Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask – Review

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Some games never seem to bore. Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask is, after all, the fifth in a seemingly never-ending series (the next few games have already been named). This time we’re treated to a mind-breaking blast from the past. The good professor is confronted by his painful youth. Cue in puzzles that more often than not require you to put on your thinking-hat.

Let’s go into the story first. Layton, his sidekick Luke and assistant Emmy, have reached Monte d’Or, a sprawling city based on Las Vegas, but without all the drugs, prostitution and money laundering. You know, things generally accepted as harmful to children. There is the whole turning people to stone or burning them to ashes on stage though, we can’t see that going down too well with any child services department. Anyone who has played any of the previous Professor Layton-games knows that most things require a second glance. Or a third.

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So Hershel sets off on a new adventure, meets some people from his past, long-time friends even, trying to literally unmask the culprit behind several mysteries plaguing Monte d’Or.

Accompanied by dozens of puzzles of course. One hundred thirty-three to be precise. Not counting the free daily riddles available for download, nor the many mini-games. We sincerely hope you’ve trained those brain-muscles, because the more intricate puzzles will otherwise leave you stumped.

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Needless to say, you should only get into Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask if you’re interested in puzzles, riddles and other such brainteasers. There’s no point to it otherwise, because that’s the whole point to the entire series.

That being said we did notices a really bad case of excessive recycling. Having rabbits hop over each other to turn them all black isn’t just a one-time occurrence. It’s not an exception either, never mind that the same puzzle has also been repackaged with kittens.

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Long-time fans will notice many rehashes from the previous games. It’s not too bad, the story and other riddles are still engaging, but it remains an unsettling trend considering a confirmed future for Layton and his friends.

But don’t let it bother you too much. For now it’s enough to know that once again Layton delivers the way he always does. Not to mention that the animation looks better than ever, with more details than ever before. Somewhere out there thousands of archeology students are secretly fantasizing about a becoming a real-life doctor Jones, a real Indy. Hershel Layton wouldn’t be a bad second pick. After all, a true gentleman leaves no puzzle unsolved.

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