Friday, August 15, 2014

Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy: completed!

How remiss of me; I don't seem to have posted about this as yet ...

This has been lodged in my 3DS for a couple of months now, and I've been working my way through it bit by bit.  In a way I'm glad this is the last of the traditional Layton games, since towards the end I was getting rather bored, finding the shoehorning of puzzles to random conversations a little too tenuous, and dreading having to backtrack over everything just to collect the puzzles.  In fact, I went to explore the world a bit before going to the final location, and then as I set off there I was told that more puzzles had arrived and I had to do it all over again.  Annoying.

Another case of doing things all over again arose a few times from the battery running out on my 3DS.  I wasn't saving the game that often, instead just closing the lid on the 3DS at the end of my commute and opening it the next time I got on a train.  Battery death meant I had to repeat a large part of the jungle section, and also a number of the mini games.

So, anyway.  The story was fantastical, as always, which sits at odds from the pretend real-world setting.  Once the game opened up options of where to go, and I left London, I was concerned that it may be just a little too big - though that wasn't an issue in the end, with most of the other places having a limited number of scenes.  Flying around in an airship certainly makes a change from trudging through endless screens of red dots.

Towards the end of the story, however, I found myself getting much more engaged.  Uncovering the phoenix was possibly the turning point, but discovering the true identities of Hershal and Descole cemented this as a clever tale.  The enemy from the last few games became someone I cared about.

And after this twist, I was gripped until I finished the story.

It still dragged on, though.  I wanted to solve the puzzles that would get me to the end, but at the same time I had a compulsion to go and examine everything in the world to see if there was anything hidden.  I got to the point of no return a few times and each time I was unsure whether to proceed.

Once I did, there was a fair bit of the story to complete, including a classic game where i had to take the last coin.  Always go second.

None of the final puzzles caused me problems, and after I completed the game I had five puzzles missing from the index, which I looked up on a guide to see where they were located.  Completion Stage 1.

The mini games in this were a bit hit and miss.  The dressing up one was largely pointless until you finished the game, since you needed to collect items of clothing throughout.  The squirrel one was OK but a bit dull.  The blooming gardens one was tricky and unrewarding - I felt like I was getting to the end either by luck or brute force.

Still those were done to reach Completion Stage 2.  They opened up the challenges - fifteen harder puzzles.  I finished those, leading to Completion Stage 3.  And now all I have left are the daily puzzles, which are still being released bit by bit.  I've done about 150 of those, I think - again, I'd have done more if my battery hadn't died more than once.

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