The professor is back and on his final journey as Level-5’s series protagonist – and he doesn’t disappoint. But his adventure to unfold the truth of the Azran Legacy is also a path to self-discovery; just who is Hershel Layton?
Both the sixth entry to the series and the conclusion of the prequel trilogy, Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy is not just chock-full of brainteasers and puzzles to get those cogs turning, but is also home to a wonderfully well-paced storyline, giving long-time fans of the games a particularly poignant ending. Though the storyline is, for the most part, utterly gripping, it suffers from occasional dull mystery sub-plots, which lack gusto and serve as weak filler for the main plot.
Largely a simple storyline, the Azran Legacy sees Professor Layton, his assistant Emmy and trusty sidekick Luke travel the world in search of the Azran civilization and the truth behind their culture. After discovering the “living mummy” named Aurora encased in ice, they team up with Professor Sycamore – an expert on the Azran – to unfurl the mystery and reignite Aurora’s memories as messenger of the ancient civilization.
Over the course of the story, new areas will open and allow players free-reign to choose which place to visit next. Each destination – nine in total – has its own charm and characters, appealing to a number of ages, while also sporting a neat variety of puzzles. For younger players or those new to the game, main storyline puzzles are never mind-boggling, so game progress will in no way be hindered for too long. However, for the adept puzzle player, sub-plot mysteries may feel easy and become tiresome in the long-run – Phong Gi and Torrido’s sub-plots prove as notable examples, where clues are blatant and simplistic.
Aside from the delightfully charming story of Mosinnia – where waking up adults from an ongoing slumber is the key to solving the mystery – the sub-plots are, largely, weak distractions to the main plot; though they do allow the player to warm to Professor Sycamore and Aurora as characters.
The ability to travel freely between destinations – via Sycamore’s airship, The Bostonius – adds an extra level of depth to the game, giving treasure or hidden puzzle seekers ample opportunities to explore. Mini-games can be acquired from in-game characters and include Dress Up, Nut Roller, and Blooms and Shrooms, with additional levels added as you progress through the story. A newspaper, The World Times, also provides new places to investigate in order to uncover further details to the story, find collectible items for Layton’s chest and look for hidden puzzles.
With over 500 puzzles to discover and solve, players will need all the brain power they can muster. However, to beat the main storyline and boss, only a mere 75 puzzles need to be solved. Ingenious puzzles include Very Specific Scoops, Troubled Waters and Bibliofiling, but there are flaws in others such as Poster Predator, where the lack of a provided picture results in the player guessing rather than sliding tiles with logical thought.
Previous Professor Layton titles have granted fans of the series an explosive finale – and Azran Legacy delivers twofold. Surprising twists and turns will divulge the truth about Layton’s past and uncover the Azran civilization’s true intent, keeping the pace equally lively and tense. Plus, the emotion portrayed between characters is astounding and adds profundity to their individual stories, giving the fans a satisfying ending to Layton’s journey.
Although Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy is not without its faults, the game depicts a fascinating journey into the fictitious world of the Azran, granting players plenty of puzzles to decipher, as well as a rewarding end to the wonderfully clever and tip-top gentleman, Professor Hershel Layton.