Those who have known Akihiro Hino and Level-5 since the days of PlayStation 2, know how the situation of the Japanese company has for years been studded with offers that are always authorial and colorful but no longer properly capable of grabbing the hardcore slice of the market. Too bad, because the team of Dark Cloud, Rogue Galaxy and Dragon Quest VIII would be the most talented the Japanese industry can offer and yet it is no coincidence that, with the Ni No Kuni saga removed, the company has focused almost exclusively on franchises. clear portable matrix, which then brings us to this review of Layton's Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires Plot. The title is young: a brand born on mobile, transported to 3DS and arrived on Switch in Deluxe version, with all the puzzles and DLCs available inside. Operation nostalgia? No, mostly a restoration operation in the Nintendian ecosystem, since the 3DS version was in some ways a technical downgrade compared to more performing smartphone panels and chips.
Switch can therefore boast what we hope will become the first of many exponents of the Layton series, albeit of the new course, precisely, of the daughter Katrielle. The curious thing is that this looks like a title designed for Switch: sprites, interludes, models are beautiful to look at both on 6.2 inches and on the big screen and the integration of practically any type of input is a very welcome addition. This is joined by the highest list of puzzles ever proposed by a Layton (more than 500, 40 of which are exclusive), a still convincing dubbing and a story capable of keeping company for several hours. Contraindications?
Merger of controls
None, indeed the advice for those who have never played an episode of Layton is to take advantage of it and enter a fairy-tale world, delicate, colorful, graceful and with a splendid retro European style. For those who know the saga, we are not facing the strongest chapter of the franchise but its enjoyment remains high, on Switch as on mobile: since we reviewed it two years ago, first on mobile and then on 3DS, we will avoid introducing you once again synopsis and progress structure, going directly to tell you about the new use of the adventure.
This edition Deluxe collects 3 types of control: touch input, navigation via analog and directional cross. Level-5 has condensed the mobile and 3DS features into a hybrid platform software, adapting the gameplay exercise seamlessly: you can advance with a finger, move the mouse-style pointer using the stick and navigate menus with the cross, mixing everything according to your preferences. The playful flow benefits a lot, especially in what on balance is a graphic adventure, albeit modeled according to Hino's unique Japanese vision. We tested Katrielle's story on the go and on the dock; as it is finally simple to live a Layton on the big screen, the convenience and practicality of enjoying the journey in portability wins the challenge of everyday life, giving Level-5 an easy remake or remaster path that, on the one hand, we hope is already at an advanced stage of planning, as it would allow to the franchise to speak to a whole new target.
The adventure of Katrielle, the dog Sherl and the assistant Ben develops through a path of analysis of scenes, collection of coins, dialogues and interludes, corroborated by a playful structure of enigmas that keep the qualitative heritage of the brand at good levels. Let's talk about puzzles often designed for use on the move, fast, sometimes immediate but mostly fun and able to effortlessly drag, within an advancement to separate cases, this too a very mobile logic. A final note must be made on what we believe to be the strongest weapon of the Switch, even more highlighted on products of this type: the possibility of putting the console on stand-by creates the ideal bridge between short sessions and other very short ones, allowing you to enter the Katrielle's London for a few minutes, maybe submit the riddle to a friend and put everything back on standby.
CommentDigital Delivery Nintendo eShop Price 39.90 € Resources4Gaming.com
Having said that there is little to tell about a story that has already been seen twice in the past, the arrival on Switch of Katrielle (and therefore Layton) deserves a great welcome. For structure, identity and concept it will hardly be remembered as the favorite chapter by fans, yet today this release represents an excellent gateway for those who have never played an exponent of what is probably today the Level-5 identity franchise. Katrielle and the new supporting party are perhaps the best characters to ferry the structure towards new recruits: characterized but less charismatic when compared to their illustrious predecessors, the London detective team has that range of freshness and lightness, in the ways and in the dialogues, perfect to introduce themselves to the newcomers on Switch, perhaps looking for a title to take for a walk and with which to spend, on the big screen, playful time in the company of partners or children. It is not so much the new costumes or exclusive puzzles - albeit happily accepted - that make us recommend the title, but the desire we have to push those who have never played a Layton to jump on the train and be captivated by a delicate and fascinating animated style of inspiration. which practically does not exist elsewhere.
- More puzzles than the other versions
- Perfect for short sessions
- Layton comes into the living room
- Some localization imperfections remain
- The price is a non-trivial obstacle