Professor Layton and Pandoraâ€™s Box is the second game in the Professor Layton series and was developed by Level 5 Games and published by Nintendo. It is the follow up to Professor Layton and the curious Village in which Professor Hershel Layton, Professor of archaeology of Gressenheller University and his apprentice Luke were caught up in the village of St Mystere in which there were a series of abductions. This time we follow the professor and his side kick apprentice Luke to unravel the mystery behind the Elysian Box.
This game holds the title of being my all time favorite game on the Nintendo DS (so far), a position previously held by the last Professor Layton game. I descended on my journey with the professor. The story unfolds into a cinematic cut scene, where we see Professor Layton and his apprentice Luke arrives to board the Molentary Express at the station. Whilst there we see various characters boarding the train that look slightly mysterious. The objective of The Professor and Luke is to discover the mystery behind the infamous Elysian Box as it is an antique and there are rumours that death descends upon anyone who dares to open it.The box has apparently has already claimed many lives and is feared in many parts of the world.
The Professor and Luke board the train where the professor opens a letter that is from his friend and Mentor Dr Andrew Schrader. In the letter the doctor mentions the relic, the Elysian box, and how he is curious to know whatâ€™s inside. The doctor explains that in the likely event of his death, should that occurr, then he would leave professor Layton to follow up on his case surrounding the box. Itâ€™s at this point that the professor and Luke decide to Pay Dr Shrader a visit. Upon visiting Dr Shraderâ€™s office they discover that the doctor is dead. Could it be a result of the Elysian Box or was the Doctor murdered?. They bump into Inspector Chelmey and this is where their adventure begins.
This is a game that Iâ€™ve admired for a long time. Not just for the fact that it is truly one of my favourite DS games, but the incredible detail that has gone into this game. If you are unaware of the Layton series, they follow a storyline of Professor Layton and his apprentice Luke while giving you the chance to tackle the 150 brain training style teasers and puzzles that are based on logical and lateral thinking, and a degree of reasoning. A good proportion of the games in the Layton series are easy, but a fair few of the puzzles and brain teasers will keep you puzzled for ages. Admittedly I needed some assistance with a few of the puzzles as I did find them difficult in places.
As I continue the journey we find that the Professor and Luke discover a train ticket on the floor with no visible destination on it at Dr Schraderâ€™s home and you discover some other things in the office. I wonâ€™t go into detail because that would just spoil it for you. Letâ€™s just say you have to have an inquisitive nature for this game to play out.
During the storyline the Elysian box disappears and you have to work out who may have taken it. The first puzzle is very easy. Donâ€™t be fooled into thinking that they are always easy. The puzzles are measured in what is called Picarats. The more picarats a puzzle is worth the tougher it is.Â There are various hint coins that can help you solve the puzzles and riddles, but you have to explore everywhere to find them as they are scattered throughout the game. There is a journal also to keep you up to date with the professorâ€™s adventures, so you donâ€™t feel like youâ€™re missing any of the storyline as it is written in diary form. The screen also shows you how many puzzles have been discovered and solved.Â This is particularly handy to know because throughout the storyline you will need a certain amount of puzzles solved to get through areas of the map. Within the game you can lose access to some of the puzzles, but donâ€™t worry as they are sent to Granny Riddeltonâ€™s shack where you can try and solve them later.
On board the Molentary Express you have the chance to talk to various characters and explore the carriages. The navigation is simple and involves pressing the small boot in the corner of the screen and then navigating to different areas that are available, as indicated by yellow arrows. On our journey we learn about Tom and Katia. Katia is the daughter of the most influential man in the village of Dropstone.Both Tom and Katia are seen boarding the express at the station. Several villagers came to see her off and she appears to be travelling alone. At this point we donâ€™t know why she is by herself. While travelling on the train I decide to wander around and see whatâ€™s in the different carriages. Without unfolding too much of the story your adventures take you into the villages of Folsense and Dropstone. Here you will wander around the villages and talk to the random assortment of people that you find. Some of them will be useful and I suggest you talk to everyone. There are also some new side games that will keep you occupied. These are games that you can play whenever you see fit. The first mini game is called Hamster. You have in your procession a rather tubby hamster that is placed on a grid of squares your task is to get your hamster to walk as far as possible and get him healthy and fit. Sounds really easy, but it wasnâ€™t. You have to do a lot of calculations in order to get him to move a certain amount of squares. Throughout the main game, you will receive items that will help your little hamster and mine was called â€˜Hammyâ€™, of course. Youâ€™re also given a broken camera. Throughout the game you will be given pieces of this camera, which you then have to replace correctly in order to make the camera work. What mysteries will the camera reveal, once it is working?
Another of the mini games is called â€˜Tea Set. Basically youâ€™re given a teapot to brew together three ingredients to make a nice cup of tea. You pick up new ingredients that you may discover or have been given in order to make the right kind of tea.Â What do I mean by that? Well during the game certain characters need specialized tea that is just individual to them. Itâ€™s about combining different ingredients to create different blends. I found this part of the game to be pretty annoying and pointless. I would spend a vast amount of time making tea for it to turn out vile and I donâ€™t even like tea in real life. I think I managed to brew only a few successful cups in the end. The tea is supposed to make characters better if they are feeling poorly, or lethargic. I just didnâ€™t think this mini game was necessary.Â Most of the characters thought my tea was horrible or that I was poisoning them, which they were not very happy about. Within the game you can lose access to some of the puzzles, but donâ€™t worry as they are sent to Granny Riddeltonâ€™s shack where you can try and solve them later.
If youâ€™ve completed the main storyline and finished your investigation, have no fear as there are downloadable puzzles available. Simply connect your DS with the wifi connection and go online. Here you can download a puzzle each week for 33 weeks, which will be very handy for your Layton fix. This truly is an engrossing, exciting game that I feel appeals to all ages. With 150 brain teasers, logic puzzles and riddles, you will have enough to keep you going for a long time and it is my highly recommended title for Nintendo DS. The animation is pretty impressive considering itâ€™s just on a small DS screen, itâ€™s something that cannot be described unless you sit down and play yourself. What amazes me is that the voice work is truly impeccable as I watched characters talk. Incredible movie scenes that take you right out of the DS and are almost like watching a movie. Discover the mysteries behind the Elysian box with Hershel Layton and Luke and explore this fascinating and intriguing mystery game.