Layton's Mystery Journey review: off to young talents!

Who I am
Steven L. Ken
Author and references

The name Layton will turn on a lot of light bulbs here and there, especially among hardcore puzzle-loving detectives. My light bulb also lit up, but not quite. Hershel Layton, sure, but who exactly is he? Well yes, having never met the father I trusted the daughter, and in this review I will tell you about my experience in the world of Layton's Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires' Plot

A exuberant young detective, for an assistant clumsy very much in love it's a talking dog. Who would ever rely on such a trio to find the culprit of a theft? Surely a question arises here: why should I entrust a case to such a strangely assorted team? Well the answer is simple! Because it just so happens that these three individuals have just opened a detective agency in the heart of London, whose description reads:

Layton Detective Agency, let's solve every mystery!

Quite self-confident, don't you think? But wait a moment… did we read that right? LAYTON Investigation Agency? Something tells me that we have all heard this name before, or at least those who love challenges with puzzles and riddles. Who more, who a lot and who less (like me) has already heard of Hershel Layton, the famous detective born from the fantasy of Level-5 which has brought a myriad of cases to Nintendo to solve.

From father to son ... indeed, to daughter!

But peeking inside theDetective agency of Chancer Lane in London, we immediately understand that in Layton's Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires Plot Something is changed. On the other hand, the title already suggests it, where we find the name Katrielle which, without a shadow of a doubt, is a feminine name. But the word Layton written at the beginning makes us understand that not everything has changed, that a link with Hershel is still present.

In Layton's Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires Plot in fact we will have to help the daughter of the famous detective, Katrielle Layton, to solve some mysteries by solving puzzles e puzzles located throughout London. However, we know that it is not easy to solve a case alone and certainly not even in two! Evidence to be analyzed, suspects to be interrogated, crime scenes to be sifted ... the tasks are many and it is precisely for this reason that Katrielle, in addition to our help, will be accompanied by two trusted assistants. The first is Ben, a nice and goofy youngster in love with Miss Layton, while the latter is Sherl, a talking dog suffering from amnesia.

Dad, where are you?

The discovery of Sherl by Katrielle, who among other things is not in the least impressed by the fact that the dog can speak, officially marks the beginning of the adventure. Our first case will be that of help Sherl regain his memory, even if we understand immediately that the main objective of the game is another. In fact, the common thread of Layton's Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires Plot I say find the missing father by Katrielle. Well yes, Hershel Layton vanished into thin air and no one knows what happened to it. All our efforts will be aimed at finding the famous detective, even if at times it may happen to forget our ultimate goal.

The adventure of Layton's Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires Plot it is divided into several cases to be solved, each of which will immerse us in a new one subplot made up of new suspects, new evidence and new interrogations. We will always deal with new mysteries that will allow us to explore more locations around London, getting in touch with different characters, some of whom we will be able to meet several times during the adventure.

How many amazing adventures in Layton's Mystery Journey! But, wait a minute… I think I'm lost

The choice of Level-5 to propose many "mini-cases“All disconnected from each other basically has two repercussions on the adventure, one positive it's a negative. Starting from the first, the variety of subplots and situations proposed by the individual cases is very wide, allowing us to come into contact with always new stories. The suspects to be questioned will always be different, as will the circumstances in which we will be entangled. A great way then to stimulate the player, keeping him alert thanks to this rapid transition from one case to another.

Here, however, the negative aspect is lurking. Variety in a game is very important, sure, but in Layton's Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires Plot the presence of all these different cases to be solved clearly fragments the gaming experience. We will soon forget that our goal is to find Katrielle's father, who will be relegated to a corner and, above all, will be overwhelmed by the numerous cases that we will have to solve. Hershel Layton will therefore remain in the background of a jumble of events with no apparent connection between them, making very dispersive the background texture.

Mamma mia, how much are these talking?

Another negative that compromises the gaming experience is the dialogues that appear on the screen, that is, those not dubbed. Very often we will find ourselves having to read a series of long conversations which, most of the time, turn out frivolous and totally useless for the resolution of cases.

It is true that there is the possibility of speeding up words by tapping with the stylet on the lower screen of the console, but this does not mean that in the long run it is something that could annoy and, above all, to bore. Again the player he is distracted and removed from the main storyline, which is dispersed even more in the midst of a cauldron of useless dialogues that could have been avoided, or at least diminished.

Riddles and puzzles, so much more, put up with them! 

- puzzles and puzzles have always been the strong point of the Layton series and also Layton's Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires Plot they are no less. The puzzles proposed by the title are varied and diversified: I have rarely come across similar puzzles. They are divided into main and secondary: the resolution of the former is essential to proceed in the adventure, while for the latter there is the possibility of being able to jump and resume them at a later time.

