Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires Conspiracy – Impressions
Product provided by Nintendo!
Having spent some time with this recent release I wanted to share my thoughts!
Finally, the Professor Layton series features it’s first female protagonist, Lady Layton! This is a nice change of pace for the series. The games setting takes place in London and begins with Lady Layton setting up her new agency: The Layton Detective Agency. The opening dialogue features some excellent voice overs and scenes introducing the story and main characters. Aside from Lady Layton, you’ll be introduced quickly to Ernest who works as an assistant for the detective agency, and Sherl. Sherl is a talking dog who comes searching for answers but find himself quickly whisked into helping the agency with it’s first real case.
The game features 12 cases overall but each shares an overall theme. I’ve only delved into the first couple of cases so there is much more for me to experience however this game clearly has a lot of length and content. The first case I solved took 2 to 3 hours (estimating), that’s combined with puzzle solving along the way, which is another fun and exciting part of the Layton series.
Solving cases will involve talking to all sorts of people around London, combing for clues, and trying to piece evidence together. The game does an excellent job at guiding you in the right direction to advance the case and story. You have a number of “tools of the trade” at your disposal such as a magnifying glass which will turn orange when scanning over something important. You’ll also find sparkly items hidden about areas which may contain hint coins. These are often helpful when in puzzle solving mode. Spend a hint coin, and receive a helpful hint to help you with the solution.
Having finished the 1st case, I recall having several puzzles along the way. Each offered up something unique and the solutions to each were a mixed bag in regards to difficulty. This most likely is a case by case scenario depending on how well you are at solving puzzles overall. Some people may be better at mathematical puzzles, for me I used the memo tool quite a bit. This allows you to basically draw over the puzzle area to; jot down notes, trace, or write/draw anything you feel is necessary to try and help you solve the puzzle. I did have to spend some hint coins on one particular puzzle, but it still felt rewarding after finally solving it. Be sure to read through the the puzzle summary a few times to get a full understanding on what it is you have to do.
Regarding the overall appeal of this game, I find it very relaxing to sit back and play one session for 30 minutes to an hour and then come back later. During this time you usually can advance the story and case as well as manage to solve a couple of puzzles. My mind is usually spent after this, so I find this to be best for me. It may be different for you.
Having said this, if you are away from the game for some time and decide to come back the game does a fantastic job at giving you a recap of what happened before your last save. It gives you quick summary/recap and helps focus your attention on moving the story and case forward. Often games just start back up and leave you to comprehend what’s going on. In a heavily story based game like this, the recap it provides is almost a necessity.
Travelling around different areas while on a case is made pretty easy on the touch screen of the 3DS. A short while into to the game, you gain access to a bike, which is more or less a way for fast traveling from one area of town to another. The story and cases thus far have been interesting with weird twists and turns and the dialogue offers up some entertaining banter between characters.
The graphical art-style is really gorgeous and gives off the vibe of a story book that has come to life. If you’re a fan of puzzles and the Professor Layton Series, it’s a must own. If you’re new to the series, don’t worry as the game eases you into the franchise easily. Recommended!