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I bought this because I loved the style of Curious Village, and wanted more of the same. Which is what I got, sort of.

The story is carried on from where the first game leaves off, and I really enjoyed this aspect. The science may be slightly dubious, but I was able to suspend disbelief and just go with what the game was telling me. The cut-scenes (most of which happen right at the end) are beautifully animated; however, I still hate the voice acting (particularly of Luke - all mockney, it's horrible) so I mainly played with the sound off, just reading the subtitles. I do wish there was a way to turn off only the speech, though, because I liked the music and found it mainly added well to the atmosphere.

I liked the variety in locations, too - the train was a nice addition, and having two towns (one of which was huge!) was great.

The side-games were mostly very good. I liked building the camera and the tea-set game. I HATED the hamster game, because the focus was on getting the hamster to loose weight, rather than just get him fitter. I also hated the snide sort of remarks made about fat people (one woman, who admittedly had an obnoxious personality, in particular was mocked as having "tent-like" clothing), and I don't see why that sort of thing was necessary.

My two major complaints, however, relate to the gameplay itself. First of all, the puzzles. While many puzzles were good, interesting, and challenging, I found some insultingly easy. I don't mean to say that I'm super-clever or anything, because I'm not, but there were some when I used a hint coin just to see if I wasn't missing something in thinking the answer was obvious (I usually wasn't). These were puzzles that were rated all over the map - from the very easy early ones to the supposedly more challenging later ones.

The other thing I didn't like was how the game held my hand. After having a conversation about searching, for instance, a certain part of the town, I don't need an extra box to tell me that the Professor and Luke decided to search that bit of town! I can figure that out for myself, and in a game that relies on exploration, I don't appeciate being "told" where to go.

On the whole, if you liked the first game you'll probably like this one. The story holds together and is compelling enough that I couldn't put the game down until I'd solved the main mystery, there are plenty of puzzles (I had no problem completing enough to progress with the story, but there are still 30 or so that I haven't found/solved), and the graphics are good. The side-games are mainly involving, although I find the message behind one troublesome. Is it easier than the first game? Yes. Is it as good as the first game? No. But it's still a decent way to spend a few hours.
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on 9 September 2011
Being a bit of a Sony fan I never ventured into the 'DS world' but when my bf was about to chuck his in the bin I thought I would salvage it and give it a go so I purchased this game. Not only has it provided me with hours of entertainment the frustration you get when you cannot solve a puzzle is not only annoying but utterly thrilling. Obviously you don't want it to be too easy hence the complex puzzles but even the nice story that goes along with it is great. All 4 games in the series have been great and I have completed them all - with only a little help from a walkthrough. I would recommend these games to anyone as they are fun, challenging and at times blooming irritating but mountains of fun.
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on 31 December 2010
Whilst this is the second Professor Layton game, it's the first one I have played. I enjoy puzzle solving a great deal so this game naturally appeals to me enormously. The game's interface is clear and simple, with a good feel for progression and a natural style of development.

The plot of the story is fairly basic - find Pandora's box and unravel the mysteries associated with it. The story takes up quite a lot of the game to be honest - far more than the puzzle solving aspect. This is both a good thing and a bad thing as the full motion video cut scenes are a joy to watch and listen to, although the lengthy stretches of reading text and tapping through conversations can ultimately feel as if the game is slowing down sometimes. And after all, you've bought this game for the puzzle solving, right?

So onto the puzzles - they are varied and, for the most part, reasonably taxing. There is a points based system that reveals how difficult the puzzle you are about to do is in comparison to others - the more points available, the harder you can expect the puzzle to be. Many puzzles rely on lateral thinking too, which is refreshing as pure skill based puzzles often lead to monotony in my opinion. There are also mini-games along the way involving training a pet hamster and brewing different types of tea, both of which are far more enjoyable than they sound.

But something I have been most impressed by with this game is the built in summary "The Story So Far" that automatically plays when you load a saved game. It graciously reminds you of what you are currently supposed to be doing and which direction you likely need to put your focus. With a casual game such as this, it is a very valuable reminder for the player who may not play the game for days or weeks between commutes. If you've ever sat on the train with a book and re-read the previous page at the start of your journey, you'll know what I mean.

The game has legs too - I'm approximately 100 puzzles down after 12hrs or so gameplay. Once you've solved a puzzle, for the most part I don't think there is much enjoyment necessarily in re-solving it but I'm glad that this game isn't over in 6hrs already.

