It’s almost over. We’ll see you Wednesday for a special Halloween update. Or Thursday. It will still be here then, and ever after.
With the story almost over, and having reached current times on many of my mystery shows on Netflix, I decided to try something a bit different for Halloween time. I went out yesterday and picked up the latest Professor Layton. I’ve heard good things, but it always seemed kid oriented as puzzle/mystery games go, so I have been hesitant to try it out until now.
As far as the puzzles go, I enjoy the word problems well enough. It is not super difficult, nor is it tremendously easy. It is about the level you would expect any video game to be. The standard point and click to find things adventure works well enough, but isn’t as intricately implemented as it was in Heavy Rain or The Walking Dead. You mostly just click everywhere to find hint coins and secret treasures, and click on specific, usually obvious people or things to unlock puzzles.
I’m happy with how the story has progressed so far, with plenty of shady characters and unknown quantities. I can see a few twists and turns coming, but it doesn’t appear entirely predictable. My only problem is that, as with most cartoon mysteries, it lacks a particular sense of urgency. Certainly, the events that unfold in the opening are unsettling, but without straight out murder, I do not worry for the heroes.
Even murder mysteries like Psych can fail in this manner. Sure, someone dies every episode, but when the main characters bumble through confrontations with dangerous criminals without receiving so much as a scratch, it begs the question if the danger the face is even real. It is television, so obviously it isn’t, but you don’t want to be asking yourself that question in the middle of an episode.
Children’s stories can get away with murder without gore and mature ratings. J.K. Rowling started Harry Potter out with a double murder, and immediately fell into a story of an orphan escaping abuse into a wonderful and magical world. Then she slowly built up the violence and tension in each of the stories. By Book 7, we’re not actually sure if the heroes will even have a happy ending.
I’m not in danger of losing any interest in the story, but I hope that Professor Layton will ramp up the tension a little bit.