Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask for the 3DS is a special game by Level 5 and Nintendo, and released in 2012. When seeing it in stores, I was intrigued in the game and wanted to see what it was like, so I bought it. The one question remaining is. Was the purchase worth it? Or did it have me puzzling as to why I bought it? Let’s find out!
The story follows Professor Layton, and his two sidekicks Luke and Emmy, as they try to uncover the mystery of the Masked Gentleman. A man causing chaos within Monte D’or, the city the game takes place in. Along the way, Professor Layton tells some of his past, relating to his old friend Randall, and how he was lost. The story was something that I enjoyed, it was something that made me want to play on to see how the ending would play out. Even though some of the twists were obvious, there was one near the end that shocked me. The ending even caused me to burst into tears. This shows that I bonded with the characters and didn’t want anything to happen to them. The gameplay it’s self is a combination of point and click and puzzles. You use the stylus the move a magnifying glass and click on various things and people, and solve puzzles to progress with the story. This is something that I enjoyed, it made it feel like something I could casually pick up and play whenever I wanted to, and since it’s on the 3DS, I could play it anywhere I wanted, and enjoy it too.
Going into the puzzle idea, they are challenging and there are over 100 of them, which is a good thing. The only thing is that for completing a puzzle, you get points or picarats, and the more times you get it incorrect, you lose picarats from the amount you will earn when you eventually solve the puzzle. The only problem with this, is that it won’t keep depleting until it reached zero. Instead, it will take picarats twice, and then stay there for the duration of the puzzle, no matter how many more times you fail at solving one. This takes away from the sense of penalty in the game. Not only that, but I have no idea where to use the picarats besides them just being bragging rights to your friends. On the bright side, the hints aren’t infinite. If you want hints, you have to find hint coins in the over world, and then use them for hints. If you don’t have a hint coin, you’re out of luck. This is a good idea because it stops players from spamming hints and making players want to save their coins for later puzzles and ones they cannot solve. One last thing is not all puzzles will be found while playing through the story, you have to look around the map for them, but if you don’t find them, you will be able to play them, but later on, this adds a sense of exploration, allowing you to find hint coins, and other treasures along the way.
The graphics look good. A lot like a childish cartoon during gameplay, and more of an anime style in cut scenes. Now, when the game goes into cutscene mode, the graphics look incredible, just incredible. In fact, it’s the best graphics i’ve seen on a handheld device in a while. This is good because it feels like you are playing through an anime. The only problem is that it doesn’t always have these amazing graphics, and going from one of the cut scenes to gameplay style graphics is a bit under whelming. But, when you do get the amazing graphics, it is a beautiful site to cherish.
This game has good music in it. Not so memorable though, but they fit the scenes perfectly. The game also has voice acting in it. This adds another dimension to the characters you couldn’t feel if you couldn’t hear voices from them. Overall, the voice acting was done well, none were done poorly and like I stated it was a delight to hear.