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    jp's Professor Layton and the Unwound Future (DS)

    [April 12, 2012 11:26:14 PM]
    There are so many reasons to want to hate this game. It's a sequel, it doesn't really innovate, it's all the same as the earlier games. And so on. But somehow, all those complaints seem both unfair as well as inappropriate.

    I've been thinking about the "issue" of game sequels and the perceived lack of creativity and originality in the games industry. People like to complain that companies keep on pumping out the same old games all the time. Oftentimes, the games industry is compared to Hollywood. It's not a nice comparison and I think it's rather unfair.

    Why do we have problems with movie sequels but, in other media, we seem ok with "continuations". Consider television for example. A show comes out, it's great, the seaon ends and then, there's a second season. Nobody complains about lack of creativity, sequelitis and so on. Why not? Well, it's a different model, right? Sure, at times people complain that a show was dragged out toooo long and that the writers ran out of ideas and that it would have been best if the whole thing had ended a season or to ago.

    Why don't we view game sequels in the same way we view television seasons? Why not? Yes, games are neither movies for tv shows. I know. So, perhaps we should have a much broader view of what a "sequel" could or should mean. It doesn't have to mean the same as in film (and it could mean what it does in television).

    This brings me back to Layton, which I've just finished. There's nothing particularly new about it other than the fact that it's an entirely new mystery that should take about 15 hrs to complete (assuming you're being pretty thorough in terms of finding and solving puzzles). The game is actually divided into chapters (13 of them). While they're not the same length - you could think of this as a 15 hr game broken down in 13 chunks or parts. And all of a sudden, it's about the same length as a TV show season!

    I don't need or want a lot of innovation between Layton titles. The familiar is comfortable in this case. I want new puzzles, that's for sure. And a new story. But the characters should stay (mostly?) the same, it should connect to earlier games, it should be self-contained but also coherent with the broader universe the game's set in. In other words, I want to treat it like a TV show. At some point, "the show" will end, and no more games will come out. That'll be fine.

    So, does this frame of mind work for all games? I guess not. I can probably think of a few games for which this lens wouldn't make sense... (Katamari?) However, there are a lot that really do. At least that's what I think!

    So, what other games would benefit from this lens? Definitely the Phoenix Wright games...
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    jp's Professor Layton and the Unwound Future (DS)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Thursday 29 March, 2012

    GameLog closed on: Thursday 12 April, 2012

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    It's exactly what you'd expect. Nothing more, nothing less. If you loved the earlier games, you'll be fine with this one.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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