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Japan Review Check: Layton vs. Ace Attorney, Super Robot Taisen OG2

A recap of the most interesting games coming out soon in Japan, courtesy of the reviews section in the latest issue of Famitsu magazine.

- Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney (9/9/9/8, 35 out of 40 points): The Nintendo 3DS adventure/puzzle crossover (written by Ace Attorney creator Shu Takumi) manages to score pretty high overall. "These two titles work in different directions," wrote one reviewer, "but the the setting and story skillfully weave them together and make them into a seamless experience. Attention has been paid even to little details, like how you can use Layton's hint coins in the courtroom segments. I'm also really impressed by how well the polygonal Ace Attorney characters turned out."

However, Famitsu also admitted that this crossover sequel really doesn't add much to either sequel-laden series. "There aren't a lot of surprises in this game," said one editor. "You're basically alternating between Layton-style gameplay and Ace Attorney-style gameplay. However, the fun of solving puzzles and the rush of poking holes in testimony come together in a single game flow here, and it's easy to get picked up by the excitement. It's a really good read!"

- Super Robot Taisen Original Generation 2 (9/8/9/9, 35 points): The first PlayStation 3 title in the SRT:OG series gets a Gold award, which is pretty much par for the course for this series. "The quality of the battle scenes is excellent," one editor said. "Just watching them is enough to rev up the tension. Loading times never become a distraction, and I like how the game goes from one scene to the other with ease. This fast pace makes it really exciting to play, and beginners can catch up storywise by checking out the Archives, too."

"The animation is a lot more dynamic," added another, "and the Maximum Break and combo attacks are really impressive, but I wish the cutscene conversations were voiced as well."

- Medal of Honor: Warfighter (8/9/8/8, 33 points): The scores for EA's latest weren't bad, but reading the review text, one gets the idea that Famitsu's staff are getting a little tired of all the US-made FPS' coming out around this time of year. "I like all the little details they put into this game," one wrote, "and I like how there are car-chase missions that feel like a racing game at times. I think hardcore fans are gonna love how you can alter nearly every aspect of your guns. However, the campaign mode doesn't have a lot of volume and there isn't any other mode you can play online. Focus more on online, and you'll be able to enjoy this for a while."

- Darksiders 2 (9/8/9/9, 35 points): Famitsu had better things to say about this Western game than Warfighter. "This game really lets you steep yourself in hack 'n slash action," one editor said. "The interface is easy to understand, and it's really a breeze to play. I like how the skill tree encourages you to boost up your character in assorted ways. Most of the gameplay features are the same as before, though, so there isn't much true innovation going on. Still, every aspect of it works well with each other, and it's very well-made overall."

"The game borrows a bit from lots of different things," wrote another, from the Warriors games' combat to Shadow of the Colossus' boss battles to Zelda-type puzzle solving. There isn't much very unique here as a result, but it's packed with stuff to keep you playing, and overall it's a great action-game package."

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