Monday, December 12, 2011

Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva - review

I'd think it's no surprise to most reading this blog that I'm a big fan of the Professor Layton series. Since I run a Nintendo-only blog, I talk a lot about franchises that only appear on Nintendo platforms. The Professor Layton series is one of those, and I've really come to love it as time goes on. That love of the series really pushed my interest in the film.

Of course, it was a pain in the ass to actually get my hands on the film! I didn't think it was ever going to get localized in the states, but after a very long wait that move finally happened. Once I actually ordered and received the film, I was chomping at the bit to drop it in and have a watch. What did I end up thinking of it?

The long story short, if you really like the Professor Layton game series, you should love the movie just the same. For those that don't know, the Professor Layton games are split between two major elements, story and puzzles. Puzzles make up the bulk of the gameplay, and the story is told through animated cut-scenes and still shots.

The movie offers up both puzzles and story, but the main content here is the storyline. The film itself is told through animation that is right in line with what you see in the games, so those familiar with the franchise should feel right at home watching the movie. Smooth quality and simple style gives the Professor Layton film a look that you don't see in much anime.

The story itself focuses in on a mystery that calls in Professor Layton and his assistant Luke to solve. The mystery involves a mysterious man that says he's offering one person the gift of eternal life. Of course, a bunch of people are interested in winning that prize, but they have no idea of the crazy adventure they'll go on to try and win that gift.

Again, this movie plays out just like the games. The story/plot is very lighthearted, but it does have a sprinkling of serious moments. It's going to tug at the heartstrings, and it'll also take some whimsical twists and turns. Some of the stuff you'll see is unbelievable and fantastic, but that's how it's supposed to be taken.

The only time you'll have to take thinking and bring it to the forefront comes from the puzzle solving. Just like the game, there are a handful of puzzles here to be solved. The story always gives the viewers time to solve the puzzles for themselves before it moves along, and it makes you feel like you're interacting on another level than most films provide. Nothing too taxing, but a nice way to integrate one of the game's major selling points.

The only real downside here would have to be the voice acting. The cast is a mix of competent voice actors and rather sub-par performances. The voice actors from the game return for their movie roles, but outside of that you'll get a new cast. It's clear that some of these people aren't really well versed in voice acting. You know things are pretty bad when I'm complaining about them!

With that said, everything else about the film is fun and entertaining. It won't win any awards, but it's a fun film that game fans should enjoy. The soundtrack is actually quite enjoyable as well, which matches up with the game series once again. Considering all these elements, I'd say Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva is well worth a viewing for anyone that has even a passing interest in the games.

1 comment:

  1. I just ordered the movie from Best Buy so I hope I get the movie soon. I have seen the movie before, in both European and Japanese. Still, I am excited for the NA release. Most people don't like Luke's NA voice but I like it.