Review: Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask (Nintendo 3DS)
Everyone’s favorite Professor is back for another outing in Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask on Nintendo 3DS.
Layton games are well loved for their various puzzles and rich storylines so expectations for the fifth game in the series was understandably elevated. Does the game stand up to past titles?
Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask is set in the fictional city of Monte d’Or, known as the “City of Miracles”. A mysterious masked man shows up and turns the people of the city into stone. Professor Layton and his friends manage to survive the attack and set off to solve the epic riddle.
The adventure takes Professor Layton back to his highscool days and the game serves to get people caught up with the Professor’s backstory.
The game’s story is played out through beautifully animated, fully voiced and scored cutscenes. One annoyance for a huge fan of 3D is that the cutscenes appear to be converted into 3D, rather than being fully created for 3D. This means there’s some cross-over in some places — the background meets the foreground. These instances are far and few between, though and otherwise they look stunning.
A drawback about the story is that it is quite epic – perhaps too epic for the uninitiated. Some might dislike the slow pacing of the story since there is a little bit of time between puzzles in the story mode.
Puzzles, though, are the main draw for the Layton series and Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask has them in bucket loads. The game comes pre-loaded with 150 puzzles which you will encounter naturally, and 365 extra puzzles are delivered via SpotPass – one per day for a year. These are simply downloaded and the more you solve, the more furniture Professor Layton gets for his house.
Puzzles are a step up from previous games, their design is flawless and most will have you scratching your head for a long time. Some are quick and fun, others will take hours to solve and have you frustrated at their simplicity.
Longtime fans of the series might feel that some puzzle types have been recycled one too many times, but the sheer amount of puzzles in the game and the high quality of each and every one of them are more than enough reasons to overlook this one drawback.
The sound in Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask is beautiful and overall very relaxing. It makes playing through the game an absolute pleasure.
Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask is a must get for puzzle fans of any age. There’s loads packed into the little cartridge making it the perfect buy for anyone with a Nintendo 3DS.
You’ll need a dash of patience, but as we’ve been told before, there is no puzzle without a solution!