I finally got round to playing both of the Great Ace Attorney games (conveniently packaged into one glorious bundle), and oh my word was it sensational. As a complete, 10 case story, I don’t think Ace Attorney will ever reach these levels of quality again.
As most people have already said, the first game takes a while to get going, but once it does we’re left with some of the most memorable cases in Ace Attorney history – how would I rank them all?
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10 – The Adventure of the Unbreakable Speckled Band (1-2)
It must be said that none of the cases are egregiously bad, which is already better than most Ace Attorney games, but this case was by far the one that engaged me the least.
I’d rather be on the receiving end of a Susato Takedown than replay this slog of a case, and the fact it doesn’t even have a trial in it is almost a cardinal sin. Luckily it’s not completely terrible, as the new “deduction” gimmick is really fun (and Sholmes carries that and the rest of the investigations hard).
9 – The Adventure of the Great Departure (1-1)
A decent first case to kick things off, but it’s really not special at all. There’s hardly anything “new” about it (as there’s no jury until case 3), and it goes on for waaaay tooo looooooong.
Some of the logical deductions in it as well were completely infuriating, like what was the deal with those beefsteaks?!? Why not submit both as evidence straight away, and why were they switched at all?!? I wasn’t entirely impressed by this introductory case, but I was admittedly quite intrigued to see where the tale would go.
8 – The Adventure of the Clouded Kokoro (1-4)
This was the first proper case of the game (with a full investigation and trial), so that was always going to work in its favour. Unfortunately it isn’t the most scintillating of cases, and there are far too many drawbacks for it to rank any higher.
For starters, I don’t like Soseki Natsume. He’s my least favourite character in these games, and even outside of this case he gets used way too much. Also there were far too many coincidences, like the knife tip in the pipe and Mrs Garrideb being juror 4 … out of 6 million Londoners to choose from for a jury. It’s still a decently fun time, but I would never plan on replaying it.
7 – The Adventure of the Blossoming Attorney (2-1)
This was a much better first case to a game than “The Great Departure”, and the Susato / Professor Mikotoba combo was something I didn’t think would be so good. Susato really holds her own, and it hardly acts as a mind-numbing tutorial case since it’s a sequel so it doesn’t have to.
That being said, there were certainly a few gripes I had. Why did the culprit take a picture at all? He was completely off the hook if he’d just run away. Also, why did a trained medic think taking a poisoned knife out as quickly as possible would be helpful? The poison was already in her system, so what good was a few seconds going to do? All these minor gripes aside, I really liked how this case introduced the second game.
6 – The Memoirs of the Clouded Kokoro (2-2)
I can’t recall another instance where an Ace Attorney case takes place within the timeframe (ish) of another case, so already I found this case to be super intriguing before it had even begun.
It’s the most filler-y case of the second game, so it can’t rank too highly, but even so it does a lot of things right. All of the characters, especially Shamspeare, are great, and the moment the corpse comes back to life right before your eyes was a true highlight of the game. The plot got a little convoluted as it went, but that chilling ending with the dog collar was enough to keep me hooked.
5 – The Adventure of the Runaway Room (1-3)
In a strange turn of events that I wasn’t expecting, the first game went from a case with no trial to one where they dump you right in the middle of a huge conspiracy, and the fact your client is a morally-grey millionaire made for some great character moments and development for Naruhodo.
This was also an excellent introduction to the two main new aspects to The Great Ace Attorney: the jury system is instantly engaging and an excellent new gimmick, and Barok van Zieks became one of my favourite prosecutors pretty much straight away.
The ending was also far more insane than anything I could have imagined, and once the lore of The Reaper was unveiled I was hooked to these games.
4 – Twisted Karma and His Last Bow (2-4)
The beginning of the end, the foundations laid by this case are truly sensational, and even on its own as one half of a story it serves up some incredible twists and moments.
It’s quite hard to judge this case on its own, as the real meat of the adventure only comes around in the next case, but this was an amazing setup nonetheless, and my curiosity for the Reaper and Professor cases had peaked.
3 – The Adventure of the Unspeakable Story (1-5)
The final case of the first game is the best by far, and it was the first time while playing The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles that I felt I was experiencing a monumental moment in Ace Attorney history.
Its plot is the most intense and personal out of any up until this point, and the whole B-plot about The Hound of the Baskervilles had me completely hooked. Ashley Graydon was also a formidable final villain, and catching him out on his spy plot is one of my favourite Ace Attorney moments ever.
2 – The Resolve of Ryunosuke Naruhodo (2-5)
As epic a finale as I could have imagined, this case encapsulated everything I loved about my experience with this game, and the twists and turns were absolutely insane.
Even the investigations with Sholmes and Mikotoba were so infectiously fun, but all the credit has to go to the incredible courtroom battle. They throw twist after twist at you, and they aren’t afraid to show the darker side of nearly every character involved. I would say that a couple of the twists I could see coming a mile off, but regardless of that this will still be a gaming experience I won’t forget in a hurry.
It would have been a perfect way to wrap off the game if not for the Sholmes Ex Machina at the end, which feels a little cheap. It’s over-the-top to a ridiculous degree, but stunts like that are a sort of guilty pleasure for me in this series so I didn’t mind too much.
1 – The Return of the Great Departed Soul (2-3)
No Ace Attorney case is truly perfect, but “The Return of the Great Departed Soul” may be the closest thing we ever get.
For starters, we actually got the chance to investigate an outdoor crime scene for what felt like the first time in forever (it ain’t much, but it’s a bonus). All of the investigating was the best it had ever been, and both of the “deduction” segments are heaps of fun.
It’s Barok van Zieks that gets all of my praise for this case, though, as lots of character development gets layered on top of him. The mystery also got given about twenty extra layers, and the introduction of the Professor case may just be my favourite “long-forgotten case of the past” in Ace Attorney history.
The whole thing was just pitch perfect, from the characters to the plot, and the insane twist ending set up the final two cases in a way that kept me hooked right up until the credits.
Aaaaand that’s my list. You can check out some of my latest blog posts below:
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