March 17, 2014

Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy

Lasting First Impressions

Professor Layton and his trusty apprentice, Luke, return once again in what is possibly their greatest adventure yet.  Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy, from Level 5, is the sixth game in this series and the final chapter to their second trilogy.  Their friend Emmy also returns to this chapter of their lives and this marks the last time we will see Emmy join the Professor and Luke as they travel the globe, solve puzzles, and solve the biggest mystery they’ve ever seen.  The Azran Legacy tells of an ancient civilization that has since been lost to time.  Professor Layton receives a letter from an old colleague saying he had found what he is calling a “living mummy”.  Curious as always, the Professor, Luke and Emmy travel to the snow covered city of Froenborg to find what turns out to be a young girl, frozen in ice for thousands of years, and yet she is still alive.  Soon after, the girl is kidnapped, and thus starts the globe trotting adventure to get her back and solve the mystery of who she really is.  Could she be from the ancient Azran civilization?

Azran Legacy Screen (3)As with any Professor Layton game, Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy is an intriguing mystery told by way of an outrageous adventure and many, many puzzles for the player to solve.  This time around, however, the puzzles are designed to fit directly into the story and into the area in which we find our heroes.  Each puzzle that is presented isn’t as random as they used to be in previous games.  Now they seem to be a part of the world we find ourselves in.  One puzzle, for example, is putting a sign back together that has fallen apart so that we can continue with the story. Another surrounds opening a locked door that blocks their path, and yet another is solved to help the gang cross a dangerous bridge.  As always, however, all the puzzles presented are challenging and many will no doubt require the use of one or more hint coins that are scattered around the world.

Azran Legacy Screen (1)One wonderful new feature presented in Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy that really adds to the “adventure” aspect of the story is the addition of action puzzle sequences.  Early on, after Aurora, the “living mummy” is kidnapped, the Professor and his friends pursue the kidnappers in an air ship and, as the enemy launches explosive drones, the Professor must shoot down the correct drone to disable the whole group. As the drones come close, instructions such as “shoot all the odd numbered drones”, or “shoot all the blue drones” will appear and the player must target and tap the correct drones within a short time window.  These sort of action sequences really add to the story and yet stays within the genre of a puzzle game.  Professor Layton games are all about puzzles, first and foremost, and these sequences take these puzzles to the next level.

In addition to the main story and puzzles, Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy also includes three new mini-games that can be played as new levels are unlocked and parts are collected.  More collectible items are hidden throughout the world ensuring players pay careful attention to every area they visit.  Professor Layton games are always an instruction in paying attention to details and this new title has this in spades.

Normally, a Lasting First Impression review takes the first hour of gameplay but after one hour in Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy, I was only just getting started.  There is no stopping at just one hour and this game is most certainly worth your hard earned money, especially if you’re a lover of great mind bending puzzles like I am.

Level 5, I gave you an hour and I am, as always, IMPRESSED.  I certainly hope this isn’t the last time we join Professor Layton in an adventure.


About the Author

Sean is an avid gamer and lover of all thing tech. He is a dedicated husband and the father to three beautiful daughters. In addition to taking his love of gaming to a new level with this site, Sean is also host of our podcasts: The OMG! Hour, Lost Treasures of Gaming, and Primetime as well as the bi-weekly podcast mashup show, Gamers Unscripted. Follow Sean on Twitter as @Xiantayne and this blog as @OMGnexus.



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