In the gaming industry, you need to “adapt to survive” many times over, and all of us can point to franchises over the years that have evolved in one form or another to keep up with what was going on with new technology and the like. Over at Capcom, they had their beloved Ace Attorney series go from 2D sprites to 3D models between their 4th and 5th mainline titles. But did you ever wonder why they did that? That would be because of their crossover with the Professor Layton series.
In a chat with Play Magazine, series producer Kenichi Hashimoto noted how bringing Phoenix Wright and Professor Layton together for the crossover title led to the team realizing that they could do more for their next game:
We had no plans to shift to 3D with Apollo Justice. During the development of the fifth game, Dual Destinies, we saw how successful the 3D visuals were in Professor Layton vs Ace Attorney.
It helped that the 3DS had come out and was able to handle those new models, and that opened up new animation possibilities that they couldn’t ignore.
So we tried out a visual style of 3D models which looked like 2D art, and it turned out even better than we expected.
Indeed. When I reviewed the 6th game in the franchise, Spirit of Justice, I praised how the 3D models and animations looked because they conveyed more emotions than ever before. Sometimes, you need to take a cue from your friends.