Professor Layton Vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney ReviewJustin Ling
A crossover between the Professor Layton and the Ace Attorney franchises, when first announced, was probably something that took a few people by surprise. Both games had very different approaches when it came to puzzle-solving; Professor Layton had a tendency to throw all sorts of puzzles at the players, sometimes even going so far as to hide puzzles in order to challenge players to seek out every challenge, while Ace Attorney was more gvisual novelh in style and focused more on challenging players to do detective work and seek out contradictions. However, this particular crossover manages to take the two franchises and blend them together in a way that works out very well.
The game combines both core mechanics of the two franchises and makes them blend together practically seamlessly. The puzzle-finding and puzzle-solving portion seen in the Professor Layton games is used for this gamefs ginvestigation modeh where players try to search out clues to the many mysteries of the games, which then transition into the gcourtroom modeh of Ace Attorney games where the puzzle pieces are put together. This game does a very good job at making the two modes mesh together and is also quite beginner-friendly as well. The game presents the mechanics of both games in a way that new players can quickly learn to get used to, also helping familiarize them with the mechanics should they ever decide to begin playing a game from either franchises.
Another thing that strengthens this game is that it manages to capture the charming aspects of both franchises. Both franchises are known for their quirky cast of characters and this game has no shortage of them, whether they are handing out puzzles to solve or taking the role of witnesses on the courtroom stand. Every character is unique in their own way and each one is recognizable and memorable; they also add a lot to the gamefs humor, especially when Phoenix Wright, the one relegated to the role of estraight man,f has to deal with them. It helps that the characters of both franchises have enough similarities for them to blend together quite well. The only noticeable difference is the difference in art style, and even that is something that one gets used to fairly quickly as the game goes on.
The story itself contains all of the twists and turns fans have come to expect from both franchises. The many mysteries Professor Layton finds himself solving plus the frantic contradiction-spotting and on-the-spot sleuth work Phoenix Wright finds himself subjected to work together really well to create an intriguing tale. The game does a good job setting up enough suspense to keep readers trying to figure out what the truth is and offers fans of both franchises the best of both worlds: Professor Layton fans will enjoy the many mysteries that are all connected to each other with a central truth while Ace Attorney fans will enjoy the reveal of the truths bit by bit after tense confrontations with the prosecution (or Inquisition in this game).
This game is also a bit easier than the other games in both franchises, presumably because it has to acknowledge the fact that not every one of its players are familiar with both franchises. The game has several puzzles that do not penalize the players that harshly for mistakes and the logic used in the courtroom cases are relatively straightforward as far as Ace Attorney cases go. This is not necessarily a bad thing since this game can be a great stepping stone for players seeking to get into the two franchises; it essentially gives players a taste of what to expect should they decide to check out games from either Professor Layton or Ace Attorney.
This is a game that fans of either (or both) Professor Layton and Ace Attorney should pick up. It blends all of the fun aspects of both franchises together seamlessly and the writing is superb. It serves not only as a fantastic love letter to fans of both franchises but also as an invitation to players to pick up one or both of the franchises and enjoy the games they have to offer. The puzzles are fun and charming, the courtroom antics are dramatic and tense, and this game is a great experience for both old fans and new.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.