The Great Ace Attorney Adventures Preview – Ramen, Not Burgers

If there's one thing that video games get right, it's the intensity of the courtroom. Regardless of which seat you're in, when you're in a courtroom you know decisions are being made which can change the outcome of someone's entire life. Ace Attorney has always excelled at throwing you into that action but leaving you feeling like you're barely keeping your head above water. And when prosecutors swarm like sharks, regardless of how digital the courtroom is, the tension ramps up fast.

This is what has always made Ace Attorney so engaging, and I'm happy to report that the courtroom battle of wits is just as fraught and perilous in The Great Ace Attorney Adventures. This compilation of two previously Japan-exclusive games gives Western players their first opportunity to be introduced to the completely original character Herlock Sholmes, a British detective, and will see Phoenix Wright's ancestor Naruhodo Ryunosuke travelling across the globe while solving crimes and defending innocents. If you've played an Ace Attorney game before, you should know what to expect here.

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The big change between this and other Ace Attorney titles is the setting and time period – some of which doesn't 100 percent gel with the Western Ace Attorney canon. Phoenix usually lives in a non-specific part of the world, one that seems to be home to Japanese Shrine Maidens, but the fast-food of choice is burgers – a change on par with Pokemon's infamous jelly donuts. Since The Great Ace Attorney is deeply rooted in pre-war Japanese culture, and Japan's relationship with the British Empire, it's partially understandable that it took so long for this game to come to the West. Herlock Sholmes might not have helped either, mind.

Once you've adjusted to the handful of differences, you're in for a wild ride. The Great Ace Attorney features all of the turnabouts you expect from the series and characters that will only take 15 minutes on the stand to become utterly iconic. As is typical for the series, the first episode thrusts you straight into the courtroom, defending your own innocence against a clearly set-up murder. Every legal battle in Ace Attorney feels like an uphill struggle, which is probably inspired by real-life Japan's 99 percent conviction rate. A winning defence attorney is a rare character in this world, meanwhile, top prosecutors always have the upper hand. But we all love an underdog story, especially one that involves sticking up for the weak, so Ryunosuke Naruhodo ends up being just as loveable and naive as his famous descendant.

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After proving his innocence, Ryunosuke travels to Great Britain, where he meets with Herlock Sholmes and gets involved in a few adventures that might feel familiar to anyone that has read a few of Arthur Conan Doyle's legendary stories. The lack of a 3DS touch screen does mean that the game has been overhauled to be played solely on a single screen, and this is mostly excellent, though when important decisions crop up in court, you're sometimes unable to access the Court Record and double-check the facts, which is a massive oversight considering a few wrong decisions will end the game entirely. However, you can save at any point, which allows you to save-scum your way past any troubling decisions once you have only one life left. Probably not the high-IQ decisions the game wants you to make, but it's something you're very likely to use.

I don't want to spoil any of the stories, the twists, or the characters that appear in the game, but from what I've been able to play during the preview period, fans should not fear. Every episode will introduce brand new characters, high stakes, and a series of mysteries that will slowly funnel you down the path to understanding exactly what happened to frame your defendant. It can feel linear at times, with the path forward occasionally relying on what either feels like guesswork or luck, and those aforementioned mysteries can sometimes be so convoluted that it seems utterly impossible for any reasonable person to deduce the reality of the situation without the gods themselves guiding your decisions. Of course, the game is just linear enough to make dei ex machina feel like a natural part of the court proceedings.

The Great Ace Attorney Adventures is great value for Ace Attorney fans, as you'll be getting twice the amount of episodes when compared to your average AA release. Even if you're an AA newbie, there's so much to love between the ten episodes and endearing characters – the only problem, if you can consider it one, is that there is a lot of dialogue between choices and actions. In the future, full voice acting would be incredible. Until then, this is still shaping up to be an iconic courtroom caper.

Capcom showed off more of The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles during E3 2021.

  • Game Previews
  • Ace Attorney

TheGamer Guides Editor.
Am I supposed to write this in the third-person? Do you know how awkward it is talking about yourself like you’re someone else? No one would ever believe someone else has this many nice things to say about me.

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