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LTTP: Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright - I'm maybe 1/4 done, let's write 3500 words

Taxman

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The night of Nintendo's shocking dual Metroid announcements, I was excited to check out the Samus Returns trailer in 3D on my New Nintendo 3DS XL. There was only one problem - I couldn't find my 3DS anywhere. It took me over three hours to locate my trusty portable gaming machine hidden under the passenger seat of my car, but even then I was out of luck, as I was never able to find the charger for it. Instead, I just stared at the dusty device for a few moments and thought about our future together.

It was obvious to me that the primary reason my dependable pocket system had become so neglected was a certain delightful console/handheld hybrid that I had acquired back in March. But as I thought about it, I realized that I had stopped playing my 3DS even prior to the Switch's arrival. In fact, I couldn't recall a single time I had played it all year. With the Switch getting sweet new titles steadily throughout the rest of the year, it seems highly unlikely that anything outside of Metroid is going to keep my 3DS from joining my other old systems in a box somewhere. Once Metroid is complete, I'll probably never seriously play my 3DS again.

This felt wrong. The system has been far too good for far too long for me to just drop it like that. With that in mind, I bought another charger and decided to spend as much of my free gaming time as I could playing through as much of my 3DS backlog as possible before Metroid hits. It was time to give the 3DS the proper send-off it deserves. So I popped the system open, navigated to my "Retail Games" folder on my SD card, and picked the first game I saw that I had purchased but never opened. That game was Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright.

I'm not usually the thread-starting type. I play many games but I never really feel the need to say anything in-depth about them. I might chime in with a short comment every so often, but usually I just lurk and watch people discuss gaming news and argue about stupid things. But for some reason, PLvPW of all things is compelling me to write down my thoughts. I even found myself getting out of bed to grab my phone and write down notes several times, a behavior I have never done before for any game. I don't understand where this compulsion is coming from, but it will tolerate no rebellion on my part, so here we are.

I think before I speak about the game itself, I should just give a little background on my experiences with the two series being mashed together in this bizarre creation. I am in many ways an Ace Attorney stan. There is a litany of issues that I have with the series, from the over-use of certain cameo characters in some games, to the existence of spirit magic in a series about forensics and logic, to those situations that all AA players know and love where you feel two separate pieces of evidence would both work but the game will only accept one and you don't know which. Even with its flaws, however, the Phoenix Wright series fills a hole in my soul that no other games ever have, and I will defend it to the end. Outside of Metroid, I don't think there's a series that I love more as a whole than this. Oh, and since it seems like it's mandatory to argue about it in AA threads, my personal rankings are 1=5>3>AAI>2>4. I haven't played AA6 yet because of how I stopped playing 3DS but that's next.

Layton, on the other hand, has always been something that I would look at and go "eh, whatever". I remember how intrigued I felt when the first game came out. The DS was a revelation for me. It had opened my eyes up to whole other types of games that I had never considered playing, like games where you have to perform surgery, tap the screen to cheer for people who need help, or even act as a defense attorney. So here was this weird brainteaser game coming along with production values through the roof and a plot and interesting characters... I couldn't help but give it a try. One finished game later, I felt rather blasé about the whole affair. It was exactly what it had appeared to be: a bunch of puzzles pulled from puzzle books with some story and animations smushed in between them. With little to do other than just tackle puzzle after puzzle, I burned out rather hard by the end and pretty much completed it just to say I did, rather than because I was still enjoying it. Also, I was sick to death of accordions.

I tried again later with Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask and couldn't even make it past a few hours. It looked better than before, but it felt very much like the same game with extra crap layered on top rather than a new design that addresses the problems I had with the original formula. In both games I couldn't get over the feeling that the world was over-centralized around puzzles. Every single person in those games loves puzzles, to the point where it seems like nobody would ever get anything done because everybody answers questions with puzzles instead of just answering the damned question. Like, imagine if you asked the cashier at McDonald's if there were pickles on their new sandwich and instead of just answering they guy throws a puzzle in your face. I know that the characters in these games basically exist to serve as puzzle-delivery systems, but just once I would love for there to be a character that was like "Man, FUCK puzzles!" This kind of thing is the same reason I can't get through Pokémon games. An entire world where all people do is talk about pokémon and pokémon-related activities just bores me to tears and I stop playing.

