Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy (3DS): COMPLETED!

tumblr_n1llh6vugn1svmpf2o1_400Well, this is it. Not only is the final game in the trilogy complete, but officially, it’s all over for Professor Layton now. Sure, there’s the Layton vs Wright game out in just a few weeks, but that’s not really a Professor Layton game, so doesn’t count.

I’d be amazed if Level 5 didn’t come up with another game though. Even if it’s just a continuation of the series but without Layton in it.

Anyway. Here be spoilers. Read ahead at your own risk!

tumblr_n1tta9mxsa1svmpf2o1_400Quite near the start of the game, I’d pegged Raymond as a bad guy. As the game progressed, I realised he was almost certainly part of Targent. I’d also begun to suspect Sycamore had a sinister motive too, but I certainly didn’t imagine the reality of them both.

More twist-tastically, I definitely didn’t see the Emmy reveal coming. I was convinced, due to her never appearing or being mentioned in the original three games in the series, that she was going to be killed off – and, near the end of The Azran Legacy, that definitely seemed likely. But no, the character was something else entirely.

Not only that, but the actual Sycamore, Bronev and Layton triple whammy? Off the loon charts. Astounding.

tumblr_n1tt9p3bcv1svmpf2o1_400As for the actual game, it was the usual fare. Shorter than previous chapters in the series (I clocked it at under 15 hours, and several of them were doing the downloadable puzzled), although I’ve not 100%ed it, and almost certainly the easiest; The lack of 75 and 99 Picarat puzzles on the final straight made the ending of the game appear sudden, and there were virtually no slide puzzles (my Achilles heel) to speak of. Having said that, for the first time in any Layton title I reached one of the “you must have solved X many puzzles to progress” points, and came up short. I only needed a quick trip to Keats to solve three missed puzzles to fix that, though.

tumblr_n1ttbgtoel1svmpf2o1_400I’m not sure I like the idea of a Laytonless future now. You could argue the formula has run its course, and 6 consecutive years of puzzling with a man in a top hat is enough, but still… end of an era.

Things I’ve been playing recently

tumblr_n1ad5ghslg1svmpf2o1_400Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy (3DS)

Have I posted about this yet? I can’t remember. It’s the main game-on-the-go-that-isn’t-called-Animal-Crossing on my 3DS at the moment, having started it soon after finishing off Zelda. So far, it’s a slight deviation from previous Layton games, as there are a lot of locations and travel between them. This makes the game seem a lot bigger, but as you’ve the option of finishing up several of the locations in any order (or at least, it seems that way) so it feels almost open world.

In addition, there are millions of downloadable puzzles this time round. Possibly literally. I’ve spent a few hours on those as well.

This_game_is_too_hard._Well__not_this_exact_bit__but_in_general.Bit.trip Presents… Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien (Wii U)

In between bouts of Duck Tales (Woo-oo) I’ve been running (ha!) through this. It is so very, very hard. Leaving it for a couple of weeks and coming back is not a good idea, as you forget all the controls. Still, an hour or so’s play and it mostly comes back, and I’ve managed to reach world 4. Or 5? Yes, 5. Which I think might be the final world! The end is in sight!

Best_game_ever.Advanced Lawnmower Simulator Advance (GBA)

Actually, I’ve been playing it on an emulator on the iPhone. There’s one called GBA4iOS which you can install without jailbreaking and you don’t go through the App Store, which makes me think it’s just going to vanish one day, but until then… Advanced Lawnmower Simulator Advance is there.

It’s the best game ever, which of course I would say because 1) it is, and 2) I wrote it. Marvellous.

tumblr_n13xxprbyk1svmpf2o1_400Steel Diver: Sub Wars (3DS)

This nice little FPS in slow motion (submarines aren’t known for their speed and manoeuvrability)  is, for the cut-down version at least, free on the 3DS eShop, and was a surprise offering during last week’s Nintendo Direct.

I’ve not played a lot of it yet, but it seems fun enough.

Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask (3DS): COMPLETED

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I was pretty sure I’d posted on my diary about this already, back in November when I started playing it, but it seems not. Back then, I got to around half-way into the story, and aside from occasionally popping back on to do the latest downloadable puzzles, I hadn’t touched it once my Wii U arrived.

After completing (and boy, did I complete it) New Super Mario Bros 2, I went back to Layton. It took me a few minutes to recall exactly what I was supposed to be doing, but as soon as I triggered the next bit of story I was into it again. So much so, that for a few days it was the main thing I played, completing it today.

It’s certainly the biggest Layton so far – all the others I’ve 100%ed in under 15 hours, and this one I’ve only done 102 puzzles (of 160, I think) but I’ve clocked 19 hours so far. There are also way more downloadable puzzles too – 360-odd instead of 50-odd.

