If you're a regular reader at RPGFan, there are three things that you have probably figured out by now: 1) I really like Gust (developers of the Atelier series and, of course, Ar tonelico); 2) we at RPGFan keep tabs on virtually every NIS America release; 3) NIS America almost always prints a bonus soundtrack to go with preorders of their games.
Knowing these three things, is it any surprise that this soundtrack exists and is being reviewed?
The American release of the OST is a hand-picked selection of the 2 disc Japanese OST, compressed into a sort of "best of" collection. The first thing I noticed when reading over the tracklist: where are the songs from the Hymmnos Concerts? These songs, though left intact in the US version of the game, are absent on this disc. It's really a shame, because they are some of the best songs the game had to offer.
Two vocal tracks did make it onto this disc: the opening and ending, of course. These were on the OST, so it was good to see them both put on this album.
Otherwise, the album is packed with great BGM tracks from the game. And when I say "packed," I mean it: nearly 80 minutes! NIS America did a good job at picking the most memorable songs from the game; having heard the Japanese OST many times in the last year, and now having played the game through, I thought the song selection on this album was great.
The tracklist, an issue all its own, was touched up a fair bit in the transition from the Japanese version to the US version. Names like "Chornicle of Gene" and "Expressive Hill" have been changed to "Genetic Chronicle" and "Singing Hill." That works for me!
If you didn't get this album with your copy of Ar tonelico: Melody of Elemia, you have probably already missed your chance. Thus, your options are eBay or the Japanese version. Either way, this was one of my favorite soundtracks of this new millenium, so I highly recommend it.
Reviewed by: Patrick Gann