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I picked up Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box because the last game was so popular, but I hadn't played it - it's on order now, after playing the Diabolical Box!

The graphics, music and looks of the game are wonderful with mini movies and cut to's that are of great quality.

The puzzles which are around every corner and nook are great - some are more difficult then others and for the most part I have solved the ones given - hint coins that are found throughout the game can come in very handy.

I found this to be a relaxing game compared to Henry Hatsworth which I have been playing but is frustrating to me - this game is a true downtime game to be enjoyed - great story line and wonderful characters and interesting puzzles that will baffle you at times, but won't make you want to pull your hair out.

The characters are really cool - all of them so far that I have encountered are enchanting as is the game!

I can finally see what all of the fuss is about - the Professor Layton games are truly what the DS was made for!
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After buying my DS I loaded up on puzzle games and mystery games - all okay but nothing special. Then I saw the advert for the first Layton game and from day one I was hooked; great puzzles and such a compelling story line that towards the end it became like one of those good books you cannot put down - I had to finish it. And I am by no means a regular DS user as I rarely have the time; but this I made time for!
After trying other similar games such as Holmes and Mystery Case files - I still found no comparison so eagerly waited for this - and it was well worth the wait!
It began with the promise of a great story and I really like the fact that it quickly leads into the play for those familiar with the game, but also provides brief instruction for those for whom this is new! If you are familiar with the first story it helps in terms of some character recognition, but it is by no means a necessity!
Once again great puzzles of various different levels of complexity! Some are real challenges, some can be solved quickly but all are really fun which is what helps set this apart. But it is the story into which the puzzles are woven that really makes this game worth it! Its interesting, you want to solve the mystery and the combination of an adventure and puzzles is the factor that makes this a must have / cannot put down game!
Another bonus is that as you progress you can unlock puzzles that can be played any time without going into the story - this feature was really lacking in games such as Holmes which were a one time deal - reach the end and then you are done - whereas this offers game play when you have solved the mystery!
I had to shop several stores before I found this sitting on the shelf as it sold out quickly after its initial release! I can see why! This series is my favorite for DS -I look forward to playing more and more of this and the rest of the Layton games in the future!
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on August 27, 2009
I am a huge fan of Professor Layton and the Curious Village. I could hardly wait for the Diabolical Box to be released. This game has surpassed my expectations. There are so many new levels and challenges. The animation is amazing and I love the voice overs. It's hard to put this game down long enough to clean house and fix dinner. When people think of video games they assume that children and teenagers are the ones playing them. Not in our house. I love my Nintendo DS (it was a gift from my 15 yr old son). I am anxiously awaiting for the 3rd game in the series. I also intend to grab "ScribbleNauts" as soon as it's released on Sept. 15th! And 3 cheers to Amazon for having my games, books, and movies available. I can have whatever I want within 24 hours. Ahhhh what a life. :) Shawna.
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on August 27, 2009
I first discovered Professor Layton and the Curious Village when it was released and quickly became a fan of the series. With Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box, my love for the series remains the same. After completing the story line of the game I learned that all in all, this game has over 138 puzzles with a few hidden extra puzzles that I have yet to unlock. In addition to this, there are more puzzles that can be downloaded via Nintendo wi-fi connection. So if you love brainteasers, this game is chock full of them just like its predecessor. What makes the Professor Layton series different that just a collection of brain teasers is the mysterious story line attached to it, as well as it's wonderful art style.

The gameplay consists of Professor Layton and his apprentice Luke as they explore through charming European-like villages and a train all while trying to find the answer of the cryptic Elysian box. As you explore, there are puzzles that you come across that you can solve. If you get stuck with one of these brainteasers, there are hint coins you can find allowing you to unlock up to three hints per puzzle (which can come in handy for those tough ones). At the ending you'll have needed to solve at least 80 puzzles to be able to beat the game.

The story line for this game was nothing that I would have expected, which is good. I hate figuring out the ending at the beginning, but I honestly had no idea and was surprised in an unrealistic turn of events in the end. (I think I found a plot hole, but I don't mind pardoning it because the idea was original enough in the first place). Anyway, The story is illustrated through fabulous animated cutscenes and makes you crave for more as you wish to learn more about the intriguing characters that you are presented. There seems to be more voice acting than the first game as well. Also if you have not played the first, you can easily play this one because there are no spoilers to the first one in this one--there are returning characters, but you are not told how you met in the previous game.

Where this game is better than the first:
I like being able to explore multiple places/towns.
I liked the addition of Flora in this game, even though she does not solve the puzzles herself, she does join you at times.

