on March 2, 2014
As I have been a huge fan of the Professor Layton series ever since The Curious Village came out, naturally I got my hands on this as soon as it came out -- for I expected the pasts of Layton's nemesis Descole (villain of The Last Specter and Miracle Mask) to be revealed as well find out more about the Azran civilization. This game did not disappoint.
Story: Professor Layton is invited by renowned archaeologist Professor Sycamore regarding a girl frozen for presumably over 1 million years. Upon their arrival at the frozen cave, the girl is found to be an emissary for an ancient and highly advanced Azran civilization. She requires 5 "keys" to unlock all the wisdom that the Azran left in their legacy. Having Layton and co. resolving mysteries around the world for Azran "keys" was a nice change to the same city setting in the previous games (save Diabolical Box). There are more twists in this than there are in the other games, to the point of using some cliched examples but were nonetheless engaging and astounding (I could never have guessed some of these developments).
Gameplay: Per the usual, there are puzzles (150 in the main game) and several minigame puzzles for the player to solve. Upon completion of those, several harder puzzles will be open. Having played through all the Layton games, I found the puzzles in this game to be tougher than the puzzles in the other games. (I also spent more time playing this game than the others). Some puzzles are worded ambiguously but most are very well-done and would provide some challenging fun. There is also the added bonus of Daily Puzzles downloadable via Wi-Fi for an entire year.
Visuals & music: Given that this is the last of the games featuring Professor Layton (Level 5 is planning a 7th game though), there are more beautifully animated cut-scenes and a wonderful soundtrack. The music in this game is my favorite in the Layton series.
Overall, for fans of puzzles, adventure, and mysteries, this is a game you shouldn't miss. In addition, at the end of this game the opening sequence for The Curious Village ('07-08) is shown, making it clear that the events in this game took place before the first three Layton games released. So I would highly encourage those new to the series to play the Layton games in this order: The Last Specter -> Miracle Mask (3DS)-> Azran Legacy (3DS) -> Curious Village -> Diabolical Box -> Unwound Future.
This is really a fitting end to this trilogy, and a sad parting for Professor Layton, even as he continues his adventures in Curious Village and beyond.
on March 9, 2014
It's the game we've all been waiting for; The finale, the end of the entire sha-bang, that game of games-- Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy. And, ( get ready ) IT'S HERE!!! ( woo-hoo!)
If you couldn't tell, I've been a huge fan of this series for the longest time, ever since curious village was around. From brain-bending puzzles and loveable characters to rich storylines and beautiful art, and let's not even mention the MUSIC, the Professor Layton Series for the the DS systems are pretty much the best 'brain' games in existence.
I had pre-ordered this game a few days before it came out, and was very happy to finally have it in my possession. Shipping was fast, ( faster than expected actually) and everything was in order when it reached my house. Six days later, I had completed the story.
Okay, so if I'm such a fan and this is such a big deal, why only four stars?
Well, I can say with out hesitation, that this was indubitably a /good/ game.
But I can't say it was excellent.
It's really amazing to see how far these games have come graphics-wise. They get better and better with every release, and this one is no exception. The art, gameplay, and animated cut scenes were exquisite. Just-- AMAZING!! The bright, rich colors, incredible attention to detail, and slick controls really did it for me. This game is a work of art! Taking advantage of the 3ds top screen and new exploration tools, this game had some new and creative aspects with the visuals this round. On the downside, because of the setup, I felt this game was also meant to be played in 3D, and if the 3d screen gives you a headache or makes you fill sick, or for those of you who the own the 2ds system, you might not get the full blast of awesomeness. This game is still just as stunning and beautiful though without the depth, and if 3d just isn't your thing, I wouldn't worry about it.
First of all, this game contains MAJOR MAJOR plot details, and the pasts of several characters have been unveiled in their entirety. Yes ladies and gentlemen, there's even more to it. I can't tell you too much here, but the story starts off on the airship Bostonius, a small zeppelin belonging to a certain Professor Sycamore who has asked Layton and co. to come help him unravel the mystery of a living mummy. Travel the world, meet new characters, explore new places, and discover the truth about a ancient civilization known as the 'Azran'!
I feel that this game has sort of broken tradition, turning the story into more of a quest format rather than a mystery story. It's a little unsettling-- Professor Layton has been so story-based for so long, this sudden rift in the story style doesn't make a lot of sense. In a nutshell, I think they tried to cram in too much information, ( especially at the end ) some of the points were kind of vague, and the new characters deserved more development. In my personal opinion, the storyline was the biggest drag for me in the overall review, and I tried not to rant too much. This game was kind of a fanservice. It's still good, but some things just didn't click.
The puzzles, music, and designs, were as good as ever though! The music especially has a very elegant, instrumental beauty. ( NOTE: The spelling in this game is Canadian, and therefor a bit different from what we Americans are used to. Kind of weird, but whatever. )
With various other pluses and minuses, this game leveled out to 4 stars for me, while the others (especially the original trilogy hoo boy ) were more like 7 or 8.
