The latest game releases include a faithful detective compilation, Pikachu and friends' next era in gaming, and the Paw Patrol deep dive into a brand new motion picture escapade...

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The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles

The world-famous detective series is back and better than ever in a compilation package that's perfect for newcomers and seasoned lawyers alike.

In The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles, you play as the young Ryunosuke Naruhodo, ancestor to the famous Phoenix Wright, on his journey from humble law student to lawyer extraordinaire at the turn of the 20th Century.

Joining him along the way is assistant Susato Mikotoba, the hilarious Herlock Sholmes, and a plethora of memorable characters who’ll help, hinder or entertain you through intricate crimes scenes, courtrooms, and much, much more.

You don’t have to have played a previous Ace Attorney game to enjoy the richness that Chronicles has to offer. There’s a great balance struck across the entire game which mixes interesting cases with twists and turns, together with colourful dialogue and utter buffoonery.

The first case alone will see you act as your very own defence in a murder trial, where there’s a gunshot, poison, evidence tampering, and more to uncover. You’ll soon learn all the staple elements of an Ace Attorney game, most of all expecting the unexpected.

The larger-than-life characters in Chronicles are something else, and their outbursts and false testimonies will never cease to entertain. And just when you think it’s all over – something new is introduced, a witness changes their story, and you’re gripped until the judge gives his very final verdict.

Chronicles is carried by sublime graphics and clever dialogue, with every scene, painted beautifully with animations, sound effects, and interesting text. At times it can feel like a history game, examining the relationship between the British Empire and Japan at the turn of the century.

Each of the 10 trials is quite meaty, and altogether the game can take up to 50-60 hours to complete in full. It’s an easy game to drop in and out of, and a 'Story Mode’ even progresses the game automatically, answering questions, presenting evidence, offering you a stress-free cinematic playthrough.

That’s not to say the format doesn’t have its faults. The game can feel at times quite linear, and you may be a few steps ahead and know exactly what you want to do – but the game hasn’t caught up yet. For example, you might know whose responsible, or what is suspicious about a piece of evidence, but must wait until the game offers you an opportunity to present it.

That said, Chronicles is a beautiful, visual delight, and is incredibly enjoyable from its first scene to its last. It acts both as a fitting tribute to one of gaming’s staple series and a perfect introduction for any half-curious gamer still wondering what all the fuss is about the Ace Attorney games.

The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is available to play on PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

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PAW Patrol The Movie: Adventure City Calls

Aimed for younger games at home, Chase, Marshall, and Skye are back in the latest edition that ties into the recent movie, PAW Patrol The Movie: Adventure City Calls.

If you've played previous PAW Patrol installments like On a Roll or Mighty Pups, this new game will feel almost identical. There are of course new polished graphics, a new storyline, but generally, the gameplay is largely recycled from previous titles.

Across a series of missions, you’ll play as a variety of the world-famous canines including new addition Liberty. Either in single-player or by couch co-op, you’re tasked with solving citizen problems, navigate obstacles, and collecting treats and badges to net rewards and unlock minigames across 8 missions.

Each level has some rare moments where you’ll use PAW Patrol’s abilities to decipher problems, but mostly they’re simple 'Press X’ and see what happens events - easy for even the youngest hands, and no doubt will feel rewarding for them, too.

Some levels include vehicle driving, swimming through water, or flying through the sky to collect treats in a game that is sticking to what it knows. Perhaps the most fun found in the game will be through the minigames, which you’ll unlock by collecting pup treats throughout the main storyline.

Altogether, PAW Patrol The Movie: Adventure City Calls is a simple, straightforward, and slightly repetitive game. No doubt it will please many of the TV show’s fans and could be a great introduction for young gamers still getting to grips with controllers and hand-eye coordination. That said, if you own any previous installments from the last few years of PAW Patrol games, don’t expect anything new bar a fresh coat of paint to the graphics.

PAW Patrol The Movie: Adventure City Calls is available on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, Google Stadia, and Xbox One.

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Pokémon Unite

It's hard to believe Pokémon is celebrating 25 years in the business. And this year alone we’ve seen announcements of new games, celebrity collaborations, and more, all paying tribute to the impact of Pikachu and friends.

Pokémon Unite is a brand new free-to-play game that taps into previously unexplored territory for Pokémon - the popular MOBA setup.

If you’ve ever played League of Legends or Heroes of the Storm, you’ll already be somewhat familiar with what Unite is offering. Two teams of five players control Pokémon which becomes stronger throughout the game. There are lanes to fight at and defend, and jungle mobs you can battle to gain EXP faster. Defeat your enemies and score points in the enemy goal to snag the win.

Matches last up to 10 minutes, offering a great casual experience. And you can play as a host of fan favourites including Pikachu, Gengar, Snorlax, and Charizard. And with over 800 Pokémon in the series to choose from, no doubt Unite’s roster will continue to evolve.

Each Pokémon belongs to a job class, for example, Attacker, Defender, Supporter, and so on. You also choose which moves your Pokémon learns, allowing some flexibility and strategy to dictate how you play each match. You can equip items to give yourself an edge in battle, which brings about one of the more contentious issues of Unite – pay to win.

As a free-to-play game, Unite has payment options where gamers can take a shortcut from grinding to power themselves up. These micro-transactions have always been sore spots for games in general, and a new game such as Unite, these shortcuts are made all the more obvious.

That aside, the game can be incredibly good fun without spending a penny, especially in Standard Mode where the stakes aren’t quite as high. With limited in-game comms, the most fun is definitely by teaming up with mates and coordinating your matches together.

Pokémon Unite proves that the series is still jam-packed full of ideas and innovation. It’s easy to play and incredible fun, and non-surprisingly already commands legions of fans. The pay-to-win model has earned some rightful criticism, and it will be interesting to see how developers take on fan criticism and address an issue that cripples most free-to-play games at some point in their life.

But with balance patches already in motion, and some of the most recognizable characters in gaming taking centre stage, Unite is not only a great addition to Pokémon’s 25th Anniversary celebrations but also a new opportunity for Pikachu to dominate another sector of gaming.

Pokémon Unite is available to play for free on Nintendo Switch. An Android and iOS version is scheduled for September.