Review: The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles – Two Detective Games That Do Almost Everything Wright

Ryunosuke rises from the ashes.

The last time we saw Phoenix Wright and friends, the stars of the Ace Attorney franchise, they were in a made-up country called Khura’in. Spirit of Justice came out for 3DS in 2016, and was relatively divisive — a lot of critics ranked it highly, but others found issue with its “wishy-washy” mechanics and its heavy reliance on made-up mysticism. It also marked a fairly big change in the Ace Attorney games: though they’ve always been quite coy about where they’re set, they’ve never really left the United States (or Japan, if you’re a purist) — at least, until Spirit of Justice, where significant chunks of the story are set in a fictional country.

The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles, as many fans will already know, is set in Meiji-era Japan and Victorian England, making it it almost the exact opposite of Spirit of Justice: instead of being made-up, it’s firmly rooted in historical fact and steeped in the vernacular of the time. It can be quite jarring to go from the often light-hearted, goofy fictional world of Phoenix Wright (the man who adopted a daughter out of nowhere, and has a sidekick who can read emotions with a magical bracelet) to the weirdly real world of Wright’s ancestor, Ryunosuke Naruhodo — not least because the latter is also very, very Japanese.

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