3DS Review: Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

I trust there are no objections?

Both the Professor Layton and Phoenix Wright series’ have flourished on the DS/3DS, Japan has had this cross-over since 2012 and I never thought it’d see the light of day in the West, but always hoped it would. The time has come; it’s finally here after nearly 2 years but was it worth the wait?
The story begins with a man driving away from witches with a girl named Espella, the car crashes and the man tells the girl to bring a letter to Professor Layton and it’s not long before the puzzle solving Layton gets mixed up in with the mess. Phoenix Wright has flown to London as part of a Lawyers Exchange, but also gets involved in the mystery of Espella and her strange town known as Labyrinthia…

The game switches between the gameplay styles of Layton and Wright depending on the part of the story; you’ll be solving puzzles with Layton for a while and then be defending someone in court as Wright. Combining the two characters together is a curious idea and even though it’s starts off slow, the game picks up the pace rather well and is just charming from beginning to end. There is a great chemistry between the two famous characters, as well as the supporting cast like Luke and Maya. Some might question if the crossover was necessary, but regardless it’s enjoyable and memorable.
The comedy of Phoenix Wright has always been its biggest benefit and it’s no different in the crossover, Phoenix’s antics in court are hilarious as well as the reactions of the judge, prosecutors and witnesses. The 3D effect works incredibly well throughout, but it’s just as good without for those using a 2DS or those who’d rather not use it.

The cutscenes are well animated in the Layton style and look great. Voice-acting is a mixed bag, Layton and Wright have good performances…but Luke’s voice is a tad irritating, while the rest are up and down. The music is decent and memorable, which almost balances it out.

The Verdict

Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is a truly memorable and charming game, combining the best of both franchises without compromising either’s integrity. The story is decent, the puzzles are challenging and rewarding, the dialogue is priceless and the animation is great. It’s almost impossible not to recommend to fans of either/both franchises.