The Great Ace Attorney: Adventures is the ninth installment of the Ace Attorney series of text adventure video games.
New gameplay mechanics introduced to the series include Dance of Deduction, in which Ryunosuke must deduce mistakes and oversights in Herlock's overboard logic and uncover new facts, and Summation Examination, in which players must point out discrepancies among jurors' arguments to make their defendant’s case and ultimately secure a "Not Guilty" verdict.
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Call me old fashioned if you must, but when I'm playing an investigation game, I would prefer to get the information I need while actually doing the investigation, not during the preamble where I'm sitting and pressing A while characters just poorly conceived enough talk just long enough that the fact that they're catboy Sherlock Holmes or a steampunk child genius stops being charming and starts being a little annoying. The actual investigations and trials can be very fun, especially the jury examination and deduction response mechanics, but I wish it wasn't so irritating to get to them.
With Shu Takumi returning to the series to direct and write, this is 'Ace Attorney' through and through. Everything wonderful and frustrating about the series is back in full bloom here. I enjoyed the change of century (19th) and place (London) here in this first game of 'The Great Ace Attorney' collection. I do however think the characters here are decidedly less colorful than those of the 'Wright Anything Agency.' New protagonist Ryunosuke Naruhodo, while exhibiting some of Phoenix Wright's original trilogy clumsiness, was never quite as engaging as Phoenix. I recognize that this may have been the intention...to bring the series back down to planet Earth.
I enjoyed the story of 'Adventures' and this was especially true of cases 3 and 5. Case 3 has a resolution that is surprising for the series and sets up a cliffhanger that isn't resolved until the final moments of the game. I really enjoyed both of the new game mechanics. 'The Dance of Deductions' was additive to the experience of investigation. And the jury system and 'Summation Examinations' were additive to the experience of trials. Like many games in this series, 'Adventures' is long-winded. Your understanding of the case will almost always be ahead of the characters in the game and they will sometimes take literal hours to catch up. It took me 40 hours to complete this game. Now consider that this is a game where you, almost exclusively, read text. In 40 hours, the average reader can read ~1600 book pages. So the act of playing 'Adventures' is akin to reading a 1600 page book. Sixteen...HUNDRED...pages. I really think that's too long for an 'Ace Attorney' game or for any visual novel, really. It's the literal equivalent of four to five complete novels.
Oops! All sequel set-up!
I had a good time with this game but this game has a major pacing issue. Incomprehensibly weird pacing with most cases taking too long, some taking too short, the placements of the cases being in an odd order in comparison to the "feel" of the case (meaning a "Case 1", "Case 2", etc.) and none of them really "feeling" like the place they're in aside from Case 3, and sections either lasting too long or too short.
The cases themselves aren't too interesting either aside from Case 3 which is very cool, especially with the context Case 5 casts upon it. The character interactions carry the cases, especially any time Sholmes is on screen who is the most singularly entertaining character in the series.
The new gameplay mechanics are very fun at least. The Judiciary Examinations are a really fun way to break up the pacing of cases and gives a different way to problem solve, while Course Correction is the single smartest inclusion in the entire series from a gameplay perspective that the series' shift to 3D perfectly compliments.
Perfectly fine game but please don't ONLY play this game. This game is a very very good prologue to the second game which blows this game out of the water so hard it might be fighting at the top with Trials and Tribulations as my favorite in the series.
This is probably the biggest disappointment with a game I've ever had in my life, a franchise so acclaimed and said to be well written and with incredible mysteries, I honestly saw none of this in this game (or almost nothing).
The first case is bad, despite being an introduction to the game should be concerned in being well written too, there are many things forced to make the case seem to be larger, and of course the killer is so obvious that it is idiotic.
The second case was one of the most badly written and idiotic things I have ever seen, it offends any mystery writer.
The third case is full of bullshit logic to try to defend the defendant who clearly is guilty, they cogitate things so dumb and illogical that anyone with more than 2 qi would realize how impossible it is and still have terrible turns (like the planting of false evidence).
The fourth case was almost decent, it has plausible logic applied, some interesting mysteries, but the way the crime occurs is so dumb and forced that it ruined the whole case for me.
The fifth case is the only decent one, it connects past plot stuff, works the characters, has interesting elements within the case, it saddens me that some twists are so predictable.
In technical issues I think the game does well, good soundtrack, captivating main characters, my biggest problem is the writing of the cases themselves. I hope the sequel won't be as bad.