More than five years have passed since its first appearance and we can safely say that the dear Professor Layton was one of the most original products to appear on the Nintendo DS, which has not only been able to enhance the console but at the same time relaunch the graphic adventures, offering in a sensible way numerous puzzles closely linked to a respectable story, thus creating a well-tested mix and capable of gathering fans around the world. Arrived today, in this November full of releases, Level-5 signs the latest adventure of the beloved archaeologist and his gang of enigmas lovers, we are talking about Professor Layton and the Aslant Legacy.
It all starts again with a letter, a request for help from Professor Desmond Sycamore following a shocking discovery made in the cold village of Frøstborg, a living mummy imprisoned in an impenetrable wall of ice. As Layton has taught us well in recent years, a gentleman never backs down in the face of a challenge and intrigued by his colleague's letter, he will not hesitate a second to leave and investigate this new mystery. faithful helpers Luke and Emmy, Layton will face something that goes far beyond normal understanding, revealing a secret that surrounds an ancient disappeared civilization, that of the Aslant and that will take Layton and his travel companions on a long adventure around the world . As always, things will not be simple and the Targent, a paramilitary association that will try the impossible to seize the "living mummy" that is none other than Aurora, a mysterious girl descended from the Aslant, will put a spoke in the wheel.
This latest Layton adventure, in addition to closing the second narrative cycle set before The Land of Mysteries, is also linked to the two previously released titles, as a trait d'union that goes to fish out some issues left unresolved in the two prequels (The lure of the specter e The mask of miracles ), creating a single and complex plot. Contrary to the past, this adventure immediately assumes the tones of an epic that will push the clique to visit the most curious sites around the world in search of some artifacts and clues to be able to solve this new mystery, a feature that in addition to enliven the game action, reducing the dead times linked to the development of the plot, reduces the characteristic backtracking that has always been present.
A world of puzzles
Where in the game it remains true to itself is in the gameplay, with the classic mix of investigation and solving of puzzles that was so successful in the original chapter. Everything will happen through the use of the touch screen which will be our way to interact with the world of Layton. In the exploratory phase, armed with a stylus, just click on the appropriate icon, a magnifying glass, to be able to study every element in the backgound. When the color of the lens changes, it will correspond to a different event, brown for the puzzles or light blue to activate the zoom, which through a transition will allow us to access a new section of the diagram. Hidden here and there, in addition to the various characters with whom we will interact, there will be secret objects to collect and the inevitable Help Coins, which can be spent in case of too complicated puzzles in exchange for precious clues.
Each character with whom we find ourselves dealing will have a nice riddle in store for us to solve, a more or less challenging puzzle that will test our skills, for a total of over 150 unlockables in the main story, to which we add daily challenges downloadable via Nintendo Network, which will offer 385 new puzzles during the year, further extending the 25 hours required to complete the adventure (approximate duration that varies according to the player's ability to solve the proposed puzzles). In Layton's suitcase, the hub in which the various options are rattled off, there are also 3 mini-games that can be played at any time and which will be independent from the main story. Each offers a set of levels of increasing difficulty and to unlock the new stages it will be necessary to progress in the main adventure. In the order we will find Boutique, Squirrel and Gardener.
The palm-of-the-nose solution
In Boutique we will have to improvise talented fashion designers to meet the needs of our customers, meeting their tastes with the style that best meets their requests, choosing some items of clothing from those available. Of the three games this turns out to be the weakest, not only of the proposed offer but of the whole series as it is too simplistic and devoid of stimuli that push the player to commit. The other two are more fun and in line with the spirit of the game. In Squirrel for example we will have to help a nice rodent to rescue a walnut, creating a path that allows you to arrive safely in the safety zone. Even more strategic Gardener, in which we will have to rely not only on our green thumb but also on a pinch of cunning trying to make some trees bloom, avoiding traps and obstacles and placing special seeds on the map that once watered will allow flowering. As always, the solving of the puzzles, in addition to guaranteeing the continuation of the adventure, allows you to collect the Picarati, the currency within the game that will be used to unlock a whole series of extras, in addition to the Secret Door, now the trademark of the series, which thanks to the exchange of some passwords allows access to new content, not only within the game but also in the previous chapter.
