When I first played Professor Layton and the Curious Village, I was completely hooked by the slick and unique art style, relaxing music, brilliant characters and head-spinning puzzles and mysteries. It has become one of my favourite franchises of all time, and great to just sit back and relax playing. With a series spanning 7 main games so far, there is always bound to be ones that are better or ones you personally prefer. In this post, I want to talk to you about all the games and my own personal ranking. I hope you enjoy.
7.) Professor Layton and the Spectre’s Call
What I did love about Spectre’s Call was that we finally got to see how the Professor met his apprentice Luke. While this does give the game a really great hook and start to a new trilogy, it ends up feeling a little lacklustre by the end. As with all the games, the puzzles are top-notch that offer some really great challenges and out of the box solutions. The overall story is decent enough, but the actual mystery and truth behind the ‘monster’ attack feels a bit too odd and doesn’t make a whole lot of sense (even for Professor Layton standards). While the game is nowhere near bad, it was the weakest entry for me.
6.) Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask
Miracle Mask was the very first entry on the 3DS systems and therefore, it had a lot to prove. The new 3D graphical style was definitely a step up in my view but it still wasn’t perfect, it could appear a bit odd in some scenarios. Puzzles also saw a rise in visual flare and intricacies, they really did come to life much more as a result of the improved hardware. The story gave me mixed feelings, for a number of reasons. While it was great for us to see Layton in his younger years and how he became invested in archaeology, the overall mystery behind the miracles and who the masked man was, ended up being very obvious quite early on. The big mystery is usually more elaborate and creative, but this felt so much more toned down and easy to work out. I still very much enjoyed the overall game, but it was definitely not the best.
5.) Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires’ Conspiracy
When I first heard the professor himself was not going to be in this new game, I was immediately worried. Hershel Layton is such an iconic character, and was pretty much the heart and soul of the series up to this point. However, after giving the game a chance I found myself pleasantly surprised by just how good the game was, while evolving the formula that Azran Legacies began. Katrielle (Hershel’s daughter) ended up being a charming and fresh individual the series needed. The reality of a new protagonist was cushioned somewhat by the few returning faces from previous games. I really enjoyed the various self contained but also subtly interconnected mysteries you solve throughout the game. It was a joy to play and I’m excited where a new game could lead us – hopefully to finding out the reasons behind the professor’s disappearance.
4.) Professor Layton and the Curious Village
Being the very first entry in the franchise, Curious Village hit the ground running. It introduced us to the charming version of our world, where everyone is obsessed with solving puzzles, criminals will let you pass if you solve a conundrum they’ve been fussing over. The mystery of the village was engrossing to uncover and was filled with peculiar individuals and very tough puzzles along the way. This was the game that that hooked people in with its charm and characters, so much so that it caused the start of a beloved franchise among both critics and players.
3.) Professor Layton and Pandora’s Box
Expectations were high for a sequel to Curious Village, luckily Pandora’s Box continued what made the original great, while improving in the process. The plot takes on a more supernatural and haunting tone, providing a nice change of pace for returning fans. It also featured more variety of locations, from a train, small village and the main large town. However, what made this game so unique was that the game box contained the train ticket used by Layton. This was manipulated and used to help solve a puzzle in the game, this may have only been something little, but it helped make the experience all the more better.
2.) Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy
The final game in the Azran trilogy had a lot to do to tie up loose ends in terms of its story. Considering that the prior 2 games didn’t wow me like the others, Azran Legacy needed to nail its execution, and it did just that. What really stuck immediately was that the devs had refined the graphical style, meaning that some of the strange designs of Miracle Mask were fixed, causing this to be the best the series had ever looked. What really made this entry so brilliant was that there was such a huge variety of different locations to visit, this was due the fact that this was a globe trotting adventure to uncover a number of Azran relics. We get to see gorgeous tropical islands, snowy villages, a wild-west area and an arid dessert section. These areas contained there own mysteries for us to solve, providing more variety then simply the main, overarching narrative. We also get to see a number of revelations about Layton’s past and childhood, it was a truly brilliant end to the Azran trilogy.
1.) Professor Layton and the Lost Future
There could really be no other entry at the top of this list for me. Lost Future encompassed everything that I love about the series, brilliant puzzles, an outlandish mystery, iconic music and a truly emotional story. As someone who doesn’t typically like time travel narratives, I can say that this game took that theme and really made something so unique and memorable that sticks with you for a long time. If you have already played this game, then you’ll know full well what I’m talking about when I mention the emotional narrative and ending, where we learn about Hershel Layton’s old girlfriend Claire. The ending genuinely made me cry and it’s the only time we see Layton without his hat on in the present time. The music, particularly the main theme is the best in the series in my opinion, even though the soundtracks in every game are brilliant. I loved this game from start to finish and remains my most replayed.
Thank you so much for reading my post. Have you played the any of these games, if so, let me know which is your favourite. If not, what are doing? Go play these games, they are incredible and so full of charm. As always, for all things gaming stay tuned to Honest Gamer.
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