I bought Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright at launch because I'll buy pretty much any game with Phoenix Wright in it (I even bought Project X Zone 2 just because it had him and Fiora), but my reluctance to delve into another Layton game meant that it sat unplayed on my 3DS for 3 years. Now that I'm playing it, however, I can't believe that I deprived myself of this game for so long. While it's by no means perfect, this game is giving me the same "horizon of new possibilities" feeling I got when I first tried Korean-Mexican fusion food. The introduction of Layton to the Phoenix Wright formula, combined with Level 5's non-Capcom touch, has both opened my eyes to the potential of what Phoenix Wright could be in the future and given me a new perspective on all the AA games I've played before. As an added bonus, spreading out the puzzle sections has helped me tolerate Layton better than before. It's a win-win!

[Spoilers for PLvPW and probably other AA games from here onwards]
I think I should state at the beginning that I'm only through Chapter 2, the first witch trial where two robbers were burned alive. There's plenty of time for things to spiral downwards from here on in, but the fact that this game has left such an impression on me already is something I find commendable.
PLvPW's distinct nature is made clear from the very beginning. I don't play many crossover games, but the only other game I can think of that tries to mash together such remarkably distinct art styles is Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam (games that are just 100 cameos put together like Smash don't count). While it's certainly striking and unusual to see Phoenix Wright conversing with a man whose head is the size of Maya's torso, I the decision brings about other problems that have bugged me from the start. Do the characters in this game actually appear to each other as shown? There is an offhand remark about Layton's "beady eyes" or something to that effect, but other than that there is little acknowledgement as to anybody's onscreen depiction. If this is just a stylistic choice, the disparity between the styles of the villagers feels like a mistake. Characters like Espella, Darklaw, and Barnham look like they would be at home in a Phoenix Wright game,
while the rest of the characters are all on the Layton side of the fence:
This dichotomy causes situations where the game seems to be straight up screaming at me "THESE ONES ARE THE IMPORTANT CHARACTERS!" I know that they are going to be central figures in the story before I have even heard a word from their mouths, and it bugs me that Level 5 would intentionally pull back the curtain in such a fashion. On the other hand, if the art styles are actually how people look to each other, HOLY BALLS WHY AREN'T THE CHARACTERS BOTHERED BY THIS?!?! WHEN YOUR NEIGHBOR LOOKS LIKE A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT SPECIES THAN YOU, THAT SHOULD BE A PROBLEM.

*cough* Excuse me.

Other than that, I have nothing but praise for the presentation so far. The music has been fantastic. I especially like the medieval renditions of those classic courtroom themes. The animation has been fantastic and engaging as well. I think my favorite part so far, however, has been the voice acting. I've long been a proponent of the idea that a game is better off not doing something than doing something poorly. I believe this applies in many aspects of video games, but especially stuff like story. I don't need a terrible story in my fighting game, thank you very much. If you can't clear the bar of competency, don't go trying, as you'll only make things worse. That's why I was a little worried about this game on the voice acting front. When I think of Phoenix Wright and voice acting, I think of this. I love Dual Destinies, as my ranking above clearly shows, but I feel that its shoddy voice work really held it back in some ways. When I first watched that scene, I literally had to stop playing for like half an hour just to get the horribleness out of my head. Not so with PLvPW! Level 5 seems like they know how to do proper voice acting, thank god. The voices for Layton and Luke and great, Phoenix, Maya, and Espella are good, and hold up – is that Fiora from Xenoblade? Yes, it is! I couldn't believe they even got Carina Reeves in this thing, doing a fantastic job as Kira. Can Capcom kidnap Level 5's VA directors? Now that I've been spoiled with good voice acting, I'm afraid I won't be able to stomach what I find in AA6.

