Puzzle expert Professor Layton will indeed be getting a new look for his 3DS debut, but he isn't exactly the next Dante.
When Level-5 president Akihiro Hino said that Professor Layton would receive a makeover in Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle for the Nintendo 3DS, it was confusing when the character was later revealed to look exactly the same as before. At the recent "Level-5 Vision" press conference, the company revealed what Hino meant by his earlier comments.
Layton won't be swapping out his hugely collared coat for a leather jacket, or his top hat for a mohawk. Mask of Miracle will instead put players in the professor's shoes during two different time lines. Puzzles will evidently have to be solved both in the present and the past, long before Layton's current apprentice Luke was even born. Fortunately, Layton still appears to have help from a young, bespectacled fellow wearing a purple coat and a neckerchief.
The younger Professor Layton is too cool to wear a jacket, but he still keeps it classy with a vest and tie. The height of his locks are nearly a replacement for the modern-day Layton's top hat, as they also reach wildly towards the heavens. I guess we know what Layton's keeping under that hat: a massive do.
Mask of Miracle also brings the present-day backwards a little, as the story takes place one year after Layton meets Luke. The game will feature motion captured animation, 3D characters, and a daily puzzle system planned to release a new challenge every day for an entire year. Japan will get to hang out with the more virile Layton in spring 2011, while other markets' release dates are still to be announced. Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, the third game in the franchise, was released just one month ago in North America, so ideally Nintendo and Level-5 won't skip out on releasing the fourth before it moves on to the 3DS next year.