I really loved playing this game. The graphics are beautiful -- they look a lot like a Miyazaki movie (Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle) -- the mysteries are fun, the pacing is great, and the puzzles are fun to solve.
I've seen reviews in which people say things like, "it's boring just trying all the possibilities for each puzzle until you find the right one." The whole point is to enjoy solving the puzzles yourself! My advice is, don't rush through the game. Don't cheat to find the answers by force or trial and error. Try to figure them out yourself! Enjoy it!
If you don't like solving puzzles, fair enough! I personally don't like games in which the character runs around shooting monsters, you know? We all like different things.
There are only a few drawbacks to this game.
#1. Some of the puzzles are frustrating, not difficult. For example, one puzzle is a picture of a scene in which something is wrong, and the puzzle solver is supposed to figure out what's wrong logically. The problem is that the scene is dark and it's raining, so it's actually difficult to see the scene at all, much less figure out what's logically wrong.
#2. The major "mysteries" of the game are solved by playing forward through the game, rather than by you, the player. For example, in the beginning of the game, Professor Layton and Luke are looking for a missing child, Tom. I figured out almost immediately why they were having so much trouble finding Tom, but I wasn't able to tell the game that -- the mystery was "solved" for me by Professor long after I had figured it out.
#3. It's too short! But that's sort of a complaint of love....
So, on the whole, this game is wonderful, though it's not for everyone. If you like puzzles, and don't mind patiently figuring them out, then play this game! And I would give basically the same review for the first Professor Layton game.
Professor Hershell Layton and his assistant Luke return for another exciting adventure filled with mysteries and of course, puzzle solving. After witnessing the death of Layton's mentor, the two pursue the last mystery he was working on, the Elysian Box, a box that is said to kill all those who dare to open it. The mini games also make a comeback this time around and more voice work is added to certain scenes. A "colorful" new set of characters are here as well as others from the first game make a surprise entrance. And people who have wanted to open the secret door in the first game can finally see what it holds. And of course, there is a secret door in this game as well as the confirmation of a third game in the works. I can't wait for it but until then, I'll be playing this one. I had a lot of fun playing this game. No complaints except for maybe a few tricky puzzles but that's what guides are there for. I highly recommened it for fans of the first game.
Just finished it, took ~11 hrs vs ~7 for the first one. Possibly due to more storyline, as puzzles (apart from a couple of real stinkers) seemed generally easier than the first one. Definately a 'can't put it down' game. Would recommend playing the first one though, as parts of the story follow on from that.