Friday, March 14, 2008

Professor Layton and the Curious Village mini-review

I haven't been giving Level-5's first DS game as much attention as I would like. First the playthrough was rudely disturbed by my desire to complete Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, then Persona 3 came along. And don't let me start on the PSP. Sadly to say, I could have devoted more time to this title earlier - as Professor Layton and the Curious Village is an absolute gem. The game is narrative based with a mixture of point and tap investigation and puzzle solving gameplay. Interactivity is minimal, despite that you will likely find the voice acting and animation cut scenes to be surprisingly splendid.

While puzzles are more or less have absolutely nothing to do with the plot of the title, it is a requirement prerequisite to solve a certain number of them to progress through the game. Puzzles consists of very simple brain teasers that range from simple mathematical questions to trick IQ-style questions that can tear you up until you finally realised "oh yeah, why the hell didn't I read the question properly". The only major issue with the title is the DS touchscreen is too small and low resolution, hence isn't that useful for scribbling stuff. You may need to keep a separate pen and paper handy.

For an adventure game, Professor Layton and the Curious Village comes off slightly short. Depending on your skills, as well as the amount of puzzles you tackle, it may provide around 10 hours of gameplay before completing the adventure. Even then you will likely find yourself spending more hours searching for more puzzles, as well as downloading new one via Nintendo's WFC service.


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