of the Clouded Kokoro
Switching back to London, this case chronologically takes place after the fourth case in “The Great Ace Attorney 1.” Though it features a lot of the same characters that appeared in that case, this case was way more fun than the case for the previous game. The culprit was funny, the trial days were entertaining, and the mystery was great. I don’t have much else to say – I like the culprit, I like the circumstances, I like the humor between the characters, and I love the music. It’s a fun case.
Rating – 8/10. Entertaining and fun.
Case 3 – The Return of the Great Departed Soul
Wow, wow, WOW. This case is simply amazing. This is only the third case in the game and it’s honestly one of the best cases in the series, not just “Resolve.” I went to this case not expecting too much because I thought it was just going to be some sort of, goofy throwaway third case type of thing, like usual.
But man, whatever preconceptions I had about this case were immediately thrown out the window. I love the characterization of Van Zieks, I love the defendant, the supporting characters in this case are amazing, the circumstances behind the murder are great, and it solidifies the overarching plot point of the two games. Not only that, but it reintroduces a fantastic character from the first game, and makes him even better. It’s simply fantastic.
Rating – 9.5/10. One of the best cases in the series. I loved this case so much.
Case 4 – Twisted Karma and His Last Bow
This was another strong case. Though this case is heavily involved with the setup of the final case, it’s still very intriguing. I remember my reactions when I first played this case, and I was genuinely shocked at the victim and the defendant. As the chapter progressed, and the circumstances grew greater, it instilled a sense of anxiety, excitement, and curiosity for the resolution of this case. It is very content heavy, but still manages to have some humorous moments, and overall makes for a great penultimate case.
Rating – 8.5/10. Wonderful
Case 5 – The Resolve of Ryunosuke Naruhodo
“Resolve” finishes off with an absolute banger of a case. Even from the case’s beginning, it feels like it’s a whole different level above. The music is all specifically designed for the final case, giving it a big, confrontational feel. Between solving the mystery and revealing all the secrets that the authorities had tucked away, this final case takes its place amongst the very best of Ace Attorney.
Everyone has their shining moments in this case, and not once does it slow down. The Resolve of Ryunosuke Naruhodo reaches a very satisfying conclusion, wrapping up two of the best games in the series.
Shu Takumi, take a bow. You’ve out done yourself with this one.
Rating – 10/10. Perfection. I love you Herlock Sholmes.
Final Rating – 10/10. Absolutely Amazing
“Chronicles” is an incredible experience that takes what is amazing about “Ace Attorney,” and turns it up to 11. All of the characters are fantastic, Herlock Sholmes is hilarious, and the mysteries are better than ever. “Resolve” utilizes its setting in the 1900’s very well, creating a unique, fresh atmosphere for the game.
Even if you’ve never played an “Ace Attorney” game before, this game is a fantastic starting point, as it doesn’t require knowledge of the previous games in the series. If you love, visual novels or detective stories, this game is for you. Believe me, you won’t regret playing this game.