professor layton and the unwound future

The Worst Box Art of 2010

Blog Post

Cabelas Dangerous Hunt 2011 CoverFirst impressions do make a difference. Here at The First Hour, reviewers examine with scrutiny the very first sixty minutes (or thirty in case of Nintendo DS carts) of a videogame, determining whether or not it properly sunk its hooks in them. Imagine if games were based solely on their box art; sometimes, depending on the buyer, they are. Box art creates an uninformed gamer’s vision in milliseconds, solidifying a buy or bust. Or possibly even befuddlement. Gaming companies, certainly at this point in the industry, know this, and yet a good number of horrific box arts are produced, effectively becoming counterproductive.

So how many would truly sink versus swim? Pretty sure all of the following examples would be spending a lot of time at the bottom of the (videogame industry) ocean. Also, quick apologies to Nintendo Wii and DS fanboys as they get the bulk of bad cover boxes year after year.

Let’s hope we see no repeats like these in 2011!

Professor Layton and the Unwound Future

Full Review

Professor Layton and the Unwound Future CoverHere we are back for the third year in a row with another Professor Layton game. The series has definitely become an annual event that I look forward to as the games are enjoyable to play and chock full of challenging puzzles. I’ve compared the Professor Layton series to the Phoenix Wright series before, as both sets of games offer unusual types of gameplay on an annual basis. But some other similarities are starting to creep in, and that’s the feeling of staleness.

The series hasn’t evolved a lot in three games, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing as the puzzles are great and the stories always intriguing, but it’s starting to feel like I’m playing expansion packs instead of brand new games. I awarded the first game, Curious Village, a 9/10 and its sequel, Diabolical Box, an 8/10, and I’m about to hand out a 7/10 to Unwound Future. I put a lot of value in mixing things up and trying something new, and the Professor Layton series just isn’t going anywhere. This isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy my 20 hours with Unwound Future, but I’d really love for something more.

If this is your first Professor Layton game, you can expect a point and click style story-driven game with tons of unrelated puzzles to keep you interested. There isn’t any prior knowledge required to play Unwound Future, so it’s definitely a series someone can jump into at any point. Here’s my full review of Professor Layton and the Unwound Future. If you’re curious, I also have a half-hour handheld review up too.

Professor Layton and the Unwound Future

Half-Hour Handheld

Professor Layton and the Unwound Future CoverProfessor Layton and the Unwound Future is the third game in the popular point and click puzzle series on the Nintendo DS. Since I love the series and was going to play the game no matter what, I've decided just to play the first half hour for my readers so you can get a taste of what's to come. Having just been released last week, Unwound Future appears to be another great entry into the series.

For those unfamiliar, the Professor Layton series is developed by Level-5 (yeah, the developers of Dragon Quest IX, these guys are on a serious portable roll) and the first two games in the series were also released on the Nintendo DS. Curious Village saw the North American light in early 2008 and Diabolical Box about this time last year. The games, like the Ace Attorney series before it, are always seeming to play catch up with the Japanese releases; Unwound Future was released two years ago in Japan and the unannounced-outside-Japan Spectre's Flute was released last year. The one nice thing about playing catch up is that you know the great games will continue rolling our way for at least a few more years.

Professory Layton is a fun mix of the point and click genre and Mensa-like brain teasers. The story progresses as you discover clues and solve puzzles, and will seriously push your brain to its limit as the game progresses. As someone who enjoys this kind of challenge, this series has quickly become one of my favorites.

So can Unwound Future continue the series' success with me? Let's play and find out, here's its first half hour.

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