We have all heard of Professor Layton and most people may be aware of the cult franchise Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, but later this month the two will join together for a completely new adventure. So what can we expect from a game featuring two franchises that don’t seem to have any real connection at all?
Professor Layton VS Phoenix Wright takes place in London while Professor Layton is asked to help a young lady named Espella, who is later kidnapped and disappears. Layton’s investigations lead him, and his assistant Luke, to a book which magically transports them to a town known as Labyrinthia. This town is heavily set in medieval times and is supposedly home to witches and witchcraft, all of which are controlled by someone only known as The Story Teller.
Phoenix Wright and Maya Fey also encounter the book while travelling around London on business, and suddenly find themselves in Labyrinthia also. Upon arrival Phoenix finds Espella who has been put on trial for witchcraft. Phoenix decides that he must defend her and quickly learn the strange laws of Labyrinthia as a means of proving her innocence. In the meantime The Professor seeks to unravel the mystery of their newfound location.
The game will feature two distinct play styles, which use influences from both games. Adventure segments will follow the path of Professor Layton and will put those that have played the Layton series in very familiar surroundings, as you meet citizens and explore the world for clues and puzzles.
Rewards for solving the puzzles are the traditional picarats, which can be used for unlocking bonus content. Exploration will also reward you with Hint coins, that feature in every entry of the Layton series, which players can use to give themselves a helpful nudge in the right direction during difficult puzzles.
In court, the Witch Trial segments will allow players to take control of Phoenix Wright as he uses the evidence Professor Layton has gathered during his time in the Adventure segments. As Phoenix Wright you will attempt to point out contradictions during cross-examinations of witnesses in court and prove Espella’s innocence. New to the Ace Attorney series is the ability to cross-examine multiple witnesses at once.
Phoenix must look for inconsistencies in the witness’ testimonies, as well as look for reactions between individuals in the court room as others give their version of events. In doing so, you can call these individuals out and ask them to elaborate on why they have reacted in a particular way. Hint coins can also be used during these segments to help give you an idea on what evidence could be useful and what to look out for during cross-examinations.
As the plot progresses, Layton and Wright will not always see eye to eye and that their differences in style towards a case will often bring the pair in to conflict, but the truth unveiling duo will come together when it really counts. Animation of characters during gameplay is similar to that seen in previous Professor Layton games such as The Miracle Mask or The Azran Legacy, while story cutscenes will be animated in a Japanese Anime style. These scenes will be handled by the legendary Anime studio ‘Bones‘ who recently provided cut scenes for Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies.
The collaboration between studios appears to be very cleverly done, with the perfect blend of gameplay from both franchises that will appease fans of either series.
Professor Layton VS Phoenix Wright will be released for Nintendo 3DS on 28th March.
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