Time to solve those mysteries
- Charming visuals and fantastic use of 3D
- Full of varied puzzles
- Limited soundtrack
- Little change in gameplay
It’s that time of year again. The time where mysteries need solving and criminals need catching. Thankfully, Professor Layton is back and with trusty side kick Luke in tow, ready to put the questions to bed.
In this 3DS outing, the pair are joined by Layton’s friend, Emmy, as they hunt down the mysterious Masked Gentleman, who appears to be behind a series of strange events unfolding in the city of Monte d’Or.
The concept is familiar for those of you who have played any of the four previous Professor Layton games. Layton, Luke and Emmy set out on a quest to solve the mystery, uncovering clues as they try to discover what is behind the set of bizarre, supernatural-esque events. The mask of power has been stolen and Layton must work with the people of Monte d’Or in order to retrieve it and put an end to the madness. As the player, you must answer a series of puzzles and put together the clues, helping Layton towards his goal.
The puzzles, as always, are fun and really get your brain working. As you speak with the town citizens, you will be given many, many puzzles to solve. Not all of them will actually help with the mystery, but they are entertaining none the less. The puzzles are not all straightforward and you may find yourself being tricked, such as in level five, but this isn’t a bad thing. It keeps you alert and on your toes. Where’s the fun if you don’t even have to think? And besides, there are always hints to help you out of you get really stuck. The puzzles are fairly reminiscent of other Professor Layton games, but one new addition is the puzzles utilised for the 3D technology of the 3DS, which adds a new and interesting layer.
Of course, it’s not all about solving the puzzles. Throughout the game, you can also unlock mini-games, collectibles and video journals. These are mostly extra tid-bits and may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Some may prefer to simply focus on the main story and not get distracted with the side plots, but for anyone wishing to mix gameplay up a bit, these extras add something more. Once you have completed the main story, it is also possible to download extra content with daily downloadable puzzles, via the Nintendo Network.
Throughout this game, you will also see flashbacks to Layton’s younger years, giving the main character more of a back-story and helping you to understand where he comes from.
Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask follows the same format as others in the series. As always, the graphics are simple yet pleasing. The charming hand-drawn illustrations work perfectly and the 3D quality is fantastic.
There is a mix of audible and written dialogue, although this can be rather lengthy at times. The music is pleasant enough, although again, it can get a little tiresome, but all in all, none of this is really an issue.
This is the first Professor Layton game to make its appearance on the 3DS and it is not a disappointment. The story is fresh, the graphics are superb and although it hasn’t really changed, the gameplay is as brilliant as ever. It is challenging enough to keep all players interested and the story never gets dull. It is worth a play no matter what age you may be!