Professor Layton and the Last Specter Review
Format: Nintendo DS
Launch Date: 10/17/11
ESRB: E10+ (Everyone 10 and Older)
Game Type: Puzzle Adventure
Professor Layton and the Last Specter is the fourth title in the Professor Layton series and it features more puzzles than any of the other games in the series thus far.
Professor Layton and the Last Specter takes you on a mysterious journey starting off in a nearby village revolving around the last specter. In your journey to unraveling this mystery you will come across many types of puzzles for you to solve. Some of those involving the mysteries of the game and some of the others are for the joy of a good puzzle.
Puzzle solving is what this title is all about and it has a vast amount of puzzles for you to solve along your way. Ranging from many different types and styles of puzzles. It will even put your math skills to the test. These puzzles have been a lot of fun as well though I’ve had a good share of frustrating ones. You’ll even get puzzles where you are certain you are right and you just keep wondering why it is you are wrong. Thank goodness that along your journey there will be opportunities to find coins hidden in each area. These coins can be used to buy hints which will help you a lot. However, even then you may find times where you will still be stumped. I spent near an hour trying to solve one puzzle using up all 3 hints and the super hint. It did feel good once I got it, though it was still very frustrating.
It’ll vary from person to person too, and I am sure some of us will get puzzles quicker than the other. I have had many good moments and enjoyable moments in solving puzzles too. Especially one where I tried hard to get it right and it wasn’t happening, so I decided to take a step back and get a fresh look at it again. I then had a different thought about it and gave it a try and found it to be correct. So, it does have some good puzzles in there that really make you think or that give you what seems to be an obvious answer but it really is not. Plus, it had those moments where you feel really good for figuring it out and find it to have been a enjoyable puzzle to solve.
Outside of puzzle solving in this game are also other mini-games for you to enjoy as well, which added an even larger enjoyment level for me with this title. Along the way you will collect various items in which to add to the professors trunk including a Toy Train game, a Fish game and a puppet theatre game. You will then collect additional items for these mini-games along the way for you to play and complete. Also, featured in the professors trunk are everything from items collected to episodes, your save point and all gameplay stats. That includes how many puzzles you have found and solved, your total score, how many hint coins you have found, your current location and time played. Also within the professors trunk you will have Layton’s journal where you can recap what it is that is going on. You will see the mysteries listed for you to view and look at the information on them once more. And finally you will be able to view previous puzzles and solve them again if you choose.
As you progress from area to area within the game, in each area you will be able to click around and find hidden items. This includes the hint coins which are used to help you solve puzzles. Whether you are in a room or outdoors, you can click on anything from tree’s to clocks on the wall in hope of finding these hidden coins or items.
As you play the game, each puzzle you come across has a certain number of picarates you can earn. This is part of your scoring system as well, the more you earn the better. Each puzzle starts you out with a top number, but if you get the puzzle wrong you will lose how many picarates you can earn. These come in use later on as well in the bonus section of the main menu, as there is a top secret area where the more picarates you have will give you access to certain unlockables. Also, within the bonus area is a weekly downloadable puzzle that is made available for you.
Also made available in this title is Professor Layton’s London Life which is an RPG that features over 100 hours of gameplay in the town of Little London. The RPG is certainly a great bonus feature to this title as it is also rather addicting to check out and play. You will be able to customize your character and collect items and furniture for your home as you make your way around in this title. You will be taking on tasks by helping the townsfolk as you live out your Little London life.
I had a good time going through Professor Layton and the Last Specter. I did have moments of frustration with some of the puzzles, but there are a lot of enjoyable ones as well. The story progressed fairly well as you made your way throughout the game. Almost every area of the game has some kind of puzzle ready and waiting for you as well. The game also features a fairly nice soundtrack to go along with it which seems to fit the game very well. There is a lot of fun to be had with this title and a lot of bonus material for you to enjoy as the game plays out very nicely in all of it’s features. If you are a fan of puzzles then this is a must have game as it has a lot of good value going for it and you will find it to be time well spent with Professor Layton, Emmy and Luke!