At the risk of becoming a TOTAL fanboy, I’m going to temper this post with the opening statement: I am not a paid advertiser for Level5 games, or Nintendo.
I love the Professor Layton series of Nintendo DS games. Love is a strong word, but I’m actually ready to use it. The games, if you haven’t played them, are essentially narrative puzzle games with anime-esque cut scenes that tell a story. It doesn’t seem all that engaging, and I guess it isn’t. The voice acting in the cut scenes adds some depth to the characters, and makes you want to get to know them. I’m not sure if I am prone to empathy towards video game characters, but I tend to get pretty attached to them, and their story. I’m not going to go as far as “heartbreak,” but when Garrosh Hellscream killed Cairne Bloodhoof in World of Warcraft: The Shattering, I was as angry as I’ve been about a story. I felt betrayed, and these are just pixels in a game. I wish I could utilize a creative medium that would evoke such emotions from people!
I’m certain I can think of other characters i’ve exhibited way too much empathy for… Gau in Final Fantasy 6, Dixie Kong in DKC3, even Starfox has some moments. I guess what I’m saying is that Professor Layton is a brilliant guy (so he’s portrayed) and he’s got as much of a story as any video game character. Of course, any detective type narrative paints the detective as brilliant, since having a garbage detective doesn’t exactly make thrilling entertainment.
I can’t tone-down my interest in these games. I know that when games, ANY game, is released there is related marketing stuff, and I’m winding up the hype machine, figuring out which of the promo items i’m most interested in digging up. I played a lot of the DS games, but have since lost the games, so I think the first step is getting a really good, solid collection, and perhaps an action figure, or something small. The music to the games is pretty neat, so maybe the OSTs as well?