Review – Professor Layton And The Lost Future

Professor Layton and the Lost Future
Developer: Level-5
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: DS
Genre: Adventure, Puzzle
Release Date: Out Now

The Professor Layton series has become wildly popular overseas, especially in the UK. The first Professor Layton game, The Curious Village, was so popular that it was out of stock in several retailers for quite a period of time! The first two Professor Layton titles have been released here, as well as the anime movie, The Eternal Diva. Now it’s time for the third game to hit the streets. Hit the jump for the full review of Professor Layton and the Lost Future!

Every Professor Layton title, despite being a puzzle game at heart,  is actually very story driven. While each game has a story to tell, you can easily jump in with any of the three titles and enjoy the experience. The Lost Future sees Hershel and Luke on what is quite possibly their strangest adventure yet. A letter addressed from the Luke of the future warns the professor of a dark fate for London, and requests his help. Curious as to see if this is connected with the disappearance of the Prime Minister, Hershel and Luke agree to further investigate the letter, and wind up 10 years into the future.

The Professor Layton games aren’t difficult to play, but they’re certainly difficult to complete. As you’re most likely aware, the games consist of puzzles given to you from NPCs, story events and Hershel being a bit of a dick. Is there anything that doesn’t remind him of a puzzle? There is a wide variety of puzzles, and over 165 for you to finish. The most common themes are choosing from a handful of answers, solving math equations and drawing lines to divide an object or make a path. There are some unique puzzles out there though, such as the maze puzzles where you guide a little Hershel as he avoids bananas.

Getting from A to B is very simple, and is done via the touch screen. All you have to do is touch the shoe icon in the corner of the screen, then tap one of the arrows to move. You can interact with NPCs and the background by simply tapping on them. If you tap on the right spot, you can find a hint coin in the background, which you can spend to unlock hints, obviously. At times, you’ll notice a small dust cloud over a section you tapped. If you repeatedly tap there, you’ll reveal either a hint coint or a secret puzzle. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled.

If a puzzle is proving too difficult for you, you can spend some of your hint coins to unlock a tip to completing it. New to the Professor Layton series is the Super Hint, which can be purchased for 2 hint coins after you’ve unlocked the initial 3 hints. A Super Hint literally gives you the answer to the puzzle, it’s your job to input it correctly. As convenient as they are, hint coins are limited. So only use them when you need to.

As with the first two Professor Layton games, The Lost Future contains a number of animated cutscenes and voice acting. Key scenes are fully voiced, in both cutscenes and dialogue. I have to compliment the voice acting, it’s superb. They’ve given the characters voices that match their personalities perfectly. You can literally feel how British Hershel and Luke are. Although I’m pretty sure Luke has a different voice actor in the US version.

As well as the main puzzles, there are a couple of side mini games for you to finish. There’s the Sticker Book, the Parrot and the RC Car. By solving puzzles, you are awarded stickers which can be placed into your sticker book. Your goal is to place the stickers in the correct places to accurately tell the story. The parrot mini game has you helping your parrot (which you get to name) deliver an item to the end of the stage by placing ropes for it to bounce off of. By clearing puzzles for NPCs, you unlock delivery missions. Lastly, the RC Car mini game. Now, this is where it gets interesting. The goal of this game is to place arrows on the map to change your car’s direction, and lead it to the exit whilst picking up all the items on the map. One thing you’ll notice is that it’s very similar to SEGA’s Chu Chu Rocket series. All three mini games are excellent time wasters and a load of fun to come back to.

To tell the truth, I never finished The Curious Village and Pandora’s Box. I lost interest before I could get stuck into them. I still don’t know why I decided to purchase The Lost Future, but I don’t regret it. It’s finally gotten me hooked on the Professor Layton series. It is without a doubt the best game in the series so far, with a strangely satisfying end to the trilogy. Even if you’re not a big puzzle fan, the game is worth playing for the visuals and audio alone. Although I would imagine most Layton fans have gotten their mitts on this already.

Final Score – 9/10

A fine example of what the Professor Layton series has to offer. Some of the puzzles get stale after a while and the story starts to drag on, but the positives outweigh the negatives. One of the DS’s best games this year.

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One Response to “Review – Professor Layton And The Lost Future”

  1. A genuinely excellent publish by you my friend. I’ve bookmarked this page and will occur back following several days to examine for any new posts which you make.

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