Professor Layton revival leads a surprise Nintendo DS comeback tour
Gaming’s greatest gentleman, Professor Layton, is making a long-awaited comeback on Nintendo Switch and so are a bunch of other DS games.
Ever since Yokai Watch developer Level-5 shut down its North American operations in 2020, due to low game sales, fans of the studio feared that this marked the beginning of its end.
It has released new games since then but just the Japanese-only Megaton Musashi and the controversial Ni No Kuni MMO.
However, the studio is now looking to make a comeback, announcing no less than three new games during last night’s Nintendo Direct, including a revival of one of its most beloved franchises: Professor Layton.
This’ll be the first new Professor Layton game since 2017’s Layton’s Mystery Journey spin-off and the first to actually star the man himself since 2014’s Professor Layton And The Azran Legacy.
Titled Professor Layton And The New World Of Steam, the trailer unfortunately didn’t reveal anything beyond a name, as it was the only title of the night not to be confirmed for 2023.
However, the game’s official website has a hidden puzzle that, upon solving, unlocks wallpaper for your PC and mobile, which confirms that Layton’s child sidekick Luke is returning as well.
Luke appears to have a tweaked design (that red bowtie is certainly new), meaning this new game is likely set after Professor Layton And The Lost Future, the final entry in the original trilogy – so no more prequel stuff.
Since Luke’s still a child this probably rules out Layton’s daughter, Katrielle, from making an appearance, which is a shame since she was a more than welcome replacement and only saw one game and a tie-in anime series.
Level-5’s other announcements were DecaPolice, a hybrid detective/role-playing game, and a follow-up to the role-player meets life sim Fantasy Life, titled Fantasy Life: The Girl Who Steals Time.
While the Layton series is more readily available on mobile devices (with Katrielle’s spin-off getting a Switch port), the top-hatted professor was something of an icon of the original Nintendo DS era.
In fact, it seems plenty of DS era games are making a return all of a sudden. In this recent Direct alone we also saw Ghost Trick (a Capcom puzzle game from the creator of Ace Attorney) confirmed for a re-release and HD remasters of the first three Etrian Odyssey games.
That’s not to mention the Advance Wars remake, which finally has a new release date, and while it’s technically a new IP, Marvelous’ Fashion Dreamer looks to be a spiritual successor to the DS’ Style Boutique series (known as Style Savvy in America).
The original Fantasy Life was also a DS game and apparently there’s a Nintendogs revival in the works, though it’s believed to be in development for mobile rather than the Switch. All we need now is a new Ace Attorney sequel and we’ll be golden.
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