A Review of Nintendo DS game, Professor Layton.
No video game series has ever delighted my inner geek more than the Professor Layton series for the Nintendo DS. The highly popular series was originally invented in Japan, with millions of copies sold there alone. Now there are devoted Professor Layton fans, such as myself, all around the world. The game is centered on puzzle-loving Professor Layton and his lovable apprentice Luke Triton, who work together as a mystery-solving duo. The two of them travel across the world in an attempt to help solve mysteries that arise.
No part of the Professor Layton series has ever failed to entertain me. All of the games in the series are impossible to put down. Once I pick any one of these games up, I have to practically force myself to stop playing it. They are all absolutely fantastic! The Professor Layton series provides a brilliant combination of challenging puzzles, stunning art, beautiful music, and mysterious plots that makes these games so addicting.
The main purpose of the game is to solve puzzles and brainteasers in order to unravel the mystery behind each game. To many people’s relief, the puzzles in the games are challenging but not impossible, so you don’t have to be a complete genius to solve them. Most puzzles aren’t required for the story to continue, so players can usually skip a puzzle and come back to it later if they’re stuck. In addition to that, all puzzles completed are added to a special list where you can solve them again, so you can stump your friends and family later. Whether you’re looking for just a small brainteaser or a mind-boggling challenge, Professor Layton has puzzles in store for you.
The Professor Layton series also boasts beautiful artwork, as well as fully voiced and animated cutscenes. While it’s nothing too flashy, these games simply have the most charming artwork I could ever imagine in a game. With a simplified manga style, the games’ unique artwork adds depth and interest to the mysteries. The animated cutscenes, like mini movies, further enhance gameplay and bring the characters and story to life with voices, sound, and music. You won’t just see the adventures of Professor Layton; you’ll feel like part of them.
I was immediately captivated by the music throughout this series, too. The unique style of the music adds a whole new layer of depth to story. The songs tend to be classical with a slightly modern twist, creating a relaxing melody with an air of suspense. Background noise is easily drowned out by the fantastic music, making it effortless to focus on solving puzzles. But the music isn’t gone once story mode has been finished. After enough puzzles have been solved, a bonus area with all the music from the game is unlocked, allowing you to hear all the gorgeous tunes again. Thanks to this feature, I end up plugging my headphones into my Nintendo DS more often than into my iPod. Surprising? Listen to the music and see for yourself.
The Professor Layton series definitely provides the powerful plot and strong suspense that any quality mystery requires. As puzzles are solved, clues are revealed, and I find the suspense almost unbearable when I play these games. This is the most plot-driven game series that I have ever come across. With plenty of twists and turns, each game has its own unique storyline that simply sucks you into the story and keeps you guessing until the very end.
In the United States, the original Professor Layton trilogy consists of Professor Layton and the Curious Village, Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box, and Professor Layton and the Unwound Future. The newest game, Professor Layton and the Last Specter, is a prequel to the original trilogy. New games are also scheduled to be released in the near future, so keep your eyes peeled for them. All these games are available from Amazon.com for around $30 each. *
I could go on and on about how much I love the Professor Layton series. With perplexing puzzles, lovable characters, stunning music, and breath-taking artwork, these games have it all. Whether you love puzzles, mysteries, video games, or all of the above, Professor Layton has something waiting for you. So if you are trying to find a video game that will satisfy geeks of all ages, look no further than the Professor Layton series!
If you have any additional questions about the Professor Layton series, feel free to contact me via my CO+K account.
*In Europe, many of the games’ titles are different to those in the U.S., although the gameplay itself is nearly identical. Professor Layton and the Curious Village, Professor Layton and Pandora’s Box, and Professor Layton and the Lost Future make up the European versions of the first trilogy, while Professor Layton and the Spectre’s Call is the newest addition to the series. These editions of the games are available on Amazon.co.uk for about £18 each.