Backlog Redux 2014 #22 – Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask

Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask

A Slow Burn

The Layton games don’t really need to be played in any particular order. For the most part. Other than a new character introduced here and there, each installment is pretty much its own standalone adventure. Which is lucky for me. After playing through the original DS trilogy out of order, I’ve now started the next trilogy right where you might have guessed: smack in the middle! Having skipped The Last Specter on the DS – for now – I’ve jumped ahead right to the 3DS’s premiere Layton title, Miracle Mask.

My initial thoughts, until at least halfway through the game or further, were that this was by far the dullest Layton game I’d played so far. Continue reading

2013 Gaming Archive #4: Professor Layton and the Curious Village

Professor Layton Curious Village

A True Gentleman Never Leaves a Puzzle Unsolved

The Layton games are officially considered adventure hybrids. I’m not so sure I agree classifying them as adventures in any way. They do include dialog, a plot, and moving through various locales like cities, trains, villages, etc. But there’s just something missing – a vital core – that keeps it from adventure gamedom in my book. I understand why it’s been slotted into this genre, adventure/puzzle hybrid, as that does seem the closest one that fits, but I think maybe it needs its own genre completely. Continue reading

PodBytes – E3 2012 Special

PodBytes E3 2012 Special

Un-Convention-al

E3 has wrapped; the Los Angeles Convention Center has closed its doors to game developers, publishers, and the journalistic mass circus that comes with it all each year. As the cleaning crews sweep in (pun only slightly intended), gamers begin the eager anticipatory wait until they can get their hands on the tantalizing goods that have just been unveiled to the world.

But not everything is said and done. In the wake of press announcements, trailers, and plenty of pomp and circumstance, information must be digested, claims must be dissected, and promises analyzed. Continue reading

Friday Roundtable: Nintendo’s Online (De)generation?

Nintendo Online

Going Digital

Nintendo has revealed to its shareholders and the public what it views as a bold and daring foray into the digital games market, at long last making a big push to take a slice of the digital pie away from its competitors. But, in true Nintendo fashion, the games giant isn’t content to simply copy the tried-and-true distribution model of others, adopting instead a plan that offers more choices to the consumer and seemingly hands over the reins to retail merchants. But is this move what it seems on the surface? Does Nintendo deserve applause for taking the road less traveled, or are they simply re-inventing the wheel? Continue reading