Wednesday, 31 October 2012
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'The only way to discover the limits of possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.' - Arthur C. Clarke
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Tuesday, 30 October 2012
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Monday, 29 October 2012
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Professor Layton and the Curious Village for the Nintendo DS proved to be so successful that there was never any doubt concerning a potential sequel. That sequel came in the form of Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box, and it, too, demonstrated just how popular puzzles can really be. Also, you can never go wrong with lovable characters caught up in a crazy story, sweet 2D visuals, and amazing instrumental music.
Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box is part of an ongoing series that focuses on mind bending puzzles that are wrapped around the fascinating adventures of a one Professor Layton and his apprentice Luke. It seems that people have always been attracted by enigmas that test one’s ingenuity, and it is this very curiosity that has led Professor Akira Tago and studio Level-5 to create one of biggest mysteries out there that only a keen mind and a sharp eye could ever hope to unravel.
The quest for the Elysian Box
It all starts with Professor Layton and his trusty apprentice Luke as they make their way to Dr. Schrader’s flat upon receiving a letter in which the good doctor claims to have found the Elysian Box, a mysterious artifact that is fabled to kill anyone who dares open it. Upon their arrival, they find the good doctor unconscious on the floor and the box missing, with only a ticket stub for the Molentary Express as a clue to its disappearance. What follows next is a tale of mystery, suspense, and love.
The plot is well-told and the folly that comes with it is once again as surprising and engaging as ever.
Unfortunately, the plot is also quite focused, which means that character development is kept at a minimum. You are rarely going to find something new about the characters and when you do, it usually involves just a few minor details.
Overall, I found the plot to be charming and engaging, which is quite a feat given that typical puzzle adventures put a strong emphasis on puzzle solving at the expense of character interaction and story.
For every puzzle there is a solution!
Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box is a puzzle adventure that introduces a lot of elements that you would normally see in a graphic adventure. The main goal remains the same throughout the game: solve all of the game's puzzles. However, what sets it apart from regular puzzle games is the fact that you are actually working towards something greater, which is solving the mystery of the Elysian Box. There is a lot of puzzles in the game and going from one puzzle to the other is done through exploration and interaction with the denizens of the places that you visit on your grand adventure.
The game gives you the illusion of playing something similar to a traditional first-person point&click adventure, which definitely increases its appeal. Even so, the constant brain teasers, which are presented in a different panel separated from the environment, will be a constant reminder that you are here to solve puzzles. Some gamers will like this while others might not. I, for one, would have preferred a more traditional game with lots of dialogue and less teasers to worry about.
Professor Layton does not betray its roots and, even though it goes a long way to make itself more friendly to the adventurous types, by the end of the day you will not go very far without a clear head and lots of patience.
The game offers logic puzzles, math puzzles, sliding puzzles, brain teasers, riddles, and everything that Professor Akira Tago and Level-5 were able to create and adapt for the NDS. It is a very diverse package, but it can also become quite tiresome. The prospect of having to solve actual math problems will surely have you sweating in hopes that the school bell will ring out sooner rather than later.
The places that Layton and Luke investigate are much bigger than in the previous version, with lots of side streets and characters just waiting to tell you about a puzzle they once heard.
Weakly downloadable puzzles are also available, and there is also the matter of a little pet that could stand to lose a few pounds.
Overall, Professor Layton the Diabolical Box offers a longer and better adventure than the previous title while maintaining the charm and addictive puzzles.
A Pretty Sight To Behold
From the very first cut-scene, you will notice that Professor Layton the Diabolical Box is a beautiful game indeed. With its colorful anime style and wacky characters, it makes for an attractive game that is a joy to behold. Unfortunately, as pretty as the backdrops are, there is very little animation. You will be looking at still pictures for most of the time. The characters do move their lips and strike different poses, but it still has a lot to learn from the Ace Attorney series.
With more cut-scenes and more locations than the previous title, there is still a lot to see and admire in this latest Professor Layton title.
If you love colorful 2D games then you will certainly love this game.
Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box features some of the best instrumental music ever composed in a video game. With a clear European influence, the recurring use of the accordion and violins help create impressive dreamlike compositions. Most of the songs are very romantic and melancholic and set the mood of the game quite nicely.
