Games / Game Reviews

Review: Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy

By Sean Booker
April 6, 2014 - 00:59


It’s with a great sadness that I can say Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy ended up being my least favorite game in the series. This finale to the trilogy does do a good job of tying the last few games together but overall it ends up being far less interesting. There’s no central mystery to sink your teeth into as the game favors a more travelling adventure vibe. It’s sad to see the number of repeated puzzles throughout the game as well. The story and presentation overall just wasn’t up to the usual great standards.

Professor Layton has always been about two aspects: a great and engaging mystery which is moved through by solving various, fun puzzles. The Azran Legacy changes the story structure quite a bit by removing the major mystery. Instead you’re presented fetch quest-like worldwide tour. It is more of an adventure in search of specific items instead of the usual detective work through an isolated mystery. This causes the story to feel less engaging since you’re taking part in numerous sub-stories as you try to complete your quest. There is never really a feeling of urgency to the game and stakes aren’t constantly being raised. It’s a change of pace that left me feeling like I’d rather skip the journey to get to the end as opposed to enjoying the entirety of it.

The game does do a good job of relating to the rest of the trilogy and does tie everything up nicely. The characters you’ve come to love/hate all play a major role in the last couple hours of the game. There are some real great twists and plot revelations to be experienced. The ending is actually really heartfelt and gives an overall bittersweet emotion to the otherwise lackluster progression of the game.

The puzzles are the main crux of the gameplay and what really helps drive us through the story we’ve been presented with. As usual the game features a great deal of puzzles and the areas you encounter will open up further, repeatedly, to allow you to find more. The world that is set up is still fun and silly and the puzzles reflect that. Downside is that I did notice there were quite a few repeats this time around compared to previous installments in the series. In fact, one section of the game before the final area begins had me doing different versions of the same few puzzles almost exclusively. It was a bummer to see that the puzzle variety isn’t as great as it has been.

When it comes to the 3D feature I ended up choosing to turn it off for the majority of the game. I only really enjoyed it during the fully animated cutscenes. Those moments, along with the great voice acting, are always a treat. And it’s definitely worth mentioning that the soundtrack is once again fitting and delightful. For the rest of the time I didn’t find the 3D feature helpful. It even caused double images at many points for myself. However, there were a couple puzzles that really utilized the 3D and made solving them much easier. It would have been great to see a lot more of these instead of being quite rare.

Overall, The Azran Legacy is a disappointing conclusion to the recent trilogy. It ties the story up in a great way at the very end with a good sense of meaning but doesn’t present a fully engaging experience the whole way through. I found myself wanting the story to wrap up sooner instead of enjoying the journey I usually expect. This was accented by the number of repeated puzzles you’re presented with. There really isn’t much to get out of this entry in the Professor Layton series.

Rating: 4 /10

Last Updated: January 24, 2022 - 11:00

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