Review: Professor Layton and the Last Specter (DS)

The Professor Layton series has always been known for its challenging puzzles, and captivating storyline. The last DS title in the series takes all of the mechanics from the previous games, and levels them up with more puzzles, harder challenges, extra mini games, weekly downloadable puzzles, and an entirely new side-game called: Professor Layton’s London Life. so, does all this extra hoopla make for a better experience, or just add clutter to something that was just fine as it was? …What, did you expect me to tell you the answer that before the break in the page?  Continue reading to find out. - Dallas B.


Professor Layton and the Last Specter may sound like it was meant to be the last title in the series… but it’s actually the first game chronologically!  Over the course of the game you’ll find out how Layton first met his assistant Emmy, and his young apprentice, Luke. The story begins when the professor get’s an urgent message from his old friend, Clark Triton. In the letter, Clark begs Layton to come to the town of Misthallery to clear something up. Layton is especially interested the letter, because he had recently read in the paper that Misthallery is rumored to be the site of the legendary “Golden Garden.”  Finally arriving in Misthallery, Layton finds out that there is a huge monster known as “The Specter” that’s busting up the town at night for reasons unknown. As the story progresses, you’ll find yourself on the edge of your seat more than a few times, at that is really what this game is all about.


The types of puzzles in this game are balanced out very well; some puzzles require you to move objects, some use basic math to create riddles.  Though most puzzles will make your brain want to explode, the feeling when you once you do solve a puzzle will probably cause you to brag to all your friends about your amazing mind. When yo aren’t solving a puzzle, you’re probably walking around town, talking to people. Though the controls for walking are actually very basic (just touch the “walk” icon, and then tap in the direction that you want to go), the real fun comes from actually progressing the game, so the ability to get to locations in seconds is actually a bonus. All-in-all, the game manages to captivate you in every moment, rewarding you with puzzles, dialogue, and beautifully animated cut scenes.


If ir weren’t for the music, hand-drawn backgrounds, and loads of animated cut scenes, Layton games wouldn’t be half as popular as they are currently. The opening scene quickly captivates you to the point that solving one or two puzzles seems a small price to pay to advance the story. Puzzle games just aren’t as popular as they used to be, so it’s good to see a game that flawlessly marries puzzle solving, and story to make things fresh. The game includes three puzzle-based minigames: Puppet theater, Fish Tank, and Toy Train, which are very fun, and constantly expand in content. Speaking of expanding content, did I mention that the games will have a new, free, downloadable puzzle every week for an entire year?! Level 5 really knows how to give players more of what they want.

London Life

Professor Layton’s London Life is a game all in its own. The game is basically a standard role-playing game, that shows players what a day in Layton’s hometown is like. Exactly opposite of the main game, London Life uses only the DS’s buttons, and never touch controls. Players choose their gender and style, and then are thrown into the hustle and bustle of Little London, challenged to level up swag, housing and social status. All-in-all, I’d say it’s pretty amazing that they managed to fit a second game into the same game card.


Though the Layton formula for fun is no longer anything new, it still manages to keep things fresh with entirely new story, and extra puzzles and extra content. As for its story, you’ll be staring intently at your screen from the game’s spooky opening, to it’s surprisingly tear-jerking end. If you’re looking for the perfect DS game to keep you busy this holiday season, look no further, because we highly recommend Professor Layton and the Last Specter.



About Dallas B.

Hi! I'm Dallas B. I could answer a question on pretty much any game in existence, but my favorite series would have to be The Legend of Zelda. Stay tuned to NCharged for more posts from me, and all of the other awesome editors on this site! Adios!

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