Overall, it's good fun. The voice-overs are good if a little caricature sometimes (the cock-er-ney boy is typically irritating sometimes!) but presentation of this game is excellent.
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on 5 July 2012
I played Professor Layton and the Curious village last year and enjoyed it but I didn't think it was as good as all its hype. It sort of put me off buying its sequel... now I'm wondering why I delayed for so long.

Gamplay- The same as Curious village with a mixture of heavy dialogue to build up the story, short bits of footage and plenty of puzzles to entertain and fustrate. The only thing I would tweak with this is to put more footage in because reading all the dialogue does get slightly tiresome and repetitive but its not a huge problem.The main gameplay is the puzzle, most of the first puzzles are fairly easy to build your confidence with them gradually getting harder (Don't even mention the knight's puzzle I was at that for hours and still haven't completed it) I found some of the puzzles too difficult to do on my own and unfortunatly had to cheat a little which made me feel awful. However the majority of puzzles are just challenging enough to keep you entertained without causing too much of a headache. = 7/10

Visuals- Looks a lot brighter and crisp than Curious village and all the different characters and wonderful settings are varied and beautiful. The only problem with visuals is the cut scenes are on the bottom screen so isn't as visually good if it was on the top screen. = 7/10

Plot- I personally thought the start was a little slow and was worried that it was going to be boring but it picked up a lot during the second chapter. The story is of Layton's mentor finding the Elysian box (similar to the Greek myth of Pandora's box of whoever opens it dies) Layton worried for his mentor goes to see him to find he is dead and the box is missing. Layton along with Luke and the stand-offish Officer Chelmy are on the case which leads them to the glamorous Molentary Express which is full of intriguing and odd passangers (Sammy is my favourite :D). As their journey progresses they arrive in the creepy town of Folsense which has a strange connection with the Elysian box and is inhabited by a vampire lord. The plot keeps you on your toes always asking questions, is there really a vampire, does the box really kill people, why doesn't anything age in Folsense and more? Nothing will prepare you for the end, lets just say get the tissues ready! = 9/10

Characters- Right I'm just going to throw it out there- I hate, hate, hate Luke. He is the most annoying child in the world and his voice- grr. I also found Layton rather annoying always talking about what a gentlemen should do, god Layton let your hair down a little! Other than the two main characters the others are hilarious and bizzare especially the try hard rockstar Sammy. The quirky characters really make the game. = 8/10

Additions- The extras on the game are weekly puzzles which I haven't done yet and set of unlockable extra hard puzzles unlocked with special requirments. During the game there is a Hamster mini-game where you had to get a very chubby hamster fit, another is to build up a camara which took me ages fiddling with the little pieces! Once it is built you can take pictures of certain areas and do a spot the difference. = 7/10

Overal= 38/50 A fantastic game that is much better than the previous game, I couldn't put it down for the two weeks it took me to complete it.
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on 5 October 2009
Finally, we are treated to a second fix of Professor Layton! I pre-ordered this way back in July for my mum as a suprise as she loved it. unfortunately, she hasnt wanted to play it until she finishes decorating otherwise she says she will never get the decorating done!

So i decided to play it. And i have just completed it about 2 minutes ago! I have to say, i think it's a lot better than the first one, and that was great. I love the idea of travelling on the Molentary Express. And stopping off at places to explore. The puzzles were quite easy at first so i was concerned that there would be no challenge here, but they did get harder! so much so that i have to admit, i looked on the net for solutions to some of them. this was after spending over an hour myself trying to figure them out. The story line is brilliant! and the cutscenes are awesome, i could just watch a whole game full of them. I love the accents too.

Also you get this fat hamster you have to excercise to make him lose weight, and you get to name him. He's so cute! Even though i've completed the main game, i still have about 20 puzzles i need to complete, and also the extra's too which i wont go too much into. There's also a thing as you go along where if you get certain puzzles right you get ingriediants to brew your own tea. i wasnt keen on this feature at first, but as you explore places, you see some people need a drink and you have to brew the right tea up for them, it's actually really good!

I loved this game, i loved the storyline, i cant wait for number 3 although i shall be patient! lol. enjoy!
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on 12 February 2014
Professor Layton and Luke return to solve their second mystery. This instalment is very much more of the same. Some of the puzzles are versions of classics like the Towers of Hanoi and the Knight's Tour in chess, others are variations on puzzles from the first game, such as the sliding block puzzles. But there is plenty of variety and the difficulty level felt about the same to me. In the first game, the Professor's trunk had the robot dog, room decorating and jigsaw puzzle collecting games. There are 3 new mini games in this one and they are slightly more involved. One has you collecting pieces to assemble a training course for a hamster, in another you assemble a camera and then use it to unlock a spot the difference game that in turn gives you access to some hidden puzzles. The third is a tea brewing game where you collect ingredients and combine them to brew different recipes for the various people you meet. This last one could definitely do with a more streamlined interface. Every time you try a new recipe, you are forced to tap through a lot of repetitive dialogue between the Prof and Luke. After a while I found myself just madly hammering the screen to try and get through it quickly.

