Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney is a crossover adventure puzzle game developed by Level-5 and Capcom for the Nintendo 3DS. The game is a crossover between the Professor Layton and Ace Attorney franchises where the leading characters from each series team up to solve a number of witch trials in a medieval fantasy world. Level-5 published Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney in Japan on November 29, 2012, March 28, 2014 in Europe and August 29, 2014 in America.
The game challenges players with "puzzles with contradictions", "puzzles" being a main theme in the Layton series and "contradictions" being a main theme in the Ace Attorney series.
It incorporates the gameplay of the two franchises, splitting it into two sections. The "investigation" sequences which are in the vein of the Professor Layton games require exploring the town and talking to the residents. Occasionally the player solves puzzles similar to those in previous Professor Layton games.
The "trial" sequences are based on the traditional Ace Attorney gameplay but with a slight variation on it. During Cross-Examinations, Phoenix can cross-examine multiple people at once and if they are "pressed" for additional information, they can be asked to comment on another person's testimony to find "contradictions" to progress.
In very rare cases, Phoenix may be asked to solve a puzzle during a trial, or compare a selected piece of testimony directly with another testimony in order to spot a contradiction.
Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney features visuals that mimic the latest of the games in each of the protagonists' respective series. The characters from each series retain their original styling (most notably, Professor Layton's wide chin and tiny eyes) where other characters tend to lean towards the Ace Attorney series' art style. All of the world and character visuals are rendered in cel-shaded polygons, allowing for smooth animations while retaining an anime look and feel.
The story is moved along both by in-engine dialogue (some, but not all, of which is voice acted) interspersed with cinematic, out-of-engine animated and voice-acted cutscenes. All visuals can be viewed in stereoscopic 3D.
During in-engine scenes, presumably only the scenes which are vital to plot are voice acted, as well as each characters' quips when solving or failing a puzzle. For the first time in any Ace Attorney game, Maya Fey's voice is heard. In addition, Phoenix Wright's English voice is provided by the third actor--Trevor White--to perform as Phoenix Wright, whereas Ben Judd (original trilogy and Apollo Justice) and Sam Riegel (Dual Destinies) previously provided Phoenix's voice.
The music borrows from each series, with the Ace Attorney themes returning and remixed with different instrumentation. In Labyrinthia, which resembles a fantasy medieval realm, the courtroom theme is played with what sounds like the appropriate medieval fare.
Phoenix Wright and Professor Layton are somehow brought to a different world where magic exists. The characters find themselves in a medieval city by the name of "Labyrinthia" which is controlled by a mysterious figure named the Story Teller and where a series of witch trials have been recently occurring.
The idea of a collaboration between the two developers to combine the two franchises came from Level-5's CEO, Akihiro Hino, who personally told of the idea to Capcom. Shu Takumi, Ace Attorney creator, was surprised to hear the idea but was also excited to work on the crossover title.
Professor Layton Series
- Professor Hershel Layton: A smart and polite archaeologist, Professor Layton is very good at solving puzzles. Japanese Voice Actor: Yo Oizumi. English Voice Actor: Christopher Miller
- Luke Triton: Luke is the eager assistant of Professor Layton, who also serves as Luke's role model. Japanese Voice Actor: Maki Horikita. English Voice Actor: Maria Darling
Ace Attorney Series
- Phoenix Wright: Main character in the first three Ace Attorney games, Phoenix Wright is a skillful lawyer who seeks the truth and will protect his innocent clients no matter what. Japanese Voice Actor: Hiroki Narimiya. English Voice Actor: Trevor White
- Maya Fey: Maya is Phoenix Wright's childish, enthusiastic and faithful assistant. She is a spirit medium in training and she tends to channel spirits of dead people when the situation is most dire. Japanese Voice Actor: Mirei Kiritani. English Voice Actor: Samantha Dakin
- The Story Teller: The main villain of the game. He controls the city and the stories he writes become reality.
- Espella Cantabella: A mysterious woman from Labyrinthia who is somehow brought into the Professor Layton's real-world London, under equally mysterious circumstances. Japanese Voice Actor: Aoi Yuki. English Voice Actor: Joanna Ruiz