Hands-on: Layton Kyouju to Akuma no Hako

Discussion in 'NDS - Console and Game Discussions' started by cupajoe, Nov 29, 2007.

Nov 29, 2007
  1. cupajoe
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    Member cupajoe Have a cup of joe!

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    Following the trend of Hadrian's weekly NDS and Wii releases I'm going to try to put out a weekly Hands-on a game. So here's the second installment, enjoy.

    [​IMG]

    You probably have never heard of Layton Kyouju to Akuma no Hako, but it is a huge release for the Japanese people. Layton Kyouju to Akuma no Hako translates to Professor Layton and Pandora's Box in English. Layton Kyouju to Akuma no Hako is a sequel to Layton Kyouju to Fushigi na Machi, the first in the Professor Layton series, which was an enormous hit in Japan. The series has been praised for it's distinct art style and challenging puzzles. This game is being produced by Level 5, who made Dark Cloud and Dragon Quest VIII. If you don’t know a word of Japanese (like me) resist from picking this title up. It’s adventure is heavily text driven and requires a lot of Japanese knowledge. Although you could technically play through the game but you would be missing a large part of the experience.
    Layton Kyouju to Akuma no Hako starts with a high quality cinematic showing Professor Layton boarding a train with his youthful sidekick after they discovered a dead body. On the train they ask the passengers questions and gather information, much like the Phoenix Wright series. From there on Layton tries to solve the mystery and plays some sweet puzzles along the way.
    This game is one of the most artistically driven DS games I have played to date. Professor Layton’s art style is loosely derived from the French animated film The Triplets of Belleville. The in game FMVs are especially stunning, looking like an expertly animated film. While their is a conversation between characters in a non-FMV sequence it’s presented a lot like the Phoenix Wright series. The character’s body’s don’t move, with the exception of their mouths, and they completely change frames when the mood changes. The hand-drawn graphics are an obvious staple for the series and a main pulling point.

    [​IMG]

    The gameplay is pretty much like Brain Age, but with an interesting story wrapped around it. As mentioned above, you solve puzzles and advance closer to the conclusion of the mystery. The gameplay isn’t the most shining quality of the game when it’s put next to the game’s appearance, but it plays very nicely. The puzzles aren’t just random like Brain Age’s, they actually pertain to the story. For one puzzle you have to make parfaits for people on the train, and before that their was a puzzle where you had to properly pack your belongings for the train trip.

    [​IMG]

    The game also has a very elegant musical score. The songs don’t sound like usual DS games, but sound almost CD quality. The soundtrack is like a smooth mixture of classical and jazz, and is easy on the ears. This game also contains a lot of voice acting, which is welcome. Some of the voice actors are also experienced, and sound very professional. The whole sound package is quite magnificent and is another major pulling point for this game.
    Layton Kyouju to Fushigi na Machi, the first in the series, has been announced to be released in America. The translation for the first game’s name is Professor Layton and the Curious Village, and it will be due stateside in February of 2008. This game’s explosive success in Japan shows promise for us American gamers, and a third game is already in production.

    -Joe B.
     
  2. Firtermish

    Newcomer Firtermish Member

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    Thanks for that great and extremely detailed preview !

    I wish translations for japanese games wouldn't take so long =/ ... just look at Square Enix's games ( It's a wonderful life has been out in Japan for ages now... ).
     
  3. cupajoe
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    Member cupajoe Have a cup of joe!

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    It is true that it takes an overly long time period to translate these games. Thinking about manga and anime translations, shouldn't it be fairly fast? Groups subtitle full episodes in less then 24 hours...
     
  4. Chotaz

    Member Chotaz I'm back! :D

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    i liked the fisr two pre/reviews, keep them coming, good job [​IMG]
     
  5. Grimalkin

    Member Grimalkin Waaaaaaaah!

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    The thing with fansubbing is that they can understand the context of the words because they're spoken as opposed to written down. When it is written down it's hard to understand what they are trying to convey in another language because you don't know how they are saying the words. (Such as: with an expression, without an expression AND/OR figure of speech)
     
  6. cupajoe
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    Member cupajoe Have a cup of joe!

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    Thanks, I appreciate it!

    @Grimalkin:
    That's an interesting bit of information. [​IMG]
     
  7. Takeshi

    Member Takeshi GBAtemp Addict

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    Nice article cupajoe38! I'm going to read the first one now. [​IMG]

    One question though, will you announce the follow up in this thread, your sig (maybe make a list with the covered games) or do I have to search the forums every now and then?
     
  8. cupajoe
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    Member cupajoe Have a cup of joe!

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    I wasn't aware that people even read these. I stopped because I thought there was a lack in interest... but I'll start up again now that you've posted. In my next article I'll list the previous works.
     
  9. cupajoe
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    Member cupajoe Have a cup of joe!

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    Woops. Double post.
     
  10. Takeshi

    Member Takeshi GBAtemp Addict

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    Wow, I just noticed (upon your reply) that this thread was from a month ago. I just clicked the link in your sig, read it and commented. I definitely need to check the forums more carefully!

    Thanks for your effort!
     
  11. Rankio

    Member Rankio GBAtemp Fan

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    Where did you get that high quality image? If you have any more, please post.
     
  12. cupajoe
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    Member cupajoe Have a cup of joe!

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    I actually don't remember where I got the images from... If I find the site I'll give it to you.
     

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