Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - TECH - Mike Wil­cox Email mike@hy­per­ac­tiveg­

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.

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