Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Weekend Visit to the Curious Village

There are many mysteries to solve in the curious village

I've owned "Professor Layton and the Curious Village," a point and puzzle-filled adventure for Nintendo DS, for well over a year. In preparation for the sequel, I finally decided to come back and finish what I started after a sizable hiatus.

Sadly, things this happens to gamers a lot. We start a game. We get excited for the game. And then we trail off, our attention yanked in another direction by something else. Sometimes it's life that pulls us away from the games we crave to play, or often times it's another game (or even a bad game - but who buys those and is genuinely surprised). This is all part of a strange cycle that even the most devout and dedicated gamers can fall into, and it's gems like "Curious Village" that suffer.

I didn't stop playing Professor Layton's first adventure released in America (Japan already has three, I think) because it was boring. Absolutely not. In Layton's case, the opposite is true; I couldn't put it down because of how polished it all was. The puzzles, the presentation, the mystery are all well conceived and executed. And the addictive nature of solving puzzles completely reeled me in. The story seemed childish (as in Saturday morning cartoon) in tone, but it's a much deeper experience than I first thought.

The bigger reason why Layton got the boot from the game slot of my DS was... because another game came out that I wanted to play as well.

I dropped Layton for "The World Ends With You," another handheld gem from 2008 that held my interest for a few months before I moved on to something else.

It's so schizophrenic isn't it? Move from game to game and never finish what you started, never experience the ending or full charm of a game. In some ways never discovering the conclusion is like nibbling a corner of a fresh bag of Doritos and then promptly closing the bag, then putting it away.

Well, I'm done with this buy, try, and then shelve routine. It's absurd, and the wrong way to really do anything. This weekend I started by resuming my file in the "Curious Village" and I was done by Sunday afternoon. The game was amazing, and seeing (and guessing) how it all came together was a blast.

It felt so good to finish a game for change, and it's inspired me to on to more. I'll finally restart and conquer "The World Ends With You," I'll restart my adventure in Hyrule and then save it in "The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess," and I'll find some other great games I tossed aside over the past two to five years.

Maybe I'm making my New Year's Resolution too early, but I'll try my best to finish everything I start from this moment on.

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