Review by Aqlex239

"Professor Great-on!"

This game is very much a game of puzzles and brainteasers, but it is put together very well! I will be reviewing it as a puzzle game, not so much as a game in general. So, on to the review.

Story (8/10) -
This game surprised me because it is mostly a simple puzzle game, yet it had a story, and a decent one at that! In the beginning, I was very interested in what was happening. Unfortunately, about two thirds through the game, I had guessed a lot of the story and I was right on almost all accounts. Still, the story is captivating, though a few holes are left open.

Graphics (9/10) -
For a DS game, the 2D graphics are well done. Unfortunately, the majority of your screen will have static backgrounds or pictures and some looping animations, but they're all very nice to look at, and all of the characters are different. Also, the animated cut-scenes are very well animated and very entertaining to watch, and there are quite a few!

Controls (9/10) -
All of the controls work well, but they aren't too varied. You don't even really move your character around. It's mostly a point-and-click adventure. I felt like the touchscreen wasn't perfectly precise all the time, but that could easily have been me. Also, the game had some trouble recognizing my 8's when I drew then (it looked nothing like a 2!) but nobody else I know had this problem, so it's very likely my horrible handwriting.

Sound (9/10) -
Very good. Many of the animated cut-scenes and major story points are voice-acted out, a rarity for DS games, and the music isn't bad, though it gets a little repetitive.

Gameplay (9/10) -
For what it tries to do, this game basically does it perfectly. Everything works as it's supposed to, and I ran into no glitches. Most of the game is only walking around, clicking on things, and solving puzzles by either clicking on things or drawing things out. Still, everything worked well. I only wish there was a little more variety to the game, and the option to only clear everything and not just erase some notes during puzzles was puzzling.

Replay Value (8/10) -
This game is very re-playable because you can always go back to find more hint coins, solve puzzles you missed or couldn't solve, and do some of the bonus endgame puzzles. Unfortunately, once you've done a puzzle, you probably remember the answer, so playing the entire game over again may not be nearly as challenging, but there are plenty of things to do if you want to get 100% done.

Overall (9/10) -
For what it tries to achieve, and compared to other puzzle games, this game is great. Everything works, and everything is done well. My only complaints were the repetitive music, the guessable storyline, the low level of variety in the gameplay (but what do you expect from a puzzle game?), and the annoying "clear all or nothing" option for your notes. None of these are major problems, and I must say that I really enjoyed the game myself.

Rent or Buy?
I would actually say rent, because I borrowed it from a friend and did the majority of the puzzles and beat the game, and I did not feel the need to 100% it or to play it again. I spent around 18 hours with the game (though some of that is just time spent doing nothing) and unless you really love puzzles and plan on lending the game out to all of your friends, I would not actually buy the game.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 10/26/09

Game Release: Professor Layton and the Curious Village (US, 02/10/08)

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