NieR is some of the greatest game music of all time. So fans were rightfully excited that Square Enix was releasing the soundtracks in vinyl format. There are two releases, one for NieR Gestalt & Replicant, and one for NieR: Automata. Then there’s the combination box set which we got our hands on here. The packaging is as exquisite as the music, so fans will want to keep an eye out on the Square Enix North American merchandise store and sign up for the waiting list on these. The box set is reasonably priced at $79.99 with the individual releases coming in at $42.99.
I absolutely adore NieR. It ranks among my favorite soundtracks of all time. I’m also a huge fan of vocalist Emi Evans, and I’ve always been disappointed that I’ve never been able to see her perform the music from NieR lives in all the many times she’s done it. Thankfully Square Enix decided to publish this recent concert and live talk event on Blu-ray for the world to enjoy, and enjoy it I have.
The performance includes all the key tracks, with MoNACA composer and pianist Keigo Hoashi performing his own themes along with the lovely Reiko Tsuchiya Quartet. Vocalists, including Emi Evans, are of course featured prominently. There’s the somber introduction, “Snow in Summer,” followed by Emi Evans’s angelic vocals in “Hills of Radiant Winds,” “Kaine,” and “Song of the Ancients / Devola.” I realize I’m going over them quickly here, but they are each absolutely stunning compositions and live performances.
Things get more interesting with “The Wretched Automatons,” which sees Emi Evans perform her usual lead with Nami Nakagawa (also a performer from the original NieR soundtrack) handling the lower notes. Nagakawa truly impresses throughout the entire evening with her amazing range. She can hit some incredible lows and highs, making a perfect accompaniment to Evans or running the entire range all on her own, including on her NieR: Automata track.
Vocalist J’Nique Nicole comes to the stage to perform “Weight of the World” from Automata. The track has a sort of sleek and sexy ballad vibe, similar in style of something from Metal Gear Solid of 007. It’s an interesting track, and I’m curious to see how it sets the tone for the rest of the score.
Evans again comes to the stage to perform the heartbreaking “Grandma,” the sweet and reflective “Ashes of Dreams,” and is joined by Nakagawa for a riveting encore, “Song of the Ancients / Fate” featuring the two performing in perfect harmony. It’s quite a thing to see done live.
I’m glad they decided to keep the talk separate from the concert, as watching long portions of talk in the middle of the music can be a drag. I also enjoy the packaging design, with the sleek black and white cover with a nice wood grain texture that lends it some class.
In all, I couldn’t be more happy with this release. The music isn’t included in MP3 format on the disc like other Blu-ray releases have been, so you’ll have to pick up the limited edition version of the game to get the audio alone.
Feel free to pick up the Blu-ray on CD Japan in the meantime if you’re a fan of NieR’s music!
A lot of people were surprised to see Motoi Sakuraba take the helm of the Dark Souls series after Shinsuke Kida’s powerful score to Demon’s Souls. Would he take the franchise in a more progressive rock direction that he is known for, or stay true to the epic orchestral stylings that Kida established in Demon’s Souls?
I was personally surprised and delighted to see him take the latter approach. The Dark Souls soundtrack had a lot of standout music, and I was wondering if he could pull off a repeat with Dark Souls II.
The soundtrack album was included with limited edition versions of the game, so fortunately it’s pretty easy to find out! Continue reading Review: Dark Souls II Original Soundtrack
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. Continue reading Review: The Witch and the Hundred Knight
With Drakengard 3 out next week in North America, I thought it’d be a good time to connect with MoNACA studios founder Keiichi Okabe about his work on the project. After being amazed by their score for NieR, I wondered what they would have in store for fans upon returning to that same universe.
They don’t disappoint, as you can read in our review of the score.
See what Keiichi Okabe has to say below. Continue reading Interview: Keiichi Okabe On Drakengard 3
I think this is easily one of the most anticipated soundtracks of 2014 for soundtrack enthusiasts. After MoNACA’s amazing work on the soundtrack to NieR, we have all been looking forward to their return visit to the Drag-On Dragoon universe. The entire team is back for more, including vocalist Emi Evans, so I certainly had high hopes.
So, will the Drag-On Dragoon 3 soundtrack live up to your expectations? Hit the jump for my review. Continue reading Review: Drag-On Dragoon 3 OST