The chaps behind the upcoming Professor Layton, Ace Attorney crossover discuss the new game with the first screens.
The project is being lead by two very important men - Professor Layton producer Jun Suzuki and the creator of Ace Attorney, Shu Takumi. The idea was originally conceived in a more corporate nature rather then two teams coming up with the idea together.
I didn't actually hear about it until after the project was underway; I didn't get involved until after things had proceeded a fair distance.
Suzuki was in a different boat - he hadn't even played any of the Ace Attorney games or spin-offs until the idea was put to them. He conceded, admitting that after trying out one of Phoenix Wright's adventures that it's "pretty fun" with effective use of music, dialogue with a solid gameplay system.
The story revolves a town known as Labyrinth City, a magical time set in around the Middle Ages. A young lady is accused of witchraft by the locales and poor ol' defense attorney Phoenix Wright is put in charge of proceedings. Unlike his modern-day adventures, Phoenix faces group trials - him, his client against a mob of rather angry and confused witnesses. They can even confer with each other during the trial!
When you try to imagine medieval court proceedings, you tend to picture these mob scenes with people shouting out accusations at the tops of their lungs. It's a crazy scene, and since this game's set in a medieval city, I wanted to present a court the likes of which we've never seen before.
Outside of the court setting, there'll also be Layton-esque puzzle styles but these will be discussed at a later date.
Capcom is taking charge of the art style, with both teams open to contributions. As you can see in the debut snaps, there's a more 3D look than Ace Attorney fans would have been accustomed to - Phoenix has a slightly simpler look whilst his Level-5 counterparts are a tad bit more detailed.
We've been undergoing a long trial-and-error process in pretty much every aspect of the game, figuring out how to merge the two worlds together... It's a lot of nitty-gritty work, and I'm sure we'll continue trying to balance all of it right up to the end of the project.
It's the first jump for Phoenix and friends into the 3D realm, with the previous entries adopting a more hand-drawn art style, but the team agreed that shifting to 3D models would be the best way of approaching the hardware.
Making it 3D also allows us to add more depth and character to the courtroom, letting us present the action from different angles and really expanding the freedom of expression we have.
Professor Layton vs Ace Attorney is due for release in 2012 in Japan.