Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle Hands-On

3D is the key to success apparently.


Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask

3D or not, another Professor Layton game being translated to English is always exciting news. At the Electronic Entertainment Expo, Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle was one of the many demos on display to highlight the new Nintendo 3DS. Considering we had only 20 minutes to check out as many games as possible, the demos themselves were extremely bare to keep the long line moving along.

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The series isn't known for changing visuals too much, so it's no surprise that the Mask of Miracle maintains the European feel by placing us in a bustling square in the City of Miracle. This was the only screen that we could explore, and instead of tapping randomly on the touch screen to find a puzzle, we had to hold the stylus to look around the map. Now that the game is in 3D, holding the stylus down and moving it is like controlling a camera lens, where you can't physically move anywhere, but you can adjust the angle of your view (think of those 360-degree view cams online). Your cursor is a magnifying glass, which will change color when there is something worth tapping on.

Only one puzzle was available for us to solve, and it involved piecing a robot together by dumping its parts into a bin. The general layout of the game seems to be the same, but then again, we really didn't have much to go on. The series has always unfolded like a storybook, but now it feels even more like one because when Layton and Luke exchange their dialogue, it's as though they're actors (or puppets) on a stage where you can now see the background off in the distance. It may not be a pop-up book necessarily, but it's close.

No release date has been announced for Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle, but we'll be sure to update you with more information as soon as it becomes available.

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