Twice the objection.
Having regrettably missed Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney at E3 2014 due to being swamped by everything else in Nintendo's booth (I'm looking at you, Super Smash Bros.), I wouldn't let my second chance slip past when Nintendo offered a private showing of the crossover title and other first-party titles at a closed-door showing earlier this week. Though I usually feel awkward writing any preview of a game that's already released in Japan, Europe, and Australia, PLvPW is a culmination of two of my favorite franchises and I have more than a morbid curiosity as to how these two would combine together in any way that would be sane.
That said, since I found Professor Layton to have challenging but tangential puzzles while I found Phoenix Wright to be story-driven but logically strange at times, the blend of the two in my mind could work in theory. Whatever my doubts, it was the first game I asked to play out of the many Nintendo titles on offer and held onto it for as long as could for the half-and-a-hour session before a spokeswoman came up to me and asked whether I would like to play, you know, anything else. I nearly forgot….
The first section of the demo placed me in London as Professor Layton about thirty minutes into the game, as he and his trusty sidekick Luke attempt to locate and rescue a mysterious girl named Espella Cantabella from the clutches of a group of mysterious witches. After solving several block puzzles with one where you need to reassemble a hamburger and scanning the Thames Riverside environment with a magnifying class for hint coins, I directed the duo into an underground tunnel and a cut-scene where the two are magically transported inside a book Espella carries.
A few moments later, Phoenix Wright appears with his trusty sidekick Maya Fey on an exchange program to defend a high-school girl that looks drastically similar to Espella but seems to have all her emotions sucked dry. Before entering the courtroom, the girl's chaperone named Darklaw tells Mr. Wright that she is admitting her guilt and that the charges of theft and assault that she committed on a freighter ship should be left unaddressed. Not one to back down, Phoenix Wright is able to cast doubt on the cast by interrogating the security guard Johnny Smiles and checking the Court Record and various pieces of evidence as usual.
The demo stops soon after, but the spokeswoman says that he and Maya are soon sucked into the book as well, where of course the two teams will find each other. In the fictional setting of Labyrinthia City, a witch town controlled by the Storyteller who seemingly has the power to turn anything he writes into reality, Phoenix Wright and Professor Layton must team up to protect Espella from accusations from the Inquisition that she's a witch. I won't reveal too much more, mainly because I don't want to know myself, but there are spoilers out there given that the game is available overseas. The only interesting tidbit I'll reveal is that players can use hint coins found in exploration to help with courtroom examinations too, where they'll likely be much, much more helpful (for me at least).
Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney releases on August 29, 2014 for Nintendo 3DS.