PROFESSOR LAYTON AND THE DIABOLICAL BOX / Nintendo / DS


The second Professor Layton game is basically a total rehash of the first one. Different story and setting, but many assets are re-used: music, sound, even puzzle types are recycled.


I liked the first one because it was charming and fresh at the time. It loses a lot of charm doing the exact same things over again. This time out, Professor Layton and companion of questionable nature Luke are off to solve the mystery of a friend who was murdered over Pandora's Box, though for some reason the American version insists on calling it "The Diabolical Box" because I guess they thought us Amerifats were too uncultured to know that story or something.


Whatever the case, the main thing is that little has been added to the formula. If you're in the mood for more vaguely French music, toodling around Layton's cartoony London and endless random puzzle book puzzles, here you go.


I found this time out that you REALLY have to be in the mood for this sort of thing. If you have a mentally taxing job, you really don't want to spend your time with arbitrary mentally taxing homework. I guess that's why puzzles tend to be the province of the idle wealthy and there's this whole snooty class thing attached to them. Rich people and little kids are the ones who don't have anything to do all day. Retirees doing the crossword puzzle too, I guess.

This isn't really a puzzle so much as it is just tedious counting

The puzzles aren't even particularly balanced or good. It's hard for me to compare the two as I played the original game 10 years ago shortly after it came out, so it took me a literal decade to get around to the sequel. But it feels like the puzzles here are more gratuitous and disassociated from the game. I think what the series really needed to evolve was something to do other than just these random logic puzzles, something that tied the narrative to the puzzles more strongly ... instead Level 5's approach with this one was simply MOOOAR OUT-OF-CONTEXT PUZZLES!!! Additionally, puzzles tend to be either piss-easy or one of those things where you have to map out 50 moves in advance that's really more tedious and patience-trying than it is difficult. And all that hunting and pecking clicking on random crap in the background of every screen for "hint coins" is back too.


I'm surprised to see that the general sentiment is that this game is an improvement on the original, because I really felt it was too samey and wore out its welcome.

Videos :

* Gameplay Video