I really enjoyed it, but the exploration of the ruins chapter was too much of a departure for me and I didn’t like it that much. Also, despite the utterly ridiculous “epic final battles” of the previous games, the lack of one for this left it feeling unfinished. Even after the credits, and the cut scene following it, I was still expecting another chapter or something. Sure, it’s the second part of a trilogy, but that hasn’t stopped them in the past.

Anyway, overall, it was great. Having the tap-to-examine stuff on the top screen was a bit jarring, but I got used to it. Even the 3D models I complained about earlier have grown on me – not least because they’re not as bad as they were when I played this at Eurogamer. Not sure why – was that an old build?

Professor Layton and the Spectre’s Call (DS): COMPLETED!

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The ending of this was much less dramatic than at least the last two Layton games. It didn’t matter, especially since this is a prequel, but I kept expecting something… more. That didn’t happen. Never mind though.

Something else odd was how much easier the puzzles were in this one. I’ve not done them all yet (I think I’ve completed about 105 out of the 155 main ones), but I’m sure that the final few puzzles in the other games have been worth 80 and 99 picarats. Highest here was just 60, and I don’t think I’ve seen any over that yet either – not even the (usually harder) hidden puzzles. I might be wrong, but I certainly didn’t struggle on any.

Aside from two side puzzle ones. Oh my do I hate those. I’m still stuck on the UFO SOS one, but one involving pipes, which could supposedly be completed in about 30 moves, took me over SIX THOUSAND. Urgh. Hate them.

I’ve a few more train and fish (um, that makes sense if you’ve played the game) puzzles left, about half the weekly puzzles, and of course the remaining 50 or so main game puzzles, but as usual I’ll leave them for a while and come back another time.

Professor Layton and the Spectre’s Call (DS)

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I was so torn about getting this. I nearly bought the US version simply because it has Professor Layton’s London Life included (the UK version doesn’t), but then I’d have to put up with “Last Specter” (shudder) on the box, and Luke’s US voice, which may cause me to snap something. The obvious solution would be to buy both versions – this for the main game, and the US one for London Life. This may yet happen.

I’m not very far in yet. Just 5 puzzles, in fact (6 if you include the puzzle with the ropes that isn’t a puzzle), but it’s all very familiar so far. Which is good, because I like Professor Layton games 🙂

Stuff wot I are bin playing

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I’ve not posted in a while, aside from to mention Yakuza 3 and Old World Blues, but I have still been playing games. Here’s a round-up of what’s been going down over the last few weeks:

Professor Layton and the Lost Future (DS)

I actually completed this at the start of the year, but as I did with the previous two games once the story was done I left the remaining puzzles until near the release of the following game. So, with that due in November, I went back to Lost Future. I’ve already mopped up all the story puzzles, the sticker book, the parrot delivery puzzles, and the toy car, and have done most of the bonus extra puzzles too.

As usual, the puzzles I struggle with are the slide-a-block-through-other-blocks ones, one of which (having checked online afterwards to see how poorly I did) can be completed in just 9 moves. Took me almost 3500. Yes.

Urban Champion 3D (3DS)

It’s a weak title, sure. It’s certainly not a “NES classic”, but somehow, it’s addictive. I’ve made it up to (I think) Area Champion, but then died. You don’t seem to lose your rank when you die though – you just have to start from the first round again.

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (3DS)

The only 2D Zelda game I’ve not completed. In fact, I’ve barely played it. But I put some time in and once you forget it’s a Zelda game and look at it as a Metroidvania game with an overworld and semi-random, realtime battles, it makes a lot more sense. It’s brutally hard though!

Metroid (3DS)

Another one of the NES games us 3DS “ambassadors” got for free. It’s hard. Like, really hard. And there’s no map. I sort of like it, but the difficulty is really putting me off.

Balloon Fight / Mario & Yoshi / NES Open / Wrecking Crew (3DS)

Other NES games that I’ve played for an hour or so each, but not really invested too much time in yet. Wrecking Crew is ace, and NES Open is still a pretty competent golf game.

Let’s Golf 3D (3DS)

Enjoying this. The 3D is pointless (as in, it barely has any effect at all), but it doesn’t really matter. I’m about 35% through Career Mode now, and am starting to get used to the courses. The arctic and aztec ones are particularly difficult! I like the different game modes too, like Closest To The Pin and such.

10 Second Run (3DS)

It’s actually DSiWare, but I don’t have a DSi so it falls under 3DS. So there. Loved it at first, with its super-quick runny-jumpiness, but sadly – just like other games of its ilk (N+, Super Meat Boy) – it became far too hard to be enjoyable. I’ve completed about 38 of the 50 levels, and although I know there are 5 or 6 more I could probably manage with perseverance, some just seem completely beyond me. Boo!

