Visual Novel Book Club // Now reading: ISLAND

You know what – I’ve had this in my head for a long time and I decided it’s time to go for it. Gonna nominate something now to have it up for a while from now, after Fatal Twelve. Time to stop idly mentioning it now that I talked myself into it lol @rikaiwisdom

大逆転裁判 ‐成歩堂龍ノ介の冒険‐ / The Great Ace Attorney: The Adventures of Ryuunosuke Naruhodou

Developer: Capcom
VNDB Play Time: 33h52m
VNDB Link: Dai Gyakuten Saiban -Naruhodou Ryuunosuke no Bouken- | vndb
Character count: 544k-646k based on the vndb calculation estimate
Number of weeks to finish: 22 weeks, with these very rough estimates it’ll have to be read at a pace of closer to ~27k/week

Summary

Immerse yourself in a dramatic yet charming and witty world of evidence-gathering, deduction and courtroom battles with this double-pack of the adventures of rookie lawyer Ryunosuke.

Availability

Steam - So the game is only available in English on Steam, but there is a mod to return it to Japanese by simply dropping a couple files into the game’s directory.
Nintendo Switch - Japanese version must be purchased
Playstation 4 - Japanese version must be purchased

Personal Opinion

Alright so this game is pushing it in a couple ways because you have to do a tiny mod with the Steam version to get Japanese, it might not work with texthooking (the original trilogy didn’t), it’s a little on the long side (note that character counts might be overstated because gameplay time is presumably including, like, thinking about the puzzles). But if you take anything from this, it’s that I believe these games are so good that it’s worth nominating no matter how many roadblocks come up. This is the best of the Ace Attorney series that I’ve played, and it works perfectly as a standalone if you’ve played none of the others.

The quick concept is you are a lawyer defending the wrongly accused, with light point and click sections to look for clues, talk to witnesses, etc, and then big courtroom duels where you comb through testimony and present the inconsistencies in cross examination. The game maintains a light, humorous tone despite all of the murder, but also has loads of serious character moments and dramatic, shocking twists built into each case. This particular entry takes place in both Japan and Britain, at the time when the two nations were beginning to interact more, and there’s loads of interesting historical backdrop and appearances from people like Natsume Soseki and Sherlock Holmes. It’s hard to gush enough for what this deserves about how well it pulls off likeable amusing characters and a big intricate plot so well.

That said, I do also have to confess that the first game does not end satisfyingly on its own, everything between the 2 is tied together, and I’m roping you in for a spinoff 2 parter just like 9-Nine-. At least this time both are included in the one package, so you actually get double the reading material for the money spent. Unfortunately I currently own the game on console locked to English, but if there seems to be interest, I can grab it in an upcoming steam sale to double check I have no issues with the mod and find out about texthooking for sure, etc. By all reports the mod seems to work well, but I don’t mind making sure.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • It’s so funny and charming. I cannot stress to you how good this game is. You’re going to love it. All hoops are worth jumping through. Part 1 is #303 by rating on vndb but part 2 is #13 (they’re a single cohesive story so awkward to rate 1 alone)
  • Proper mystery, there should be lots to speculate about and be surprised by
  • Entertaining gameplay that is entirely language focused; the puzzles are about the text
  • Text boxes are quite small so it shouldn’t be a demanding read, and should be easy to move through even at a faster pace and/or without texthooking
  • It’s structured into multiple cases so this may help with planning, though they definitely are not equivalent in length so it’ll still take some creative thinking.

Cons

  • Potentially faster reading pace needed, though gameplay sort of complicates judging that when there are no real character counts available
  • Texthooker is unlikely to work?
  • Somewhat inconvenient to get with the steam mod and need to buy a Japanese version on consoles
  • A 2 parter – good value for money but you are committing to doing an offshoot to see the whole story
  • Mostly not voice acted

Pictures

Screenshots




Difficulty Poll

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