I’ve just finished the first Great Ace Attorney game.
I’m a big fan of the Ace Attorney series and I have been waiting for this game for years! After playing it, I can honestly say that I am a bit disappointed. It wasn’t at all a bad game. In fact, it’s very well made, but it’s plagued with problems that just held it back.
The pacing was probably the worst offender. This game loves to stretch things out and it unfortunately does so to an absurd extent. The first case feels like it goes on forever and this issues exists even into the ending scenes of the game. It’s too much fluff with too little significance.
Herlock Sholmes is a fantastic character. I loved him so much! However, his dances of deduction felt like they went on a little too much. I think it would’ve been better to have Naruhodo join in the dance from the start because listening to it twice can wear on you.
The pursue feature is the most wasted feature with the most potential. When I started the game, I thought that I, myself, would have to look for subtle clues in the animations of the other witnesses. I found out I was wasting my time because the game blatantly has the character speak out, become erratic, and has a big exclamation point icon appear on them. It’s the equivalent of being told to push a button and doing so. A potentially cool idea that was squandered.
The story also wasn’t as engrossing as I thought it would be. It seemed “fine.” Just fine. Naruhodo is fine, but he is a copy of Phoenix in many ways. Moreover, his being in a foreign land with a foreign language barely affected him. He had a mastery of the English language that put me to shame. Besides some racist themes being brought to light, the game felt like it didn’t explore this as much as it could have. I felt that this game didn’t come close to the highs of the original trilogy, but I have heard things improve a lot for the second game. I truly hope so!
I have a few more negatives like the treatment of women in this game and how domestic violence against men is treated as comedic and normal. But I really could stand the character of Iris. She really, really bugged me. She lacked the appeal and childish nature of Pearls and they really just made her this genius little girl who lives with a grown man. It brings up the worry of why there are so many underage girls in this series, (Yes. I do believe it’s worth bringing up), and the character just feels so outlandish. Nobody seems to care that much about what she says or do. Had Iris been maybe 16-18, it could’ve been a bit better. Her theme, her dialogue, her design, and her concept just didn’t sit well with me.
But that’s enough of the negatives. The game did so many things right. Most of the music is so memorable and fun! The pursuit theme is perfection! I loved the characters of Herlock Sholmes and Susato Mikotoba. I felt that the use of 3D was phenomenal; totally beating out Ace Attorney 6 in every way! I also liked many of the settings and scenarios. Having Natsume Soseki in the game was hilarious! Both prosecutors were great! I loved some of their dialogue. Lastly, there were plenty of moments that hit the “Ace Attorney” itch I wanted. A moment in case 5 had me almost shaking with excitement.
Great Ace Attorney is not my favorite game in the series, but it is still a very good game. It just didn’t completely sync up with me like the other games have. I think a lot of people are/will be happy with it. In the end, while it wasn’t perfect, I am very excited to play the sequel and this is still definitely one of my favorite video game series ever!