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7:00 AM on 01.07.2014

Level-5 wants to 'surprise' fans in 2014 with new game

Fantasy Life took off in Japan, and as a result, has substantially raised Level-5's coffers beyond all of the other successful projects they had in 2013. Speaking to 4Gamer, a few key developers noted that the Fantasy Life&nb...

Chris Carter

11:15 AM on 11.08.2013

Mega-fan re-scores Ni No Kuni out of respect for composer

Despite its shortcomings, Ni No Kuni is one of my favorite games of this year, bar none. In fact, depending on how I feel at the end of December, it may even be my outright Game of the Year, amidst everything I've playe...

Chris Carter

7:00 PM on 09.25.2013

Level-5 JRPG Wonder Flick gets a PS4 teaser trailer

Our previous look at Level-5's adorable new RPG scored by Final Fantasy's Nobuo Uematsu was tempered because it is a free-to-play mobile title. It's meant to release in Japan this November on Android and iOS. However, some w...

Steven Hansen

7:00 AM on 08.28.2013

Layton series has sold over 15 million units

Level-5 has kicked the fans in the collective nuts with the complete tonal shift that is Layton 7. That must mean the games are on their last legs and can no longer make bank on Nintendo handhelds alone, right? Not likely if ...

Tony Ponce

5:00 AM on 08.28.2013

Layton 7 for 3DS and mobile is not MY Layton

I... I brought this upon myself. I said that Layton Brothers: Mystery Room was a great game. I said it was an excellent iOS companion to the traditional Layton series. I never should have had faith that a major gaming compan...

Tony Ponce

4:30 PM on 08.26.2013

Level-5's next role-playing game is Wonder Flick

Level-5's got a new role-playing game that has a cutesy art style (yay!) and composer Nobuo Uematsu (double yay!) but it's a free-to-play mobile title. The basic hook of Wonder Flick is that commands are issued by flick...

Jordan Devore







Review: Layton Brothers: Mystery Room photo
Review: Layton Brothers: Mystery Room
by Tony Ponce

Despite my affection towards the Professor Layton series, I felt no compulsion to download Layton Brothers: Mystery Room when it released a couple months back. I'm not against mobile gaming, nor do I believe it's impossible for a traditionally home / handheld console franchise to make a successful leap into the mobile space. But I'm not so proud that I can't admit to still being somewhat biased.

And so weeks passed. While flipping through the App Store just the other day, I noticed that the first few chapters of Mystery Room were free. I figured it wouldn't hurt to give the game a quick spin to see if it deserved my money. Okay game, I thought, convince me!

Mystery Room does exactly what a good spin-off ought to do, which is to craft an experience distinct from yet complementary to the mainline series. With a focus on solving murders rather than "I haff twelve metchsteek" puzzles, it's less Professor Layton and more Detective Conan -- a blend of anime antics and crime drama that works perfectly on a mobile platform.

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Review: Attack of the Friday Monsters! A Tokyo Tale photo
Review: Attack of the Friday Monsters! A Tokyo Tale
by Jonathan Holmes

Children see the world from a lower vantage point than adults. They're closer to the smaller things, the things they're more able to control. They're also more able to stand back and see the bigger picture in ways that adults may be too preoccupied to notice. The catch is, they may not have the life experience needed to put that picture in proper perspective.

What may feel like a tiny inconvenience to an adult may be a huge problem to a child. If Mom and Dad have a argument about laundry, the child may feel like they are witnessing a battle between giants. Likewise, larger problems like World Wars, the destruction of the environment, or a floundering economy may not feel that big to a kid if they're kept far enough away from their day-to-day experience. How big something feels compared with how big it actually is can be tough for the child to determine.

This space where children exist allows for concrete reality and unintentional fantasy to co-mingle without hesitation, allowing for the unfathomable to become everyday routine. Not coincidentally, videogames exist in a similar space, which is why some say that they are as close as we can currently get to entering each other's dreams. 

These ideas are what make Attack of the Friday Monsters! A Tokyo Tale an emotionally and intellectually engaging, mostly-adorable narrative vacation game.

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Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney announced for US, EU photo
Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney announced for US, EU
by Chris Carter

[Update: European release also confirmed.]

Late last year, Japan got an amazing crossover in Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney -- leaving everyone else in the dark as to when it would be announced worldwide. But due to today's Nintendo Direct, we now have full confirmation -- Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney will be hitting the Nintendo 3DS in 2014.

This is one of the biggest releases on the 3DS, so it's a huge win for portable fans everywhere. I can't wait to dig into it!

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9:00 AM on 07.23.2013

Fantasy Life Link gets an adorable new trailer

Last we heard, Fantasy Life wasn't up for an international release just yet, but that didn't stop the game from being insanely popular in Japan, and with the newest "Link" expansion, it's only getting bigger. Link offers up ...

Chris Carter

9:30 AM on 06.27.2013

Layton Brothers: Mystery Room hits iOS today

At some point Professor Layton had a child. We don't know how it was conceived, or whether or not it was through natural or unnatural means, but lo and behold, Alfendi Layton is a real thing, and he's starring in his own iOS ...

Chris Carter

5:00 PM on 06.26.2013

Level-5's most famous character is... the Aero Porter?

To celebrate their 15th anniversary, Level-5 held a fan poll to find out what the current favorite was amongst their colorful stable of characters. As many people know, Professor Layton is a popular Level-5 franchise, alongsi...

Chris Carter



Review: BUGS vs. TANKS! photo
Review: BUGS vs. TANKS!
by Chris Carter

The idea of shrinking objects and placing them into ridiculous situations is not new. But in the case of Comcept and Keiji Inafune's BUGS vs. TANKS!, it's somehow fitting to pit a tiny World War II German tank battalion against an endless swarm of insects because of ... well ... reasons.

BUGS vs. TANKS! is one part survival horror, one part arcade style action, and one part historically accurate (wait, what?). Yep, it's a pretty wacky game, which is why it works as an entry in Level-5's Guild02 collection.

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3:30 PM on 05.30.2013

Level-5 announces a trio of mobile role-playing games

Ni no Kuni studio Level-5 is developing a set of three role-playing games for mobile platforms, Weekly Famitsu reports. Part of the company's 15th anniversary celebrations, the trio of titles features a few high profile names...

Kyle MacGregor

10:45 AM on 05.23.2013

Fantasy Life will be getting an expansion in Japan

Readers know that I've been clamoring for an international release of Fantasy Life for quite some time. As a roaring success in Japan, Level-5 has already seen fit to update the game, calling the enhancement Fantasy Life Link...

Chris Carter



Review: The Starship Damrey photo
Review: The Starship Damrey
by Tony Ponce

"This game contains no tutorials or explanations. Part of the experience is to discover things for yourself."

Thus reads the disclaimer when you fire up a new game of The Starship Damrey, Level-5's atmospheric sci-fi adventure and first of the Guild02 trilogy. Those words are meant to evoke memories of classic point-and-clicks, of scouring every corner of the room to find the tools you need to advance, of the solution eluding you until that blessed "Eureka!" moment. Here is a game, you think, that seeks to defy modern conventions and allow us to solve problems on our own.

What a bold promise. Too bad the game doesn't live up to it.

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