There was once was a time when Professor Layton cornered the market in anime-inspired puzzle games featuring brainy male leads and under-aged sidekicks. Now that the series has shipped more than 11M units worldwide, Level-5's winning formula has seemingly spawned a sub-genre of Layton-inspired games; the latest of which is Namco Bandai's newly announced DS riddler, Treasure Report: The Mechanized Legacy...
Revealed in the latest edition of the Japanese game magazine Famitsu, Treasure Report stars John Evans, an intrepid newspaper reporter who embarks on a globetrotting odyssey to recover an old man's fortune. Naturally that involves solving a slew of interactive riddles along the journey. Evans is joined by an amateur photographer, Emily Smith, as well as a plucky boy named Nino and his dog Poochie.
Gameplay is said to consist of equal parts puzzle solving, exploration and storytelling, the latter of which will be handled by Okamiden writer Yukinori Kitajima. According to Famitsu, the plot will be skewed to older audiences and complimented by a number of animated sequences. Additionally the music will be composed by Yasunori Mitsuda, most famous for Chrono Trigger/Cross.
By its descriptor and early images alone, Treasure Report looks to be making a direct play for the Professor Layton audience. But then, so is Konami's Doctor Lautrec and the Forgotten Knights, which even has the audacity to crib the professor's trendsetting top hat style. The nerve!
Thing is, both games are being handled by solid developers, and they both look pretty decent. Does this mean cloning is acceptable when it's done well? Should we even care as long as we're getting more of a good thing? Will we Westerners even get a chance to find out?!
These mysteries and more will be revealed when Treasure Report: The Mechanized Legacy arrives in Japan on May 20th
Feb 23, 2011
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