on 17 January 2013
First of all, after scrolling down, most of the one or two star reviews are from people who bought the game thinking it would run on their old DS (DSi, DS lite etc.) and whilst a few of them are jokes, these should all be ignored because these people aren't reviewing the game, they're reviewing amazon's inability to make 3DS games run on their DS, Gameboy, or PS3. This is not a valid criticism of any in game mechanic or feature.
I just want to say that I'm about an hour into it and the worst I can say about it is that the puzzles seem a little bit easier. The puzzles are still hard enough to be entertaining, but everything else has been done just as good as the last game, if not then better. The visuals are impressive, the game runs smoothly and has excellent storytelling.
I have to say that Professor Layton games are easy to get into if you haven't played any of the games before any specific entry, but this one won't disappoint for old fans like me. Definitely worth picking up.
on 27 October 2012
As a fan of Professor Layton I know I wasn't alone in worrying about where the series could go once I'd completed "Spectre's Call." Though the game was still entertaining to a point, it was obvious that the games' formulaic approach was wearing thin. The series needed a little change in direction and thankfully that is provided in the Professor's first outing on the 3DS.
The main core of the game hasn't changed. The Professor receives another letter from another old friend describing another strange set of events at another odd little town. He sets off to investigate, with Luke and assistant Emmy in tow, to find a town full of odd people who converse and live their lives providing puzzles to strangers. It's everything you've come to enjoy from Layton.
The big changes attribute greatly to the 3D factor. Conversations, navigation and a lot of puzzle solving now takes place using the 3D screen. No more prodding around every inch of the environment looking for hint coins, as the new magnifying glass search reveals areas worth investigating for you. No more flat, gestureless dialogues with the townsfolk, as the more rotund, 3D characters gesticulate greatly whilst speaking on the top screen. It takes a little getting used to seeing the characters in a more polygon model, but it succeeds in giving extra life to them. The anime cutscenes are even more impressive in 3D and the carnival like town of Monte D'or provides a stunning backdrop.
Of course, once past the visuals, it is the gameplay that is of most importance. The puzzles here are as entertaining and head scratching as they've always been, with a steady difficulty curve but a good mixture as well. Whilst not many take as much advantage of the 3D available as I feel the could, there are a few welcome breaks in play in the form of other guises, (horseriding anyone?) The story is also intriguing due to the flashbacks to the past, and the ability to play within these flashbacks, making for some interesting plot turns and discoveries about the Professor's past, though I'd argue this is one the weakest mysteries to solve in the series so far (it's sort of obvious who the villains are here.) The minigames are much improved, with all three being playable to the end. In previous games, my interest has waned in at least one of these minigames and in one of the games (Lost Future I think) I didn't bother with any of them.
My only minor gripe was the pateince you have to allow yourself for this game. It's a good job that you spend a good while being amazed at the visuals in this game because in my first two hours of gameplay I only came across ten puzzles. There is a lot of talking to characters who, for the first time ever in a Layton game, don't insist on giving you a puzzle to solve before giving you information. It's a strange choice from Level 5, but you are rewarded for this patience as the game wears on.
This was a much needed change of pace for the Professor. Spend some time zooming in and out of the environments and just enjoying the splendour of a well loved series in 3D, before getting down to a few good old head-scratchers. Had we had more of the same, I may have grown tired of Layton and called time on my interest in the series. As it is, I can enjoy this game (one free puzzle a day for a year) until the next one is released, rumoured to be the last for the DS, something I'll be genuinely sad about
on 6 January 2013
So I have numerous DS's and game boys and I really thought that I didn't need a 3DS because I already had a DSi XL but then I hear about this and being a huge fan of the games I knew I had to get one. So I did and it was worth it, I've only just started the game and it's already made me give it 5 stars. The whole 3D aspect makes it feel completely new but still loveable in the ol' Layton way and I can't wait to spend several hours just playing it. Just a simple review because the stars already express my view of this game.
on 30 October 2012
Fantastic game - It seems that every time Professor Layton is realised the game just gets better and beter - The graphics are spectacular and the puzzles do give your brain cells a good workout - I will be buying another copy and the 3DS XL for my retied mother for Christmas - BEST GIFT TO GIVE SOMEONE FOR CHRISTMAS
on 12 January 2013
The 3d effects are truly remarkable and the game is the best in the Professor Layton series. Role on the next one.
on 2 April 2013
Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask is one of the best games I have ever played. I was a little nervous when I first brought it, because I wasn't sure about the graphics because it is on 3DS I was scared Level 5 and NIntendo had changed everything, so it was nice to see that they had kept the cutscenes and most of the graphics the same. In 3D you really feel as if you are inside the game, and the new ways to move and investigate make you feel even more involved.
I enjoyed going to Stansbury, where Professor Layton grew up and finding more out about him. As usual the puzzles were amazing fun and challenging to solve, and hint coins were everywhere. I loved the game more and more as I got nearer the end. This is by far one of the best Layton games so far! (For me going in just after The Lost Future)
The ending was a little happier than most of the games. And I must say I am looking forward to the next and final Professor Layton game.
