December 4th, 2008

games, MTGO, Niv-Mizzet

Notes on Professor Layton

A bit over a week ago, I got a copy of Professor Layton and the Curious Village for the Nintendo DS. I just finished clearing the story, although there are 9 hidden puzzles I haven't found yet, and I've still got bonus-material puzzles to complete, plus about half of the downloadables. The game varied from "trivial" to "requires small amounts of actual thought", with a difficulty spike at the end resulting in a handful of puzzles I had to actually think about. This puts it at about the same difficulty as most other general brainteaser products I've worked my way through; they just gave this one a different interface and wrapped a story arhound it. Honestly, it works pretty well, but I'm acutely aware that just the puzzles could mostly be had in book form for around $10, and the puzzles that aren't quite pure paper have been implemented as open-source software. I'd hope the sequel would ramp the difficulty up, but I know that would make it hit a smaller market, not a larger one; I'll have to stick to specialized collections of my preferred variation of logic puzzle that hit the challenge level I need.

I feel like rambling about the story, though. I could have had the puzzles for about half as much as I spent on the cartridge, but the story was worth it, although it's clear I overthought it. (I figured out the well-foreshadowed "twists" about half the game before they were actually revealed, though.)

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Vacation schedule

I've finally gotten it worked out with my boss how I'll be using my vacation time. I have over a week of vacation time that's going to expire at the end of the year if I don't take it, since I haven't taken any vacation time until now and only one year's worth of accumulation can be carried over- and I've been at Microsoft for a year and a half.

The upshot to this is that the 12th of December is the last day I'll work this year; I have the remainder of the year off.

Not sure how I'll use the time, but the vacation is definitely much-needed. Well, I do know part of how I'll use the time: aggressively cleaning up this apartment. Hopefully for guests, but I don't have guests lined up.

Yet. :)
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