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Professor Layton and the Spectre's Call (DS)
It’s the fourth Professor Layton game to hit these shores already and the fourth I’ve now reviewed. Am I fed up with them? Am I heck. To tell the truth though, the over-the-top English ambience is getting on my wick slightly – a bit like Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins always has.
Taking place before the events of the original trilogy, the arrival of a mysterious letter takes Professor Layton and his new apprentice Emmy Altava on a journey to the wrecked town of Misthaller. Here they meet with a familiar face, one that explains the spectres’ attacks on the town and the devastation it leaves behind.
Despite being interesting, intriguing and entertaining, the narrative plays second fiddle. The fantastic storyboard and plentiful cutscenes add depth and gameplay hours, but it’s just external tissue to package the heart of what Professor Layton games are all about – the puzzles.
A compendium of original puzzles and classic brain-teasers with a twist, there’s a puzzle for everyone. Ranging from mind-numbingly simple to melon-twistingly difficult, hints are available along with the option to skip the puzzle altogether if needs be.
Packing over 170 puzzles, each are selectable from the menus after they’ve been unlocked in the main game. It’s easy for anybody who has the desire to revisit a mind-boggler and try to better their last attempt.
Graphically and presentation-wise, things are as good as they get on the Nintendo DS and although the format and general style hasn’t really changed, why would it when it’s still as good as this?
SCORE: 8 / 10
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