But stellar presentation doesn't mean squat if what you're presenting sucks, and that's what's got me so jazzed right now. Because I never got around to playing the game for so long, I didn't really pay too much attention to what people thought of it at the time of its release. All I really got was an overall sense of disappointment from GAF and elsewhere, which made it all the easier to keep putting PLvPW aside in favor of basically anything else. That's probably why I was not expecting the opening chapters of this game to hit me as hard as they did. It really comes down to a combination of great characters, a well-thought-out world and game system, and a willingness to expand the definition of what an Ace Attorney game can be about.

While Ace Attorney games are centered around several pivotal characters, I feel a lot of what pushes the better ones from good to great are the bit players, the small fry that appear for a day and then never are seen again – the Will Powers, Herman Crabs, and Myriam Scuttlebutts of the series. In just a few short hours, I've already found two characters in Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright that have become my two favorite smaller characters of the series, though for incredibly different reasons.

I don't think I've ever been smitten with an Ace Attorney character as quickly as I fell in love with Some Guy, a.k.a. Emeer. This drunken ball of chaos just shows up out of nowhere and nobody even has any idea who he is! I haven't laughed so hard from an Ace Attorney case in a long time. His animations, his voice, his mannerisms... I love everything about this little guy. I love the simplicity of his design, and how it tells you almost everything you need to know about him before he says a word. I love his alcohol-powered confidence, and how he refuses to lose hope even though he's abused by basically everybody present. He seems to walk that tightrope of "not exactly the brightest bulb on the tree but not annoying stupid, either" that is very important for his specific archetype of comedic character. Don't give up, Emeer! The woman of your dreams must exist out there somewhere!

As much as I love that silly drunk dwarf, I wouldn't be typing any of this up without the other character. I had written a few thoughts down already by the start of the first witch trial, but I probably would have just sat on them forever if the game had continued like it seemed to be at the time. Then Kira happened.
If you've ever played and enjoyed a good Ace Attorney game, then you know that rush you get when you have the real culprit on the ropes and you know that it's just a few more "Objection!"'s and "Take That!"'s until justice has been served. It's an almost predatory feeling, the sensation of hunting down something that was once impregnable but is now, through your actions, vulnerable, scared, and completely out of options (the song played is called "Cornered" for a reason). I revel in that feeling. It is perhaps my favorite part of an Ace Attorney game. The look of fear and desperation that each culprit displays as you nudge them ever closer to their doom is truly exquisite, and it culminates with a cathartic transformation as the culprit's will is crushed and only a defeated husk remains. PLvPW Chapter 2 was no different. I was relishing Kira's specific brand of nervous breakdown just like I'd savored all those who had come before.

I nullified her deflections.

I broke through her last-ditch defenses.

And finally, there was no way out. The end had come.

I reveled in my victory, her breakdown music to my soul. All that remained was to see her defeated visage, the final touch to complete my triumph. The camera panned up, and I saw this.

A cloud of doubt suddenly darkened my formerly-clear conscience.

Then I watched her burn.

For the most part, players are supposed feel great about catching Ace Attorney villains, which is why, at the risk of major over-simplification, I think they tend to belong to a few categories. There's the super-evil ones (Dahlia Hawthorne, Matt Engarde, Manfred von Karma), there's the normal-ish people who want revenge for something (Acro) or who kill somebody because they get in over their heads (Mimi Miney, Frank Sahwit), and there's the rare "tragic" figure that we're all supposed to shed a tear over (Godot). Those people, before they became murderers, lived generally normal and safe lives. Their failures are personal ones, be it poor decision-making or simply an inherently evil nature, and when they are caught it is safe to pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself for a job well done.

Kira was different. Unlike those other characters, she had to wake up every day with the knowledge that that day might be the day that she would be killed simply for what she was. Her existence was one of constant fear, where one simple mistake would be all it took for her to meet a horrible and brutal end, no matter how many good deeds she had done or how well she had lived her life. Then one day she came across what she believed was a way out. It was a way to save not just herself but everybody like her, and she went for it, and then everything fell apart. Yes, she still murdered two people and framed another, but for the first time in an Ace Attorney game I didn't see some irredeemable monster or pathetic murderer. In Kira's dead eyes, I saw the gaze of a broken, terrified girl pushed outside the bounds of morality by pressures nobody could hope to possibly withstand, and now confronted with the one fate that had haunted her dreams her entire life. A fate that would have most likely come for her eventually no matter what she did.

