Level-5 Vision 2023
In Level-5’s showcase, they reiterated their new commitment to releasing all of the games showcased worldwide, in multiple languages.
All are planned for 2023 or 2024 releases (and since everything was given a 2023 window except for Professor Layton, that’s probably a 2024 title).
They started with another trailers for Decapolice, which looks like it should be a lot of fun. A detective investigation game with turn-based combat sounds like it was made for me. They also had a new trailer for Fantasy Life i (the “i” stands for “island,” “Internet,” and “individual”), and while it does look like it has more of an emphasis on customization than the first game did, it still looks like it will follow the original game’s direction. I’d like to see more of the game world beyond the town, but I’m excited.
Next came Megaton Musashi: Wired, a mech game that is an updated re-release of the previously Japan-exclusive Megaton Musashi X.
Then the fourth game Level-5 showed was the one I was waiting for the most, Professor Layton and the New World of Steam (with proper capitalization in its title and logo now). It still feels like a dream that we’re getting a new Professor Layton game, and while the new trailer is short, we do have some more details to work with.
Professor Layton and the New World of Steam is set one year after the events of Unwound Future and features Layton and Luke reuniting in America, in a town called Steam Bison (seriously). No one in America knows who Professor Layton is, while Luke has already solved mysteries there and become known as a detective, so that’s an entertaining way to play with the usual dynamic.
This trailer gives us our first look at Luke, as well as art showing some new characters and steampunk devices.
Curiously, the trailer says, “This time, it seems like the more puzzles you solve, the more the city will develop.” I don’t entirely know what that means, and some fans are worried it will feel less like a Layton game, but I’m intrigued by the potential. What I hope for from that concept is a Professor Layton game that progresses like usual, but earning more picarats and solving optional puzzles makes the city change and grow. The games always have some sort of side mini-game, and I could see city development taking a similar form.
One more detail from this trailer is that the puzzles are being developed by a group called QuizKnock. I’m not familiar with QuizKnock, but a fan on Reddit who follows their content had a lot of praise for them, so that’s the best thing I’ve heard about this new game so far. Layton’s Mystery Journey suffered from both a weak story and weak puzzles, and the puzzles are what I was most concerned about going into a new entry. So although the original Puzzle Master, Akira Tago, is no longer with us, the fact that Level-5 has called in a team of accomplished puzzle designers to work on the new game fills me with much more optimism.
The trailer also claims this adventure will “go beyond your wildest imaginations,” and I sure hope so. After Layton’s Mystery Journey, I want this one to return to form with an intense mystery culminating in an absurdly bizarre twist.
Finally, Level-5 concluded their show with Inazuma Eleven: Victory Road. I never got into the Inazuma Eleven series, but this game stood out to me for the past several years as a sign that Level-5 might be in trouble. First announced in 2016 as Inazuma Eleven Ares and expected to release in 2018, it was delayed repeatedly and then renamed to Inazuma Eleven: Great Road of Heroes and announced for 2020, only to be delayed multiple times again before being announced for 2023 as Inazuma Eleven: Victory Road of Heroes. Now it looks like it’s finally on track, so I’m happy to see this game escaping its troubled development.
That was it for Level-5’s show, and then Capcom had a showcase later in the day! Their release dates all leaked ahead of the show, but at least that meant I learned early that Ghost Trick would indeed be getting a release date. The remaster of Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective will be out on June 30, and digital preorders are available now.
Preorders also come with some bonus digital content, four backgrounds and two extra music tracks. The game itself features a remastered soundtrack and some other extras.
I love Ghost Trick, so I already preordered. I still wish it was getting a physical release outside of Japan (especially since Japan is getting a special edition), but I’ll absolutely buy a digital copy if that’s what we’ve got, at least to show support.
Now, they said during the pre-show that there wouldn’t be any new game announcements, so I dampened my faint Ace Attorney hopes. Ghost Trick is pretty much all I cared about from the showcase, since I’m not the biggest fan of Resident Evil 4 and therefore didn’t care about the Resident Evil news as much as usual.
(Ace Attorney did appear in the showcase when they announced their upcoming digital theme park to celebrate Capcom franchises, though. Some people think this is a means to sell NFTs. I won’t buy NFTs even for Ace Attorney. I’d much rather spend money on new Ace Attorney games, or perhaps merchandise like these adorable things if they would just please start selling them here.)
Ace Attorney 3DS Closing Sale
But while there wasn’t any Ace Attorney news, we do have reason to discuss Ace Attorney. With the 3DS eShop shutting down on March 27, Capcom put all of their 3DS games on sale, and it’s an even better sale than the last few 3DS sales they’ve had. You can now buy any of the 3DS Ace Attorney games for $2.99 each from now until the eShop closes. The DLC episodes remain $5.99 each, however.
Phoenix Wright Trilogy: https://www.nintendo.com/store/products/phoenix-wright-ace-attorney-trilogy-3ds
Apollo Justice: https://www.nintendo.com/store/products/apollo-justice-ace-attorney-3ds/
Dual Destinies: https://www.nintendo.com/store/products/phoenix-wright-ace-attorney-dual-destinies-3ds/
Spirit of Justice: https://www.nintendo.com/store/products/phoenix-wright-ace-attorney-spirit-of-justice-3ds/
(I picked up Apollo Justice during the last $4.99 sale just to have an extra copy, because I thought that was the best sale it would get.)
I still hope they’ll port the later games to modern platforms, but if you’ve been meaning to get the 3DS games, at least they have one last sale to close out at a great price.
Phew, we ended up with a lot to talk about today. What did you think of Level-5’s showcase and the new Professor Layton news? And are you excited for Ghost Trick getting a release date?---
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