Bomberman Live! (360)

I was online this evening at the same time as some ugvm/BETEO people who were playing this, and I thought I’d join in hoping my useless “broadband” connection could take the pace. It held up for the first few rounds, but by the end of the first tournament the lag was causing me to blow myself up far too frequently, and by the end of the second tournament I was been told over the headset that I’d died before I actually noticed on-screen. Rubbish.

And I’d have beaten all-comers if it wasn’t for Sky! *shakes fist*

Kirby’s Fun Pak (Wii)

The SNES game on the Wii, to be more accurate. Mainly played because my daughter sometimes tells me to play Kirby games, and so this appeases her, but it is good anyway. Only one game mode left to complete, I think, though.

Is that everything I’ve played recently? Probably. Except for stuff I’ve played briefly. Like, but not limited to: Outrun Online Arcade (360), Sonic the Hedgehog (360), Super Mario All-Stars (Wii), Muscle March (Wii), and various iPad “room escape” games. And the usual Words With Friends, Hanging With Friends and Carcassonne matches too, of course.

Professor Layton and the Lost Future (DS)

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I’m actually feeling more and more intelligent with each puzzle completed. I’m finding I get a sense of smugness when I spot the “trick” on the trick question puzzles instantly. Then I get stuck on a hard one that is completely and utterly impossible. Bah.

Story-wise, I’ve just reached Chinatown, but the guy I’m looking for has done a runner. Puzzle-wise, I’m just over 60 puzzles in. Time-wise, that’s about 6 hours. Chapter-wise, I’m on Chapter 8 (I think). No idea how far in that means I am, but from the previous two games I’m guessing just over half-way? Of course, I’ve loads of bonus puzzles left, and most of the car, parrot and sticker book minigames left to do too.

Professor Layton and the Lost Future (DS)

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With the previous game completely completed, I was able to move on to this one, which I got for Christmas. Unsurprisingly, it’s more of the same, only (obviously) with a different story.

I’ve only done 8 very simple puzzles so far, and not really opened the story much (I’ve only just got to the clock shop), so there’s not much there to comment on yet. However, one massive improvement to the game is how the memo function works – in the first game, you could just write over the top of some puzzles, but not all. In the second, you could bring up a memo overlay on every puzzle, and write on that. In this game, you can do the same but now have pen size and colour options, as well as an eraser – very, very useful and I’ve used all these features already. The eraser in particular was frequently missed in Pandora’s Box so I’m impressed they’ve added it here.

Professor Layton and Pandora’s Box (DS)

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Aaaaaaall done. And I mean done. All the puzzles in the story, all the extra stuff like the tea set and hamster thing, all the bonus puzzles, and all 33 of the weekly puzzles. And the Curious Village Bonus done too. DONE. ALL. DONE. Everything.

I will point out this: I hate slidey shape block “escape” puzzles. Grr! And variations on Solitaire. They can sod off too. If the next game has lots of either I might get stabby.

Professor Layton and Pandora’s Box (DS)

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I haven’t played this for, oooh, over a year, but I got the new one for Christmas and OCD dictates that the previous title must be exorcised of all puzzles before the new one may commence. So that’s what I was doing this evening.

I don’t know how many puzzles there are in total, but I’ve now done 129 of them, as well as a few more tea set requests. No idea where the other puzzles are though.

Professor Layton and Pandora’s Box (DS): COMPLETED!

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121 puzzles in, and I have just completed the story. There’s loads left to do, of course, but the main bit is done.

Since this is the first entry in my diary for this game, I should probably say I’ve only been playing it for a week or so. I got it for Christmas with $hlmun other games, so I didn’t play it right away.

It’s very much the same as the first game. There seem to be fewer puzzles of certain types (eg chess based, “one of these is a liar” and matchstick ones) and more solitaire based ones, but it’s not a vast departure. There’s a big improvement in the UI, in that there is now a menu function where you can write over the puzzle – very handy for maze based and maths puzzles.

I’m not sure I liked the big reveal near the end, where the mystery of the town was explained, but then, the same silliness was in the first game.

I’ll be picking off the remaining puzzles and tasks soon!

Professor Layton and the Curious Village (DS)

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Downloaded all the downloadable weekly puzzles since whenever it was I last played it, and then set about completing them all. There was one that was a real pain, as I was convinced I had the answer right but it wasn’t. Then I realised it was a trick question!

Professor Layton and the Curious Village (DS)

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Before going away for the weekend, I downloaded all the weekly puzzles since the last time I played it (back in January, I think). Over the weekend, I completed them all.

Well, all bar one. You have to find the net of a die in a load of die faces. And it is impossible. Fact.