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Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness OST
Catalog Number: DDT1-PS3-US-OST-SLE
Released On: October 08, 2013
Composed By: Tenpei Sato
Arranged By: N/A
Published By: NIS America
Recorded at: Unknown
Format: 2 CDs
Tracklist:

Disc One
01 - CRADLE OVER
02 - Roar of the Netherworld~Darkness
03 - Devil Rock Hero
04 - Sailing
05 - Heaven's Blossom
06 - Tasty☆Magic
07 - Next Departure
08 - Moving Express
09 - Bad Guy
10 - Paradise Basket
11 - Brown Leaf
12 - Yokubarikko-Ring♪
13 - AKUMAsium
14 - Prince of Darkness
15 - Popping Over
16 - Black Screamer
17 - Live Arrival
18 - Ray of Light
19 - Devil Pop Star
20 - Super Timer
21 - Crash the Gate
22 - Rockin' Princess
23 - Little Brave
24 - Big Red Moon
25 - Sad to Say
26 - Dramatic Devil Story
27 - Next Story
Total Time:
71'02"

Disc Two: Bonus Tracks
01 - Sparkling
02 - Rosen Queen Co., Netherworld Branch
03 - Akuma Drops
04 - Witch Hunting
05 - Angel Smile
06 - Hysterical Kingdom
07 - Go Go Girl
08 - Elegant Darksters
09 - The Pranking Demon's Footsteps
10 - Running Fire
11 - Disgaea
12 - The Sad Angel
13 - Pandora Ignition
Total Time:
33'38"

What do you do for the tenth anniversary of a game that looks like an anime version of The Nightmare Before Christmas, except starring pre-teen demons, pop idols, and Power Rangers? Nippon Ichi's answer to that query was to make a new Disgaea strategy RPG, Disgaea Dimension 2. Disgaea D2 is a direct sequel to the first Disgaea title instead of a game starring a new cast; the Disgaea series will again see some new blood in 2015, when Disgaea 5 launches in Japan. Disgaea Dimension 2 was released outside Japan as Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness.

Disgaea D2's soundtrack is a Tenpei Sato joint, as are the other Disgaea OST's. Sato's quirky musical choices are an essential part of the Disgaea experience, and the Disgaea D2 OST fits right into his body of work. Sato's orchestral soundscape occasionally crosses into the realms of rock and pop, but almost always with interesting results.

Included with the 27-track OST is a second CD with 13 tracks from the first four games. It's impossible to satisfy every Disgaea fan with just 13 tracks, but it's a solid selection. "Pandora Ignition" (Axel's Disgaea 4 theme music) and "Elegant Darksters" (the default Item World music in the first Disgaea) were two of my favorites on the bonus CD. However, in my case it might be Stockholm Syndrome for "Elegant Darksters." I spent a lot of time in Item World.

The Disgaea D2 soundtrack proper, like the game itself, has frequent callbacks and references to the original Disgaea. "Whisper of Hell ~Darkness" is a new arrangement of the Disgaea opening menu music "Whisper of Hell," and "Red Moon Dance" is an up-tempo interpretation of the melody from "Red Moon" from the original Disgaea. Sure, "Red Moon Dance" is used in a combat map and "Red Moon" is a melancholy ballad, but the notes are there.

Sato has a few signature voices that are found in each Disgaea soundtrack, and Disgaea D2 is no exception. The eerie synth chorus in "Heaven's Blossom," "Devil Rock Hero," and "The Sad Angel" is a Disgaea staple. Sato uses a lot of guitar sounds in Disgaea D2, but the most familiar one is a low-reverb, medium-distortion electric guitar that takes center stage on "Prince of Darkness." That guitar sounds a little like a buzzing insect when it's in the upper register, but it's a neat vehicle for the melody.

But that's not to say that Sato uses the same instrumentation for all of his songs. Sato's natural Disgaea instrumentation is a full orchestra, but playful and weird. I heard flute, violin, and clarinet solos multiple times listening to the album. "Rosen Queen Co. — Netherworld Branch" has a funky opening hook with timpani, violin, clarinet, oboe, tuba, trumpet, harp, glockenspiel, triangle (!?), and a variety of other voices climbing up and down in the first twenty seconds before settling into the melody. It's an offbeat and whimsical tune (sorry for saying the W-word, but if the shoe fits...), and it helps to set the tone for the whole series, being the shop music in the original Disgaea.

Predictably, Disgaea D2 has a dramatic opening number with an anime music video. "CRADLE OVER" isn't my favorite opening in the series (that would be Disgaea 2's "Sinful Rose"), but I love its strings and electric guitar accompaniment. The four on the floor had me grooving with every listen. In contrast, the ending song "Next Story" is a lovely ballad that begins pleasant and understated, and grows increasingly complex with more instruments in each verse, ending with a rich wall of sound. "Next Story" is lengthy at eight minutes, but builds nicely and is a satisfying credits song.

If there's a single thing that differentiates Disgaea D2's soundtrack from its predecessors, it's a little more idol girl pop. "Yokubarikko-Ring♪," "Tasty✩Magic," and "Rockin' Princess" wouldn't be out of place in a Hatsune Miku game. This isn't new for Disgaea music, but Disgaea D2 has an entire chapter concerning a demon pop idol concert, so there's a little more than usual.

All copies of Disgaea D2 bought from Nippon Ichi Software America's website included these two CDs. The same soundtrack was available at GameStop as a pre-order bonus, but this OST was never made individually available by NISA. It's a good value as a pack-in with the game, but probably not worth seeking out re-sellers for an official version. Disgaea D2 is a tasty audio meal for Tenpei Sato fans, but if you're a Disgaea newcomer I'd recommend checking out the other Disgaea OST's before breaking the internet searching for this one.

Reviewed by: Michael Sollosi



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