Level 5 to Enter Publishing Business
10.11.06 - 4:47 PM

At a press conference today, renowed development studio Level 5 today announced plans to publish its own games. The first title to be published under the Level 5 brand will be a DS-based adventure game titled Layton Kyouju to Fushigi na Machi (Professor Layton and the Strange Town). With Dragon Quest mastermind Yuuji Horii in attendance, Level 5 president Akihiko Hino explained that his company until now has focused on the development of RPGs. The new game however won't be an RPG, in fact, it would be hard to apply any particular genre description to the game. Hino thought it would be interesting to release a game that was unlike anything his company has done so far. Since he wanted to use a touchpad as interface, Hino chose the DS as target platform for the game. In fact, Layton Kyouju to Fushigi no Machi, currently 80% complete, is the first in a trilogy of games.

The game features anime-style visuals, somewhat reminiscent of Studio Ghibli's works. Taking place in England, the game will see Professor Layton and his pupil Luke solve various mysterious incidents. Its puzzles were designed specifically for the game by Akira Tago, emeritus professor of Chiba University. Professor Tago is famous in Japan for authoring a popular series of brain-training books. The professor also appeared at the event to demonstrate some of the puzzles that will appear in the game.

Hino also emphasized the dramatic element and voice acting by well-known performers. Popular actors You Ooizumi and Maki Horikita are lending their voices to Layton and Luke.

Level 5 also revealed a new V-shaped company logo. According to Hino, the V stands for top-notch (five-star) software, vision and victory.

Layton Kyouju to Fushigi na Machi will be available in Japan on February 15th.

Chris Winkler

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