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Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box Review

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On 09/20/2009 at 11:40 PM by Lauren Lewandoski

Layton and his apprentice strike again.

For fans of brain teasers and enthralling worlds.

When playing the first installment of the Professor Layton series, I was intrigued by the twists and turns of the storyline, characters, and even the puzzles. Its recently released sequel, Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box, had me wondering what intriguing story line they could possibly come up with. At every turn of the plot, I found myself remembering the first game and expecting those surprises to come through, but they didn't. In fact, even more interesting story lines emerged, retaining some much loved characters but adding in some others, such as Sammy. Long story short, Diabolical Box is everything Curious Village was and more.

As if the story wasn't enough, the puzzles are much improved. I felt slightly less challenged this time around (maybe I'm just smarter now), but I felt there were more puzzles to find in a much more organic manner. Puzzles are still worth an amount of Picarats that serve little purpose beyond alerting you of the puzzle's difficulty and giving you a high score mechanic.

There are some new mini-games as well, with the most in-depth one being the camera. For the first half of the story, you collect pieces of a camera and then assemble it. Then, later in the game you take photos of certain areas and engage in challenging spot-three-differences puzzles. The two other mini-games involve making tea and helping a fat hamster exercise.

The graphics remain phenomenal, with beautiful scenes that retain a classical cartoon appeal. The colorings of the towns, especially Folsense, draw you to the game and into Layton's world. Occasional animated and voiced cut scenes also add to the appeal of this game. The soundtrack is very calming and can sometimes keep you collected during tough puzzles.

The combination of a point-and-click adventure, a puzzle game, and a murder mystery make Diabolical Box a must-have game for all DS players who love a challenge along with a good story.

Review Policy

In our reviews, we'll try not to bore you with minutiae of a game. Instead, we'll outline what makes the game good or bad, and focus on telling you whether or not it is worth your time as opposed to what button makes you jump.

We use a five-star rating system with intervals of .5. Below is an outline of what each score generally means:

All games that receive this score are standout games in their genre. All players should seek a way to play this game. While the score doesn't equate to perfection, it's the best any game could conceivably do.

These are above-average games that most players should consider purchasing. Nearly everyone will enjoy the game and given the proper audience, some may even love these games.

This is our middle-of-the-road ranking. Titles that receive three stars may not make a strong impression on the reviewer in either direction. These games may have some faults and some strong points but they average out to be a modest title that is at least worthy of rental for most.

Games that are awarded two stars are below average titles. Good ideas may be present, but execution is poor and many issues hinder the experience.

Though functional, a game that receives this score has major issues. There are little to no redeeming qualities and should be avoided by nearly all players.

A game that gets this score is fundamentally broken and should be avoided by everyone.



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