Additional features that are so/so:
There is a tea mixing minigame, it's fun, but can be frustrating trying to figure out the exact ingredients.
There is a hamster minigame where you try to make the hamster lose weight. (Wii fit anyone?)

Any negatives?
Well, the story did seem way out there and unrealistic, but thats okay, at least it was not predictable.

All in all this game is definitely worth 30 bucks and is refreshing, charming and a workout for your brain. I am totally jealous Japan already has two more games and movie and can't wait for the next one to be released here.
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on October 17, 2009
I really love the Professor Layton games, but I don't like that once you solve it, its over. The puzzles don't change at all, and it didn't take nearly as much effort to beat as the first one did. In curious village, I had no idea where the story was going, and I felt that I controlled the pace more. This was pretty predictable, and I felt like I was being pointed in the right direction far too often, instead of finding my own way. I still enjoyed the puzzles (though they were a bit easier), and feel it was worth the money. I just wish I had some reason to keep playing, like mini-games.
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I've already reviewed Professor Layton and the Curious Village and soon to review Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, so I won't bore you with too many repeat details, or at least I will try not to. I'm banking on the fact that you're playing this game AFTER having played Curious Village. If you have not played Curious Village and are considering this, I URGE you to play Curious Village first. While not necessary from a storyline perspective, it helps. Plus there are unlockables that can be used in this game.

Speaking strictly about the differences with Diabolical Box, after the adventures in Curious Village, Layton receives a letter from an old friend who has made a startling discovery, but leaves an ominous message at the end. Worried for his friend, Layton and his apprentice arrive to find his apartment in shambles, and him on the floor unresponsive. The only evidence left behind are tickets on a train, but no clear information as to destination or why the tickets are there in the first place. They decide to take a trip to find more information about what happened.

I give Diabolical Box credit for one thing: the puzzles were often directly related to the basic story. You'll still encounter patrons of the city you arrive at who need help with a puzzle in exchange for information or clues to solve the mystery. However, the puzzles focused less on tripping you up with word trickery as seen in Curious Village. There were a lot more actual puzzles time around, still some brain teasers.

Where Diabolical Box broke down was with what I can only assume to be translation problems. Some puzzles were worded so poorly as to almost guarantee a wrong answer. There's one in particular - Google it - where it asks about the proper ratio of clouds to open sky. Well, I assume they meant proportion, not ratio, because the correct answer (which I won't give) is a proportion...meaning a certain number vs. a certain number. Mathematically, the ratio is the lowest possible, not the highest proportion.

So for example, if I had an 8 slice pizza and I asked you how many slices 4 people can eat at the most, the answer is 8, obviously, because that's all you have. In other words, 8:4...8 slices for four people. Notice I didn't ask "how many slices can EACH person eat", nor did I ask "how many slices are there for EACH person". I simply said, you have 8 slices and 4 people, so how much will those 4 people eat, which is 8.

Now, calculate base ratio by breaking it down by halves.

8:4 = 4:2 (four slices for every two people)
4:2 = 2:1 (2 slices for every person)

In that question - for an 8 slice pizza, how many slices 4 people can eat at the most - as asked, all three answers are essentially correct. 8:4, 4:2, or 2:1.

In the sky/cloud puzzle in Diabolical Box, it wants the highest propotion only but asks for a ratio. The way the question is asked, does not specify WHICH ratio. In fact, based on the true answer, ratio is not the proper term that should have been used...because when calculating ratio, you always use the lowest possible. In my pizza example, that's 2:1. In the sky/cloud puzzle, the lowest ratio is counted wrong.

I know I went on for a while with that example, but I wanted to adequately warn you about some of the wording of the puzzles this time around, and give you a specific example of the kinds of things to look out for. Such is the problem with puzzle-heavy games. The puzzle changes depending on how the writer words the question, and in some cases, you might give what is a right answer but be counted wrong if the game considers each puzzle to only have one right answer (which is another issue, but not nearly severe).

You might mistake my review for disliking Diabolical Box. In truth I didn't find it as compelling as Curious Village. But it was a fun game in its own right. I just felt that they got a little lazy on the puzzles and making sure that players could effectively answer them without having what are clearly iffy wording discrepancies. You still should play this if you enjoyed Curious Village, and again, if you didn't play Curious Village, you really should before diving into this.
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on August 26, 2009
Hello I'm an autistic adult gamer.

This is my review on Professor Layton 2/Diabolical Box - DS game.

