Crossovers are usually a fan’s fantasy. Where else can Batman and Iron Man wage war on crime together or Buffy pit herself against Dr. Horrible? Occasionally the producers take up a crossover idea. Video game crossovers brought us Marvel vs. Capcom,Capcom vs. SNK and the less publicized but more acknowledged by the fans Capcom vs. Anybody Else so We Can Make a Cheap Buck Milking Both Franchises. Now Capcom is pairing its lawyer puzzle game hero Phoenix Wright with Level-5’s puzzle solving master Professor Layton in what is currently titled Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney.
Details of how a Victorian-esque puzzle sleuth and a modern day Japanese lawyer will meet each other are sketchy, but no one ever asked how Ryu began pummeling Spiderman for kicks. From what information is found, it looks like Professor Layton will be up to his usual job of venturing into a city that is full of brainteasing puzzles. Meanwhile elsewhere in the city, someone is accused of being a witch and only the legal wits of Phoenix Wright can prove her innocent. It is very likely that the two will inevitably meet during their respective investigations and together with their plucky sidekicks they will help solve each other’s puzzles using their respective interfaces. Layton’s side will require players to challenge their brains to figure out the logical solution while Phoenix will require players to randomly click on various background objects until the story continues before using the evidence in court cases.
Provided the plot is well developed and the differing game play elements somehow integrate with each other instead of feeling like two separate games mashed together, this crossover has the potential to be good. The fan base of Japanese puzzle games is a rather niche one. But that niche tends to like both Professor Layton and Phoenix Wright so the need to pull one fan base to another will not take much effort from the marketing department. If this project does succeed in Japan and America, the possibilities of further Capcom crossovers will be endless. Do not be surprised if Professor Layton is dispatched to assist in a Silent Hill game where his puzzle solving skills will help produce a very loose definition of a key to unlock a door.
Contrary to the Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney title, this will not be a fighting game. Though it would amusing to see Professor Layton throw his hat Goldfinger’s Odd Job style while Phoenix blocks it with one yell of, “OBJECTION!”