Amaya's Game Feature: Professor Layton series by Level-5
My first contact with the Professor Layton series, was actually not the game itself, but the movie Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva (go watch it, it is awesome), which showed in Singapore cinemas many years back.
I was attracted to the beautiful character art and the mystery elements in the storyline. Professor Layton and Luke are such adorable characters :D
The series takes place in and around contemporary London. The main character is Hershel Layton, a professor of archaeology at the fictional Gressenheller University, who prides himself on gentlemanly conduct and puzzle mastery. He is often followed by his self-proclaimed apprentice, the 12-year-old Luke Triton, who also proves adept at solving puzzles. Another notable and hilarious character Layton encounters is a gifted inventor named Don Paolo (aka Paul), who claims to be the nemesis of Layton, due to losing the love of his life, Claire, to Layton's charms (what is your problem man lol).
After finding out from a friend that the movie is part of a game series made for the Nintendo DS and 3DS, I made it a point to get one of those games! So my first Layton game is Professor Layton and the Unwound Future! o/
The third story in the Professor Layton series (but it is the last chronologically), The Unwound Future is set in steampunk London as the good professor and his apprentice, Luke, are sent a letter allegedly from 10 years in the future. It seems the future London is in trouble and needs the puzzle-solving Professor to set things right.
Gameplay is rather easy, and the style continues throughout the whole series without much variation. Using the touch screen or the movement pad, you activate puzzles by exploring scenes and talking to citizens. Some puzzles are critical; you have to solve them before the storyline can continue while others are expendable. Solving puzzles earn you Picarats which you accumulate to unlock bonus features of the game, such as concept art and soundtracks.
The difficulty level of the game is pretty balanced, with the starting puzzles being pretty manageable and the last few will simply drive you crazy XD Thankfully, you can earn hint coins by randomly exploring scenes, which you can spend to unlock hints when you are horribly stuck at a puzzle. You also have a memo screen to jot stuff down and sort your thoughts before choosing your answer. Fully completing the game will unlock more bonus content, including weekly downloadable puzzles.
Of course, there are also wonderfully animated cut scenes throughout the game that continue the storyline and amp up the excitement factor (and a break from all the puzzles lol). Main characters are voiced almost throughout the game.
Newer versions involve 3D puzzles, which puts me off because I cannot stare at the 3D images from the 3DS for more than 30 seconds before feeling like I need to sleep. It takes me too much energy =
Other game titles include: (Professor Layton and)
- The Curious Village
- The Diabolical Box/Pandora's Box
- The Unwound Future/Lost Future
- The Last Specter/Spectre's Call
- Miracle Mask
- Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney
- Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy
Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy is the last game to feature Professor Layton as the protagonist T.T Thankfully, this series is pretty popular and I doubt the company will stop producing games of this nature. I wonder who they will feature next, a grown-up Luke perhaps?
Hope you will give this game series a try! If you are looking for a related series, try the Phoenix Wright/Ace Attorney series :D