When Professor Layton receives a letter from his long time friend, Clark Triton, he immediately travels to Misthallery to help. The only people helping Layton are his assistant Emmy, and his future apprentice, Luke.
This is a prequel to the Layton series, so Flora’s not in this game. Instead, we have Emmy, a woman who can kick the ass of people twice her size and jump on rooftops. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Flora, but Emmy’s more my type of character. Again, I cried during the story, but I don’t think it’s as powerful as Unwound Future. Without giving away spoilers, the parts in the story that made me cry involved abuse to animals. I can’t really count that as being powerful, because I have a soft spot for animals, so getting tears out of me like that is taking the easy way out. Still, there is a problem I have with the story. Layton is more worried about putting a grown woman who has repeatedly shown herself to be more than capable of defending herself in danger than he is about a ten-year-old kid who is also the son of his best friend. Flora I can understand, but being more worried about Emmy than Luke is like having an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer where Giles is more concerned about Buffy being hurt than he is about Xander. Although I do consider myself a feminist, I don’t like to toss around words like racist and sexist lightly, but I’m going to have to call sexist in this case.
Like usual, we have the puzzles and three mini-games. The puzzles are very difficult and you will need to use a few hint coins. If you miss any puzzles, they’ll go to Granny Riddleton’s shack. Some of you are probably wondering, “How could they be sent to Granny Riddleton’s shack when Layton never even met her until Curious Village?” It’s actually very simple; Layton never meets her in this game. The only connection he and Luke have to her is through a cat. The mini-games are the train course, the puppet show and the gold fish tank. To me, none of them particularly stood out and I only completed them to unlock bonus puzzles. In addition to those things, this game also comes with something completely new. You can now view short segments of minor characters to get a better understanding of their lives.
I’ve already mentioned a problem I have with the story, now I’ll talk about a serious problem I have with the game. It comes with an extra mini-game called Mouse Alley. What you do to unlock it is tap ten mice running around through Misthallery. Then you play a mini-game where you’re doing nothing except tapping mice with your stylus. Okay, how is this a puzzle? I played this game for hours, thanks to my obsession with getting 100% completion and all I gained from this stupid thing was cramped fingers! Were they trying to come up with something different to keep us from getting bored with the series? If that’s the case, they should just stick to what they know, because they really sucked at that.
Thankfully, not all new things are bad and there was one new feature that was far from it, Professor Layton’s London Life. You get to create a character and do tasks for various Layton characters throughout the game. You even get to have one of the Layton characters become your roommate. Trust me, it’s way better than it sounds. The minute I started this game, I couldn’t put it down. I’m surprised they didn’t make this into a separate game; it can definitely stand out on its own.
While the puzzles are challenging, the story line intriguing and London Life completely addictive, the mouse alley game was horrible and the mini-games didn’t really catch my interest. I give this game 9 out of 10, good, but not as good as its previous game.