I felt like complete shit. It was the best.

Kira is the first Ace Attorney culprit that I can recall that acknowledges that there can be a cruel world out there for some people. The idea that not every murder is simply the result of panicked desperation, revenge, or a villainous mindset is not something I expected to come across in an Ace Attorney game. Kira and Emeer single-handedly propelled this trial up into the top tier of my personal Ace Attorney trials rankings, right up there with my other favorites, 1-5, 1-4, 2-4, and 5-5. I never expected anything like this from a spinoff crossover featuring a professor in a top hat.

I didn't expect such a dark world at all, to be honest. Ace Attorney games have always had an incredibly light tone for a series so steeped in death. The games tend to do as much as they can to keep you from seeing any gore, and they utilize humor and good writing/pacing to expertly keep you focused on solving the mystery rather than constantly ruminating over the death of some victim in a game's middle case. It feels sometimes like the assistant that follows you around and says silly things exists entirely for the purpose of keeping the game as light-hearted as possible. But make no mistake, there are some very morbid things happening. Not only do you have to deal with all these murders, but there's also the aftermath that rarely even gets mentioned. In the world of Phoenix Wright, the death penalty is canon.

Does Phoenix ever think about the fact that his actions are possibly leading to somebody's death? Does that bother him? Such topics are probably far too dark to ever be addressed in the mainline AA games, but in this game, we get to see him come to grips with the fact that he just literally caused somebody to burn to death as he watched. I love it, and I hope this line of plot isn't just dropped after the first trial.

I don't need the regular AA games to suddenly go super-dark. The push towards the dark and edgy tone found in Dual Destinies was nice, but that was about as far down that road as I think they should take it. A spinoff like this, on the other hand, is perfect. It makes it stand out and give me a whole other reason to keep playing.

There's so much more I want to talk about: the trial system, the incorporation of magic, the "free will vs. predestination" conundrums already present in the game and the questions that they raise concerning the Storyteller... All stuff I want to expound upon, but also all things that would be much better served by getting deeper into the game first. I'll write more about them next time, once I've gotten another case or two into the story.

The one concern I think I need to register at this point is that I fear that this game will turn into "The Professor Layton Show with special guest Phoenix Wright." The biggest problem I have with Layton as a character is that he feels TOO competent. He seems like he's an expert at everything, and always the smartest person in the room. What this does when he's put next to Phoenix is that he makes Phoenix seem unnecessary. Now I understand that the trial was in many ways a tutorial trial, so the game holds your hand more than it would otherwise, but it honestly felt like Layton was just sitting there most of the time with the answer already figured out, just waiting for Phoenix to realize it and say it. Then he started shouting his own "Objection!"'s and standing next to Phoenix and it felt to me like he was basically taking over. From a plot/character perspective, I can totally believe that Professor Hershel Layton would be smart enough to play Phoenix's role as defender and get the same results, so I'm hoping that the developers are able to do enough to justify the inclusion of Phoenix and Maya in the upcoming chapters.

Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright is not the greatest game I have ever played. Far from it, actually. But for some reason no other games have made me stop, put down my device, and just ponder the things I've experienced in the way that this game has. I can't fully explain why just yet, but I'm going to keep writing shit down in the hopes that I can by the end. To think that I would never have played this game if MercurySteam wasn't somehow making a 2D 3DS Metroid game. Ha! Here's to the little surprises that make life worth living.
 
D

Deleted member 465307

Unconfirmed Member
I hope you continue to enjoy this game and that you will post your thoughts once you have completed it. It's hard for me to provide my own thoughts on the game without spoiling later parts of it, so I will just say that some of the elements you've identified as being great were ones that also spoke to me when I started the game.

Full disclosure: I skimmed your OP. Sorry that I can't give it a full read right now. :/
 

PKrockin

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Sep 6, 2010
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I felt very much the same way you do about the game while I was playing it earlier this year. Don't finish it. Put it down before the last trial. Trust me on this one. The ending is just terrible and soured me on the whole game, which had never happened to me before.
 
