Tag Archives: Orchestral

Review: Bravely Second End Layer Original Soundtrack

The Bravely Default soundtrack was widely acclaimed. It featured rock artist REVO providing some fantastic themes that earned the score a lot of praise in 2014. With Bravely Second on the horizon, Square Enix is going big once again with the soundtrack, this time by hiring ryo, the producer of one of my personal favorite acts in Japan, supercell, to score the game.

Can lightning strike twice? Does ryo have it it takes to give JRPG music fans what they so desire? Continue reading Review: Bravely Second End Layer Original Soundtrack

Review: BRA★BRA FINAL FANTASY BRASS de BRAVO

I’m probably not the only person who thought this album was going to be a brass album. It’s called Brass de Bravo, after all. What you’re going to get, however, is more along the lines of a small ensemble with, yes, a fleshed out brass section, performing mainly orchestral arrangements. Apparently there was a live performance featuring a brass group in conjunction with the Siena Wind Orchestra, which explains this sound. Fortunately the fun selection of arrangements and suites make up for the confusing album title, so let’s dig in. Continue reading Review: BRA★BRA FINAL FANTASY BRASS de BRAVO

Review: Bayonetta 2 Original Soundtrack

Listening to a Bayonetta soundtrack is always a huge undertaking. The first game’s soundtrack was five discs, and not to be outdone, Bayonetta 2 also clocks in at five. Still, much with the games, there’s a lot of quirkiness and charm found within the eclectic mix of electronic, orchestral, and jazz themes presented.

To go along with this large collection of music, there’s also a number of contributing composers from Platinum games and elsewhere who make this soundtrack what it is.

Does the Bayonetta 2 soundtrack surpass the first game’s effort? Read more below. Continue reading Review: Bayonetta 2 Original Soundtrack

Review: Dark Souls II Original Soundtrack

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

Review: Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

I’ve finally dug through the 400+ songs featured in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. I was particularly pleased with the Super Smash Bros. for 3DS soundtrack that I reviewed a couple months back, and the Wii U soundtrack is a staggering three-to-four times bigger.

Now, while many of those tracks are original soundtrack versions and returning arrangements from Melee and Brawl (which are excellent themselves), there’s still new arrangements to enjoy.

Let’s have a listen. Continue reading Review: Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

Review: Hideki Sakamoto Trio

Hideki Sakamoto hasn’t been in games that long, but he quickly became one of my favorite composers with his work on the Yakuza series, Echochrome, Toukiden, and a number of other titles that are obscure outside of Japan. His knack for memorable melodies paired with his use of live instruments and high production values is a perfect combination, and it’s for this reason that I’ve eagerly looked forward to his various arrangement projects, from his Hideki Sakamoto Orchestral Works featuring a full orchestra to TEKARU, his rock band that tackles many of his game themes. Now we get a more intimate trio approach, and like his other projects, it doesn’t disappoint.

Read more below. Continue reading Review: Hideki Sakamoto Trio

Review: LIGHTNING RETURNS:FINAL FANTASY XIII OST PLUS

I quite enjoyed the Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII OST. While it didn’t feature the catchy pop music that made Final Fantasy XIII-2 so endearing, it did sport its own unique blend of electronic ambiance that provided for a great listen.

As has been customary for the Final Fantasy XIII soundtracks, Square Enix released an additional disc of trailer music, instrumental versions, cut tracks, and variations on themes presented on this PLUS album. Is it worth picking up?

Read our review below. Continue reading Review: LIGHTNING RETURNS:FINAL FANTASY XIII OST PLUS

Review: Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

I had the opportunity to review the original Diablo III soundtrack, and I noted that while it was great in its own right, it didn’t feel like it belonged to the Diablo universe. More so, it felt like the world of Diablo told through the musical stylings of World of Warcraft. Diablo III: Repear of Souls takes a different direction, with composer Derek Duke acting as audio lead, allowing for a new soundscape to unfold.

Does this change have a lasting impact on the score? Read our full review below. Continue reading Review: Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

Review: memória! / The Very Best of Yoko Shimomura

I think most people will agree that Yoko Shimomura’s drammatica album was fantastic, and Square Enix has hinted at wanting to create a follow-up. When memoria! was announced, I hadn’t actually realized this was that follow-up, instead thinking it was a best of collection. However, you’ll be pleased to know that the music gets the full treatment in terms of arrangement for orchestra, piano, and live band.

It’s an eclectic mix with something for everyone. Find out what’s inside below. Continue reading Review: memória! / The Very Best of Yoko Shimomura

Review: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 Original Game Soundtrack

After Oscar Araujo’s impressive score for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, I was excited to see what he’d do with Lords of Shadow 2 given the modern setting. Producer Dave Cox was quick to talk about the soundtrack, telling fans that there would be an electronic edge, as well as hinting that some classic Castlevania melodies may make an appearance.

So, does the Lords of Shadow 2 soundtrack live up to expectations? Find out below. Continue reading Review: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 Original Game Soundtrack