At long last the final episodes of the Blue Toad Murder Files graces PSN users that have been waiting for the stunning conclusion to the series. Previously, we reviewed the first 3 episodes, and now it's time for the finale. Our four Blue Toad agents are back to finish solving the crimes of Little Riddle, but how does it all end? Happily ever after, or something a bit more sinister?
Blue Toad Murder Files is a puzzle game, much like the Professor Layton DS games, that give you a murder mystery, a series of suspects, and puzzles as a means to narrow down your clues to solve the crime. As with many things in a series, Blue Toad demands to be played in order starting from the beginning. There is no jumping in to whichever episode you chose, as a lot of the characters back stories and occupations are involved in the increasingly difficult (or, maybe there was just a lot more math than I remember,) puzzles. A few of the back stories I hadn't become familiar with, so there were a few failed puzzles just on that account. Otherwise, the game carries on well through the series. New murders to be solved, new puzzles to be worked through, and 4 player co-op as usual.
Everyone is a suspect.
Playing with extra people makes the game much, much more fun - especially if you have a variety of skills in the group. Fortunately I had a math guy, a logic girl, and myself for the rest of the puzzles in the game. Up to 4 players can play together, and I'd almost recommend it, even though the game has very little literal working-together. More so it's like a party game where you solve things on your own - but working together outside of the game to solve puzzles is essential to the fun. I played a few areas by myself and felt like a scolded child with every puzzle I got wrong. Discussing, suggesting, and helping each other out is ideal.
I'd have to say I agree with the previously applied co-op game score, but the fun was actually enhanced in my group dynamic based on co-op. I think it really depends on who you play with to make the game more enjoyable, since the game itself doesn't really force gamers to play together at all. It probably also helped that my sister and I were discussing things in the various goofy voices used in the game (all done by the same voice actor) which made the experience that much better.
The later episodes are very much a continuation of the early episodes. If you were one of the people that thought the puzzles got "stale" then perhaps these last three episodes aren't for you. For those who played and enjoyed the first episodes, waiting for more - the difficulty of the puzzles did seem to be up a little, but that may have been my perspective based on how many math puzzles there were toward the end. So, if you were considering finishing the game and look forward to a bit of an increased difficulty, I give my full approval, agreeing whole heartedly with our original review.