Even though I finished the game some time ago, I still listen to the songs and let myself be transported to a fairy-tale world.
It is an impressive and varied soundtrack that complements the game quite pleasantly.
Opening The Box
I was not a big fan of puzzle games, which is why I had stayed away from them for such a long time, until Professor Layton came along and changed all of that. And even though I became frustrated and tired with some of the puzzles, I never gave up. I would simply rest for a bit, and then I would try again until I would find the solution that advanced the plot.
Even though it sticks with a tried and true formula, Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box is a step up from a certain adventure that took place in a peculiar village.
If you are looking for something to make you feel clever as well as dense, look no further than Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box.
- professor Layton and his apprentice Luke embark yet again on a journey that you will want to experience through the end.
- while a clear improvement over its predecessor, the visuals could still use a bit of refinement.
- the songs are simply divine and there seems to be more voice acting than ever.
- I never did like math in school and I certainly do not like it in my video games. Fortunately, the puzzle are varied enough to keep one entertained.
A true gentleman never tells, but in the case of Professor Layton and the Curious Village for the Nintendo DS I believe that it is my duty to let you know just how amazing this game is. Having just said this, I believe it will be quite easy to do so considering just how popular this title and its sequels have become.
Professor Layton and the Curious Village is part of an ongoing series that focuses on mind bending puzzles that are wrapped around the fascinating adventures of a one Professor Layton and his apprentice Luke. It seems that people have always been attracted by enigmas that test one’s ingenuity, and it is this very curiosity that has led Professor Akira Tago and studio Level-5 to create one of biggest mysteries out there that only a keen mind and a sharp eye could ever hope to unravel.
The quest for the Golden Apple
Upon receiving a letter from Lady Dahlia concerning the death of her husband, Baron Augustus Reinhold, professor Layton and his apprentice Luke set forth on a journey so perilous and perplexing that it will require all the willpower and determination that our heroes can muster in order to overcome and solve the obstacles and puzzles laid before them.
Reaching a small yet curious village by the name of St. Mysteré, Layton and Luke are asked to find the whereabouts of the mysterious Golden Apple. It is said that whoever finds this most precious treasure shall inherit the baron’s fortunes. Unfortunately, no one has even heard of the Golden Apple let alone its location. With their work cut out for them, our heroes begin their investigation unknowing of the dangers that await them.
Will Layton and Luke manage to find the Golden Apple or will they fall short is something that only the dedicated player can discover.
The story in Professor Layton and the Curious Village is indeed a captivating one and, it is the reason why I kept playing until the very end. The characters in this game are all strange and very curious if I should say so myself. Having spent my childhood summer vacations in a small village, I am quite aware of how inquiring people in small communities can be. But it is their very nature that has made me become attached to these people.
The villagers of St. Mysteré will constantly test you by asking you to solve puzzles only revealing so much about themselves and the town they live in. Playing the game, I always wanted to learn more about St. Mysteré and its inhabitants, but because of how the story is set up I could never really do that. And that is understandable considering that Layton and Luke are foreigners in this secluded place and as such are seen as trespassers.
All in all, I found the story to be wonderful and, it is the very reason why I loved playing this game. I love adventure games because of how they manage to tell a story while taking the time to present interesting characters and situations. If you are anything like me, Professor Layton and the Curious Village is something that you will surely enjoy.
Every puzzle has an answer!
At its heart, Professor Layton and the Curious Village is a puzzle game. It is set up as an adventure game with the ability to walk around and explore St. Mysteré, but every puzzle in this game is presented in its own separate window. While it is so much better than simply having to choose puzzles from a list like in other brain teasing games, I found the puzzles to be poorly integrated within the game. One moment you will be walking down a road only to be greeted by a person who wants you to solve their puzzle. At other times, you will hear either Layton or Luke say something like, ‘this [insert object] reminds me of a puzzle I once heard’ only to find yourself in the presence of yet another puzzle.
Having grown up playing the likes of The Longest Journey and Broken Sword, I kept wishing I could explore the village at my own pace and not worry about solving puzzles all the time. But I soon learnt that Professor Layton and the Curious Village is a puzzle game disguised as an adventure game and, it should be treated accordingly.
