While Druaga Online -The Story of Aon- was never released outside of Japan, I think a lot of RPG fans can get behind an arcade-based RPG with online four player co-op. What drew my attention to the soundtrack was the eclectic combination of composers, which includes SuperSweep’s Ayako Sasao, StudioMINSTREL’s Hiroto Saito, and Bandai Namco composers Junko Ozawa and Hiroyuki Kawada. True to the eclectic nature of the team, the soundtrack offers upbeat orchestral, electronic, and rock in adventurous fantasy fashion.
Listeners will enjoy the infectious synth pop castle theme as well as the main character themes, which include playfully epic rock (“Gilgamesh”), bubbly electonics (“Ki”), and even industrial (“Xeovalga”). The map themes will also stand out with the exotic woodwinds of “Windy Prairie,” the grand orchestral stylings of “Hanging Gardens,” and the funky Castlevania-esque “Floating Island,” which even sports bagpipes at one point. Rounding out the two-disc collection are the gloriously defaint “Heavenly Palace,” the explosive final battle theme, and the triumphant and rustic ending theme complete with harpsichord.
Check out SuperSweep’s soundtrack sampler on YouTube and pick out the soundtrack on CD Japan if you’re interested.
Odin Sphere fans should rejoice. Not only is the game being released in HD remake form, but there’s new music written by Basiscape written specifically for the new version as well. Basiscape has released the two-disc soundtrack on Basiscape Records, available in physical CD format in Japan (see CD Japan) or digitally on iTunes International.
Fans of Hitoshi Sakimoto and Basiscape will find a lot to love. From the beautiful new version of the main theme complete with choir to tense Sakimoto-esque battle themes, a mysterious and serene forest theme, an oppressive lava area theme with clattering chimes, a mischievous forest kingdom, an otherworldly netherworld, and a soothing track to listen to while digging through the text archive, there’s something for every fantasy music lover. There’s playful and exotic, heroic and energetic, and bombastic and regal. Even flamenco and Celtic music make an appearance. In addition to the new tracks, there are also five arranged versions from the original score and this new material to enjoy.
Grab if it you’re an Odin Sphere or Basiscape fan!
Do you love Muramasa? The game is gorgeous, and the soundtrack by Basiscape has also received high praise. Muramasa has seen several album releases with a soundtrack and arrange album to date, but this latest collection from Basiscape Records brings together new music created for the PlayStation Vita port Muramasa Rebirth DLC packs, composed by the Basiscape team.
Fans of the original score should feel right at home. Lots of beautifully-layered Japanese instruments abounds, complete with rock and orchestral backings as appropriate. The opener, “Strike the Four Strings,” features studio head Hitoshi Sakimoto’s memorable theme and other standouts include the contemplative and sweeping “Mountains and Rivers,” the decisive orchestral piece “Perseverance,” and healing “High-Rise Buildings,” the lovely vocal theme with piano accompaniment titled “Rice Flower,” the gorgeously flowing strings of “Astonishing Sight,” the cool jazz fusion of “Solid Fortress,” the super serious espionage-esque “Pursuit,” the pop-tinged “External Traveller,” and the mischievous “Extraordinary Talent.”
While the physical two-disc set is available in Japan and is covered in artwork by Vanillaware, the album is available on the iTunes US store if you’re interested.
Noriyuki Iwadare fans rejoice! SuperSweep Records has done it again. While publishing rare and and sometimes never-before-released soundtracks has been the norm for Shinji Hosoe’s SuperSweep Records, fans of the strategy RPG series Langrisser (the original was released as Warsong in North America) will be pleased with this six-disc collection. It starts with the original Mega Drive version of the first Langrisser, and is followed by the beefier PC-Engine port that will likely be the highlight for many. It’s then on to Langrisser II, where listeners can take their pick from the Mega Drive or Super Famicom versions. There’s also a presentation of the music of Langrisser and Langrisser II as it appeared in the PlayStation remake, which spans two discs, and includes bonus tracks. Fans of Iwadare’s 32-bit era work on Lunar and Grandia will find this version much to their liking. The final disc features the Langrisser III soundtrack in its original previously-released form.
While various ports were handled by different artists, Iwadare’s thumbprint can be heard throughout. Wonderful synth work and driving rock tunes reign supreme, from the bold and adventurous “Story” and the guitar chugging “Knights errant” to the regal and sweeping “The Legend of Sword” and the prehistoric cave man rock in “Enemy 3 – Morgan” (one of my personal favorites). There’s a lot of great material here.
Fans of Iwadare, SRPGs, and specifically Langrisser will want to import the collection from CD Japan.
Square Enix has released a selection of Final Fantasy VIII music on two picture vinyls. They’re quite gorgeous, so we thought it would be great to show them to you. While the two vinyls don’t contain the soundtrack in its entirety, most key tracks are here, including the whimsical overworld theme, “Blue Fields,” the energetic battle theme, “Don’t Be Afraid” (one of my personal favorites of the entire series), the electronic-tinged boss battle theme, “Force Your Way,” the soothing guitar track, “Breezy,” the Triple Triad theme, “Shuffle or Boogie,” Laguna’s battle theme, “The Man With The Machine Gun,” the ominous “Premonition,” what I consider to be one of Uematsu’s finest compositions, “Fisherman’s Horizon,” and the final battle theme, “The Extreme,” among others.
