As you already know, I really like the Professor Layton series. Its challenging puzzles coupled with its amazing story and graphics make the games must buys. When I found out Level 5 was teaming up with Capcom to make a crossover with Phoenix Wright, I didn’t know what to think since I had never played a game in the series. How do the two series work together? Let’s find out! (I am aware the game has been out for a while now outside of America, but we have recieved it not too long ago here.)
The gameplay in Layton Vs Wright is what you’d see in the Professor Layton series, as well as the Phoenix Wright series. Half of the gameplay revolves around investigation and puzzle solving, while the other revolves around duking it out in the courtroom. Defending your client to get them a non guilty verdict. The two gameplay styles mesh well together, with using the puzzle style gameplay from Layton’s game to find the evidence you will later be using in court for Phoenix Wright’s portion of the gameplay. The puzzles, like usual, range from really challenging to really easy. While the court gameplay required me to use hint coins often, however I was never on a shortage of them. Sometimes, the two gameplays would mesh into one another, for example there was one puzzle where Phoenix had to find a contradiction in the directions to solve it. Or you would have to solve a puzzle to back up your case. I felt it was put together really well and the two gameplays really worked well. The game had an equal amount of each as well so there was no feeling of favouritism toward one style.
The story is about a girl named Espella one day showing up at Professor Layton’s office in request for help avoiding witches. After a couple events he finds himself in a town known as Labyrinthia. Phoenix Wright finds his way to Labyrinthia in a different line of events and they eventually meet. The game is mainly about Professor Layton, Luke, Phoenix Wright and Maya investigating Labyrinthia, trying to solve its mystery. The court cases are about you trying to show that your client is not a witch, because in the town of Labyrinthia, witches exist. The game has a lot of twists and turns that I could not predict and I was so shocked to see these twists take place. It felt like I was on a roller coaster of plot twists. It was amazing. You’ll have yo play the game for yourself to get what I mean. The only problem I noticed with the story is that the side characters were more or less one sided, and didn’t have many layers to them. This wasn’t so much of a problem with the main characters, but the supporting characters sure did. Espella also seemed to be a dull character as well, however, you learn about her by the end of the game and her character gets a lot more interesting. Which seemed to patch things up a bit.
The graphics in Layton vs Wright were amazing. The gameplay graphics were better than any other Professor Layton or Phoenix Wright game I have ever seen. The characters seemed more life-like than their previous installments. Being able to move more than I had seen in their other games. Now yes, I had never myself played a Phoenix Wright game myself, but I have seen gameplay of it and the graphics were nowhere near as good as the graphics I had seen. The cutscenes are where this game’s graphics really shine. The graphics look like you’re watching an anime on TV. They were so good for the 3DS and I loved it. The 3D in gameplay was also really cool. It was always there and it made Labyrinthia seem more open than it was. The background seemed more realistic and it literally added a layer of depth to the graphics.
The only problem I came across is that at times I could see some frame rate drops in the animation, and it took away from the experience. However, I never noticed it in the Anime style cutscene portion of the game. So it’s not too bad.
The music in this game is phenomenal! Each track in the game fits the mood well and it was amazing. The one track I’d like to point out is the Cornered- Spell breaker track when you’re in court. That is probably my favourite track in a video game I have ever heard in my thirteen years of playing video games. I have never heard something so good. It made my heart beat faster and it made me more invested into the court cases. I can’t say enough about it. Here is the song I am talking about.