Here we go again. Another year, another top Ten list that I’ve left till tragically late to finish writing. It doesn’t help that so much good stuff ended up coming out so late in the year. But tradition is tradition and here I am, spending the last ten days of the year talking about my ten favourite video games of 2021.
You might have noticed that I already listed my ten favourite video games I played this year that didn’t come out in 2021. That’s because I ended up probably spending more time with those than I did the games on this list list. Although, I’d say that is a sign of my changing the way I consume video games more than a statement on the quality of the video games that did come out in 2021.
Because there are ten good games. Even if I complain about them as much as I end up praising them over the course of the next ten days. But let’s get started:
#10: The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles
Played on Nintendo Switch | Released 27th July | Developed by Capcom
This entry ended up being something of a toss up. Coming down to two games I feel bad about not having more time for, for different reasons.
To start off this list of celebration by talking about a game that didn’t make it onto the list; this could have easily been Halo Infinite. A game whose Campaign only came out this month, thus I haven’t had a whole lot of time to invest into it between a packed work and packed blogging schedule.
On it’s face, Halo Infinite is a pretty welcome Success for 343; a developer who have struggled to bring Halo into the forefront of being important. Or at least anywhere near as important as it was back in the days of the original Trilogy. But with the lukewarm reception of both this year’s Call of Duty and Battlefield, it seemed like it was finally Halo’s time to shine.
So why isn’t it on my list? In all honesty; the game just isn’t grabbing me. I’ve been pouring as much time into the campaign as I possible can and to be honest; the game, as of right now, just seems like a super repetitive grind. I’m not going to get any deeper into it now though because that isn’t the game I’m here to talk about.
Rather, I want to highlight a game that I also didn’t get to put as much time into as I would have liked to; the main difference being one I thoroughly enjoyed all of the time I did spend with it.
Th Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is the belated western release of two games from 2015 and 2017, a spinoff game starring the ancestors of our favourite video game lawyer Phoenix Wright as they travel from Japan to Great Britain in the Victorian Era to learn the ways of the court systems in “the most advanced nation in the world”.
Also there’s a whole bunch of Sherlock Holmes shenanigans going in too, which I am a super easy mark for.
It’s kind of silly this game took as long as it did to come out in the west. The biggest reason being just how core the nationalities of the characters and was to the majority of the events of the first game. And historically, the localisation team behind the Phoenix Wright have, often in a very tongue-in-cheek manner, changed event to make them seem like they take place in the U.S.
A sherade that has become obviously thinner over time.
But we’ve got the games now, that’s the main thing, and Id I’m super honest, having played these games now, they don’t feel like a game from 2015 at all. I’m not sure how much work was done in the porting of this game from 3DS to Switch, but this looks like the most modern Phoenix Wright game I’ve played to date.
Aside from having some very clean and pretty art throughout though, this spinoff game really does feel like it brings a whole lot new to the franchise compared to the prior games that have kept the gameplay relatively similar.
For one, the addition of a jury makes the course of cases feel much different than they were in the past. Rather than just convincing a lovebly doofy judge of your client’s innocence, instead you have to worry about the Jusry and their biases and Predijists. Also, and maybe my favoueote part is the change that not all the chapters are based around court trials.
Rather, some of the cases take you on long investigation rollerocasters with the game’s version of “Herlock Sholmes”, in classic tales of deduction, misdirection and hilariously twisted recreations of classic stories for Sir Arthur Conen Doyle.
I honestly have loved every moment I’ve spent with this game, and don’t really have any critisms of it. The only reason it isn’t higher on my list is because I kind of fell off of it over the course of the year, as other things found themselves taking priority. So, currently I’m only n the beginning of the 5th Case in the first game in the collection so far.
Which means I’m actually less than half way through the game. And honestly, I feel pretty bad about putting a game I’m not even half way through any higher on my top ten list. This might be one of those things I end up revisiting at some point when I eventually do catch up and see this one through to the end.