Review: Dai Gyakuten Saiban ~Naruhodo Ryuunosuke no Bouken~

Dai Gyakuten Saiban: ~Naruhodo Ryuunosuke no Bouken~ | Cero B | CAPCOM | 3DS

Website (Japanese only)

Dai Gyakuten Saiban is kind of a spin-off(?) of the series Gyakuten Saiban, aka Ace Attorney as known in the west. The protagonist is Naruhodo Ryuuichi/Phoenix Wright ancestor, set back at the end of Meiji Period. The court system is still new in Japan (still known as Empire of Japan), and the setting was when Japan has a government relationship with the British Empire. The protagonist, Naruhodo Ryuunosuke (CV: Shimono Hiro) who started off as a normal student, then proceed to go to the British Empire and study as a defense attorney.

WARNING THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILER OF THE GAME. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

Story

The background story is as I’ve written above. I summarized all the cases within each chapters below (contains spoilers):

  • Chapter 1: The Adventure of Great Departure
    Naruhodo Ryuunosuke was accused of the murder of John H. Watson, a british professor who taught in Japan. He was killed in a restaurant, and Naruhodo was accused because he was holding a handgun when the incident happened. His best friend, Asougi Kazuma (CV: Nakamura Yuuichi), a talented young man who wanted to become a defense attorney decided to defend him on this trial. But because his scholarship will be denied if he lost this case, his teacher, Prof. Mikotoba, told Naruhodo to raised his hand when the judge asked the first question, making him defending his own life on this case. Asougi assisted Ryuunosuke, until they found out that the whole case’s information was manipulated because the person who was eating with Prof. Watson was a british exchange student, thus classifying the information due to Empire of Japan’s relationship with the British Empire. The detective in charge received an order to secure that lady instantly when the incident happened, and made her existence vanish. Turns out that she was the culprit of the incident.
  • Chapter 2: The Adventure of the Unbreakable Speckled Band
    Ryuunosuke was tagged along by Asougi on his scholarship trip to the British Empire. Technically he was smuggled in because they didn’t have any permission to bring Ryuunosuke in. Asougi was murdered in the ship and a certain famous detective, Sherlock Holmes (CV: Kawada Shinji), found Ryuunosuke in Asougi’s room cupboard, making him the suspect of Asougi’s murder. Ryuunosuke then decided to investigate the case, along with Mikotoba Susato (CV: Hanazawa Kana), Prof. Mikotoba’s daughter, and a judicial assistant who helped them in the first case. This case is an investigation case, not a court/defending case. We are introduced to Sherlock Holmes’ method: to make a logical reasoning based on their surroundings and opponent’s view & reactions. A russian man, next to Asougi’s room, who turns out to be a famous ballerina girl, ran away while bringing an expensive tiara, was hiding her identity, with the whole crew as her helpers. She was behind Asougi’s murder but it was actually an “accident” as she didn’t intend to kill him, but she was scared that Asougi was gonna report her. At the end of the case, Ryuunosuke decided to continue’s Asougi’s will and become a defense attorney, replacing Asougi to become an exchange student at the British Empire. He then proceed to study along with Susato.
  • Chapter 3: The Adventure of the Runaway Room
    After arriving on London, Ryuunosuke was assigned to his first case quickly: to defend Cosney Megundal, a rich and great man in Britain, who was accused of the murder of “Thrice-Fired” Mortar. It was his first time meeting the legendary prosecutor called “The Reaper,” aka Baron van Zieks (CV: Tsuda Kenjiro). The incident happened in an omnibus, a certain big carriage that can hold up to 8 passengers. Two witnesses, who were the passengers on the top seats, were summoned to the court. During trial, it was found out there was another party inside of the omnibus, a pickpocket named Gina Lestrade, who was hiding inside to get some money. She was then summoned as a witness. Turns out Megundal found her inside after hearing a loud shriek during the incident. Due to unclear evidence and testimonies, Megundal was declared “not guilty.” But after the trial, Megundal was killed, burnt along with the omnibus that was about to be investigated.
  • Chapter 4: The Adventure of the Clouded Kokoro
    After the 3rd chapter, Ryuunosuke was feeling confused of being a defense attorney, because he knew that Megundal was wrong, but being a defense attorney means to trust your client and defend him until the end. A japanese exchange novelist, Natsume Souseki, was accused of the incident where a british woman was stabbed from the back. Traces of books borrowed from a library found Natsume Souseki and was arrested immediately. Because he was a japanese, apparently no one really want to defend him, so Ryuunosuke finally took in his case. Turns out the incident is another case of “accident” where the Garidev couple fought broke off and a knife was thrown through their windows, stabbing the victim. Natsume Souseki then was declared not guilty, and he returned to Japan not long after that. We are also introduced to Holmes’ partner, Iris Watson (CV: Kuno Misaki)