I thought it would be nice to include a taste of the elusive Final Fantasy VIII Chips album from 2012, which you can hear in the background.
The vinyls are available directly from the Square Enix shop in Japan and Europe, but can be imported from CD Japan from outside of those regions.
There are many fans of Vanillaware’s gorgeous fantasy beat-’em-up, Dragon’s Crown. Scarlet Moon Artists composer and Basiscape head Hitoshi Sakimoto scored the game in its entirety, drawing on classic fantasy inspirations to weave together melodies that are strong yet deceptively simple. Dragon’s Crown wasn’t trying to break new ground, but rather reaching back into the heart of the fantasy genre, and this powerful soundtrack follows suit. Anyone’s who played the game will love the masculine “Dragon’s Haven Inn” with its exotic instrumentation, the whimsical and enchanting “City Street,” the somber and healing “Canaan Temple,” and the angelic “World Map.” Those who are more into action will enjoy the foreboding and epic “Castle of the Dead: Catacombs,” the powerful and adventurous “Mage Tower,” and the dangerous and swashbuckling “Ghost Ship Cove.” There are also two piano arrangements tucked away at the tail end of the three-disc set for both “City Street” and “World Map.”
After loving the soundtrack in-game, many fans have been wondering if an album would ever be released, and it’s now available courtesy of Basiscape Records on both CD Japan (physical) and iTunes worldwide. The physical package includes several wonderful (and provocative!) pieces of art throughout. Pick it up today!
This album has likely been on a lot of people’s most-wanted list. Protect Me Knight was released in North America in the Xbox Live Indie Arcade, developed by the studio of renowned game music composer Yuzo Koshiro, with 8-bit-style tunes written by Koshiro himself. There was never an official soundtrack release, but with the development and launch of Protect Me Knight 2 in Japan, there’s finally a soundtrack release featuring Koshiro with legends from across the shmup and 8-bit scenes, including SuperSweep’s Shinji Hosoe, OGR, Motoaki Furukawa, and Hiro. It’s an impressive line-up, and the album comes courtesy of SuperSweep.
The catchy main theme and the upbeat “Retro-Nitro-Girl” are sure to be fan favorites. The album includes the 8-bit soundtrack, some up-tempo versions, and original versions of songs before they were created in 8-bit style. It can be purchased at CD Japan.
Volume II is here! Enjoy ten new tracks touching on classic franchises including Final Fantasy, Metal Gear Solid, and The Legend of Zelda in addition to new greats such as Shovel Knight and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. All arrangements are performed by GENTLE LOVE (Norihiko Hibino and AYAKI) to assist you with sleep and relaxation.
Visit the official Prescription for Sleep website for purchase links and track lists for both volumes, and don’t miss out on our promotion to snag GENLTE LOVE’s arrangement from the Korean fantasy MMORPG, Monarch: Heroes of a New Age, for free when purchashing Volume I and Volume II together only on Loudr.
Feel free to check out our exclusive interview with The Verge where we discuss the Prescription for Sleep series, and be sure to catch our official launch trailer on Nerdist!
As always, feedback and suggestions are welcome: jayson[at]scarletmoonproductions[dot]com.
Don’t forget to grab our beautiful digital booklet, which includes photos and commentary on every track on the album in addition to a brief Q&A with Norihiko Hibino.
We have a special release just in time for the winter season. Scarlet Moon Artists’s own Goomin “Nauts’ Nam started recording with a Korean indie pop/rock band called Tellement, who celebrated the release of their debut album, Winter’s Hedgehog, in early 2014. You can read reviews of the album on Higher Plain Music and VGM Online. The album features catchy melodies and a slow winter’s pace that is perfect for the holidays and beyond, but it’s been hard to get a hold of outside of Korea.
Scarlet Moon Records is pleased to announce that we’re now taking special orders for Tellement’s Winter’s Hedgehog. Ordering will be simple, with payment handled through PayPal. Email jayson[at]scarletmoonproductions.com for instructions and order total (international shipping rates will apply).
As an added bonus, we’ll be including special authentic Bar Oasis coasters with each order. For those who are unfamiliar, Bar Oasis is a popular iOS drink-making simulation title by Corners Studio with music by Goomin Nam. The game and soundtrack are definitely worth your attention, so check them out, and enjoy a free heavy-duty coaster with your order of Winter’s Hedgehog.
Ridge Racer fans should take note of a recent release from SuperSweep celebrating 20 years of the series. Ridge Racer 20th Anniversary Remix is a two-disc collection featuring arrangements from across the franchise by several Bandai Namco sound team composers, both past and present. The second disc is dedicated to lengthy club mixes, and those who purchase the album on SuperSweep’s online store will also get a bonus disc with an hour-long club mix.
Electronic music fans will be right at home among the dance, house, and dubstep offerings. The hard-hitting “Disco Ball” from the original Ridge Racer, the epic choir in “Grip” from Ridge Racer 2, the jazzy “Quiet Curves” from Ridge Racer 4, the deep house experience “Sliding Beat” from Ridge Racer (VITA), and the vocal stylings of Takenobu Mitsuyoshi on “Ridge Racer” from Ridge Racer USA provide just a few of the memorable moments on this album.