finally sat down and finished professor layton and the curious village. i’m not big on brainteasers/puzzles in general, but the game’s entertaining albeit fairly nonsensical story had enough pull to give me the momentum to play to the end. the art direction and music are fantastic and the characters, drawn in a highly caricatured style similar to that of the great french animated film the triplets of belleville, really bring the world to life and make the game a memorable experience. layton and his sidekick luke are endearing, and the game is structured so that there aren’t too many puzzles you’re required to complete. the game gives plentiful opportunities to obtain hints in the form of hint coins for when you get stuck, although i found that the hints themselves oftentimes aren’t particularly helpful. the game keeps track of your score (i.e. how many hints you use), although there are rather too many puzzles that are so obtuse that you have to use a coin to even know where to begin, and i find it hard to imagine the average kid having enough patience to get very far in the game. i found myself compelled to complete almost every puzzle i came across, but i have to seriously wonder how the series develops since the variety of types of puzzle seems to have been completely exhausted in this game. maybe i’ll be pleasantly surprised, but for now my current plan is to skip the second game and move on to the third (eventually), since it seems to have gotten better reviews.
solve these professor layton and the curious village links:
– official website
– layton wikia with screenshots and solutions to all the puzzles, including the non-US ones
– apparently the series isn’t as popular in the US as elsewhere, although a series of commercials with lisa kudrow apparently gave a significant boost in sales. iwata’s theory of the difference in sales is that it’s due to the difference in the box art for each region.
– 1up gave a thumbs up to the game in its look back on the DS’s library
– officialnintendomagazine.co.uk has a short interview with the creators of the game