Every puzzle has an answer – but sometimes, it's not quite the outcome you were hoping for. The puzzle in question was whether the upcoming Professor Layton and the Spectre's Call would feature the bonus London Life game, as it does over in Japan.
Professor Layton and the Last Spectre acts as a prequel to the first game, Professor Layton and the Curious Village, and details the events of when Layton met his assistant Luke. Like a top-hatted puzzle magpie, Layton is attracted to the village of Mist Haley when he hears about the giant shadowy being terrorising the town – according to the local legend, this ghost is supposed to protect the town once he's summoned by a mystical flute. As always it's up to Layton, Luke and the Professor's old colleague Emmy Atava to find out why things have suddenly changed by solving all sorts of puzzles.
A few days ago, a press release mentioned that London Life would be coming to North American DS', and would be available right from the beginning of the game, unlike in the Japanese version, where you have to finish the game to unlock it. Of course, we're used to Americans getting stuff before us – and seeing as their game is out before ours, we thought nothing of it, expecting a similar press release a bit later down the line telling us the same thing, but with the word 'America' swapped for 'Europe'.
Until today, when Nintendo of Europe have announced that the London Life extra is exclusive to the American version of the game – that means it won't be available in the UK. Considering the thing's called London Life, you'd think they'd be making a point of releasing it over here, but apparently not.
The reason for the minigame's exclusion that's being most banded about is because of localisation, but we're not really convinced. Releasing a game over in Europe isn't quite as simple as changing a few spellings in the US version and sending it on it's way – there's far more languages in Europe, so games often have to be translated into French, German, Spanish and Italian on top of English. Obviously, this makes a game more costly to release in Europe – but when you're already translating reams and reams of puzzles, what's a few more lines of dialogue? Especially as it looks like there's no voice acting, and everything is told through text – text which, if other similar games are anything to go by, will be repeated quite often, as characters usually seem to only have a few different lines they go through. Or, why not just release the game with London Life in English? Although it may sound a tad arrogant, the truth is most other countries have at least a basic understanding of English anyway - and at least then they wouldn't be missing out.
Whatever their reasons for not giving us London Life, we're hoping (but not exactly expecting) that perhaps we'll get the game at a reduced price, seeing as we're effectively getting half the game the rest of the world are – maybe £19.99 rather than £29.99.
If you really had your heart set on London Life, you could always try and import it from America, as DS games/consoles are region-free and you should be fine playing it, even on your 3DS. In the meantime, we can always hope Nintendo of Europe change their minds before the game releases in November, although we're not counting on anything...