Dec 16, 2009
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I have some problems with how the game wraps itself up, but I have problems with how EVERY layton game wraps itself up.

By far the best part of this game are the witnesses. They turn what seems like a pretty benign "innovation" of having multiple testimonies and turn it up to 11 and don't stop. I really wish they would bring this back for future AA cause it's amazing and its absence is felt in all the other sequels.
But they did bring it back for the The Great Ace Attorney!
I can't wait to play it... hah... ha....
 

El Odio

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Aug 12, 2012
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I played this about a year back or so alongside a friend who's a huge AA fan while I sat on the Layton side of the fanbase fence. Without spoiling anything the ending to this game was honestly one of the worst I've seen in a game and probably the Layton series, and I really don't have a problem with how they end for the most part. Some of the interesting things they do mechanically though, especially with the last trial, might be worth seeing if you're a fan of AA.
 

duckroll

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The best thing about this game was Yoshimichi Kameda's excellent action animation direction, and the great effects animation he brought to the animated cutscenes. He made a name for himself with the amazing fire effects animation he brought to Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, so that's no surprise. It's too bad the 3DS is such a low-resolution piece of crap though. Would love for them to release a blu-ray with all the Layton anime FMVs in HD, especially this one.
 

GSR

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Jun 17, 2011
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Glad you're enjoying it, OP. It starts stronger than it ends but it's a breath of fresh air for the AA series and is still the best argument for the series pushing forward it's presentation.
 
The more time passes since I played this game, the more I hate it. I'm a huge, huge fan of the Phoenix Wright series, and greatly enjoy even the "worst" games in it. I've also played and really enjoyed several Layton games. This crossover doesn't work for me though, and it's not the fault of either franchise.

There are some spoilers people are alluding to about terrible plot points that come up later in the game. Those aren't my primary problem with the game either.

It's the fucking anime that ruins this game. Layton has always skirted the edge of anime tropes, never embracing them but also never distancing itself from them. Phoenix Wright has deliberately gone out of its way to break the tropes, which is one of the reasons I love it. The crossover though, it embraces these clichés for no good reason whatsoever (and doesn't even seem aware that it's doing so), and it really hurts the game.

I strongly disagree with the OP's claim that Espella, Darklaw, and Barnham would be right at home in a Phoenix Wright game. They would stick out like sore thumbs in those games because not only are they boring and clichéd as fuck, there's also no point to these flaws. The Ace Attorney series will sometimes play around with these things if there's a reason to do so (typically to subvert expectations), but Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright doesn't even seem to be aware that this is an option. Espella is the worst of all, to the point where I eventually had to skip through her dialogue faster because I couldn't stand listening to the VO.

The game has a stupid story with shitty characters (except the courtroom witnesses. They're great), and it presents a mystery that turns out to be a mystery only because
the writers apparently love mysteries but haven't got the faintest clue how to resolve them.
This is the only Ace Attorney game that I will never replay. The others I've already played through twice.

Yeah, I know a bunch of you are going to disagree. I don't care. These are my feelings about the game, and I know a lot of people enjoy the anime tropes that bother me so much, or don't even consider them tropes in the first place. It makes no difference to me. I disliked this game by the time I finished it, and as time passed afterwards I grew to outright hate it.
 

nynt9

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Pretty neat game, but I felt that later into the game the group testimonies started to get a bit annoying. Good write-up OP.
 

Linkhero1

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I just finished it recently. Without saying much, I thought it was the weakest game to come out of both franchises. The ending left a bad taste in my mouth.
 

Dragbolt

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The journey was great. Loved the presentation values, the art, the music, the characters, but I will echo the others in that the plot resolves itself in a very Layton-esque way.

I was personally fine with it, but I can see how it might not sit well with others, especially those who prefer the tighter writing of the Ace Attorney series.
 

MigueelDnd

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As others have said, just prepare yourself for the ending and you're good to go. It's not as narratively sound as most Ace Attorney overarching plots (which tend to have quite a few plot holes themselves), but the rest of the game is absolutely fantastic and definitely deserves a through playthrough.

