Review by Lunar_Herald

Reviewed: 09/24/10

This Review Reminds Me of a Puzzle!

As the third game in the 1st trilogy of Professor Layton, I got to say it wrapped up well and went out with a bang! As most fans of the Professor Layton series know, the game is interwoven with a ton of puzzles/riddles with a heavier emphasis on puzzles dealing with time and numbers. Come and join the Professor Layton as he teams up with his favorite apprentice Luke, the 'Future' Luke, Flora, and other familiar characters as they uncover the mystery of the Unwound Future.

Story: 9/10

While the Professor Layton Games are not typically known for a story to follow, but rather a mystery to be uncovered through the smallest of details. Like previously stated, this game wraps up a few details between the Curious Village and the Diabolical Box, but ultimately is it's own story filled with witty dialogue and an array of emotions to be dealt with. And just when you think you understand where the game is heading, the most unusual detail will surprise you and turn your world upside down. Personally I had my hunches, some right, others not so much, but I thoroughly enjoyed the logic and complexity written into the game. I even teared up at one part of the game, and to say the least, I don't think I've ever cried from a game. The basic story is that Professor Layton and his apprentice Luke take a trip into the future London to save London from an impending disaster. Suspicious details and old friends gather in this game as Professor Layton slowly but surely uncovers the plot at hand. Interspersed with cutscenes of the past, Layton and Luke's Friendship, and wild explosions, the story is definitely not a cliche, and is certainly not a predictable one for most gamers. The one point I took away was that, in comparison to how Diabolical Box was made with puzzles more integrated into the story/npc's dialogue, Unwound Future has a ton more "this reminds me of a puzzle". Personally, I found this a bit too redundant and listless for my tastes.

Game Play: 9/10

Very similar to the previous Professor Layton games where you move around from map to map talking to cleverly named NPCs and solving puzzles and earning Picrats. However, Level-5 has stepped it up and added a few little details that I appreciated while still retained the simple and fun model of the series. From adding Flora as a riddle-solver to adding Puzzle Battles, the game has some extra little details that simply make you smile. Moreover, as with the previous 2 games, there are those mini-side-games contained within Layton's briefcase. While only one of them will probably have you ripping the hair off your head, they are still pretty entertaining because they more playful and touched up with NPC interactions. One thing that may just be me being a bit dumb was that a few of the puzzles seemed to be worded a bit unclear. And because of that you could get the wrong answer just because you didn't understand what the puzzle actually wanted from you.

Audio/Visual: 10/10

When I turned the game on for once and heard the theme song, I was so excited for the game. That said, the music/sounds are pretty standard and I have no complaints. Especially because the voices were really entertaining and the music was appropriate and fun to listen to. As stated before, Unwound Future contains a ton of cutscenes that are simply wonderfully made. The art in the actual game is really similar to the rest of the series, but touched up just a bit more with an array of settings and colors. Though I'm not a very picky person when it comes to Visuals, I appreciated the work that the artists made and had no complaints throughout the game.

Replay Value: Okay.

I'm not a very good judge at this, since I don't replay a lot of games. I don't personally think I will replay this anytime soon, since the puzzles and story are still pretty fresh, but I suppose somewhere down the line I'll be excited to replay the trilogy again.

Overall: 9/10

Like the number rating says "Outstanding - Very Enjoyable and Engrossing, almost perfect". The only two things I will say that made me not fall in love with it was the fact that it was a bit short. I spent around 13-14 hours on it total to solve every puzzle. I personally think that a game should be around $1-$2 per hour, so it came up a bit short. Also the fact that a lot of the puzzles were more "I just need to write down what's going on and figure it out from there" instead of thinking outside the box and being clever. But maybe that's just me. It's pretty close to perfect, but not without it's tiny flaws.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Product Release: Professor Layton and the Unwound Future (US, 09/12/10)

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