PROFESSOR LAYTON VS ACE ATTORNEY PHOENIX WRIGHT RRP: $ 59.95 ( Reviewed on Nintendo 3DS)
THROWING caution to the wind, the creators of the puzzle- driven Professor Layton franchise and the team behind the courtroom- based Ace Attorney Phoenix Wright series have joined forces in a bid to broaden the gameplay of both series – and their respective fan bases at the same time.
Short of spoiling the well- crafted script which involves the kidnapping of a young girl and the journey to an exotic land, the action centres on another mysterious tale of unfolding capers, much akin to Professor Layton’s prior games, requiring the super sleuth and his cohorts to unravel sticky situations and solve puzzles.
The game’s main twist being that you will also switch to the role of king of the courtroom, Phoenix Wright, as the main story arc involves questioning witnesses and processing evidence of an ensuing trial, which is the foundation of the Ace Attorney games.
Layton’s varied challenges provide increasingly difficult brain teasers as the game progresses, while the barrister in you will need to pour through testimonies, memorise details and show some deductive skills in the courtroom.
Both franchises stay true to their origins, yet still managing to complement one another’s unique style of gameplay.
If anything, I detected a slight dumbing down of the overall difficulty I’ve experienced in previous games of both series, which isn’t such a bad thing.
The 3DS portable console’s unique depth- of- field visuals aren’t showcased to the extent of other games on this platform, however, the use of unique cartoon style cut- scenes and slick 3D animations fit the gameplay to a tee.
The voice acting is also spot on, which helps draw you further into the story and its colourful cast of characters.
While this release feels like a missed opportunity for both franchises to innovate more, what you end up with is still two popular gaming brands delivering what they do well, all seamlessly wedged into the one game, all while using many of the 3DS console’s fun features.