Tag Archives: Soundtrack

DRAGON’S CROWN ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK (BSPE-1051~3)

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!

Review: KINGDOM HEARTS -HD 2.5 ReMIX- Original Soundtrack

Having never explored the Kingdom Hearts soundtracks with their initial release, I’ve relished being able to experience them for the first time in this beautiful ReMIX version. I dug into the 1.5 ReMIX soundtrack a few weeks back, but I have to say that 2.5 ReMIX is even better. It’s much darker and heavier than 1.5, and it features recorded parts with the super talented Video Game Orchestra based out of Boston.

There’s so much music here to love, starting with a slower and more contemplative “Dearly Beloved” that sets the tone for the album. The vocal theme, “Passion,” gets a catchy ethereal version to start and end the game, but also a big orchestral version. It’s a fantastic track that will be stuck in your head for weeks. From there, “Lazy Afternoons” is simply gorgeous with its orchestral instrumentation, “Sinister Sundown” impresses with its decisive strings and marching snare, and “Tension Rising” brings big brass and ominous organ and some neat scale runs. “Kairi” gets a healing version this time around, while “Roxas” sports a rather tragic quality. “Magical Mystery” is unsettling with its out of tune piano and off-time bell tolls, while “*Organization XIII’ is ominous with its droning pads and choir. “Gearing Up” combines a playful toy-like vibe with rocking electric guitar, “Shipmeister’s Shanty” adds electronic elements to the same concept, and “Asteroid Attack” teases “Dearly Beloved” with its spacey pads and synth bass. “Waltz of the Damned” sports a nice swaying rhythm and references other themes form the game, “Dance of the Daring” is an upbeat folky tune with harpsichord, “Beauty and the Beast” gets a pop-oriented arrangement, and “The Home of Dragons” goes for majestic with a strong Chinese vibe.

Then there’s all the wonderful Disney music that you can’t help but smile while listening to. I’m looking at you, “Winnie the Pooh.” I have to admit it’s strangely satisfying hearing Disney classics sung in Japanese. Particularly “Under the Sea” from The Little Mermaid. Donald and Goofy are also amazing in Japanese.

I love a lot of music heading into the end of the album, but to call out a few, the lightning fast metal in “Hazardous Highway,” the ambient “Cavern of Remembrance,” the foreboding and exotic “Sacred Moon,” the lovely “The Other Promise,” and the triumphant yet melancholy “Fantasia alla marcia” all provide a wonderful closing to the album.

I’ve gone on quite long enough, but this is some of Yoko Shimomura’s best work of all time. I highly recommend picking it up on CD Japan.

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: Mario Kart 8 Soundtrack

I always figured that Mario Kart would be the last hold out from Nintendo, doomed to host cheesy synth sounds for its soundtracks for all eternity. We’ve seen Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda get the orchestral treatment, but Mario Kart is a party game, so when Mario Kart 8 was announced, I didn’t expect anything new on the sound front.

I was mistaken, however, as Nintendo has really gone all out once again for this score. Given the time and attention that the large sound team at Nintendo put into the game, including contributions from Shiho Fujii, Atsuko Asahi, Ryo Nagamatsu, Yasuaki Iwata, and direction by Kenta Nagata, I thought we should dig in and take a look at what they’ve accomplished.

Read impressions below. Continue reading Review: Mario Kart 8 Soundtrack

Interview: Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze with David Wise

Nintendo of Japan’s Kenji Yamamoto and Retro Studios’s Scott Petersen did a great job with the audio on Donkey Kong Country Returns, but everyone was wondering if we’d ever hear the original voice of Donkey Kong Country, David Wise, again. Well, he’s back in action, working alongside the established duo to bring his own unique flavor to the score for Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, and we’ve caught some words with him about the project.

Enjoy this trip down memory lane, and get out there and start playing and listening to Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze! Continue reading Interview: Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze with David Wise

Monarch: Heroes of a New Age Arrangements & Variations (SMRC-1002)

As mentioned, this arrangement album is one not to be missed. Containing alternate versions of many of the tracks from the Original Soundtrack, there are also all-new arrangements created by Goomin Nam including a moving Korean vocal version of “Forgotten Archduchess,” pop ballad covers by Goomin Nam of “Peaceful Macdallena” and by Dale North of “Seaside Village,” a dark take on “Wandering Woods” by Joshua Morse, and a beautiful piano and saxophone improvisation by Norihiko Hibino and AYAKI (GENTLE LOVE).

The album features 15 tracks, including variations, arrangements, and a bonus trailer from the game’s announcement.

A limited-print physical version is available on Bandcamp, while the two albums are being bundled together at a discounted price exclusively on Loudr. You can also pick it up on iTunes and Amazon MP3.

Hear a sample and view the beautiful physical packaging along with album credits below. Continue reading Monarch: Heroes of a New Age Arrangements & Variations (SMRC-1002)

Monarch: Heroes of a New Age Original Soundtrack By Goomin Nam (SMRC-1001)

This epic classical-inspired fantasy MMORPG score by Goomin “Nauts” Nam is finally available. From the powerful main theme to the whimsical towns and ominous dungeons, there’s a lot for RPG fans to love with this soundtrack, and it demonstrates that Goomin Nam–best known for his work on TalesWeaver and Bar Oasis–is a versatile musician.

The album features 22 tracks from the game, with an entire second album also being released that contains additional variations and arrangements.

A limited-print physical version is available on Bandcamp, while the two albums are being bundled together at a discounted price exclusively on Loudr. You can also pick it up on iTunes and Amazon MP3.

Hear a sample and view the beautiful physical packaging along with album credits below. Continue reading Monarch: Heroes of a New Age Original Soundtrack By Goomin Nam (SMRC-1001)

Review: Final Fantasy X-2 Original Soundtrack

With the release of Final Fantasy X HD, Square Enix took the opportunity to re-release the Final Fantasy X-2 soundtrack, which has been out of print for some time.

I admit I never played the game (I was adamant at the time that Final Fantasy games didn’t need sequels), but I did enjoy some of the music in passing. Now I’m getting a more in-depth look at the score, and there’s a lot of great music here. Continue reading Review: Final Fantasy X-2 Original Soundtrack

Dragon Fantasy Book II Original Soundtrack by Dale North (SMRC-1004)

The first release out from Scarlet Moon Records is Dale North’s Dragon Fantasy Book II Original Soundtrack. This 43-track album marks the triumphant return of the classic JRPG soundtrack that many enthusiasts, myself included, have been yearning for. North, a singer and songwriter first and foremost, draws on this background to craft catchy melodies around every turn.

I had a blast coming up with the track names with Muteki’s Adam Rippon. We hope you enjoy them!

A limited physical edition, available via Bandcamp and Amazon, features 37 tracks and is adorned with artwork from the game. The Bandcamp version includes an immediate download of the full 43-track version.

Also available via iTunesAmazon MP3, and Loudr.

Credits and physical packaging artwork can be found below. Continue reading Dragon Fantasy Book II Original Soundtrack by Dale North (SMRC-1004)