Reviews: Professor Layton Vs Ace Attorney

The world's greatest finger-pointer simulator.

Once in a while, along comes a crossover that just plain makes sense. The over the top courtroom antics of Ace Attorney and the brain-busting puzzles of Professor Layton, whose protagonists will point their fingers at people at the drop of a hat (these guys never learned finger-pointing's poor manners, did they?), come together in an epic adventure that brings out the best of both series, while also letting it stand on its own merits. And better yet, you don't have to be a veteran of either series to jump right into this fanservice orgy!

The game's more or less split into Layton and Attorney sections; the former replacing the investigative phases of the regular AA games. The difficulty of the puzzles have thankfully been scaled down (the difficulty of the first game's latter stages soured me on the series for some time), though they can present the occasional conundrum, but never overly so. As usual, you feel like a boss when you solve them (and lo and behold, they had a positive effect on my results in Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training that I was doing at around the same time!). The Witch Trial segments are classic AA, stern prosecutors (okay, "inquisitors"), wacky witnesses, shocking twists and all. It offers some new gameplay in these sections in that you can question multiple witnesses at once.

Without spoiling too much, the game offers a variety on the "sucked into a fairy tale storybook world" that feels fresh and new, as if Trope-mama just birthed that sucker yesterday! As is typical for AA (and not atypical of Layton either), you won't see the endgame coming at all. It's a well-plotted, atmospheric story with likeable characters all around. And hey, it just feels right with Nick and Maya together again! Nick sheepishly tackling a puzzle, or Layton being confuddled by Nick's strange lawyerly ways are the moments when the crossover works best. Oh, and it's just about the funniest AA game in over a decade, no doubt helped by the lighter tone.

Maybe my favourite thing about the game is the post-game DLC (apparently ghostwritten by Hideo Kojima) that keeps me coming back to the game on a regular basis. More games should do that. Crossovers that look good on paper aren't always guaranteed to work, but I'm happy to find Capcom more than did it (W)right with this one.