That said, I'm a huge fan of both series, so I am quite biased, but I still can't recommend this enough to everyone who has some sort of interest in any of the two franchises.
 
Mar 25, 2014
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I thought the game started very strongly in the beginning and middle, but fell flat in the end. A lot of the game's attraction is simply the idea of the crossover itself and all the fanservice in between. While the plot was great in the beginning, it gets pretty repetitive. In some cases, it feels like an Ace Attorney game with the Investigation phase replaced with Layton's point and click. Other cases, it feels like a Layton game with Courtroom breaks.

Also, Layton is much smarter than pre-AA5 Phoenix, so he ends up taking the spotlight a lot more.

My personal rankings:
Ace Attorney - AAI2 > 3 > 1 > 5 > 6 > 4 > AAI1 > 2
Professor Layton - 3 > 2 > 1 ~ 6 ~ 4 ~ 5

The crossover fits somewhere in the middle of both rankings.
 

rekameohs

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Feb 10, 2011
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All I'll say is that the ending really, really soured me on this game, even knowing it's a Layton plot.

Music was totally rad, though!
 
D

Deleted member 465307

Unconfirmed Member
Seeing this universal hatred for the ending is totally bumming me out :(

To be honest, when I read your OP and how far you were, I was worried this would happen in your thread, since discussions of this game on GAF (and even my own thoughts on the game) are tied to the game's conclusion.

Try to clear your head and enjoy the ride. It will continue to have great moments. Let yourself be the judge of your own experience.
 

dragonlife

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I only played Layton 1, so I went into the game as a huge AA fan. I enjoyed my time with it, and the ending didn't hamper my enjoyment all that much, even though there were some "wait a minute" scenarios in my head.

If you're more about the journey than the destination, you should be okay. You've yet to reach my favorite case from the game. It's a good one! It affected me quite a bit, and I even wrote a long post in the OT about it back in the day.
 

Taxman

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Dude, I freaking LOVE Korean-Mexican fusion food.
I know, right? Layton = Korean, the food I don't love but can tolerate. PW = Mexican, one of my faves. Like this game, when I took my first bite I was like "Woah, the possibilities! I will never look at either of these in the same way again!"
Then i moved away from LA and I don't get to eat it anymore. :(
 

psychowave

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Seeing this universal hatred for the ending is totally bumming me out :(

Imo, while the ending was pretty bad it didn't detract from the rest of the game or the characters. Just temper your expectations and enjoy the ride.
 

Shotgun Kiss

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I didn't mind the end, but I can see why some people hate it. It requires a big suspension of disbelief, but that's typical of Professor Layton games.
 

duckroll

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I'll admit that what I said isn't true for the first game in the series, but it has been for the ones I've played since (and I haven't played all of them). Of all the things I wrote in my post, that statement about Layton is the one I feel the least strongly about.

If anything, I would say that Layton vs PW is probably faithful to how a Layton story is written to a fault, and that is generally a bad thing when mixed with how PW mysteries are meant to be more satisfying. Having played all the games in the series, and being a pretty big fan of it, I would say the worst thing about Layton mysteries is how they like to introduce a ridiculous scenario that cannot have a plausible grounded explanation, and then proceed to explain it at the end with an attempt at a "grounded" explanation which is honestly even more ludicrous. Lol. But as far as anime tropes go, I dunno the Layton series is filled with them! Especially things regarding robots, amnesia, and previously unrevealed family ~secrets~. :)
 

Shahadan

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Dec 20, 2006
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It's not just that it requires suspension of disbelief, it's that once you start to think about how it applies to things like the beginning of the game, it makes no sense whatsoever and contradicts itself.

So like a Layton game
 

VegiHam

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I loved this game so much. I feel like it may have dissapointed Ace Attorney only fans who with how faithful to the layton franchise it is. I personally loved how the game ended but I can see why someone who wasn't going in with that Layton mindset might not.
 

peakish

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Nice read, op. I felt the same at that point in the game. It's one of the best set-ups of the AA series (I'm not as familiar with Layton, only played the first game). Questioning a panel of witnesses is one of the better changes to the formula, too, even if it's mostly cosmetic it's super fun throughout the whole game.