  • Chapter 5: The Adventure of the Unspeakable Story – The Hound of the Baskervilles
    This case is heavily related with chapter 3, after Megundal was killed. Gina, the previous pickpocket introduced on chapter 3, visited a pawn shop named Hatch pawn shop, to retrieve a coat and a disc, which apparently belonged to Megundal. A name under the alias Eggs Benedict, claimed that those belong to him and retrieved it with the password, but Gina attacked the man and tried to take it back. Hatch, the owner of the shop then called the Yard because of the incident. The man then ran away, while a music box disc found inside the coat was retrieved by the Yard. Later at night, Gina stayed at Holmes & Iris’ place, along with Ryuunosuke and Susato. Iris told her that she is typing a new book about Holmes, but the script was currently at the pawn shop. Gina told her that Holmes is lying, and slipped at night through the pawn shop, until an incident happened. When Ryuunosuke, Susato, and Holmes found out Gina was missing from their place, they checked Hatch’s pawn shop which light was on, only to see a few people running away. Holmes was shot, and Ryuunosuke tried to chase the man who ran away. Yard has been alerted and went to the place asap, while Ryuunosuke found out inside the storage that Hatch has been shot, and Gina was holding a handgun inside, fainted. Gina then was arrested as the suspect of Hatch’s murder.
    Gina refused the defense attorney that was assigned to her, but eventually gave up after Ryuunosuke investigated the whole thing. Apparently things are deeper than they’ve thought, and realized this case is connected to the murder of Mortar. Gina eventually told the truth of what happened on the omnibus 2 months ago, and it was confirmed that the one who murdered Mortar is actually Megundal. After that Megundal took the coat and the disc and put it into the pawn shop. He asked (more like “force”) Gina to work with him and shut her mouth so Megundal can get away from what he had done. He let Gina hold the proof from the pawn shop, and in case Megundal couldn’t take the coat along with the disc, he asked Gina to take it instead. Susato who had to leave because her father is sick, helped Ryuunosuke investigate, and gave him the files she collected about the case 2 months ago. During trial, Iris helped him becoming his assistant. 2 special witness who claimed to be villain siblings, lied about them seeing Gina shot Hatch. Eventually finding out there was another person with them, becoming another suspect for Hatch’s murder because they found his blood on the crime scene. This is none other than Eggs Benedict, whose real name is Robert Crogley. After testifying, he said that he actually saw the important scene where Gina shot Hatch. Holmes then suddenly appeared, dressing up as the court guard, and gave Ryuunosuke an important clue from Susato: a tool that Iris invented to make a small door for cats anywhere they are instantly. Holmes mentioned that Susato used the said tool that night. It was proven that the small window where Crogley witnessed the scene, did not exist when he was there. So how did he know about the small window? Apparently he received an information from Detective Gregson, who wanted the 2nd music box disc, because he needed it for a special investigation about information theft, under the orders of the government. They both were cornered and eventually talked that they made a deal because Gregson needed the disc, and Crogley needed to get out of the situation. Crogley finally told the truth that he was the one who burnt Megundal, to avenge his father (Mortar), because both have been tricked and Mortar was murdered by Megundal. Crogley was haunted by his dreams where he was poor when he was little. Megundal then offered him to sold British Empire informations at him, giving him a lot of money, and Crogley agreed. He made this informations separated into 2 discs, and asked his father, Mortar, to made him a special music box. But on the 2nd meeting, which Mortar said that he wanted to meet with Megundal because he can’t accept the money if his son is the one who made the deal, Megundal ended up killing him. Crogley then seeks revenge of his father, murdering Megundal after his trial ended. He then proceed to took the items from Hatch pawn shop at the night of the murder to get back the 2nd disc (because the 1st disc was confiscated by the Yard), with the help of his old acquaintances, the villains brothers, but he did not expect Hatch to show up, shot his arms, and he panicked, thus shooting back without intending to kill him at first.  Crogley then was arrested, and Gina was declared “not guilty”
Gameplay/System 

It’s the usual system from Ace Attorney games in general. This time they added a few new things:

