Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask

Preview: Professor Layton 3DS looks amazing

1:00 PM on 10.15.2012 // Steven Hansen

Everything 2D needs this much style

Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask launched with the 3DS. In Japan, anyway. We’ve had to wait a bit longer. Over a year and a half. You know what they say: Rome wasn’t localized in a day. Thankfully, Miracle Mask is indeed coming to the 3DS in just a couple of weeks for those of us whose Japanese is non-existent.

Set a year after the previous game in the series, Miracle Mask takes place in The City of Miracles, Monte d'Or, a gorgeous, European-style town in the throes of a celebratory carnival that is interrupted by the appearance of The Masked Gentleman whose apparent magic powers terrorize the city. Are you a bad enough dude to deduce the culprit and explain away his mystical magics?

Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask (3DS)
Developer: Level-5
Publisher: Nintendo
Release: October 26, 2012

Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask takes place a year after The Last Specter (and its accompanying animated film), making it the second in a prequel trilogy. In addition to its space in the chronology, however, Miracle mask will be reaching back deeper still, as some of the game takes place 18 years prior, in the professor’s youth.

Indeed, Layton, his apprentice Luke, and his assistant Emmy aren’t visiting Monte d'Or for the carnival. The expedition is prompted after Layton receives a letter from a ghost of his past, Angela Ledore, urging him to come and figure out what the deal is with this Masked Gentleman.

My first taste of the game and its titular villain came in the form of the intro cinematic, which is absolutely stunning. Monte d’Or’s carnival reminded me of a decidedly less grim "The Cask of Amontillado" by way of Paprika's parade, though things do take a turn for the worse when the Masked Gentleman interrupts the proceedings, crashing an enormous balloon and turning many of the city’s celebrating denizens into stone statutes. He then flies off, urging Layton and company to give chase in a surprising action sequence.

The trio jump on horseback and the perspective shifts behind Layton. Above the horizon, you can see the Masked Gentleman flying away as you use the stylus to maneuver the horse left and right. To make things interesting, there are occasionally forking roads at which you’ll have to choose which direction to go, while barrels and carrots are littered throughout the street. The carrots give you a speed boost, hitting barrels slow you down. I hit a lot of barrels. A lot. But I caught up to the Masked Gentleman just the same; or, at least, I thought I did. Unfortunately, he seemed to have disappeared, leaving only a flitting piece of cloth where he once was flying.

After this point, the only things Layton and associates can do is give the scene of arrival a good once-over and things become more familiar. While the Layton series’ gameplay is a bit well worn after a quartet of DS games, its 3DS outing has received a pretty noticeable overhaul. Investigating areas now involves dragging a magnifying glass around the scene; points of interest cause it to light up and a quick tap brings you in for a closer look. The scenes you’re investigating are also a little less static and a bit bigger, presumably thanks to the 3DS’ beefed up tech.

The characters are also rendered polygonal for the first time in the series, animated sprightly, giving them a more lively quality in conversation. While I preferred the 2D cutscenes with the 3DS’ 3D turned off, it looks quite nice in these new 3D sequences and in investigation.

Of course, I’d be remiss to fail to mention the puzzles for which the series is famous. I only tried out a few in my hands-on time, but they were as interesting and varied as ever. The first tasked me with extricating a failed clown from his balloon entanglement -- perhaps only a rung under trying to untangle Christmas lights -- while another deductive word puzzle required me to find a lost girl’s mother after they were separated in magical commotion.

Another puzzle had Emmy piecing together a toy robot; doing so successfully made the shopkeeper who challenged her even more enamored with her, so he gave it to Emmy as a gift, which opened up its own puzzle minigame, accessed from the professor’s bag. You have to navigate the robot through a series of obstacles -- enemy wind-up mice, walls, conveyor-belt floors -- while being restricted to movement three spaces at a time in one direction. The game hinted at a prize for completing all the stages, though I found it rather fun to play with for its own sake.