Hope you'll share your opinions on the full game once you finish it.

And make sure to play AA6, it's working with some similar themes as this but overall executes much better on them imo.
 

gerudoman

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I actually enjoyed the ending. I can understand how Ace Attorney fans might be soured by it, but as a long time Layton fan, I thought
it was a love letter to the original trilogy, taking the most recognisable elements from each ending: artificially created village, usage of gas to alter people's perception and time travel

It's obviously flawed, but if you're trying to make a Layton x Ace Attorney crossover work you're going to make a few compromises.
 

SalvaPot

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Layton endings are always silly because they always handwave all the crazy shit that is happening, but honestly this one isn't the worst one. For me its part of them fun, if I can accept that the world is filled with rabid puzzle fanatics then I can sure as hell accept the Layton endings.

It does comes as a shock when mixed with the PW series, but come on, that series also has ludicrous 1-in-a-million answers to their mysteries, hell, the fact that ghost are usually in on the equation is par for the course. No one complains about realism when it comes to ghosts I guess.

Also I like how this is a LTTP with an OP who is halfway through a game and we are discussing the ending.
 
Again, it's not about suspension of disbelief or accepting the Laytonesque nature of the story beats. It's about the story explicitly telling the player what's going on and how it happened, but the explanation contradicts the events of the game and means major events that were witnessed during the game were impossible. The story for this game doesn't make sense even within the context of its own setting, and its attempts to explain itself makes things worse. The Ace Attorney series never did this kind of thing, and I don't remember any of the Layton games I played doing that either.
 

Nocturnowl

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Jan 1, 2011
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Man, that's a good OP yet I almost feel like there's gonna be a ton of disappointment when the game's all said and done and that's speaking as someone who enjoyed it a lot.

Which is to say, the Layton-isms are in full play, as they should be, it's a cross over after all and Layton maintains his knowing powers of everything much like Wright maintains his trial by the seat of his pants bluffing style throughout. If anything I actually commend the game from managing to tackle both series styles of storytelling even if it can be to the overall plot's detriment.

When it comes down to it though, it's such a strong love letter to both series and there's such a strong sense of character to its writing overall that I wish the modern AA games could come close to, so hopefully you'll still be digging it by the end.
 

Nyoro SF

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Again, it's not about suspension of disbelief or accepting the Laytonesque nature of the story beats. It's about the story explicitly telling the player what's going on and how it happened, but the explanation contradicts the events of the game and means major events that were witnessed during the game were impossible. The story for this game doesn't make sense even within the context of its own setting, and its attempts to explain itself makes things worse. The Ace Attorney series never did this kind of thing, and I don't remember any of the Layton games I played doing that either.

Exactly.

This and the fact that you can tell the last 1/4 of the game was super rushed. They cram in a whole bunch of new areas and unusual plot backstory, then handwave it away with the ending.

From Takumi himself we know the game had very troubled development, and it really does show.
 

TDLink

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The game's great. Love how into it you're getting. Also didn't mind the ending, definitely don't think it's terrible. In fact, being only a AA fan and not a Layton fan I actually thought it made sense.

Also, the next case (The third total) is the best one. I wish I could experience it for the first time again!
 

Stopdoor

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Dec 19, 2012
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This game is great, I really don't understand the complaints past trivial annoyance at some logic. Really a best of both worlds plus more.

Going by your post it seems like you'll enjoy the twists and turns even more as it goes, though the ending is of course a dealbreaker depending on the person.
 

higemaru

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I really loved this game and was surprised to see it get so much flack. Wonderful characters, presentation, and a fun story with some great dark moments like the Kira thing you mentioned above. Way better than AA5 imo.
 

Lord Azrael

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I was caught up to the Layton series by the time I got around to this game, so I was already desensitized to horrendous Layton endings. Based on your impressions though, I fear you may end up disappointed.

Still, if you go in with the right expectations, the game takes you on a great ride. It has some of the highest highs for both series. I'll just say that they put the multi-witness mechanic to great use later on.
 
T

thepotatoman

Unconfirmed Member
I think the Phoenix Wright gameplay really helps make the typical Layton type ending a lot more fun and memorable. It's pretty epic even if nonsensical.

