Games have been getting shorter in length over the last decade. RPGs like The Elder Scrolls series are still tremendously long, but most single-player game experiences have gotten shorter as production values, costs, and manpower requirements to create them have gone up. It seems that elite Japanese developers Level-5 and Brownie Brown have decided to completely disregard that trend for their forthcoming collaborative effort Professor Layton and the Last Specter, which will feature what might be the longest bonus game any game has ever had.
Brownie Brown is best known to Americans as co-developers of the Great White Buffalo of Japanese game imports: Mother 3, sequel to the beloved Earthbound (known in Japan as Mother 2, sequel to Mother). The Mother series is one of the finest in all of RPGdom, and North American fans have clamored for numbers 1 and 3 to be released stateside since the mid '90s. Given Nintendo's recent attitude towards localizing games for North America, and how much time has passed since Mother 3 originally came out, it seems unlikely Nintendo would relent now.
Fortunately, Professor Layton series developer Level-5 is giving Brownie Brown a chance to bring another old school JRPG to America: Professor Layton's London Life. The top-down, sprite-graphic-laden take on Professor Layton's puzzle-solving adventures shown above will, if this trailer is to be believed, be 100-hours in length and included as an extra feature on the main Professor Layton cartridge. For a free bonus included in an already lengthy game, its sheer size might be unprecedented.
Not only will both games be released together in North America—North America's release will be the best of all! In our version of The Last Specter, Professor Layton's London Life will be playable from the beginning. In the Japanese version, players will have to beat the main game to unlock it. Nintendo still managed to bizarrely screw at least one Western country, however: London Life will not be included in the UK version at all.
North American JRPG fans rejoice! We won this time. Too bad we still have to import Xenoblade Chronicles from the UK and hack our Wiis to play it.