In conclusion, this was a good game, and while I didn't love it as much as the other ones, I definitely recommend experiencing it if just for the art experience.
Thanks for reading this review, I hope it helps!
on March 5, 2014
At about 3 hours of gameplay so far, I can already say this may be my favorite title in the Layton series.
The game begins in typical Layton fashion. Layton has been invited to Froenberg, by a certain Professor Sycamore, to investigate a 'living mummy.' After an introductory puzzle or two, and a reunion with one of the series' recurring characters, the game is already well underway. It's clear that Targent, an evil organization bent on unlocking the power of the Azran Civilization (introduced towards the end of Miracle Mask), has a presence in Froenberg, as their goons are all over the place, scrambling to find Sycamore. Therefore, it becomes a 'race against time' as Layton strives to find the Professor before Targent does.
The puzzles are clever and varied, and as with the deductions of Sherlock Holmes, the solutions generally seem simple in hindsight. There's really something for everyone, from hands-on puzzles similar to the classic wooden peg game, to spotting the odd one out, and uncovering patterns.
And then there are the mini-games. Almost straightaway, a fashion game is introduced, wherein the player fulfills fashion requests by creating designs with the clothing articles they collect as they progress through the game.
In another game, you play as a squirrel, rolling a walnut to its destination while taking heed of hazards and obstacles.
There's also the streetpass-enabled scavenger hunt feature, which adds to the appeal of the investigation mode. In addition to locating puzzles and hint coins with the magnifying glass, players may locate items (e.g. a bobsled) that they may then challenge other players to find, with the reward of collectibles / unlockables.
A great start to the end of the series (this review will be updated with additional details, and perhaps a revised rating, as I experience more of the game).
Professor Layton and his crew have discovered that all their investigations actually led to a treasure left behind by an ancient civilization, called the Azran. A mysterious girl, named Aurora, will become your guide as you travel the globe, to unlock its true mystery. However, a sinister group, Targent, was also on the chase for the Azran treasure. Can Layton solve the mystery before the treasure falls into the wrong hands?
Returning fans won't be disappointed with the game. Things pretty much stay to formula. The voice actors and the BGM remain the same. Unfortunately, there was still not a lot of voice acting. What was slightly different was the fact you flew by plane to different parts of the world. No little buggy here. So, instead of being confined to a city, there were 8 different places to visit and each with their own unique culture. The only downside was the fact the areas were small and the story in each were short. Personally, I felt the story suffered a bit from jumping around from one place to another, creating a lack of depth and diverting from the main plot. It just didn't have the mysteriousness that I have come to expect. However, the ending didn't disappoint. It culminated into something cool. It will shock you and then make you teary-eyed.
Note for parents: I know that there are a few young players and I will like to warn some parents that the ending may be intense and possibly traumatic for your children. It was a great ending but can be a bit much for the younger set. Please play at your discretion.
Next, let's talk graphics. Graphic-wise, it hasn't changed too much from the previous 3DS game. The characters' movements and drawings definitely had more of a natural feel this time around. However, the main improvement was to the puzzles' designs. They became even more interactive! The pictures above the puzzle moved as you try to solve the puzzle, i.e. you jumped over a tomato, a tomato will flop onto the patty. In retrospect, this did affect the type of puzzles you'll be playing. There were still "deep thinking" ones but puzzles using the stylus has become the dominant type here, i.e. finding your way across the ice, jumping boats, dividing up logs, etc. I found I barely used the memo function at all.
Now, the only thing that really bothered me was the magnifying search function. Before, the background was stationary. But now it moved along with you. It was headache-inducing. You'll get use to it, but it can be rather annoying when you are searching for hint coins. You're moving and the background is moving. Ugh~
Here's what new.
1) In the bottom left corner of your briefcase, there is a bubble with a question mark. Make use of it ASAP. This will trigger a world-wide item hunting game.
2) There was a part at the beginning where you are being bombarded by missiles and have to use your puzzle skills to destroy them.
3) There will be an icon labeled World Times. After visiting a new area, it will trigger a release of 3 news articles. These articles will lead you to another puzzle or an extra area.
4) Here are the 4 new mini-games:
a) Nutty Roller - A squirrel needs help moving his nut through an obstacle course. With correct placement of rocks and acorns, the nut should roll to its goal. This was personally difficult for me.
b) Dress Up - Eight different characters will make a request for you to design an outfit for them with their exact criteria.
c) Bloom Burst - A garden needs your help of ridding itself of the poisonous mushrooms and reviving the rosebushes. Placing flowers at strategic points to clean up the garden.
For those not familiar with the games, you are Professor Layton. Your help is needed in solving a mystery that revolves around the Azran legend. You talk to people scatter throughout the different towns for clues but they won't give it to you that easily. You will have to solve a puzzle to earn it. If you are having problems, there are 3 hints and 1 super hint. I suggest using them sparingly since you have a limited amount of hint coins. As you gather clues and solve puzzles, you get closer to solving the mystery. Should you play the other games before? Highly recommended, but not necessary. Since this is a finale to the Azran trilogy, playing the previous games and seeing the movie would make better sense of the background story.
