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What's New In Professor Layton's Fourth Outing

Wired: I have come to the realization that, for me, the Professor Layton series is very similar to the John Madden Football games that you kids seem to enjoy so much: One comes out every fall, and it's the same as the last one, but I buy it anyway and love it.

Professor Layton and the Demon Flute was released last week in Japan, and thus begins my annual intense Japanese practice, picking through logic puzzles and a detective story. Demon Flute follows the usual formula: The silk top-hatted English professor and his sidekicks investigate a mysterious happening. In this case, it's a demon that comes to life and smashes up a town every time a certain flute is played.

Since this is the first game in the Layton prequel trilogy, and thus a bit of a jump start for the series, Level-5 has added a few features that will surprise longtime fans.

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