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Layton's Mystery Journey review: Katrielle and the millionaires conspiracy

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Aina Prat Blasi
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A missing father, a talking dog and 7 characters shrouded in mystery. This is a perfect case for Professor Layton's daughter.

Three years ago, we found ourselves finally saying goodbye to the Professor Layton, after archiving his latest adventure on Nintendo 3DS, the Legacy of the Aslant. A farewell that sounded like goodbye, why it's hard for a character like Layton to stay out of the picture for too long. And here today, after a spin-off of the classic adventures of the most famous puzzle solver of all time, we will return to unveil new mysteries, in the unprecedented role of Katrielle Layton in the new Layton's Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires Plot, available from last July on mobile devices, and from 6 October also on Nintendo 3DS.



Reality always surpasses fantasy
Katrielle lacks that phisique du role that distinguished Hershel Layton

As per tradition, each new chapter of Layton opens with a letter, and even The Millionaires' Plot is no exception. To write it is Katrielle, daughter of the well-known professor, who informs her friend Lucy (star of the spinoff Layton Brothers: Mystery Room) of having recently opened a detective agency, and invites her to London to find it. This new beginning for Katrielle is an important turning point in her life as an adult, and the passion for the puzzles and mysteries transmitted by her father will lead her to face the most disparate cases and meet the most curious characters, like a talking dog, to which she will come. given the nickname of Sherl, just in honor of Sherlock Holmes, the most famous detective ever. In the company of his inseparable assistant Ben, ready to do everything to indulge the ideas of its "mistress", this eclectic trio will find itself solving the most unthinkable cases, to the point of unveiling a mystery that binds 7 of the most influential and richest people in the city, the Dragons of London, which hide a dark past.



Layton's Mystery Journey immediately differs from the atmosphere of the previous chapters

All while losing a little that bohemian and dreamy aura that characterized the old adventures of the professor. Even the tones are less "crepuscular" and more focused on easy humor, and in general throughout the adventure there is a more light-hearted and sunny air, even when we are going to face a strange murder case. Katrielle is a lighthearted character who cares about fashion, binges and solving every puzzle. A good protagonist, well defined and framed in this new role but who, beyond all the good qualities shown, is affected by the irreplaceable charisma of his father, losing "the fight" across the board for the lack of that phisique du role that distinguished Hershel Layton.
Compared to the classic series, here a division into chapters makes its appearance, each of which will address a different story, or to be precise a self-contained case. Each case, however, will serve to introduce us to one of the various main characters that refer to the title, a sort of great introductory hat before the final epilogue that will see them all protagonists of the last story that we are going to face. Although in general the plot struggles to reach the levels of the 2 narrative arcs told in the past, this division certainly helps to make the story varied and never boring, but some of the plots open at the beginning of the game are lost along the way, such as discovering the origins of Sherl (convinced that he is a human transformed into a dog) or Katrielle's search for Layton disappeared under mysterious circumstances, probably entrusting Layton's Mystery Journey with the task of ferrying these stories into the next chapters and leaving everything in abeyance for the moment.



To learn more:
Professor Layton and the Aslant Legacy

Puzzles are meant to be solved! 

 


The puzzles are not always convincing

Despite this stylistic change, probably due to the dual “mobile” nature of the series, which with this chapter also debuts on Android e iOS, Katrielle and the Millionaires Plot is a full-fledged "Professor Layton". From the very first moments, up to the final act, every pretext will be good to solve some enigma. Here the game behaves as in the past, with Katrielle, Sherl and Ben busy answering the questions that torment the inhabitants of London.

Also in this the riddles follow what has already been seen in the past, and lovers of the series will not struggle to arrive at a quick solution, without making mistakes or using the precious Coins Help, which will give us extra clues to solve the problem. The structure also remains roughly the same. The scenario and characters to interact with will be displayed on the upper screen of the console, while the touch screen will be entrusted to the movements of the lens that will be used to find the various well-hidden secrets, such as the puzzles and the coins mentioned.

 

The way of telling the stories of the Millionaires Plot has been revolutionized, now it will be necessary to unearth 6 clues, which will be used by Katrielle to solve the case and find the culprit of the moment. However, everything is very guided and linear, and it will be possible to reach the conclusion focusing almost exclusively on the enigmas related to the story. These will be the backbone of the whole game, and will offer us various challenges of various kinds. They range from logic-based riddles, to puzzles focused on dexterity and glance, to real math challenges that will make your brain smoke..



