Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: off to a land of magic

I found it difficult to understand, when I first heard about this crossover game, how they would meld together the long-form deduction of the Phoenix Wright games with the staccato unrelated puzzle form of the Layton games.  I needn't have worried, since the development team evidently didn't either - they have, instead, divided the game into chapters, and so far these run alternately between the two game styles.

The overall story is quite fantastical, which fits to an extent with the Layton games but is a departure from the Wright stories (even taking into account spirit medium visions and so on).  It starts off quite normally, in London, with some nice tie backs to previous games in both series.

However, both sets of characters have now been transported to a town which appears to have its fate decided by a storyteller.  Phoenix and Maya appear to be bakers, but they have taken on the job of defending a character in the courts anyway.

The court cases seem a little weaker and less humorous than the Wright games; the puzzles and overworld exploration are less detailed than the Layton games.  Indeed, it feels at times that the game is relying on drawing from past references a little too much.

And that's a problem, because this is a clear example where a game can work as a marketing tool, trying to sell the Wright game format to the millions who have only played Layton on their DSs.  More interesting cases and obvious links to the puzzles would have done that.

Maybe it'll improve.  I've only just finished the first legal case in Labyrinthia, which ended with a gory execution by fire.  I shall have to hope it keeps my attention.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Sonic Generations: completed!

The additional challenges were pretty easy, once I chose the right ones, and so Shadow the Hedgehog appeared to me.  Having never played Sonic 2006, this is the first time I've been exposed to his lack of character.  Luckily I quickly defeated him - it would have been nice to understand why I had to, admittedly - and I had my final chaos emerald.

To the final boss, then, or rather the construction yard surrounding it.  I had to jump onto broken platforms and slot in chaos emeralds to fix the gears and start the gate up again.  I was rather worried by this, since holding on to the chaos emeralds is generally a good thing,

I needn't have worried.  Somehow, although the emeralds are clearly visible embedded in the cogs, Sonic(s) still had them when facing down the final boss.  And what an awful final boss it was.  As Super Sonic, you have to boost forwards towards the big Time Eater enemy, and lock on to his core.  But quickly, since your rings supply is constantly counting down and trying to get hold of more rings is pretty difficult.  It's easiest to switch to a 2D display until you get close to the boss, then switch to 3D and boost into the core.  But it's not easy at all, and took me multiple attempts.

But finish it I did, completing the game.

There's a lot left to do - many challenges in terms of time attacks, races, ring collections and similar.  I have about 50% of the red star rings.  But I'm not sure I will play much more for now - I'd prefer to play Sonic Colours or a completely different game rather than going over the same stages again.  Maybe in the future.

In any case, this is the best Sonic game for a long time, even if the last boss is pretty rubbish.