This instalment is badly let down by the story though. It begins very promisingly with mystery piled on mystery and a nice Sherlock Holmes vibe. But the game can't quite make up its mind whether it is set in the past or modern day and the characters feel like a discordant collection of stereotypes. Worst of all is the payoff, which is just silly and feels like a cheat. If you thought the ending of the first game was a bit hokey, then you aint seen nothin' yet! Without the story, the puzzles aren't compelling enough to work through but mystery stories must have satisfying endings or else we feel robbed.

I got a pretty solid 20 hours of play from this game and enjoyed myself up to the end. But after that ending, I'm honestly not sure if I will bother with the third instalment.
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on 4 October 2009
I love this game, and I am just sorry that there are not more games out there like this one.
It follows the story of Professor Layton and Luke once again on a magical mystery tour. The puzzles do start off very easy, but I can see why, as I have now moved onto puzzles that my partner is also finding very difficult to solve, which is why I agree that this is no game for anyone under the age of ten, there are games designed for kids that age, and they would find them alot more fun. I would say that the only part of this game suitable for a child that young would be the hamster mini game where you have to help a hamster lose weight. Speaking of hamsters, there are three mini games in total alongside the main game itself, which are a welcome break from puzzle solving, as trust me, your brain will soon start to hurt. I love the graphics of this game, particularly when you watch the pre programmed scenes, and as another viewer says this would make a great tv series or film. The story line is brilliant, and not at all predictable like I first thought. I cannot give too much away here, but play the game and you will see what I mean. I have not yet finished the game, but can honestly say that I am addicted, and just felt I had to write a review now.
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on 13 January 2010
I completed this game in a few days over the Christmas period and on the whole enjoyed it. Some of the puzzles are obscure and seem to be set by someone with a twisted sense of humour. The graphics are good and story takes you to several different locations. Granny's shack is also avalible in these is case you miss a puzzle or two.
You have to gather various ingredients to make tea for the townsfolk, if you don't give the correct tea mixture to a character then you can't really move on and have to pace about until they become thirsty again which can be frustrating. I will hold my hands up and say two or three of the puzzle's did not make any sense to me and i did go on internet for walkthroughs for these, as otherwise i would not be able to continue. If you have't completed a certain number of puzzles, spoken to certain characters and received tea ingredients, you can't progress any further.
There are some mini puzzles, ie building a hamster, who will then sniff out hint coins for you. In summery, this game can be frustrating, but highly addictive any enjoyable, i found it slightly more enjoyable than the first.
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on 15 February 2010
My husband bought me a nintendo for Xmas together with some games- Jewel Quest solitaire and "Curious Village" being two of them. I enjoyed Curious Village so much that once I had completed it, I treated myself to Pandoras Box.

If you haven't tried Professor Layton, treat yourself now but I do think it is aimed more at teenagers and adults, as some of the puzzles can be very difficult- or is it me?!
I like this game because it isn't so totally mind numbingly addictive as Jewel Quest but beware you do get hooked on Professor Layton! The footprint trail leads you there and everywhere and its great when you find little hints and "spot prizes" (camera parts, hamster games and tea ingredients- what weird mind ever thought we'd wait eagerly to acquire these)!
The puzzles themselves are a good mix and you can at least get other people involved in solving them- good for family holidays. Yes on occasion I do resort to cheats on the internet- but I call that using my initiative so guilty conscience eased! I don't know what the sound effects are like because I switch them off!
Overall a great game.
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on 14 October 2012
I immensely enjoyed the predecessor to this game - Professor Layton and The Curious Village (Nintendo DS) - and was so excited when I heard this was out. It did not disappoint me. In fact, I enjoyed it more than The Curious Village, probably because it was essentially about the mysterious murder and had leads into various towns such as happy Drpostone and eerie Folsense, the city of illusions. Plus there's the enchanted forest, which is absolutely brilliant!

In short, a fabulous game - a great alternative toDr Kawashima's Brain Training: How Old Is Your Brain (Nintendo DS) and More Brain Training (Nintendo DS) - which is just as good as The Curious Village, if not better. I've got the next game and can't wait till I can play it.
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