This is the reason I ended up disliking some of the riddles, especially since the game presents itself with some really difficult ones.
However, if you are a puzzle connoisseur then you will certainly fall in love with this game.
Professor Layton and the Curious Village is a love letter to all the people out there who are constantly testing themselves with new puzzles and new ways of figuring out logical problems.
The puzzles themselves range from the simple ‘mark the right answer’ to ‘sliding puzzles’ to ‘logical problems’ and all the way to ‘mathematical equations’. Some of them require a sharp eye, others a lucid mind, but all of them require you to think logically.
Some of the puzzles even require the use of a pen and paper, but as the professor himself says, ‘every puzzle has an answer.’ If the answer still does not come to you, the game provides the player with a hint system based on coins, which can be found scattered around town. As someone who is not really a fan of math problems, I often found myself looking at walkthroughs as even the hints were not enough for me to get past the latter portion of the game.
A true puzzle fanatic will take the time to solve each and every puzzle in the game not matter how hard they turn out to be. On the other hand, those who just want to experiment a beautiful story should not be afraid to use the hint system as often as they want and, on occasions, even search for help from an outside source.
The game gives you the opportunity of acquiring different objects and parts used for various side quests that, in turn, grant you access to even more puzzles for your solving pleasure. Not only that, but through the use of Nintendo’s wi-fi service you will also gain access to weekly puzzles, which is sure to keep anyone occupied for quite some time.
Professor Layton and the Curious Village is indeed an interesting combination of puzzle solving, exploration, and story-telling that is sure to delight anyone willing to give it a try.
Exploring St. Mysteré
Professor Layton and the Curious Village is presented in beautiful and vibrant 2D graphics and stands as one of the more attractive NDS games thanks to its amazing style. While it may not push the hardware to its limits, everything is nicely done.
The artwork in particular is simply remarkable. The puzzles themselves exist in a clear aesthetic and, I never had any difficulties understanding just what was shown on the screen.
Regrettably, there just are not enough animations and, you will most likely look at pretty yet static backgrounds. The characters are shown as 2D portraits that animate just enough to convey their wackiness and mysteriousness.
And then there are the anime movies. Each important sequence in the game is punctuated via beautifully done anime movies that you just wish were the game’s overall graphics.
All in all, this is an attractive game particularly thanks to it adorable artwork.
The music box
I fell in love with the music from the moment I listened it. The accordion, the violin, the piano, and many other instruments come together to create some of the most beautiful songs out there. It is clear that they are of European inspiration and, it is something that one would normally hear in a Parisian café. The songs complement in the most wonderful way the 19th century European inspired theme of the game and the Professor’s British heritage.
Unfortunately, there was something that irritated me. However, it had to do with how the game was programmed and not with the songs themselves. As it turns out, whenever you save your progress, the song that is currently playing stops. After the process has been completed, the song simply restarts. I found myself saving quite often and, I would always end up listening to the same portion of the song over and over. It is not that there is anything wrong with that, it is just that the songs in this game are so fabulous that you never want them to stop.
In fact, I listen to the game’s soundtrack on a daily basis on my PC. And that is a testimony to how incredible the songs can be. It is not very often that I find a game whose soundtrack I can listen outside of the game itself.
Tomohito Nishiura-san has created some of the most amazing melodies that I have ever had the pleasure of listening to and this fact alone is enough to make Professor Layton and the Curious Village an all-time classic.
The mystery comes to an end
It is no mystery why Professor Layton and the Curious Village is one of the most charming games out there. With its intelligent puzzles, engrossing story, eccentric characters, delightful graphics, and wonderful music, Professor Layton and the Curious Village is an amazing title that you will want to play until you get to the bottom the Golden Apple mystery and even beyond that if you decide to tackle the downloadable content.
This is a title that comes with my highest recommendation.
- an adventure game like no other, Professor Layton and his apprentice Luke will keep you guessing until the very end.
- beautiful 2D graphics are sure to please even if there is not enough animation.
