Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright pits the titular characters in a brand new, crossover adventure. For different reasons, a young girl named Espella lures both parties away from London to help her. Upon contact, they black out and awaken in the bewildering village of Labyrinthia. Flung into a town full of mysteries upon mysteries, the two of them, along with their partners, are on a mission to uncover secrets, save lives, and escape the nightmare. A cast of whacky characters written with sharp, witty dialogue keeps things entertaining. And the main narrative, while slow, picks up quick, but the final revelation is hard to swallow. It takes huge leaps of logic that end on a definitive WTF for both series.
Gameplay from both franchises remains uncharged. In the role of Layton and Luke, puzzles remain as challenging and thought provoking as ever. With Phoenix and Maya, court cases will be deduced with a new twist. Instead of one witness on the stand, Phoenix will have to uncover the truth by interviewing multiple witnesses at the same time. It’s a new mechanic that gives the gameplay a neat new hook. And of course both sides appear to help the other out in their hour of need. Except for the final trial, the court cases remain the most clever and fun of the bunch.
A colorful, rich world is adorned with vibrant characters and inventive set pieces, fleshing out the odd world of Labyrinthia. The juxtaposition between the art style of the Layton and Phoenix universes is a bit jarring at first as Layton remains more cartoonish and Phoenix more realistic. As odd as this clash is, the remixed and new tracks that accompany the game are wonderful, thought provoking, and invigorating, catching the moment perfectly. On the downside, it does seem to drag on a bit too long especially at the end.
Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright was an excellent experiment that captures both series rather well. The puzzle vs court case gameplay tie together seamlessly while not stepping too far outside their box. Again, the story may take some giant leaps and drags on a bit too long, but it’s still a game worth visiting for fans of each series. From this gentleman, there are no objections here.
Score: 3/5 Stars
Special Notes: This article was originally published on January 14, 2015 via my Examiner account before the website shut down.