Never stop at appearances, this is the secret ...

La type of puzzles proposed in Layton's Mystery Journey really is very wide. It starts with those of logic, one passes for those mathematicians and you also come across some pitfall around. A seemingly complicated puzzle can turn out to be very simple (almost trivial), and vice versa. The trick is take nothing for granted, broaden your mind and go beyond appearances. The puzzles of Layton's Mystery Journey therefore offer one good challenge e continuously stimulate the player, pushing him to think and apply himself to arrive at the solution.

… Although sometimes the explanation itself may not be clear

Note of demerit goes instead to explanations of the puzzles, very often twisted and confusing. Several times I have found myself in difficulty in trying to understand the request for the puzzle, leading me to make some totally random attempts to try to grasp the meaning of the explanation. I specify that this situation it has occurred a few times, but it was enough to make me feel a little frustrated.

Stiletto in hand and off to investigations!

To solve the puzzles proposed in Layton’s Mystery Journey we will have to talk to different characters ed explore different environments, as well as rummaging, from time to time, in ours detective bag. The main "weapon" will be it stilettos of our Nintendo console, thanks to which we will be able to interact with the map and the various game environments.

Eh women ... just can't do without the handbag

In the lower screen, above which we can use the stiletto, we can see the map and access ours detective bag. The latter can be selected thanks to the icon at the bottom right and inside it we can find all the notes and information for the resolution of cases. The bag also offers several additional functions, such as the possibility of replaying the secondary puzzles that have been skipped, retracing the previous cases and accessing the character customization. We will also be able to view the objects collected during the investigation and save our progress.

By closing our bag we will return to the map, where we can see our exact position and above which we can move thanks to our trusty bicycle. At the bottom left there are also some nice icons of our team, which show us who we are accompanied at that moment.

Magnifying glass, my dear and inseparable colleague

To switch in investigative mode just press the magnifying glass bottom right, placed immediately above the box that shows our current goal. By doing this we will be able to explore the surrounding environment, moving the lens with the stylus in the lower screen and viewing its movements in the upper screen.

Here we will have the opportunity to thoroughly explore the environment, looking for clues and questioning suspects. When we meet a point of interest the magnifying glass it will turn orange and a light stroke with the stiletto will be enough to interact. Thanks to it we will therefore be able to find clues, objects and help coins, the latter to be used if we are unable to solve a puzzle.

Excellent graphics and good Spanish dubbing, which go hand in hand with a respectable soundtrack

Layton’s Mystery Journey boasts of a excellent stylistic sector which contributes to a pleasant involvement between investigations and puzzles. The "cartoonish" graphic style is very nice and pleasant to see, combined with the cheerfulness given off by the bright colors. Also there graphic rendering of the puzzles is optimal and succeeds, in part, in equalize the defects unclear explanations of the latter.

The title also enjoys a good dubbing in spanish language, with a special mention to the voice of Katrielle Layton which I particularly appreciated, finding it very suitable for the character. The aspect that struck me the most, however, and to which I give a 10 full as a vote is, without a shadow of a doubt, the colonna sonora. The melodies really are beautiful to listen to e they fit perfectly in the style of Layton's Mystery Journey. The initial soundtrack with the background violins entered my heart and remained there: it will be very difficult to unseat it!

Layton's Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires Plot, let's sum it up

As a novice player of the Layton saga I can say that I stayed pleasantly satisfied of my experience in Layton's Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires Plot. Not knowing Dad Hershel I totally entrusted myself to daughter Katrielle, and I can say without delay that I did well.

Layton’s Mystery Journey it's a title accessible to all, even for those who, like me, have not played the previous chapters of the saga. Although the underlying plot is overshadowed by the jumble of cases and subplots of the same, it is pleasant to follow the adventures of Katrielle and her team. Between one investigation and another, that too is present pinch of humor which never hurts, which will surely make you smile.

Too bad for the excessively long dialogues and the sporadic confusing explanations of the puzzles, which unfortunately cause some annoyance. But fear not: the excellent dubbing, the pleasant graphics and above all the exciting soundtrack will convince you that Katrielle is Hershel Layton's worthy heir.

8.8 Katrielle, her whole father!

Points in favor

  • A lot of variety in the cases to be solved ...
  • Diversified puzzles that offer a good challenge ...
  • Nice graphics to see
  • Good Spanish dubbing
  • Gorgeous soundtrack

Points against

  • ... which however disperse the underlying texture
  • ... but sometimes their explanation is unclear
  • On-screen dialogue too long
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