Nippon Ichi Software’s Tenpei Sato returns with another zany RPG score in line with a lot of his past works. This time, we get a playfully dark atmosphere with a strong western vibe that goes quite well together. There are two discs to dig into if you managed to pick up the limited edition, and a single disc sampler if you grab the standard edition on the NISA store.
What drew my attention to the score initially was a contribution by NieR vocalist Emi Evans. Does her track and the rest make for a memorable experience? Read more below.
Tenpei Sano has a very distinct style, combining upbeat melodies with retro-tinged synth. He generally isn’t pushing the envelope with his scores, but rather tries to create something catchy, and usually succeeds.
The opening vocal theme is as goofy as one would expect from Sato, with a nice spooky vibe thrown in to reflect the game’s theme. There’s the beautiful siren-like “Witch’s Temptaton,” the aforementioned western vibe in “Nadeshiko” and the Wild ARMs-esque “Gone with the Dust,” and exotic desert music with “Ancient Mystery.” Other stand outs include “The Flutist’s Sketch,” with great choral work and orchestration, “Smile Again,” a sweet ballad, rustic harpsichord in “Hopeless Labyrinth” and organ in “Forgotten Church,” a beautiful pop ballad with “Flower Basket,” and a final vocal track that treads on rock territory.
And that Emi Evans track? It’s sung in Japanese, and has a pop sound paired with the playful darkness found throughout the rest of the score. It doesn’t disappoint.
In all, this is one of my favorite Sato scores in a long while. He generally writes great stuff, but this is different enough to leave a lasting impression in my mind.
It looks as though the limited edition version is sold out, but the single-disc sampler is still available on the NISA store.