Archive for January, 2010

So, it starts with a letter. And then, it devolves into a giant pile of dialogue and puzzles that are either nearly impossible or trivially easy. Now, I remember how happy I was when I first discovered that it had more than just the usual feeble attempt at a storyline, but there is a point at which you hit an extreme on the dialogue to game play ratio. More annoying is the fact that you have to tap the screen after every line of dialogue so that the story can continue to advance. Yes, this allows the player to keep up, but there are extremely long sequences of dialogue that could have been done as a cut-scene.

One of the features I really liked is the witch’s house. So, imagine you’re going along through the plot and you miss a puzzle. In most games, this means you have to either find a way back to that area or start over, depending on what the game allows. In Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box, it keeps track of all the puzzles you didn’t solve and puts them in one place that follows you as you progress so that you can go and solve those puzzles at any time. This gives the player a much greater chance to achieve the ever sought after 100% completion.

3/5 zelda heartsOverall, I would rate Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box at 3/5 hearts. It was well done overall, but could have done some difficulty scaling on the puzzles and possibly done something to make the dialogue be less of the overall play time. I enjoyed this game and would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a puzzle game with a storyline.

Now, I had some passing knowledge of the Professor Layton series of puzzle games but this is the first one of them I have ever played. I came into this expecting yet another inane puzzle game with simplistic, probably over-used puzzles and a pathetic attempt at plot. I was pleasantly surprised, then,  when I discovered that the plot is actually fairly well thought out and the puzzles are quite hard. Some of the puzzles are familiar ones but those are vastly in the minority. To offset the difficulty of the puzzles, there are hint coins in the game that you can collect and then turn in to get hints on the hard puzzles. While the hints aren’t always amazing, they do tend to be useful for at least pointing you in the right direction. Most of the puzzles require manipulating something on the screen, at the very least to write a number or select a specific icon, using the touch screen. This is one of the better uses for the touch screen I’ve seen so far, not like some of the earlier DS games that used the touch screen just to say they had. Any puzzles that you miss or can’t solve are stored so that you can solve them later.

As far as the plot is concerned, the Diabolical Box is supposedly killing people and when the Professor’s friend acquires it, well, there starts the mystery. From there, its a lot of dialogue, exploring and puzzles to find out just what is happening and just what the Diabolical Box really is and what its doing. Herein lies my one complaint about the game thus far. There is a lot of dialogue. I have 2 and a half hours of play time logged so far and I think most of that is scrolling through dialogue. There is also a lack of save points. This limits this game for being played intermittently as I like to play puzzle games. Although, you can just close the DS and have it go into sleep mode, so its not terrible. Just watch your batteries.

Be sure to return on Wednesday when I’ll be talking about the minigames and side quests of Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box!

Wii Sports Resort – Day 3

Posted: January 1, 2010 in Uncategorized
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Overall, Wii Sports Resort is a good game. Its family friendly and easy for children to learn and play. The multi-player mode is good for groups to have fun together and the playing field is fairly equal no matter who is playing, even children playing against adults. Nearly all of the games are playable at a maximum of four players and minimum of one player where it adds in computer players to fill out the necessary number of players. I especially recommend the archery and swordplay as being very fun. The Wii Motion Plus seems to be functioning as it should and getting it with the game is a pretty good deal.

4/5 Hearts

Overall, I would rate Wii Sports Resort at 4/5 hearts.

In regards to this blog, I’ve decided to rethink the 1 game in 3 posts method. Its spreading the review out to much and leaving me with nothing to say at the end. For some games, this might work and for others it might now. From now on, the games will get the amount of time I need to discuss them.