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About the product
- 130 puzzles
- Touch Screen controls
- New puzzles are available weekly for download via the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection
- Fully voiced animated scenes
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In Professor Layton and the Curious Village, you’ll tackle over 130 puzzles as you unravel the mysteries of the village. Puzzles range from mazes and riddles to logic and sliding puzzles. Touch Screen controls make working through puzzles fun for players of all skill levels, and new puzzles are available weekly for download via the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. Fully voiced animated scenes bring the story to life, while the eccentric villagers and the hand-drawn art provide a charm that appeals to gamers and non-gamers alike. Only playable on Nintendo DS systems.
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Even though the whole game is about solving the puzzles and most of them were really hard, I did like the game. It had good art, the animation scenes were really good, and it had a really good story line.
Professor Layton is such a gentleman. I wish I could have gotten to know him better. Not a lot of development on him or Luke. Probably because of all of the puzzle. I understand that it is a puzzle game, but there are soooo many of them. It take away from the characters and often times they clutter the main story.
The main story is....well, it starts off fine but then it gets a bit silly. I can't spoil much but I am sure there will be a point when you say "oh, that is just stupid" at least once after the halfway point.
All and all, it was enough to encourage me to buy the next game, which I hope fixes up these issues.
There are currently three - soon to be four - Layton games. Think of Layton as Sherlock Holmes with puzzles. He experiences different places and events and there is a mystery that needs to be solved underneath. He gathers information and clues by assisting patrons with puzzles that they cannot solve. The premise is simple, the back story was quite excellent, and I would submit that if it were not for the deep story, this would be the most average of all games.
In Curious Village, Layton is on the hunt for something referred to as the Golden Apple. He has a treasure map leading him to a mysterious village. Upon arrival, he is trapped and cannot leave the village, so he decides to go about solving the mystery of the village. During the stay, there are a number of strange events that lead him to solving his first mystery - patrons that end up missing.
I won't spoil the story for you. But I found the story of Curious Village to be a solid 9 out of 10, hurt only by the presence of certain events that appeared to not be relevant to the story. The character development was done well, and it wasn't difficult to keep up with the story as it unfolded. Where the game broke down is the implementation of the puzzles. The puzzles themselves weren't bad, but the problem is that they were infrequently relevant to the basic story or game. A lot were just random puzzles thrown in there with no rhyme or reason as to why.
I also want to emphasize that a lot of the puzzles were not really puzzles, but actually brain teasers. Things where the way the question is worded is a trick to the real answer. For example (not a real puzzle in the game): "John has 26 apples. He puts 12 of them in the fridge. He eats one, throws away four, and gives one to his next door neighbor. Not including the one he ate, how many does John have left?" Technically, the answer is 24...why? Because the four he threw away are still in the trash in his house, so technically he still "has" them. The 12 are still on the table in his house. The only ones left are the one he ate, which we don't count, and the one that went next door...leaving 24. Your first instinct is to say that the answer is 8, which would be wrong, or 20, which would also be wrong. That's an oversimplified example of some of the wordplay that abounds in Curious Village. Those were the most annoying. It was never that the puzzles were hard, just annoying.
Solving a certain number of puzzles or greater unlocks a lot of secret dealies such as all of the cutscenes (and there are quite a few of these, short though they be). Beating the game unlocks a code that is used in the second game, which is Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box. Because of this last bit, you'll want to start with Curious Village first if you're trying to see if Layton will work for you and you like puzzles that must be solved. The third game, of course, is Professor Layton and the Unwound Future.
Where Layton stands out is the quick pickup and puzzle solving that used to be an affair for newspaper crossword puzzles. The presence of a solid story solidifies the game even further. It is hopeful that the developers see fit to bring over the mashup between Layton and Phoenix Wright, as I can imagine no other more epic combination.