You know what, I havent done a journal in a while and this game bugged me alot.
The Game was fairly fun, but I think the main series games are better. I havent played a Professor Layton game before this game, but I heard the puzzles aren't as tough as the main series, however I have no evidence to support this. I've played Pheonix Wright before though and I'd say the trials are fun, although a couple of hitches. In the first trial, there's a time you have to assume the character said something they didnt (although I could have just missed it) and in the first Labyrinthia trial, there's a point where you have to choose between 3 wrong answers, but only one of the wrong answers is the one that wont give you a penalty and continue the story. Outside of that, the Grand Grimoire was an interesting addition to the evidence. The ability to question witnesses during another's testimony was neat but it doesnt add too much outside of some funny lines if you question someone with no one to say (which thankfully, gives you no penalty)
I also found alot of puzzles fun, although overwhelming at times (I knew Professor Layton was a "Puzzle game" but I didnt know that meant that they just threw puzzles at you for no reason whatsoever. This is what happens when you do no research into a game before playing it.) There were a few puzzles that seemed to be there just to coax you into wasting hint coins with descriptions that dont make alot of sense or dont explain much, like one early on where you have to untie Espella and you just have to pick which of the two options has the two ropes overtop of each other and not looped around each other, but with perseverance you can do them without using any hint coins. My least favorite puzzles were the one when (minor spoiler) you're in the underground ruins and Layton says we need Wright's skills to figure out how to open the door, which requires basically no thinking whatsoever and just has the puzzle progress when you do very simple things, and the final puzzle of the game which was PATHETICALLY easy. I did enjoy the puzzles at Rouge's tavern with the sliding Goblet though. There were at least 4 puzzles in the game that were either based around hearing people talk, or spawned from someone talking but absolutely none of them come in the middle of a trial from someone's testimony, which was a major missed opportunity.
What ruined this game for me was the ending. I'm going to spoil everything here so dont read the next paragraph if you havent beaten the game yet. The rest of the game is fun but the ending was incredibly stupid if you think about it in the slightest, and considering how this is a crossover between two Mystery games, I highly doubt veteran players of either series wont notice these.
(SPOILER START) So, all magic in the town was faked because there's a mineral in the water that makes them faint when they hear silver. First up, that sounds really stupid. Second, how in the hell did no one notice these large chunks of their day missing whenever a spell was cast? If you say "oh, they said the witches mess up your mind when they're present", keep in mind that a witch appeared in the Alchemist's house, turned Layton into gold, while Phoenix was just underground. Also, how the hell did they make a golden statue so quickly, and carry into town that fast? Yeah, they have invisibility cloaks but Gold isnt exactly the lightest metal. a Solid gold life sized statue would take alot of time and gold to make, and alot of effort to move. How the heck did no one check in on that room in that time? Keep in mind, they would have be knocked out for a while given other spells and the Legendary Fire. Did they have this statue made before hand? How rich is the Storyteller's company if they can make GOLDEN STATUES like this? What about spells like Godoor? THAT spell was done in the middle of the night and it specifically mentions it only lasts a short while. How does someone fake this? Lets also not forget the Bell tower. They find that bell as children and, what, 10, maybe 15 years later they never bother FINISHING the cryptic words on the wall? If the bell is made of Silver, why not tear it down? Clearly the story teller has enough money to build an entire town from the ground up and make gold statues of people whenever, why not tear down the tower? Only people who've drank the water get knocked out when they hear the silver bell, why would he leave this tower here if he's gonna build a town around it with the purpose of having every faint at the sound of silver? No, clearly its far more logical to just put a cloth over it. No one will EVER walk into that part park. Ever. The cloth wont fall off, the grass under it wont rot without sunlight, no one will notice a thing. BRILLIANT. Can I also question how no one HEARD the crane machines too? I mean, yeah, they cant see them but those things should be exceedingly loud. Even if they were hypnotized to not hear them either, wouldnt they find it