Japan's Most Famous Professor Shamelessly Ripped Off...Again

Professor Layton is the star of a series of puzzle-solving adventure games. Featuring beautiful animated cutscenes, they feature Layton and his young sidekick, Luke. They are hugely popular in Japan, which means one thing: other game companies are now ripping it off. Shamelessly.

First there's — no, wait. First there was Professor Layton, then, there's the upcoming Doctor Lautrec and the Knights of Oblivion from Konami. It follows Doctor Lautrec as he goes around and solves mysteries. Unlike Professor Layton, Doctor Lautrec is a doctor. Well, a doctor of archaeology. And he's French, unlike the British Layton. And while Professor Layton has a young male assistant named "Luke", Doctor Lautrec has a young female assistant named "Sophie".

That's right, Doctor Lautrec is Bizarro Professor Layton.

Japan's Most Famous Professor Shamelessly Ripped Off...Again

The latest game to attempt to ski in Professor Layton's wake is Bandai Namco's Treasure Report for the Nintendo DS. It's...a puzzle solving adventure title in which a reporter named John Evans, not a professor or a doctor, tries to locate a missing novelist. Evans has two companions to keep him company: a photographer named Emily and a kid named Nino. But like Professor Layton, gameplay is split between puzzle solving and investigation, and there are animated cutscenes peppered throughout.

I'm not saying that no other Japanese game developers can release puzzle-solving adventure games with an older male hero and a younger side-kick that feature lush animated cutscenes. No, I'm saying that perhaps other game developers should try to, you know, show more originality than simply how they tweak something everyone's already seen. Make your own games, please.