Review: Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask
Reviewer: Olen Bjorgo
It has been a long time, and I mean an incredibly long time, when a demo I played
in a store made me want to not only obtain a game but also the system for it. To
have it be the first game I’ve played in a now long-
The game starts with archaeologist, gentleman, and avid puzzle-
But, you know, no pressure.
Professor Layton’s first outing into three dimensions could be a bit jarring for longtime fans of the series when the previous four entries of the series were entirely 2D in art style, but the transition from a wonderful animated cutscene to the 3D models for the characters, and superb integration of said character models in a colorful city square, is beyond what you might expect from a first outing for an already established series, as well as a game that was among the launch titles for the 3DS in Japan. For me, this was a selling point that made me want to finally get a 3DS and finally retire my old DSLite.
While I have to admit that there were only a few truly standout earworms for me, this game delivers with a great orchestral soundtrack. Despite the emphasis that this game takes place in England, the characters are English, and the baffling logic as to why there is an expansive desert region on the island of Great Britain, the main theme of Monte d’Or seems to take more cues from French accordion music… and yet it works.
“…I’m sorry, what?”
Not only does it work, it just feels appropriate for what is basically a Las Vegas
The controls, as with previous installments, are fairly simplistic with a heavy emphasis
on stylus use. The overworld is the sort of fair you would expect from old point-
“Like making this cane…disappear!”
The backgrounds can be best described as eye candy with very few boring areas, which is to be expected with the primary setting being in a glitzy tourist destination. Whether you wish to use the full extent of the 3D while playing or simply have it turned off, you will not be disappointed by the environments you traverse. While the 2D backgrounds and art from previous entries have not been fully abandoned, the introduction of visual depth to the series has warranted some expected changes while still maintaining what fans could recognize as a Professor Layton game.
But, is it fun? Absolutely! If the mystery story making ties to Layton’s past and the present doesn’t keep you intrigued, the hours of puzzles definitely will. Disregarding any completionist urges to find all the collectable items and Hint Coins, or playing the mini puzzle games you obtain through the story’s progression, and if you’re as clever as the good professor, you’ll have at least a solid twelve hours of gameplay from the story alone. But including a year’s worth of puzzles you can download for free, the search for all collectibles, and finishing all the mini games, and want to complete all 150 puzzles within the game proper, you’ll have countless hours of enjoyment, well worth the full retail price.
If you’re new to the Professor Layton series like I am and you want a great game
to give your 3DS some use before some bigger titles come out this year, this game
is a good entry point, as the game is self-
Controls & Mechanics: 6
Atmosphere & Experience: 9
Entertainment Value: 9
Consoles: Nintendo 3DS
Publisher: Level 5/Nintendo
Release Date (U.S.): Oct 28, 2012 Release Date (U.K.): Oct 26, 2012
Release Date (JP): Feb 26, 2011
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