But that first witch trial was definitely the best.
 

El Odio

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Again, it's not about suspension of disbelief or accepting the Laytonesque nature of the story beats. It's about the story explicitly telling the player what's going on and how it happened, but the explanation contradicts the events of the game and means major events that were witnessed during the game were impossible. The story for this game doesn't make sense even within the context of its own setting, and its attempts to explain itself makes things worse. The Ace Attorney series never did this kind of thing, and I don't remember any of the Layton games I played doing that either.
Basically. Layton endings within its own series have some pretty crazy things happen but they all "reasonably" connect to any of the previous mysteries and plot points that hadn't been resolved or explained yet. Here the ending is a jumbled mess that contradicts quite a few earlier moments to the point that even the bonus postgame chapters make fun of it. Heck, the game is probably worth finishing to get to those since they're actually pretty amusing.
 

duckroll

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Again, it's not about suspension of disbelief or accepting the Laytonesque nature of the story beats. It's about the story explicitly telling the player what's going on and how it happened, but the explanation contradicts the events of the game and means major events that were witnessed during the game were impossible. The story for this game doesn't make sense even within the context of its own setting, and its attempts to explain itself makes things worse. The Ace Attorney series never did this kind of thing, and I don't remember any of the Layton games I played doing that either.

Layton does this ALL THE TIME. Seriously don't know which Layton games you claim to have played, but pretty much all of them are like this, especially 3 and 6. In fact, 6 contradicts the entire series, but hey, who cares, retcons are the in thing!!! Lol.

Basically. Layton endings within its own series have some pretty crazy things happen but they all "reasonably" connect to any of the previous mysteries and plot points that hadn't been resolved or explained yet. Here the ending is a jumbled mess that contradicts quite a few earlier moments to the point that even the bonus postgame chapters make fun of it. Heck, the game is probably worth finishing to get to those since they're actually pretty amusing.

I don't agree with this at all. Layton endings are the worst thing about the games. It would be really generous to say that they make logical sense at all even after they are explained. Layton 2's "mystery" is one of the worst pay offs ever. It's not even about being crazy, but that things just don't work like that.
 

Not75Drops

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Not sure if I want to post spoilers in here even while tagging them, but one the big problems the ending has is not necessarily the heavy Layton-vibe, but the fact that the original script for the second half of the game was likely much different to the one we got in the end. There are plot points that don't add up and others that are conveninently forgotten about.

Layton 2 still has the worst twist in the series though.
 

Adam Prime

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OP, I enjoyed the ending and the whole game. Finish the game, I'd say this is my second favorite in the series.

You REALLY need to play AA6 after this, it's as good as the original trilogy!
 

Marow

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Not sure if I want to post spoilers in here even while tagging them, but one the big problems the ending has is not necessarily the heavy Layton-vibe, but the fact that the original script for the second half of the game was likely much different to the one we got in the end. There are plot points that don't add up and others that are conveninently forgotten about.
I want to know!
 

PsionBolt

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I'm always glad to see this game get some much-deserved love. Don't let people put you off, OP -- the ending isn't that bad, it's just that the Layton nonsense bleeding into the final court sections hurts them.

In terms of the actual mysteries and solutions, I think PLvAA has better cases on average that at least half the AA series. The rules of magic are an interesting twist, the prosecutors are cool, and the game doesn't lead you by the hand as heavily as the other 3DS games (made possible by the hint coin system, which would be a fantastic addition to any AA game). And there's not a single bad case, unlike nearly every other AA game. No laughing clowns or molasses-speed FMVs in this one!
 

ZeroX03

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I dig the game, and my main complaint is the puzzles are generally too easy compared to mainline Layton.

Judging by your post (which like everyone else I only skimmed), you're not gonna dig that ending. I'm fine with it, but it's full Layton. FULL.

It's the fucking anime that ruins this game. Layton has always skirted the edge of anime tropes, never embracing them but also never distancing itself from them. Phoenix Wright has deliberately gone out of its way to break the tropes, which is one of the reasons I love it.

Sorry, what?