weird that everything got really quiet at random times during the day? Oh, and the whole Knock-out silver bell thing comes apparent immediately on a second playthrough when the Great Witch not only flies around london, but makes a statue come to life and throw a car into a tree. There was NO way to possibly fake THAT. There was a giant Hand print on the car. Did the Pharmaceutical company just donate a robot statue to the city? and Eve Belduke just happened to have access to its controls? How did she turn into a cat to get into the house? Lets also not forget the contradiction in Layton going into the book first, then Pheonix the next day, and for some reason, Pheonix already been hypnotized and got a job in labyrinthia before Layton had gotten into town. Why did it take him so long to get into town? and why was Pheonix and Maya hypnotized but Layton and Luke werent? This is never explained. All they say is "Pheonix came here by accident". Another big problem with the game is that the title is a complete lie. Layton never faces off vs Wright. Don't bring up that last trial (where no one even questions why Layton has the authority to be an inquisitor. I know he did the inquisitor puzzle at the Great Archive but no one even brings it up) where he just accuses the girl he's been helping out to save the whole game of being a witch. Not suspicious at all. Dont even TELL me that counts as facing off. He KNOWS Espella isnt the witch. He's smart enough to figure out from the evidence and the Storyteller's expression that Espella ISNT the witch. He became the inquisitor so that he could get the trial going towards the truth. Its not facing off, its just rigging a court trial. Also, Layton seemed to do alot more in the ending than Wright did. In fact, I think Layton did more important stuff to the story than Pheonix did. All Pheonix really does is defend Espella and Maya in their trials, and then looks after Luke until they find Layton again, who's already found several extremely important clues such as the shades and the great witch. They could have screwed with the story a little bit and just made Layton defend Espella in the trials and Pheonix would have been basically useless. I did a little more research into this game and judging from the Trailer for this game alone (one from 2012), it seems the story went through several changes. In the trailer, it says Espella had been written to die, Layton was accusing her in court, the Story Teller looked different, and Layton and Wright actually dont seem to get along, unlike the game where the two are best buddies throughout. It would have been really cool to have had Wright and Layton on opposite teams, both trying to uncover the truth behind the town, but this would have been rather difficult to write so I can understand partially, but they could have had at least one trial where the two are legitimately fighting. That part would have been easy, since Layton is better at puzzle solving on the fly, while Pheonix never puts the pieces together until he's in court, meaning we could have easily had a case of two people trying to find the truth against each other, and with layton as prosecutor, there could have been a point where Pheonix coaxes testimony from a witness and Layton solves the puzzle. (End Spoilers)
I did find the game fun, but the ending was just so stupid. There was also one line that was so hillarious that it sounds like a spoiler but it really isnt since it comes out of nowhere in the last 5 minutes of this game (and it is a long game with 20+ hours of gameplay in it). I'll say this without giving names because this was just too funny. A character just says, out of nowhere, "I have a fatal illness" and the others go "what! Noooo" before the character just says "Dont worry, I've already found a cure." It just comes out of nowhere and affects absolutely nothing. It turns out that it was establishing DLC, which is fine, but the line came completely out of nowhere and, again, had no impact on the events of the story, so it was just funny in how out of place it was. The game has 70 puzzles total and was entertaining enough to be worth the time, but I'd recommend one of the main Pheonix Wright games over it, like the Miles Edgeworth Spin-off game (if you're lucky enough to find it) or Apollo Justice (again, if you can find it).
In other update news, I got a new PS Vita, and got both Project Diva F and F 2nd. Those games are fun. Vita version is superior to the PS3 version since you dont have to adjust the timing at all. I've heard some people complain about the timing on the swipe, especially when you get sweaty fingers but just wipe your fingers off on your clothes, and use the side of you hand to wipe off the screen and it works fine.
Oh, and Disgea 4 is great. I'm usually not a shipper but I'm finding it hillarious to make up pairings for the characters you make in game. (Hansel and Sally cleared out a whole level by themselves through the power of Friendship!)