After the first couple of Professor Layton games, I’ve noticed I’ve fallen into a pattern with how I play. I really enjoyed the first two Professor Layton games, but after the insanity of the story of the third game, I’ve not carried the kind of devotion I had while playing the first two. With the first two games, I joyfully spent hours playing through all of the puzzles/riddles. I completed all the mini-games, I hunted down every single puzzle available, and I only used hint coins to help me solve them. Only if I was stuck beyond belief would I dare look up an answer via GameFAQs.
As the third game, Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, devolved into utter nonsense for the overarching story, I stopped being so diligent. I burned through the game, only completing puzzles I had to in order to progress, and if I got stuck, screw using hint coins–hellooooooo Game FAQs. And then…the end of the story greatly disappointed me anyway, as it confirmed the series has indeed jumped the shark.
With the fourth game, Professor Layton and the Last Specter, I fell into that same pattern. I was completely devoted to staying honest with the gameplay for the first several hours, and then by the last couple of chapters, I completely gave up being so studious. I just wanted the game to be over, so despite having over 100 hint coins, if I was stuck on a puzzle or just didn’t care to draw or write out a solution, I looked up the answer. And then, when the story was over, the ending disappointed me yet again.
You’d think I’d learn at this point, right? But wait! Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask is the first Professor Layton game for the 3DS! And it’s rumored to be the last one! I’ve come this far, so I might as well play them all!
I played the first 12 hours like a good little student, and then I reached the second to last chapter, where the game switched to a dungeon-style of play that you’d find from The Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass. Yeah, it stopped being fun at that point, so GameFAQs was opened and stayed with me through the last two hours of the game. And guess what? The ending disappointed me yet again. What’s worse is that the post-credits cut scene showed without a doubt that this is not the last Professor Layton game. There are more insane shenanigans afoot that Layton can only solve by way of riddles.
It’s time to cut my losses and treasure these games for how great they were in the beginning. Sometimes games don’t need to become a series, and this is one of them. I have friends who just love them for the puzzles, and that’s great and all, but I’m too much of a story-gamer for that. It saddens me a little, but really, playing a game where I give up after just a few hours because I want the game to be over with is not as fun as it sounds.
Ah well. So my 3DS gathers dust for a bit. At least my Vita won’t be as lonely.