Press Start: Playing The Great Ace Attorney for the First Time



Ace Attorney is my favorite video game franchise, but for the past five years, one of its entries has eluded me.


Dai Gyakuten Saiban, or, "The Great Ace Attorney" is a spinoff title only released in Japan. The scenario was written by series creator Shu Takumi, who wrote the first four games as well as the Professor Layton crossover. The game takes place at the end of the 19th century, as globalization is changing the way of life for many countries, including Japan. In this game, you play as Naruhodou Ryuunosuke, Phoenix Wright's ancestor who is going to school to become a defense attorney, a profession that is a new concept in the Japanese legal system.


In college, I minored in Japanese, figuring when it was all said and done I would be able to fumble my way through the entirety of Dai Gyakuten Saiban, However, I was very wrong. Not only did I not learn nearly enough Kanji or vocabulary to play through The Great Ace Attorney, I also learned that this game uses lots of outdated Kanji to fit with the 19th century theme. I liken it to studying english for four years, and then trying to understand the works of Shakespeare. It just wasn't going to happen.


It feels great to return to a world I know so well and love so much.

So now, I've finally installed the fan translation on my Japanese 3DS, and along with my imported copy of the game, I've started the first case of The Great Ace Attorney. It's the first new Ace Attorney case I've experienced since the summer of 2016 when Spirit of Justice launched on 3DS, and it feels great to return to a world I know so well and love so much. Even though the characters and story are completely new, the gameplay, writing, and overall style feel so warm and familiar, which is a great thing to have right now.


I'll update everyone on my thoughts on the game this week on the Ode to Games podcast. Until then, it's time to plow through this new Ace Attorney adventure!


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