Aggie Awards

The Aggie Awards - The Best Adventure Games of 2014


Best Console/Handheld Adventure (Exclusive): Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright

Professor Layton and Phoenix Wright are legends among handheld adventure game protagonists. Both the top-hatted archeologist and spiky-haired defense attorney have been the stars of their own long-running, highly regarded Nintendo series, Layton laying claim to two previous awards all on his own (and Wright largely the victim of pre-dating the Aggies). So when it was announced that the two hit franchises would be getting a crossover on the 3DS, expectations were high indeed, mixed with a degree of trepidation – after all, the two series are very different in style. But while some loose ends could have been tied up better and the puzzles proved easier and less numerous than in regular installments, the extent to which the developers managed to allay those fears and meet our expectations is stunning.

The gripping tragedy of Ace Attorney cases multiplied by the sense of scale of a Layton mystery makes Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright the most grim adventure either have experienced, and one of the most compelling. Replacing the investigative parts of a Phoenix Wright game with Layton-style gameplay is a match made in puzzling heaven – occasional exposition dumps notwithstanding – and the developers even saw fit to freshen up the subsequent witch trials with some new game mechanics. The delightful cartoon graphics and rich animation look as good as you’d expect from either series, while the strong rhythms from Phoenix Wright and the rich instrumental palette from Professor Layton fuse to give rise to the best soundtrack of either of its series. With the main Layton series seemingly concluded and there being no guarantee of  future Ace Attorney localizations outside Japan, Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright may be the last we have heard of either of these gentlemen for a while. But they couldn't have picked a better note to leave on, and for that they deserve our 2014 award for best exclusive console or handheld adventure.

Runners-Up:


The Silent Age: Episode Two

Danganronpa (series)

Tengami

The Adventures of Bertram Fiddle: Episode 1 – A Dreadly Business
 



Readers’ Choice: Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright


By far the biggest winner in this category was “No answer”, earning a whopping 79 more votes than its next-highest competitor. This goes to show that adventure gamers are still largely a PC/Mac-centric group. But of those that were nominated, this was also the most competitive category of all. We say it every year, and it happened once again: Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright won the reader award by one vote! Even with two cracks at it, the Danganronpa series wasn’t quite able to top the star-studded lineup in Nintendo’s 3DS crossover adventure.

Runners-Up:


Danganronpa (series)

The Silent Age: Episode Two

The Adventures of Bertram Fiddle: Episode 1 – A Dreadly Business

Tengami
 



Next up: Best Non-Traditional Adventure... the envelope, please!

Continued on the next page...

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