Overall, this was a decent game that tested my thinking capabilities. I finished the main game within 24 hours. And still have over 20+ hours of additional content to tackle. Well, worth the $30. If you enjoy a good brain teaser with a good plot, look no further. Get it when you can. I still think $40 is a little steep. But it's up to you. If you aren't a fan of puzzles, pass this one by. Was this the best Layton? Not really. But I did enjoyed it and definitely adding it to my gaming shelf.
on April 18, 2014
Sadly, this is the final game in the Professor Layton series. It is an excellent game, with a few flaws. For the uninitiated, the gameplay can be summarized thusly: you control Professor Layton, an archaeologist on a quest to solve the mystery of the Azran. In search thereof, you encounter myriad people, nearly all of whom need assistance solving puzzles.
The Good: The game mechanics work well - puzzle inputs are simple and responsive, there is now an oops-take-back-my-last-move button in puzzles where it is helpful. The characters are diverse and exhibit varied, individual personalities. Nearly all of the puzzles are well-explained and simple to understand, if not solve. It is also a good value. I paid $30 for it. In addition to the 150 or so in-game puzzles, there are 365 downloadable daily puzzles (one per day for a year, following the initial release).
The Bad: The story in each Layton game has been a big draw for me. It adds a dimension to the puzzle after puzzle gameplay that breaks the monotony and separately (and additionally) entertains the player. The story in this game, though, is so outlandish and, frankly, silly that I had trouble really appreciating it. Instead of augmenting the enjoyable gameplay, it almost detracts from the fun of the puzzles.
The Good/Bad (depending upon your perspective): The puzzle in this game are, generally speaking, much easier to solve than those found in the first 5 games. As someone who has solved 100% of the puzzles in every game in the series, this was disappointing. Some may find this to be a relief, though.
Recommendation: Strong buy. If you are a fan of puzzle games, this is easily one of the best ever made. If you can overlook the absurd story, and relatively easy puzzles, there is a gem of a game here.
on July 31, 2014
I've played all six Professor Layton games and have loved all of them except Unwound Future and Last Specter. Miracle Mask was a fantastic addition, but had some annoying puzzles. I'm pleased to say that Azran Legacy has few to no annoyingly stupid puzzles. The storyline is a little different from previous games in that there are 5 areas of the world that you travel to and you can do them in any order you please. Each town has its own quirks and interesting people, but the real plot twists don't happen until after that part of the game is finished. Several more sidequests were added, increasing the length of the game should you choose to complete them - my play time ended around 23 hours completing about 130/150 puzzles. While I love the first couple of Layton games, I find that the quality of the puzzles and extra length make this the best one yet!
on May 18, 2014
ill be honest i have played every single one of the layton games, and every single one has given me the rage quits multiple times but this is the type of game that will make you feel accomplished each and every time you finish a puzzle.
Gameplay:simple click and point controls during the game and stylus/touch controls to solve puzzles simplicity at its best
Story: through out gaming history there has been stories some good some not so good Professor layton games have probably one of the best because you will simply always bee thrown for a loop around every corner if you dont wanna play it for the puzzles play it for the story ...that goes for all of the games
visuals:standard animesque wich is the signature layton look always the same yet always impressive
puzzles:hard yet satisfying
all in all i would tell anyone that owns a ds to pick up the layton series not because of the gameplay but for the simple legacy of games
on May 16, 2014
Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy is a fantastic puzzle game and a great last addition to the Layton series. The puzzles are fun and creative as always, the visuals are gorgeous (especially if you use the 3D function) and the story can get pretty thrilling at times. The game is also slightly less linear than the other Layton games as there are several locations that you can travel too, each with its own mystery for you to solve, in any order you choose. The puzzle mini-games included can also be quite fun and adds to an already heavy amount of content (in comparison to the previous Layton games). Any Layton fan would definitely want to pick this up.
on March 19, 2014
I'm really enjoying the newest and final Layton game.
You get the same formula of a good mystery, great mix of puzzles, and fun characters, similar to previous versions.
What's new in this version I've really liked:
- Characters are more animated than before (not fully animated, just a tad less flat)
- More mini games within the main story
- Integration of puzzles into the story line, mainly during the videos. I've played through one interactive puzzle, hoping for more
- I like that the travel area "map" has expanded to different sub areas. More to explore.
If you've liked the other titles in the Layton series and enjoy puzzles, you shouldn't be disappointed with this one. It's the same ole formula, just enhanced for the 3Ds and modernized.
on January 3, 2015
This game is much better than its predecessor; there's more to do and the story is engrossing. I really like the fact that you travel to different parts of the world as you aid the professor on his quest. Also, I feel like the designers made better use of the 3D capabilities of the system.