Ace Attorney is finally back on the Nintendo Switch, and we’ve been having a blast playing it. Between the graphics, music, and story, there’s a lot to love here. But one aspect of Phoenix Wright that’s always been a little underappreciated is his “all-in” attitude, and it’s this that makes him such a fun character to play.

We’ve already played Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies, and now it’s time for the next installment. We’ve played through the original trilogy of games, and that’s not enough for us. We need more. We need more cases. We need more of the characters we know and love from the series. But what if we didn’t want more cases?

When I first heard that The Great Ace Attorney would be being re-released on the Nintendo 3DS as The Great Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright Trilogy, a set of three games that feature the original Ace Attorney characters, my first thought was – is it really necessary? Well, the jury’s still out, but this legal drama game series does have a bit of everything that I love about the Ace Attorney series.

One of the greatest shocks for me in the past several years was the Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney Trilogy. I’d heard of the Ace Attorney series before, but it wasn’t until I played the first three games that I realized how compelling the storylines were. It was because of that experience that I was looking forward to The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles.

The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is a compilation of two games that were previously accessible exclusively in Japan. These games follow his ancestor Ryunosuke Naruhodo, rather than the endearing Phoenix Wright. Ryunosuke is a guy who has just recently been exposed to the world of law, since the series is set at a time when Japan is still establishing the court system.

Characters are excellent, but not as good as those we’ve seen before.

The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles has almost everything you love about the series – Hands-on impressionsCapcom provided this image.

It’s clear that the creators intended Ryunosuke to be as similar to Phoenix Wright as possible. He has many of Phoenix’s characteristics, including making similar motions at times, although he lacks the spiky hair. It’s tough to tell one is superior than the other since they’re almost identical. 

The characters that surround Ryunosuke are not in the same boat. Susato Mikotoba, who is meant to take the place of Maya Fey in Phoenix’s time, assists Ryunosuke after the first episode of the first game. Maya and her cousin Pearl add much more personality and charm to Phoenix’s cases than she does to Ryunosuke’s, making Ryunosuke’s experience seem incomplete.

The addition of Herlock Sholmes, an apparent parody on a particular mythical investigator, may make up for what he’s lacking. Sholmes is excellent at what he does, but he often mistypes keywords, causing his calculations to go awry. You correct his deductions and arrive at a better conclusion to assist him. These parts of the game are by far the most enjoyable I’ve ever had throughout an episode’s investigation. I used to rush through the investigative sections of the Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney Trilogy so I could go back to the crazy ride in the courtroom, but here, I was actively engaged in discovering answers straight away, not just the odd hint or two to be addressed later.

Stories that just won’t stop

The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles has almost everything you love about the series – Hands-on impressionsPhotographed by

While the side characters in The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles may not be what I had hoped for, the narrative is precisely what any fan of the previous games should anticipate. Ryunosuke will be charged with investigating crime sites, collecting clues, and speaking with witnesses in order to gather evidence that he may utilize in court to build a strong case. The drama heightens as more information becomes available, with twists and turns around every corner. The narrative is as thrilling as any you’ll find in a video game. The only criticism I have is the length of each episode. 

Between the two games, there are a total of 10 episodes, and the lowest time I have spent in each episode is five and a half hours. Not that I don’t like the twists and turns, but there have been occasions when I’ve pleaded with the game to finish an episode just to have another twist occur, extending the chapter by at least an hour. These aren’t the kinds of tales you want to hurry through. You should take it slowly and enjoy the trip. To get the most out of the experience, pay close attention to the details and observe how everything fits together.

While I haven’t completed The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles yet, I have really liked my time with it so far. Although I still favor Phoenix Wright’s array of characters, Ryunosuke Naruhodo demonstrates that there is enough of space on the defensive side for him to make an impression. You will not be disappointed if you like the Ace Attorney games.

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