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01 May 2009

Professor Layton and the Curious Village [DS]

Plot Synopsis: 9/10
I don't really know how much of the plot i can explain without giving away some decent twists and turns. The game starts off with Professor Layton and his assistant being summoned to the isolated town of St. Mystere, at the request of a recently widowed aristocrat whose husband appears to have hidden away a treasure somewhere in the town. Of course, everyone is trying to find the treasure, to no avail. While attempting to find the treasure, more serious developments occur, and suddenly, solving the case becomes a race against time for Professor Layton and the citizens of St. Mystere.
I'll give the plot a 9 out of 10. The story is pretty decent. There were twists and turns that I didn't necessarily expect. A couple of them were a little easy to figure out before the game actually explained it, but they were still unexpected.

Game Play: 6/10
The basic game play is okay. It's a basic point-and-click adventure. Nothing overly innovative. As you proceed through the story, you have puzzles to solve. I have two complaints about the puzzles, though. My first complaint is that the puzzles, most often, did not correlate to whatever was going on in the story at the time. I'd have appreciated the set-up more if they did. My other complaint has to do with the difficulty ratings. Each puzzle is worth a different number of points, based on how difficult they supposedly are. Personally, I had a pretty easy time with some of the "difficult" puzzles, and a tough time with some of the "easy" ones. I suspect the difficulty ratings were not determined by a well-rounded grouping of people.
I'll give the game play a 6 out of 10. The puzzles were just a bit too jarring, sometimes.

Graphics: 8/10
The graphics are alright. Stylistically, they have a more hand-drawn look to them. They are fairly simple-looking, and cartoony. Personally, I'd have preferred a little more detail in things, but the game is geared toward a younger audience than me, so they're fine. Also, the style carried over well, in the few cinematic scenes that popped up throughout the game.
I'll give the graphics an 8 out of 10. I can't think of anything wrong with the graphics, per se. But they didn't blow me away, either.

Audio: 9/10
The music was good. It gave the game a very old-Europe kind of feel, with French and Italian influences, specifically. Anyone who knows me knows I have pretty high standards, when it comes to voice acting. For the most part, the voice acting in this game was decent. Nothing struck me as being obnoxiously over the top, as happens in a lot of games, so I have no major complaints.
I'll give the audio a 9 out of 10, for putting together a nice, cohesive package of a game.

Overall Score: 8/10
This game is fun. I think my biggest issue with it is the fact that the puzzles don't correlate to the story. The plot makes you want to keep playing. The music fits well with the look of the game. The graphics are a good fit with the story. Overall, just a very well-assembled game.

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