There are also some new features such as the World Times, which parodying the famous British newspaper, will propose some articles that will contain some valuable information on secret events and puzzles, which will be activated once you get in touch with the characters mentioned in the newspaper.
It is also exploited StreetPass, absent in the last chapter and which here plays an important role in Treasure Hunt, a mode designed to interact with other players by challenging them in solving some ad-hoc puzzles. In fact, it will be enough to select three objects previously unlocked in our investigations and which here will have to be discovered by the players during the adventure. By solving the various treasure hunts we will get points to be used to buy some prizes, such as Coins Help or souvenirs.
Small three-dimensional worlds
If in The Mask of Miracles, the Level-5 graphics have managed to pour the beautiful hand-drawn backdrops of the Nintendo DS chapters into 3D, in the legacy of the Aslant they went further, exponentially improving the previous work. The stages expand both in width and in height, increasing the possibility of moving the view during the exploration phase. Also visually there is a clear improvement in the number of polygons used in the creation of the various settings, now richer in interactive elements, details and animated objects, which make everything less static and more alive, while maintaining that visual feeling typical of the previous two-dimensional chapters. and that stylistic trait typical of hand drawings.
Paradoxically, in a moment like this, where Nintendo seems to almost deny stereoscopic 3D, the main feature of the 3DS, offering the public a console that does not have it, the Legacy of Aslant offers one of the best visuals with 3D activated. By sliding the slide of the console, the settings will acquire depth becoming wonderful interactive dioramas where each element will find its spatial location, giving new artistic value to the various screens.
In the same way, the numerous animated sequences that will intersperse the story will benefit from the intervention of stereoscopic 3D acquiring a new dimensionality, showing a realization made precisely in this perspective, with passages designed specifically to be appreciated with the option activated.
The dubbing is also impeccable, where once again the voice actors offer an actor's proof worthy of the name and in line with the high quality of the series, despite the fact that sometimes you notice some voice too similar, a flaw that was almost discriminating in the previous chapter. Nothing to say regarding the musical accompaniment, which once again offers a series of pieces with an ancient and nostalgic flavor, with virtuosity of violins and accordions capable of creeping into the head for the duration of the adventure.
Each puzzle has a solution
Professor Layton and the Legacy of the Aslant closes the narrative cycle that confronts Layton's past and puts an end to his thrilling adventures. After so many years in the company of the witty solver of puzzles, one thing must be clarified that since the last episode has begun to make itself felt in a quite palpable way, especially by those who constantly follow the series. Despite the immense quality of the game and the very high production values, a certain physiological fatigue must be recognized, which after 6 titles begins to demonstrate a chronic cyclicality rooted in the game structure that at this point needs a revision. A demonstration of this phenomenon is the failure to exploit some of the possibilities offered by the console, which remain firmly equal to themselves chapter after chapter, or an inevitable repechage of some puzzles or certain dynamics related to solving puzzles. A positive signal, however, comes from the decision of Akihiro Hino, the producer of the series, to definitively conclude the narrative cycle related to Layton and to explore the series with new chapters and new protagonists, such as the already announced Layton 7, scheduled for Nintendo 3DS and devices. furnishings.
Of course this is an impromptu consideration that does not affect the overall quality of the title that game after game gets better and more passionate. This conclusion perhaps fails to touch the same narrative and emotional chords of the Lost Future, the true masterpiece and maximum peak of the series, which however still manages to thrill and excite as always, thus concluding once and for all the adventures lived with our beloved professor. , even if we can be unbalanced with certainty, given the caliber of the character it will be impossible to keep him away from the scenes for a long time.
Verdict 8.5 / 10 Farewell my friend Comment With Professor Layton and the Legacy of the Aslant we are preparing to greet, at least for the moment, the beloved companion of numerous adventures, and also this time thanks to the commitment of Level-5 we will have a dealing with a story that will kidnap you and keep you glued to the screen until the expected grand finale. A title as always outside the box, capable of alienating the player from everything around him. Stimulating, hypnotic and capable of entertaining like no high series can do. Essential for fans, stimulus for new players to get to know and dissect the saga. Hello Professor Layton. Pros and cons ✓ The quality of the series is intact
✓ Excellent use of stereoscopic 3D
✓ Artistic direction always at a high level x Some riddles know you have already seen uninspired Minigames
x It is the last chapter of Professor Layton