I’d gone through the Phoenix Wright games recently, but it had been a while since I’d played a Professor Layton game. (I didn’t play through the second Layton trilogy at all.) The Phoenix Wright games stood up quite well to replay, and I’d heard good things about Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, so I figured I should give it a try.

And I’m glad enough I did; I enjoy solving puzzles, the art is charming, the courtroom gameplay still holds up, and this game’s change to the courtroom gameplay (cross-examing multiple witnesses at once) is a fine addition.

But still: story-wise and world-construction-wise, it turns out that I far prefer Phoenix Wright to Professor Layton. I don’t like Luke’s obsession with being a gentleman, and I don’t think either the emotional heart or the outlandish characters of the Layton games compare at all well to their Phoenix Wright counterparts. And (at least in this game, but I think it was the case in the other games in the series that I played), I don’t like the way the Layton series finds it necessary to explain the fantastic events that happen over the course of each game: that’s necessary for the logic of the game, but fantasy isn’t improved by the addition of pseudoscientific explanation.

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