I completed Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask in 22hrs 45minutes. And I want to replay every second, a simply charming game.
on 6 November 2012
To the people giving it one star, video games consoles have a life span of 5-6 years, and have done for the last 25 years. The fact that this game is on a new console after 4 DS games shouldn't be surprising, or a reason to mark it down. I suspect this is down to the DS being some reviewers' first games console. Welcome to a fantastic pastime, all, but yes, you do need to upgrade the hardware if you want to play the latest games. This is in no way unusual, it's absolutely standard for all computer games, and it is clearly marked on the box and in the Amazon entry when you bought it. Like any media product, check it runs on your hardware before buying!
Onto the game itself. It uses the new 3DS features to good effect- better graphics, cut scenes and one of the better uses of 3D so far on the system- the gentle pace of Layton and static backgrounds work well with it. I found the main story lacking, but the characterisation of Layton's childhood friends and their place in the mystery makes up for it. Music is as good as ever, gentle accordions in full effect.
Some puzzles repeat several times (getting slightly harder variations) but this is no different to any previous entry, and the extra puzzles more than make up for it. An extra puzzle is available every day for a year after the original release date, and you only need to tap one button to download all that have been released so far- easy to use and packed with value for Layton fans.
A walking robot minigame is good fun, along with a shelf stacking game and a horse riding one that becomes available about halfway through. The last minigame is a rabbit training game- perhaps it might be fun for anyone that likes nintendogs, but I found it a bit tedious.
All in all, it took over 16 hours for me to finish the story and the majority of the puzzles and minigames, and I still have 355 daily puzzles to go that I'll be dipping into now and then. For those that buy the game after November 2013, you might be able to download all 365 extra puzzles at once!
To summarize then, it's great value. Perhaps not the best Layton story ever, but it is packed with great characters and content, so if you are just here for the puzzles and gentle whimsical humour, it's a good buy that'll keep you going back to it for ages.
on 12 November 2012
It's the very essence of Professor Layton series with 3D cherry on top. After problems with day one Daily Puzzle downloads (I thought - 'London Life' again or what!) got solved, I can tell ya'll honestly, the best Layton game yet. I just hope that Azran Legacies will be even better... and released sooner.
We've been waiting for this one almost 2 years, Level-5, seriously?
on 3 January 2013
I love the whole new design and style of the game for the Nintendo 3DS system. I like the whole ' horseriding & and other interactions' which is contained in the game. I previously bought The Curious village and loved it and the ending and I'll be getting the other games but not the unbound future as I rented years ago from blockbuster and completed it! Defo into puzzle games now and I could say I'm a gamer to the puzzle from now on. :)
The only thing which I did'nt like was the arrival of the game because it 'apparently came before several times' before xmas therefore I collect on the Post Office yesterday after coming back from holiday but due to overall being patience and being holiday I was finally able to collect and play it . But in this review as I'm only talking about the game and not delivery status defo 5 stars to Prof. L !! :D
on 26 November 2012
This is my first Layton game, and I understand that the series is quite popular.
It is indeed an exquisitely well-polished game. But it's not really what I was looking for. I'll write down the reasons, in case you are like me and you don't exactly fit within the target audience.
1. The story has some interesting twists, but unfortunately takes itself a bit too seriously. I felt that it is drawn for too long. While moderately interesting in the beginning, the story throws rather irrelevant details at you, which are not very fun on their own and do not help move the story forward. I wish that the puzzles appeared faster.
2. The puzzles themselves are okay, but not very exciting. They are too easy, for the most part. And when they are difficult, they are not difficult in a "hard, but fun" way.
I am especially disappointed by the large number of puzzles that rely on "thinking out of the box", rather than straight logic. For example, one later puzzle asks you how many packages of a given size can be fit in two wooden crates. The obvious answer is wrong. The final unlockable hint tells you: if you were to break open the two wooden boxes... and join them together into one larger box... then you could fit two more packages. Honestly, I don't enjoy it when a puzzle depends on misinterpreting the rules!
Of course, not all puzzles are like that. You can add your favorite puzzles to a special list, and I added there about four genuinely good puzzles - out of 80 puzzles completed.
My "Activity Log" on the Nintendo 3DS shows that I have played the game for 19 hours. Mind you, much of this was reading the story. It's good that the game kept my attention long enough. But, to tell you the truth, I did hope that the puzzles got better later on.
I have another puzzle game, "James Noir's Holywood Crimes 3D", which is a superior puzzle game in many respects. The puzzles are more interesting, more replayable, and utilize the Nintendo 3DS hardware in surprising ways. There is just enough story content to provide some context, while allowing you to jump into puzzle solving right away.
Again, this Layton game is okay... just maybe not for me. It has great production values and seems very accessible to a younger audience.