If in form everything is in line with the spirit of the series, the recent departure of Akira Tago, author of the enigmas of the previous chapters, feels and somehow affects the general quality of the same. Many of those that we will have to complete are uninspired and re-proposed in several variations, just as we will often find it more difficult to interpret them than to solve them, due to misleading or loosely adapted explanations. Some then need a good knowledge of the English language because they have remained unchanged compared to the Anglo-Saxon version by relying on some puns. In conclusion, a well-attentive and trained eye will not struggle to notice that something has changed, just as there is a general lowering of the difficulty that makes everything easier to complete.


 

Depending on how you manage to arrive at the solution, you will receive as a reward Picarati, the historical game currency that can be spent after the end of the story to unlock a “top secret” section, inside which it will be possible to obtain several rather interesting extras. Layton's Mystery Journey is also full of secondary activities that we can access through Katrielle's suitcase, and in addition to some tools to keep track of the progress made and the new "Case Conclusions", which allows us to see skits that expand the main plot and deepen the stories of the individual characters, we find 3 minigames, which will become available as the adventure progresses.

In Dinner is Served, Katrielle will have to use her investigative skills to "build" ideal menus for some diners, based on the tastes and suggestions she will receive. Based on the reaction received, we will have to make the changes by choosing from a list of proposed dishes (which will be unlocked by solving as many puzzles as possible), until the perfect menu is completed. Similarly, Big Sales he will see us manage the arrangement of some objects inside a trendy shop and our aim will be to arrange them so that they are all purchased by customers who will follow a certain path, and in turn will have particular tastes and requests to satisfy. The third instead, Caged Hound instead he will put us in Sherl's shoes inside a kind of labyrinth, and we will have to guide him to the exit by activating the switches that will modify the surface of the stage and the movements of our dog friend.


Also during the game it will be possible to find secret objects well hidden within the scenarios. Some of these will be collected in the menu Collections, and should be seen as a sort of trophies from the world of Layton (and not), the others, the Fashion Coins they can be used by Katrielle to expand her wardrobe by unlocking new costumes to wear throughout the adventure. A feature a bit 'an end in itself, since the change of dress does not bring any particular bonus to the game, but becomes a simple stimulus for those who decide to complete Layton's Mystery Journey at 100%.

As in the previous chapters, there are also special puzzles to solve, and the ever-present ones Riddles of the day, which will be available through the option that will allow us to download them daily, so as to have something to do even when the game is finished.

Coincidences? There are no coincidences
The experience of this new chapter is close to the classic one of the series

The experience of this new chapter of Layton on Nintendo 3DS approaches the classic one of the series, with a title that is technically valid and pleasant in its being. The settings highlight all the creative flair of the graphic designers of Level-5, who offer us their vision of London and the most famous places like the Big Ben o Scotland Yard mixing two-dimensional elements with other 3D ones, to add three-dimensionality to the scene, as well as the models of the characters will be well made and animated. Even in this case, however, it seems to be far from the qualitative peaks touched with the last chapters, a step back perhaps due to allow the mobile version to run even on less performing smartphone models. And so the beautiful "dioramas" seen in the Aslant Legacy become a distant memory, as well as the stereoscopic 3D effect that added that little bit more to the scene, has not arrived here.

 

Nothing to say instead for the music (sorry that the main main theme, Girls came to us only instrumental), always excellent and perfect in their accompanying role, as well as the dubbing, completely in Spanish, see the return of Emanuela pacotto in the series, which after leaving the role of Emmy (and other supporting characters) is ready to voice Katrielle herself. As for the voices, all the texts are fully adapted in our language, and in general the work done is more than good, although there are some errors or quite excessive translations that often lower the target audience.

Verdict 7.5 / 10 Like father, like daughter ... but now give us back Layton Comment Layton's Mystery Journey is a good chapter in the series that will delight all the lovers of Professor "L" who have been orphaned in recent years. A title that unfortunately suffers from many small problems, starting from the story and its protagonist, who accuse the weight of an all too looming inheritance, up to the enigmas, which have always been the backbone of the saga, which in this new release are not only sinful of originality but also in the way they are proposed, making one feel the absence of its creator. So to whom do we recommend this new chapter? Surely to the diehard fans of the professor who want to know more about what happened to him, finding the spirit of the series for better or for worse (as well as a not just final plot twist). For those who enter this new world for the first time, it could be somehow free from many of the problems highlighted in the review, being able to enjoy the title to the fullest, and why not, find the curiosity to recover all six previous games . Pros and cons Layton atmospheres
Hundreds of puzzles to solve
While not epic, the story convinces ... x ... despite some forgetfulness
x Not always convincing puzzles
x Difficulty level decreased compared to the series

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