I just finished playing the new Layton’s Mystery Journey completely, and boy, I did not see that ending coming. Be warned, this contains spoilers, I simply want to discuss what I observed and enjoyed about the game.
- The game-play
Unlike the previous 6 Layton games, there is not an over-arching mystery that you work towards solving the entire game. You get to solve 12 cases, which I liked, becuase it introduced the main characters and made me invested in the final case, or the case the “Millionaire’s Conspiracy” part of the title refers to. I played the entire game wondering when they were going to address the game title, and they only did at the end, which wasn’t the best in my opinion.
- A Trilogy
Like the previous Layton series, I think Katrielle’s story will be a trilogy, especially considering the unsolved mysteries introduced in this game. Furthermore, if you solve all the puzzles in the game, that includes finishing Kat’s Conundrums and not the daily puzzles, you get a picture of a young Kat and singly wrinkled Layton, with a message saying “Kat will be back.”
- Return of Alfendi and Lucy
At the start of the game, Kat addresses a letter to a ‘Lucy,’ and I was under the impression I had somehow typed my name in completely wrong. I had no clue who this Lucy was. For those of you unfamiliar with the spin-offs of Layton, there is a app game called “Layton Brothers,” a title I don’t understand because there is a man named Alfenndi Layton but no brother. Returning to the completion of Kat’s conundrums, you unlock one final Coda where Kat mentions Lucy and her brother Alfendi, which made me realize that the Lucy at the beginning was the one from Layton Brothers. It also explains why Kat was in Scotland Yard when Ernest had been arrested, she was visiting Alfendi and Lucy who work there. I think we can expec to see a return of characters fromLayton Brothers in the next game.
- Who is Katrielle?
As the credits finish rolling, you are treated to a final animated short where Katrielle reveals that she is not Layton’s daughter. Shocking? Not really, she looks nothing like him or Alfendi, if anything their facial characteristic are on opposite ends of a triangular specturm. I was more shocked by the Ernest/Miles revelation, which was short-lived considering that it was not the ending of a big mystery like any other Layton game, but rather just a case thrown in at the end that with a character who was never even referenced, which would have at least built up the mystery over the course of the game. Anyway, Katrielle’s big revelation comes in the line where she reveals she has solved the riddle the missing Hershel Layton sent her, “If you are not my child, then who are you?” Sadly we won’t get to see Kat’s revelation to her true identity or experience it along with her. Since we know that she knows the answer already, it will just be a waiting game until she reveals it herself. I’m thinking, maaybe she’s Descole’s child, but who knows, could be Luke’s.
Amongst the unsolved mysteries in the games, we have Sherl, a dog with amnesia that can talk. Not interesting at all. Zero progress is made on his case. More frankly, it has been forgotten, a fact the developers make clear that they now, with a cheeky little Coda after you finish the game. So who is Sherl? Since it’s probably a trilogy and we’ve already figured out Ernest’s story, I assume that we’ll cover Kat’s story next, then missing Layton and Sherl (maybe Sherl then Katrielle). Either way, the game takes place over the course of just a month, so I wonder how much into the future the next game will be.
- The one thing that annoyed me about the game
The puzzles weren’t as good. I realize there was a change in puzzle maker because Akira Tago died (may he rest in piece), but that wasn’t playing at the back of my mind while I played the game. The puzzles did improve towards the end, but at the beginning there were at least five puzzles that I counted which were trick questions where the answer was “zero.” And with around 180 total puzzles excluding daily puzzles, much less than other Layton games, it left me mildly hungry for more substance in game that is supposed to be a puzzle game.
- The characters
I loved every character. Kat had the kind of personality that would generally push my buttons, but I quite took a liking to her, though she seems a bit emotionless, like her only goal in life is to solve puzzles. Her smile when Ernest and the Seven Dragons had a little chat was more a self satisfied “I told you” and “I knew it,” than a “good for you Ernest.” I may be overthinking it, but considering the nutcase her “brother” was, I’m sure Kat has at least a few emotional scars.
- Layton’s Disappearance
Convenient. I have no theories as to what he’s doing, but I don’t know why game creators do this to characters so they can continue a game. I’m speaking specifically of Phoenix Wright : Ace Attorney. Ruin his career, plop him with a child that’s not his own, make Maya dissapear, no fulfilling romantic life for Phoenix, but, at least he’s happy. I’m just waiting for them to tell Apollo and Trucy that their siblings. I have forgotten the stupid logic they used to justify keeping it a secret in the first place. However, unlike Layton, we at least know that Phoenix is a good dad.
In all honesty, I loved the game. Let me know what you thought about it or anything you noticed.