Hi I'm not very good at puzzles & it takes me extremely long time to finish puzzles but I enjoy Professor Layton because of the good storyline. I also bought the first one Professor Layton/Curious Village a while back & enjoyed it too. But anyway's I just started on the second one Professor Layton 2/Diabolical Box ds game & am enjoying it just as much as the first one. Not to give to much away Professor Hershel Layton's mentor is killed at the beginning. But that's all I'm saying you have to play the rest of the game to see the rest of the storyline unravel it's self. This is simply a good game. By the way there making two more Professor layton games after this one for the ds. They've already released Professor Layton 3/The last Time Travel it can be found on ebay the jap version. The other one is just now being released over in japan Professor Layton 4/The flute of Malevolent Destiny.

Get this game you'll truly enjoy it I know I am.

Happy Gaming!
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on September 11, 2009
The Diabolical Box's puzzles are certainly diabolical! The brain teasers are even better than the ones in the previous Professor Layton game.

I LOVE playing these games -- although being an over 60 senior, it offends me that the game is recommended for anyone 10 or above -- as it sometimes takes me a couple of hours to figure out the answer to some of the harder puzzles!

The game is very brain stimulating and fun. The scenario of the diabolical box mystery is OK, the short video clips in the game never cease to amaze me -- but the real joy of the game to me are the puzzles/brain teasers.

I recommend this game to anyone who wants to exercise their little gray cells while having fun.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon September 10, 2009
While I enjoyed Professor Layton and the Curious Village, it went by too quickly.
The Diabolical Box is like Curious Village but so much better.

* This game lasts so much longer that Curious Village, keeps you captivated longer and offers a lot more challenges. Without doing any of the "Bonus" games, this was twice the play time as Curious Village.

* The graphics are just as good if not a little better. There are cutaways of movie-like scenes as well as the traditional dialogue scenes, some with voice overs, some without.

* The puzzles offer a variety of simple to very challenging. There is a terrific selection of puzzle styles, sure to please all ages.

* Hint coins are still readily available with the option of buying up to three hints per puzzle.

* Puzzles are everywhere and seem to be just the right mix of puzzle to story/dialogue ratio.

* There is a huge improvement to the puzzles with the addition of a MEMO mode. Memo mode allows you to see the puzzle (slightly faded back) and have a scratch pad to make notes or work through the puzzles. This mode holds your notes as you go back and forth from the puzzle to memo again so your notes stay intact.

* The storyline is much more enjoyable and the scenery changes often enough (multiple villages, trains, etc.) so you are not traveling back and forth to the same spots over and over.

* The introduction of puzzles into the dialogue is a little more natural whereas in Curious Village when you needed to do a puzzle, the character intros to give you the puzzle were much more forced.

* The mini games include exercising a hamster (amusing), rebuilding a camera (interesting), brewing tea with different ingredients, as well as the old trunk standbys of a journal, mysteries list, and puzzle index. There is also a 'locked' diary.

* The music is fine and doesn't seem to get annoying but the fake English accents are still pretty bad.

* The story ends and after credits, allows you to go back to a previous scene to finish playing any puzzles you may have missed.

* There is a bonus section that you can get into when starting the game that includes the "Weekly download Puzzle", the puzzle index (the same as in the Professor's Trunk), Layton's Challenges which include some more difficult puzzles that progressively unlock the more you complete. There is also the Top Secret section including character profiles, art, music, and additional sections that unlock with clues found in the game.

The only problem I have with a couple of the puzzles is that they are based on noticing details in "photos" and looking at them on a DS screen is difficult since the resolution isn't so hot.

I would highly recommend this game for ages 8 and up.
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on November 19, 2009
I tried for years to get my sister to give video games a try - she loved watching when I played. I gave her Link's Awakening on the old Game Boy to get her started. She got stuck and eventually gave up. I tried pressing other games on her, but the real time fighting elements were a bit intimidating for her. She always enjoyed helping with the puzzle elements of Zelda, so I figured puzzle games would be good - but she got bored with the lack of storyline, etc in most of those puzzle games. This is a fantastic mix of being a game of puzzles, but having enough story to motivate the player to go all the way to the "end". This is the first game with a plot my sister has finished, and I'm excited to finally see her having fun with games!

Both of us were able to finish in less than a week and did not require any outside help from guides or websites. The great thing about this game is there are easy, medium, and hard versions of some of the puzzles, and you can apply what you learned in solving the easier version to solving the harder versions. There's a great sense of accomplishment there. Some of the "hints" in a few puzzles did not help at all, but since you can still move on in the game's story without solving everything, you can afford to leave a few and come back later.

The biggest disappointment was the ending, a bit anti-climactic. It had me going "Was that all?" I say this as someone who's gone through hundreds of games/anime/manga plots. I would not necessarily feel like "watching" this story again. But the atmosphere and style of animation is charming, and it's great to go through at least once. I would definitely recommend this game as a way to ease people into the fun of playing video games.
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