The lights are on
When professor Layton first graced the ds, accompanied with a guerilla add campaign, i was excited. Truth be told I dusted off my little handheld and within the first week of release, I held my copy in my hand all the way home (while driving). The game was fun, puzzles where challenging and I felt smarter for completing some of the harder ones without the help of guides and a minimal amount of coins. Then Diabolical box was announced for stateside release. Jubilation! Once again, within the first week, my hands were imprinting on the case all the way home.
Things started pleasant, the puzzles seemed a bit easier at times, which stemmed mostly from me solving a variation in the last iteration. The only true challenge came from the "help the princess escape" puzzles with the large amount of minute movements required to break a giant ball free from the grid. Or, on the other end of the spectrum, puzzles that were worded with little sense. Even some that I would not call puzzles at all just some strange "guess which item you need to click on to collect your ***". I will say that the story which I found phenomenal in the first game, while still enjoyable, was not as gripping either (which could just be on my part). So when the announcement reached my wandering eyes of the third game in the series to hit our shores I was excited and skeptical at the same time.
I have now played through just about all of "unwound future", and although it is a nice way to fill in some time. The mistakes of the past have been repeated, and a few more added. First, not only have I seen these puzzles in the last two games, but sometimes I have seen the puzzle (literally) right before the this one (ex.- in the clock store when you get two consecutive puzzles that require you to figure out the time) this happens on a few occasions. This is followed up with "what’s wrong with this picture...?" that make little sense. One example is the X-ray puzzle when you see your old mentor. I have seen plenty of them in my time so I knew what to look for, but most would just stare at it, although knowing that the obvious answers where false, would have a hard time selecting a small white blurb. The story also takes a backseat in this iteration. I stated earlier that I was almost done, so unless there is a giant revelation of apocalyptic magnitude within the next 20 minutes, I feel safe to say that most of this game has been by the numbers and slightly predictable.
I have high hopes for this series, but I fear that maybe the originality that we first witnessed may, to my dismay, be running out. Considering that a great expert is helping them with all of the puzzles, maybe it is time to rethink what gets put into the game, revisit the sense of pride when a particularly devious enigma stumps and then finally gets cracked by our sheer determination.
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