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    jp's Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask (3DS)

    [September 15, 2014 10:28:02 AM]
    Yay, finished!

    This time around I decided to see if I could plow through in the end, and pick up the puzzles later. I'm glad I did - because I was starting to get to that point where I had figured out (quite early) who the bad guy was and just wanted to see it play out. The super-villains from the end though, who are those guys? (Descole and some other more-evil person, I assume they're villains from earlier games, but I don't remember them at all and I think I've played all the earlier games...)

    That being said, the game felt shorter than usual (nice!) though the puzzles felt less interesting. I'm not sure why though. Maybe I'm just tired? I did find myself using more hint coins than usual. This time around I was a lot less likely to let myself think and ponder, and just opted for the hints pretty early. Maybe this was because I was playing on much more limited time increments (20-25 minutes at a time) and getting back into a puzzle is harder? I don't know. In all I put in 18 hrs or so.

    The game was strikingly different in episode 6(?). It's the one in the past when Randall and Layton are exploring the Azran ruin. It was like a Zelda game! (lots of boulder pushing puzzles, wandering around on an isometric 2D world and that sort of thing). This section felt, by far, the longest and least interesting. Maybe because it loses a lot of the Layton charm?

    Now I'm curious if there's an online megaclip with all the animation from the game? There was a ton of it, which goes to show how much the series has grown in budget and so on. Maybe I should watch some of it? Isn't there an anime? I know there's a live action film...
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    [September 10, 2014 03:25:56 PM]
    I finished chapter 4 and things are going strong. So far I'm enjoying the 3D (when I'm not playing on the bus) and the animated backgrounds make the game feel a lot more livelier than before.

    I'm also surprised by how much care has gone into letting the player NOT miss any content (puzzles here). It used to be that you missed something and you could see you'd missed it, but couldn't actually try to solve the puzzle unless you went back to where it was located. I think. Memory is a bit fuzzy on this at the moment to be honest. Well, now the puzzles are added to an old lady's hut - and you can solve them directly there. (Anna Gramma's hut?) The old lady has appeared in earlier games, probably with a different name but the game's text alludes and plays around with that. Layton and Co. don't recognize her, but she is familiar to them, somehow.

    In addition to the auto-puzzle saving, which I appreciate. I get the sense that the puzzles are much better integrated with the characters, story and situations. It used to be that you'd run into random person and they'd just give you a puzzle for no reason - now there is at least (usually) some context. It feel like a much more cohesive game than before. But, as I said earlier, I could simply be misremembering. It's been a lot of games, and a lot of years.

    I'm about 8 hours in or so, and I'm worried I'll hit that point where I can't care less about the game anymore and want to just finish it. I'm hoping it doesn't drag on. So far, with the narrative jumping between present and past (young school age Layton!), it stays fresher than it might otherwise, but I'm not sure if I'm looking at another 8 hrs, or half that. We'll see.
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    [August 11, 2014 11:30:38 AM]
    Booting this up was like welcoming back an old friend you haven't seen in a long time. It's such a familiar experience even when it's different. I've only played 30 minutes or so, and solved two puzzles (which seems like a really small number). I really want to get on with the puzzles but I guess I can make my way through the intro tutorial-like stuff.

    So far my only major surprise was an action-reflexes style mini game of sorts! Whoa, I thought that Layton eschewed all that stuff. It wasn't difficult at all, I'm just surprised they included a mini-game (where you have to dodge barrels while riding on a horse in pursuit of the villain).
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    jp's Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask (3DS)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Friday 8 August, 2014

    GameLog closed on: Monday 15 September, 2014

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    It was ok, but bad. But not a highlight of the series. Well, maybe in some things? Still thinking about it...

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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