Review: Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask (3DS)

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Another Puzzle Solved

Review: Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask (3DS) Hni_0016

Taking a huge leap from previous adventures, we see the brilliant Professor Hershel Layton make a triumphiant return sporting brand new 3D graphics. This latest game is the fifth in the Professor Layton series; improving on the previous formula of exploration and puzzle solving.
This adventure takes young Layton, his hearty and cheerful apprentice Luke Triton, and his courageous and energetic assistant Emmy Altava to the new locale of Monte d'Or. This thriving city is built surprisingly in the middle of a vast desert, and in few yeard became a popular carnival city for tourists. Layton has come to visit the blooming town not for the fun, but because of a peculiar letter he recieved from his old school friend, Angela.
Playing as Layton, you travel through the city to discover the true answers to the mysteries of Monte d'Or, as well as a mysterious cloaked figure who appears. This shadowy man calls himself the "Masked Gentleman", and he bewilders the city with his magical powers granted to him by the Mask of Chaos. He hosts performances unannounced around the town, although his true intentions aren't to entertain. This sets the world famous Layton and crew off on another remarkably fun adventure to discover the solution to this giant case, and save Monte d'Or.
Layton takes a dive into his past as well, offering some insight into why he decided to become an archaeologist in the first place You meet his parents, childhood friends, and delve deeper into the mysterious Azran cinilization.
Of course Professor Layton wouldn't go anywhere without his world famous puzzles, and there are more than ever before to be found here. Sporting the smooth new 3D graphics, the puzzles are as clever and brilliant as ever, and they really shine in this entry. Ranging in difficulty, called Picarats, puzzles all require the touch screen only to complete them. Puzzles range in type, with something sure to please someone and to aggravate others. Luckily there are Hint Coins to use; little coins found around Monte d'Or that offer hints to your current puzzle to prevent frustration. There are well over a hundred puzzles here, and less than that are needed to win. Key points are only accessible by solving a set amount of puzzles, so they are critical to advancing the story.
The overworld in this instalment is perfect for the series, with intricately detailed towns, buildings, and even out of the way places like deserts and caves. The 3D graphics again are amazing, although past fans may take a little while to adjust. The size of the city is small, but there are lots of small places to check out and visit, plus reasons to return to older places as well.
To move through the world, you use tap the touch screen in the direction you want to move in. There are arrows pointing to different parts of the map. A magnifying glass helps as well, to look around and find hidden items and puzzles. The magnifying glass has taken on a new mode as well. No more tapping every inch of the screen, you simply drag it to search. The glass changes color when over a point of interest and saves a lot of effort and makes it more enjoyable.
The Professor has a trunk he carries around, containing useful appliances for your journey. The top screen displays information like location, time played and puzzles solved. The bottom section shows a journal of the story so far, the mysteries you have noticed, and a save button, along with minigames to play. The minigames are all wonderfully fun distractions sure to entertain you for a little while; they are meant as something to do and calm down while stuck on a puzzle. There are also talking scenes with the cast in them that really bring the citizens of the world to life.
The game is sure to keep you in suspense, although this time around the villian is easier to tell who it is than ever before. But after the 15 hour minimum story, there are bonuses to play. Daily puzzles will come in for a year through Spotpass, as well as bonus puzzles, images and more based on your score in the game. Picarats are what determine this, and solving puzzles on the first try gets you the most. Some other new features include a clever horse riding minigame, but it will undoubtedly not hold your interest for long.
Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask is a wonderful new take on the series, updating only the most tried and true portions and making them seem fresh. The puzzles, graphics, characters and soundtrack are all enjoyable and make the experience one of the best in the series. A wonderful game in the series, even at points delving into Layton's past for older and newer fans alike, that everyone is sure to love.

Score: 9/10

Last edited by Professor Clayton on Sat Mar 23, 2013 5:36 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Review: Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask (3DS) Claysig_copy
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Review: Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask (3DS) :: Comments

Professor Clayton

Post on Sat Mar 23, 2013 3:39 pm by Professor Clayton

This review took a while, let me know what you all think! Also please feel free to point out any spelling / grammar errors. Razz

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Post on Sat Mar 23, 2013 4:29 pm by Knuckles

Pretty good, but short. If you said all you needed to say, then length doesn't matter.

Can you retrieve all of daily puzzles if you didn't buy Miracle Mask day 1, or is it like spotpass gems?

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Capn' Pancakes

Post on Sat Mar 23, 2013 5:14 pm by Capn' Pancakes

Good review Clay! I got the game for Christmas but I haven't played it yet U-U

In the fourth paragraph direction is spelled durection. In the fifth carries is spelled carrues and it's tired and true instead of tried and true. Sorry to be the one to point those out tongue

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Professor Clayton

Post on Sat Mar 23, 2013 5:40 pm by Professor Clayton

I lengthened the review~

Knuckles- I don't know really. I know I have every puzzle even though I bought it late, but they may not be available after the 1 year. I'd assume they would though.

Capn- Go play it then! It's a good one. :3 Thanks for pointing out the errors~

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Capn' Pancakes

Post on Sat Mar 23, 2013 5:51 pm by Capn' Pancakes

Prof - I intend to, but i'm going to play the series in the order they were released. So far i've only beaten the Curious Village.

I also blame my grammar Nazi tenancies on the fact that my sister is majoring in Language U-U

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Post on Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:07 pm by Wonder_Mask

Pretty good game. :3 I liked the ruins segment the best though. Razz

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Professor Clayton

Post on Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:52 pm by Professor Clayton

@HappyMask That was pretty fun, although dragged out just a little too much for me. Sad

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Post on Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:18 pm by Wonder_Mask

@Clay Yeah, But flipping ROBOT, NINJA, MUMMIES! :3

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