Two classic Gyakuten Saiban games that never saw release outside Japan are finally making their way to the West. The fabulous Dai Gyakuten Saiban Naruhodo Ryunosuke no Bouken and its same-name sequel, Kakugo are coming to North America under the new title The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles which will combine the two Meiji-era adventures into one package for Switch, PlayStation 4 and PC on July 27.
Just a quick Japanese lesson for those keeping track, Gyakuten Saiban doesn’t mean Ace Attorney. The Gyakuten can mean a whole bunch of things, but it most often means a reversal or coming around from behind; the latter meaning is used in baseball. A Saiban is a trial. Put it all together and you have the answer as to why the series opted for the cleaner English title Ace Attorney as opposed to… Reversal Trial? Turnabout Trial? And the Dai before the title usually means big, which Capcom decided to localize into Great, making the duo of games coming out in July the Great Ace Attorney Chronicles.
The Dai duo of games came out on 3DS in Japan in 2015 and 2017 and follow Naruhodo Ryunosuke (a great pun), or as he’ll certainly be called in the English version, Ryunosuke Naruhodo. Naruhodo’s first adventure sees him defending clients alongside detective “Herlock Sholmes” at the turn of the 20th century in idyllic Tokyo, London and other landmark cities along the way.
These updated versions of the classic Gyakuten Saiban adventures come with a docket of new features including a new English dub, extra costumes, new story pieces, and an auto-advancing story mode.
The auto-advancing story mode is a new addition for the series where players are no longer penalized for picking the wrong evidence or making a weak defense. With the new mode activated, the game plays out like a visual novel and you cannot fail trials. This is a great addition to the Saiban series. Speaking from experience, sometimes finding the right evidence can be a chore. If you run out of tries and have to restart a trial day, the whole experience ends up a bit soured. Being that I’ve already played the Dai games, I think I can remember when to tap what evidence, but newcomers may appreciate this new mode which lets players lean back and enjoy the story.
Players completely new to the Gyakuten Saiban series can scoop up a new collection releasing the same day as the Dai duo in North America called the Turnabout Collection that includes the first three Saiban games as well as extra art portraits and musical arrangements.
The Dai Gyakuten Saiban games are some of the best in the long-running series. Naruhodo is just as witty, but aloof as his great, great, great grandson Nick who stars in the the series’ mainline games. The 20th century twist also makes way for very unique and engaging courtroom drama.
Being that Gyakuten Saiban is seeing a bit of a revival in North America, I’m hoping Capcom also re-releases Saiban 4-6 which still haven’t seen a release since the DS.