|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Level-5||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Nintendo||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Feb. 10, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The characters are simply charming, and their looks are quite revealing. Many times you'll know who to trust by judging their "caricaturesque" appearance. Of course your instinct is not infallible, so even if you're careful you'll encounter lots of twists and mishaps that will complicate the story in ways you didn't expect. Your patience and reasoning are your best allies in the game.
When I first started playing, I was pleased with the delightful, magical melody that goes with the story. It has a French feel to it that you will find in artistic movies like Amelie. The sound of the accordion, xylophone, and piano is very relaxing, and the very similar tune within the puzzles helps you concentrate on the challenging mind-benders without too much interference. However, even though its the perfect background music for the game, the developers failed to recognize that making them the only tunes is a mistake. You may be hypnotized with them and not turn down the volume, but the truth is, no one should have to just deal with it. If there were more variety in the soundtrack, everyone would have been happier. If you want to know what Im talking about, just visit the games official website.
Some of the cutscenes are accompanied by nice voiceover work. It's great to see that happen in a DS game, as sometimes developers forget or ignore the system's capabilities. Considering the great hand-drawn art, voice acting, classic animations, intriguing story, and engaging gameplay, very few games can compare to this one, especially on the DS. The only one I can think of right now is Hotel Dusk: Room 215, but I liked this one even better. Also, you'll be able to download a new puzzle every week for the next six months through the Nintendo Wi-Fi connection. It's a nice addition that keeps the game fresh. The only problem is there are no hints! - At least not yet. It seems like they'll be releasing hints for the puzzles once in a while, which means you'll have to wait for them if you can't solve it on your own. That, or cheat by going online and finding the solution!
This game won't appeal to everyone, as the puzzles can get difficult and slow down the flow of the game. Nonetheless, many of the riddles and brainteasers will sound familiar; you may have come across some of those at some point in your life. The question is: do you remember the solution? Ultimately, if you're willing to take some time to solve the puzzles and enjoy this kind of gameplay, Professor Layton and The Curious Village will become one of your favorite games. If you're not a thinker and what you like is action, you're better off ignoring it; you'll save yourself a headache. Are you ready for the challenge? If you smart, curious, and patient, I recommend you to jump right in!
CCC Site Director