01 - The Melody of the Devil's Flute
02 - Theme of the Devil's Flute
03 - The Devil Appears
04 - Town of Water ~ Mist Halely Day
05 - Puzzles 5
06 - Mysterious Tale
07 - Town of Wind ~ Highyard Hill
08 - Mansion of Shadows
09 - Calm Afternoon
10 - Rumble!
11 - Puzzles 6 ~ Reasoning
12 - Black Market
13 - Peaceful Hour
14 - Town of Mist ~ Mist Halely Night
15 - The Professor's Trunk ~ Miracle Fish
16 - The Professor's Trunk ~ Puppet Show
17 - The Professor's Trunk ~ Miniature Train
18 - Ghost Factory
19 - Descole's Theme
20 - Theme of the Last Battle
21 - The Legendary Paradise
22 - The Guardian Deity of Paradise ~ Ragoucy's Theme
23 - Puzzles 5
24 - Theme of the Last Battle
25 - Descole's Theme
The original Professor Layton trilogy was a huge success, so Level-5 naturally did what any company would do with a successful franchise: extend it indefinitely.
A second trilogy has been announced, and this is the beginning of that trilogy. Hence, the fourth game in the series, Professor Layton and the Devil's Flute comes with the same high music quality we heard from the previous three games. Starting, of course, with an excellent jazz performance track for the opening theme.
Yes, "Theme of the Devil's Flute" is sure to win over most any game music fan. Heck, it should win over any music fan, period. Seriously, it's one of the most high quality opening themes for any DS game on the market. I suspect the only DS game with an opening theme to top this one will be another Level-5 title, Ninokuni: The Another World (with music from the venerable Joe Hisaishi). And while I have extremely high expectations for that OST, it might not come out with a killer, catchy opening theme, which The Devil's Flute most definitely has.
The in-game music? I was pleasantly surprised. Nishiura has been averaging one Layton soundtrack per year, and he deserves praise for being able to maintain high quality instrumentation and memorable melodies for each game. Of note, "Town of Water" (track 4) is especially strong. It reminds me of something from Chrono Trigger. Can anyone give a higher praise than that?
And right after that, another example of great music. "Puzzles 5" uses a music box synth and electric piano in a slow, polyrhythmic back-and-forth for dominance. Definitely another catchy piece of music, and perfect for puzzle-solving.
The rest of the OST maintains a similar level of quality; but what really stands out are the arranged tracks at the end of the disc. Apparently Nishiura thinks as highly as I do of his composition in "Puzzles 5," as he did an arranged version of the track. Among the songs to choose from, this was an excellent choice. The other arranged tracks, "Theme of the Last Battle" and "Descole's Theme," are near-lifelike synth orchestral arrangements of their original DS synth counterparts. They aren't so much "more interesting" as they are more rich in sound. It's a full, powerful sound that we get out of these arrangements.
Like the other Layton soundtracks, I recommend this one to any game music fan. A nice blend of provincial European and jazz styles awaits the careful listener. Enjoy!
Reviewed by: Patrick Gann