I'd never played a Layton video game so I got an expert to watch this with me. I needn't have worried, the set up is very nicely done and over in the blink of an eye leaving you suitably adjusted to the characters and the situation.
And it is a charming world the Layton cast of characters live in, like a Japanese school child's imagined version of London, all sky lines, top hats, gentlemanly behaviour and lovely old cars - but all apparently happening in modern Britian.
But every time I felt I was getting used to the Layton universe the story went nuts. There's a ghost, there's a floating theatre, there's wolves, the Atlaspheres from Gladiators, a demonic pipe organ and a couple of fun logic puzzles thrown in here and there. After a while I stopped trying to make sense of it and just went along for the ride, sword fight on a giant exploding mecha robot and all. It doesn't make a lick of sense, but it's all done with so much charm and that it doesn't seem to matter.
The only thing I didn't appreciate was the TV-movie moral at the end in which we are all assured that our loved ones are granted literal eternal life through our memories. REALLY? What about dead people survived by family who have acute memory loss or dementia? What about in 57 thousand years time when everything I ever said or did has been long forgotten, along with Shakespeare and Latin? Do we really want the likes of Nebuchadnezzar granted immortality by historians when 99% of the population of world history are forgotten and therefore have no place in eternity? Pretty rubbish world view if you ask me.
BUT..... high horses aside, I really enjoyed the movie and would love to try the games now. If you like the games I expect this will be right up your street and if (like me) you fancy seeing what the multi million selling fuss is about with out committing multiply hours & £30+ to the latest Layton game then this is a great 1st step.