Last Level Press

Review: Professor Layton & The Azran Legacy

Reviewer: Olen Bjorgo

Anyone with a good memory or who looks through our old reviews on occasion will be able to tell you that the first review ever made for Last Level Press was my review of Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask all the way back in February 2013. Though I was unable to make an anniversary review for this game at the time, I still wanted to review this game because it’s definitely Professor Layton’s biggest outing yet. Considering how this is also the last game of the prequel trilogy before the main trilogy on the Nintendo DS, as well as being the last game to feature Professor Layton himself, delivering this a bit late could be forgiven… right?

“Go on…”

Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy takes place a few months after the events of Miracle Mask, when an expert on the mysterious Azran civilization, Professor Sycamore, claims to have discovered a “living mummy” and asks for Professor Layton to come investigate it. Along with Luke Triton and Emmy Altava, the professor’s self-proclaimed apprentice and assistant respectively, they travel to the snowy city of Froenberg. When the living mummy, Aurora, awakens from her cryogenic sleep, she aids the group in a trip around the world to get the Azran Legacy, a gift left behind by the super-advanced civilization to whoever was worthy to find it. However, a mysterious paramilitary group known as Targent, led by an archaeologist named Leon Bronev, also wants the Azran Legacy. And lurking in the shadows is Layton’s arch nemesis and rival, Jean Descole, who hopes to get the Azran Legacy before Layton or Targent! It’s a race around the globe to find the keys that will unleash the power of the Azran.

“Show of hands, who here has thawed a mummy before?  

Just me?  Awkward.”

Just like Miracle Mask, the game looks astounding. While the transition from 2D to 3D is no longer as jarring as it once was, that simply means it feels and looks a lot more expected and natural. The backgrounds and characters are lovingly created, and have the same charm one should expect after five games; the travel to various different locales and seeing the people who live in these locations all dressed and looking like you might expect in their given environments present in what could possibly be the most unique looking set of characters in the series. The short snippets of animation are fluid and stay true to the style of the game as a whole. And the puzzles, the most visually consuming thing next to inspecting every inch of an environment for Hint Coins, are still as charming and fun to look at as they are to solve. Truth be told, I honestly saw nothing that broke my immersion.

“Now my concentration, on the other hand…”

“So sorry, was I saying something?.”

As with all the previous Professor Layton games, the soundtrack was composed by Level-5 regular Tomohito Nishiura (Rogue Galaxy, Dark Chronicle). I feel like the best way to describe the soundtrack is to imagine if Indiana Jones was aimed at young children and instead of being an American he was an English gentleman… okay, let me try again. The music is, for the most part, soft sounding: there’s not really anything harsh or grating on the ears. The only theme you could call bombastic would be Descole’s theme, which starts with an intense and dignified menacing piece on an organ followed by a symphonic blast of strings and brass instruments. It’s funny when you compare it to Targent’s theme, which sounds more subdued but still threatening. Some of the tracks, especially the more emotional piano pieces, could be used to help you fall asleep because they’re simply that soothing. For a game that has you traveling around the world in search of ancient relics that may sound like a bad thing, but many of these relics are also in places that are essentially peaceful, out of the way, and simply in their own little world.

The controls are pretty basic and quick to pick up, especially if you played prior Professor Layton titles. The touchscreen is king as you use it to interact with and inspect the environment, solve puzzles, play the mini-games that are optional, search for Hint Coins, and so on. The buttons get little use except for the A button, which is used to go through dialogue. Beyond that though, it’s not a difficult game to play control wise. The only issue you may have is with any puzzles that require you to write a number with the stylus, especially if you have terrible handwriting, but that’s a very minor issue since those types of puzzles aren’t as numerous as simply picking a choice on the screen. How a 9 was registered as a 5 I’ll never understand, but it happened once and mistakes happen.

“You callin’ me a liar?”

The game felt massive, and was full of hidden puzzles and items so it allowed for you to revisit areas, especially with a certain feature involving articles from the World Times where you could go back to places you had initially completed to find new puzzles and interact with the denizens of that area in a new way. However, some of the twists in the story near the end felt a bit out of left field, and gave you no indication they would happen, which is a real shame. With Miracle Mask I was left thinking one character was the Masked Gentleman when it revealed how the miracles were done, who the Masked Gentleman was, and left you wondering how that was possible when it explained again how it all came together. With Azran Legacy, the twists felt like they were thrown in to create drama rather than build-up to the drama. Overall, it did end with Professor Layton and Luke driving off toward a village… the village that was the setting for the very first Professor Layton game.

If you’re a Professor Layton fan, you already own the game. While this is the last entry in a trilogy of prequel games to another trilogy, you can still have a lot of fun playing this game simply on its own merits. I would suggest getting Miracle Mask along with Azran Legacy because you can get a neat little bonus if you complete Miracle Mask before Azran Legacy in the form of a code. Otherwise, if you don’t enjoy puzzles, then you’re not going to enjoy such a gentlemanly game.

Rating: 7.6

Visuals: 10
Audio: 8
Controls & Mechanics: 6
Atmosphere & Experience: 7
Entertainment Value: 7

Final Verdict:


  Consoles: Nintendo 3DS

  Developer: Level-5

  Publisher: Level-5/Nintendo

  Release Date (U.S.): Feb 28, 2014

  Release Date (U.K.): Nov 8, 2013

  Release Date (JP): Feb 28, 2013

Last Level Press © Copyright Cliff Davenport  Est. 2013.  Links | Legal Notices

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