Ever wanted to know what Ace Attorney would be like if it took place in 1901? Well, if you speak Japanese you can—and it’s awesome.
The setting is the unquestionable star of Dai Gyakuten Saiban: Naruhodo Ryunosuke no Boken. The game takes place in Japan, London, and on the high seas at the turn of the last century. It is a time before cars, planes, movies, and computers. Technology, as we think of it, is in its infancy—which means that crimes aren’t solved by science, but rather by deductive reasoning. In other words, this is the perfect setting for a game like Ace Attorney where everything comes down to finding the contradictions in witnesses’ statements.
The story follows Ryunosuke Naruhodo, ancestor of Phoenix Wright and defense lawyer in training. A college student, he finds himself accused of the murder of Professor John H. Watson—a name you might recognize—and decides to represent himself in the trial.
The next case isn’t a trial. Instead it’s a murder on the high seas—strikingly reminiscent of the Sherlock Holmes short story The Adventure of the Speckled Band. And it’s all the more fitting when you meet the world famous detective in the flesh in this very case.
All in all, Dai Gyakuten Saiban: Naruhodo Ryunosuke no Boken is a solid Ace Attorney title. Its low technology, turn-of-the-century setting is perfect for Ace Attorney-style mysteries; and partnering up with Holmes and his little Watson is great fun (even if proving Sherlock wrong again and again makes him look a bit foolish). Add to that the jury system trials and it is certainly the best built of the Ace Attorney games on the gameplay side.
Honestly, it’d be a shame if this is the last we hear of Ryunosuke Naruhodo—but even more of a shame would be if the game never left Japanese shores.