I really enjoyed the original Professor Layton, and was glad to get the sequel (Professor Layton and Pandora’s Box - for some cultural reason ‘Diabolical Box’ on the web site, I assume internationally some people haven’t heard of Pandora’s Box) from a friend as an early Christmas present. So far it seems like more of the same “puzzles embedded in slightly hokey but nonetheless enjoyable story, set in a whimsical Victorian era”, which is precisely what fans of the original (which includes me) wanted. In many ways it reminds me of reading The Famous Five books as a child, to the extent that I’m expecting someone to propose the consumption of ’lashings and lashings of ginger beer’ and for Timmy to say ‘woof’ in his traditional enigmatic fashion, at any moment.
There’s only one problem. They seem to have decided to increase the amount of voice acting this time around (at least in the introductary sections), and Luke - the Professor’s constant companion and apprentice mystery solver - has an absolutely terrible mockney accent. I actually had the US version of the original (because EU distribution was terrible), where Luke’s accent was fairly standard ‘public school received pronunciation’ style, but in the EU version they mocnkeyfied him it seems. Here’s a comparisoin of the two Curious Village versions:
This time I’ve got the EU edition and they seem to have decided to let it all hang out and compete with Dick van Dyke for the oscar of Worst Cockney Accent Ever. And you know, I think they’d win. It’s that bad. I can’t find any videos online of the EU version, but this basically sums it up:
“Bloimey Prowfesha, wot’s that?”
NNNnnggg. As heart-warming as the rest of the game is, and as trivial as this issue is (and in no way does it detract from the game’s enjoyment), when this boy chimes in it’s like nails down a blackboard for me and probably anyone else in the country; I hate to think how Londoners would take it.
I know the game is taking an incredibly whimsical view of the world, that’s part of its charm, but how did anyone not notice how grating that accent was? My only conclusion is that it was acted and organised by people who have watched Mary Poppins several hundred times over until they are slightly unhinged.