We may have had to wait a long time for localization of this text- and dialogue-heavy title, but, as ever, Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask seems worth it. I’m suitably intrigued by the promise of unearthing Layton’s early years (and what grim secrets they may contain), but even more intriguing is the mystical, magical Masked Gentleman; he’s a fly dresser and definitely seems like my sort of villain. Also, damn, Miracle Mask is ridiculously gorgeous.

Photo Gallery: (12 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys

Steven Hansen, Features Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure dtoidsteven Tips
Steven watches anime & sports, buys meat out of trucks, dates a Muppet, and is only good at cooking. He stands before you bereft of solace and well on the road to perdition. ('^ω^) more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

Indivisible exposes why forced diversity and its proponents keep failing

Steam Controller Review

RAE - Back in Town

Thankful it's ov

Half - Life 3 FINALLY 100% confirmed...maybe.

Surprisingly... I'm *really* enjoying Fallout 4!!

Where the Hell is Breath of Fire?

Comments of the Week - バーガーベスト, ですよね?

My Month in Games - November 2015

Cblogs of 11/28/15 - Lonely Thanksgiving, Gatchaman Crowds, and more

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Batthink avatarBatthink
Flegma avatarFlegma
Bought my first full-priced physical 3DS game ever - New Style Boutique 2: Fashion Forward. I'll try to write a post on the previous game at some point before doing the same with NSB2.
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
How do you guys manage to buy all these games at day 1 with such huge backlogs?
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
Guys if I were to do a thing, how many of you would watch my thing because I was thinking of doing a thing but I dunno if people really like that kinda thing so I just wanted to know if you liked that thing because I'm thinking of doing a thing, you know?
Atleastimhousebroken avatarAtleastimhousebroken
Bayonetta 2 is 40% off in the EU Nintendo eShop today. If you have a WiiU and don't have this game you are a horrible person and I want nothing to do with you. You can amend your errors by buying it. Xenoblade Wii is also 50% off as well.
El Dango avatarEl Dango
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Protag shipping is best shipping. [img][/img]
El Dango avatarEl Dango
My dreams are really weird and scary, so I hope it's okay if I let them be dreams.
Fenriff avatarFenriff
Finally played the last two Shantae games. Risky's Revenge wasn't bad, but Pirate's Curse was damn good.
Flegma avatarFlegma
Memo to self: spend your time cleaning before wasting ten or so hours on a cblog you'll end up just scrapping because you're incompetent and incapable of writing on the subject.
Is there an occupation out there for people who want to give up and not worry about shit for a while until they can recompose themselves before going back into society?
Parismio avatarParismio
That test was pretty raw. Some decisions cut deep, some I didnt care for at all. But im satisified with the end result.
Lawman avatarLawman
Torchman avatarTorchman
MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
People are having serious anthropological discussions about video games and here I am reminding people that they have one more day to get a dumb card I painted:
Sr Churros avatarSr Churros
I just finished this thing here: I'm mostly happy with my results, altough it lacks some stuff like Skyward Sword or Sonic & Knuckles [img][/img]
techsupport avatartechsupport
While I am glad I only paid $15 for it, I bought J-STARS VS+ for one specific reason: to drink some beer and kick ass as Yusuke and Hiei. And in that regard, it delivers. Beer not included.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
We can be so weird sometimes. You can easily move on from some of the stuff you might want to remember forever, but then sometimes you just can't let go of trivial things. What's up with that?
ScreamAid avatarScreamAid
I'm in the mood for some feel-good music. Hit me with your best feel-good VGM, people! [youtube][/youtube]
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
My "Thankful it's over" post is done. Editing it tonight, posting tomorrow. Will there be more last-minute entries? Will Pixie be merciful to Twilight Princess? Will Zetta add words to his entry? Why is bear driving? Who run Bartertown? Stay Tuned!
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -