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    jp's Professor Layton and the Spectre's Call (DS)

    [October 28, 2015 12:31:52 PM]
    Woo, finished!
    It took longer that I thought in the end (10 hrs?) mostly because there's a series of additional puzzles you have to solve to "beat the baddie". I enjoyed the story, and the cut scenes, and the places. I'm quite amazed by how little renown the series has when it's been so lovingly crafted and is, in my opinion, a fine example of great game design.

    Here's a few things that were salient to me this last time around:

    The main event of this game, the reason most people play, is to solve a bunch of puzzles. The context they're presented in, the places, story, characters, all contribute to making that a more interesting experience. So, over the years, the design of these other elements has definitely moved towards favoring the puzzles and helping the player make progress in the game. For example:

    a. Whenever you reload the game you're provided with a brief summary of where things are at and what you're up to in the story. This helps get the player back on track if you've forgotten.

    b. Whenever you're supposed to go to a specific location, the map shows you which way you should go. The "puzzle" isn't to remember what place is where, but rather the design facilitates the player getting to a place where you can find new puzzles.

    c. As the story moves forward, puzzles you may have missed are "collected" by a character. In this game, it's a cat that appears in at least 2 locations. Tap the cat and you'll see a list of all the puzzles you missed so you can try them out. There's no puzzles "lost forever" NOR do you have to move back to earlier locations to hunt them out. I think the exception are the secret puzzles - because, you're supposed to hunt those out.

    d. There are several additional elements to help you remember/know what's going on with the story. There's a mysteries page, where you can read about them as well as Professor Layton's journal which has bite-sized snippets of things added to it as you move along.

    Again, all these things are designed to make everything else easier, more accessible, more understandable. Thus, leaving the player to spend all his cognitive energy...on the puzzles. :-)
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    [October 21, 2015 06:09:09 PM]
    Picked this up in England a few weeks ago. I had forgotten that I wanted to play this. It somehow fell completely off my radar and I actually spent a fair amount of time with the chaps in the game shop trying to figure out if I'd played it or not (the slightly different title and cover art didn't help much). I ultimately went with the fact that I didn't recognize any of the puzzles pictured on the back of the box so I hadn't played it before.

    Good for me I hadn't played it before!

    So far, it's 100% pure Professor Layton - a comfortable game that feels familiar and enjoyable. And, different enough (in the puzzles, of course). I had forgotten how much the characters and narrative matter in this game. I really do think the series gets a lot less credit than it should in the grand scheme of things.

    I'm currently in "Chapter 2" and having some fun. Already stuck on a hidden puzzle I found. And I don't want to waste my hint coins!

    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Oct 21st, 2015 at 18:09:52.

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    jp's Professor Layton and the Spectre's Call (DS)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Sunday 18 October, 2015

    GameLog closed on: Wednesday 28 October, 2015

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    I really enjoyed this one. More than the spectre's mask - maybe because I wasn't desperately trying to find all the secret coins and items and puzzles?

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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