- classic in every sense, the music in Professor Layton has me dreaming every time I listen to it.
- I love adventure games and with Professor Layton it was love at first sight. Unfortunately, the constant brain teasers took their toll on me and I eventually grew weary. Fortunately, I kept going and in the end I was rewarded with one of the best games out there.
Posted by Unknown at 10:02
Posted by Unknown at 09:49
Charizard happens to be my all-time favourite Pokémon. I love him dearly. Not content to simply stay locked away in a Poké Ball, it seems that he has decided to take over an entire handheld.
Charizard is a stubborn, self-centered creature so he could not just let Pikachu take all of the glory, now could he? Unfortunately, all the love in the Universe will not be enough to gain possesion this special 3DS edition.
Pokémon Centers all across Japan will hold special lotteries to determine who will go home with this awesome fire blazer.
Posted by Unknown at 08:29
Thursday, 25 October 2012
Posted by Unknown at 14:20
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Posted by Unknown at 10:45
Persona 4 Golden is not just a straight-up port of the original PS2 title. Many enhancements and additional gameplay elements help make this version worthy of the 'Golden' subtitle.
One of these new gameplay elements is gardening. Players will discovers that the Dojima household is connected to a small yet beautiful garden. Both Nanko-chan and Ryotaro-san will help players grow plants that bear special fruits imbued with magical effects. These fruits will be especially useful as players traverse the many random dungeons found through-out the game.
Posted by Unknown at 10:39
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Wednesday, 24 October 2012
Tuesday, 23 October 2012
Monday, 22 October 2012
Since the dawn of time, it has been know that one day the Herald of Darkness would come to enslave us all. It was also prophesied that a group of teenagers would rise against this lightness abomination and bring illumination as Champions of Light.
Corpse Party: Book of Shadows, Xseed's latest downloadable PSP title, forgoes some of the things foretold in the prophecy, but it is a game of light and darkness nonetheless. Corpse Party: Book of Shadows is actually a prequel/sequel of sort to Corpse Party, a late 2011 PSN release which will soon be on sale. It is a prequel for the reason that it expands on the events told in the original game by revealing more about the characters and by placing them in 'what if' scenarios. It is a sequel simply because it takes the true ending from the first game far beyond the grounds of Heavenly Host Elementary School.
But what is Corpse Party: Book of Shadows anyway?!? Well, Corpse Party: Book of Shadows is a first-person adventure game that tasks you with the simple objective of surviving incomprehensible horrors.
The presentation is similar to that of a Visual novel with 2D portraits that try their best to explain the terror that is slowly invading their lives. Just like with the original game, all the Japanese voices will be retained.
According to Xseed Games, Corpse Party: Book of Shadows will be released this Winter as a PSN-only title.
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Sunday, 21 October 2012
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Chinese Zodiac may very well be Jackie Chan's last big action movie, but it is definitely not a reason to get depressed. It is clear that Jackie has never looked better in what appears to be one of the most impressive movies of the year. Chinese Zodiac, which is is actually the third part in the Armour of God series, follows Asian Hawk in his quest to retrieve the bronze head status on the twelve Chineze zodiac, sacred artifacts that were stolen by French and British from the imperial Summer Palace armies in 1860.
Chinese Zodiac will makes its debut on December 12th at the Hing Kong International FIlm Festival.
Posted by Unknown at 05:46
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'Hereafter, in a better world than this, I shall desire more love and knowledge of you.'
Posted by Unknown at 02:22
Friday, 19 October 2012
SEGA's Shining series has been around since the early 90s, and it does not seem like things are going to slow down anytime soon. Media.Vision, who have previously worked with SEGA on Valkyria Chronicles 3, is currently working on the next Shining game called Shining Ark.
The story is rather interesting, even though if follows traditional JRPG conventions: a one-winged angel be the name of Panis ends up on the island of Arcadia where she is found by a young boy thus setting up the machinations for what appears to be an epic JRPG.
It is good to know that the PSP is still alive and well, but the chances of this game being localised are pretty slim as of right now. Hopefully, this will change as hope shines brighter than ever with Shining Ark, a PSP exclusive JRPG.
Posted by Unknown at 13:31