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layton vs wright

I’d gone through the Phoenix Wright games recently, but it had been a while since I’d played a Professor Layton game. (I didn’t play through the second Layton trilogy at all.) The Phoenix Wright games stood up quite well to replay, and I’d heard good things about Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, so […]

puzzle agent 2 hd

I have basically nothing to say about Puzzle Agent 2 HD. It’s like the first Puzzle Agent, which in turn is like a somewhat less charming and noticeably shorter Professor Layton: a strong lineage, and a pleasant way to have spent five hours or so, but not something which has shaped my thinking in any […]

puzzle agent hd

Puzzle Agent HD is a thoroughly delightful game. The obvious comparison is to the Professor Layton: like that game, it’s full of quite good puzzles, like that game, it has a distinctive graphical style which works rather well. (Slightly less charming than Layton‘s style, and the delightful music is completely missing; but Layton is special, […]

operas, musicals, and video games

Earlier this summer, we went to see Puccini’s opera The Girl of the Golden West. Which was quite the spectacle, but my first thought after it was over was “after this, I’d better not hear anybody ever complain about video game plots again!” Its plot was threadbare and ridiculous; I’ve certainly played video games with […]

professor layton and the diabolical box

I don’t have a lot to say about Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box—it’s a great game (my wife and I both blew through it in a few days, and Miranda also zoomed through most of it), but it adds essentially nothing to the formula created by its predecessor. One thing that struck me: when […]

gdc 2009: wednesday

Notes from today: 9:00am: Iwata’s Keynote. The part I enjoyed the most was his discussion of Miyamoto’s development style. I wish I’d taken better notes on one slide in particular; a few things he talked about: No design documents. Instead, they depend on personal communication among small teams. They use very focused prototypes. These are […]

what is a narrative game?

In response to my earlier post on puzzles in narrative games, a couple of the commenters noted that contrasting the puzzles in Professor Layton with those in Grim Fandango isn’t fair, because the puzzles in the former game aren’t integrated into the game world in the the same way as puzzles in the latter one […]

puzzles in narrative games

Over in the Vintage Game Club forum, Michael posted an interesting question, “Do modern gamers still want puzzles?”: I’m working on a blog post focused on this, but I wonder if puzzles in narrative games are a relic of a bygone era of gaming – or are they a necessary ludic element? Has shooting replaced […]

phoenix wright 3

Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations is the third game in the Phoenix Wright series. I don’t have a lot to add beyond what I said before: it’s a good series, and if you’ve played the other games, then by all means play this one as well, while if you haven’t, give the first […]

professor layton and the curious village

Professor Layton and the Curious Village is a puzzle-based adventure game. Actually, that probably gives the wrong impression, making you think that the game is about figuring out how to use these items to get access to a key that you can use to open a door over there; I should say instead that it’s […]

i feel left out

Half a year or so ago, I retrieved my Nintendo 64 from a friend’s house, since I thought Miranda might enjoy some of the games on it. The one she settled on was Harvest Moon 64, a delightful little farming simulator. So, when Christmas came by, I thought she might want another Harvest Moon; I […]