  • One is logical reasoning, which is actually a Holmes’ thing but Holmes in this game can be dumb (in a funny way) thus making a very weird, as in, REALLY weird hypothesis, far from the truth. And it is Ryuunosuke’s job to fix that hypothesis by looking at the surroundings. This is actually a cool system, with cool music, and cool gestures.
  • The 2nd new thing added in this game is multiple witness system, which let us see when the other person is suddenly shocked, made a gesture either thinking or doing something else, and lets us ask what is wrong with this person. This then can add a new statement or testimony later.
  • The most important thing that is new in this game is probably the jury system. Juries are picked randomly from commoners, and 6 people are assigned to observe and decide whether the accused is guilty or not guilty. This can change mid-game. But if majority of juries declared “GUILTY,” Ryuunosuke has to turn back the situation by using their reasoning of saying GUILTY, and if their opinions contradict, we can use this to make them rethink their decision to proceed the trial by saying NOT GUILTY for now.

Joint_Reasoning_Hold_It_Mr_Holmes

Other than that, the game is pretty straightforward from investigating to trials. We can also check each object if there are any clues. Said clues then can change the items’ description, so we can use them to counter’s the witness testimony during cross examination.

Graphics & Music

The 3d graphics are great, there’s no doubt. It’s a lot smoother than Ace Attorney Dual Destinies (because this game came after it), the environments are beautiful, and animation and witness gestures/animations are entertaining as usual, which is great because it is one of Ace Attorney humor aspect in the game. One of my most highlight in this part is probably the music. I must say the music is just top notch compared to the other Ace Attorney games. It catches every vibes and I enjoy the different kind of music used. Overall I don’t have any complain in this aspect, and I must give a thumbs up for the music alone because most of them are great masterpieces. I can’t wait to hear what music they offer in the 2nd game.

Conclusion

Honestly? I’m a bit disappointed with the story. Let’s be honest most of them are short trials (with chapter 2 only having investigation because they introduced us a new system) and I did not expect for trials to end so quickly even on the 4th chapter/case. And suddenly they made chapter 5 so long I was confused. All of trials ends in only 1 day (in-game) so they doesn’t feel like they’re long. But they pushed so much in chapter 5 to the point even the investigation itself is really long. By the time the trial started, I was thinking “Wait, the investigation itself is already long. How much will the trial drag on?” Because Ace Attorney players must have known that 5th chapter usually contains the biggest content in the whole game. But aside being a spin-off I kinda enjoyed the game. Then again they probably made this with sequel in mind, that’s why it’s not exactly the best game to enjoy. But it’s nice to see this contrast between Japan and Britain, and it made me happy, even with Holmes’ dumb jokes. There are still some plotholes in the stories, which I hoped will be explained in the 2nd game, and hope that I can review it as well.

Most characters are great, but they didn’t explain much with the others, specially Van Zieks. They showed the strong friendship of Ryuunosuke and Asougi but it was cut off bluntly on chapter 2, eventhough they still showed it at later chapters. I like Iris and Holmes, and how they relationship works. Susato is also a great assistant, honestly she is probably my fav among assistants in Ace Attorney games. She is a strong woman with a great attitude in both helping and assisting Ryuunosuke through his cases.

Unfortunately this game won’t receive localization as far as I’ve known. So your best bet is to watch the subtitled gameplay in YouTube. If you have a japanese 3DS/2DS and likes Ace Attorney, I recommend you to pick it up but it’s not a must. It’s just to have this another side of Ace Attorney game that is different than the usual ones.

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2 thoughts on “Review: Dai Gyakuten Saiban ~Naruhodo Ryuunosuke no Bouken~

  1. Kahoko November 2, 2017 at 9:29 am Reply

    I had the same conclusion about the game when I finished it but I think it’s better than AA5 and AA6. I almost drop the game after chapter 4 because it was too long.
    I’m currently playing DGS2 and a lot of people say that it’s much better than the first game. Hopefuly that’s true. I finished the first chapter yesterday and it was much better than DGS first chapter.

    • kurorisa November 2, 2017 at 11:16 am Reply

      I have mixed feelings with AA5 and AA6 and mostly because of Athena/Kokone’s chapters. she’s a great character but her chapters tend to fall flat, specially AA6 case 4, that was just bad eventhough the witness are interesting. then again this game puts me on a mixed feelings too but I still think AA6 is better. then again it might be because of my bias to Apollo. I’m looking forward to playing DGS 2 and hopefully it answers most of the unexplained things in DGS 1.

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