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Symphonic Suite Dragon Quest III Soshite Densetsue...
Catalog Number: SVWC-7247 (reprint KICC-6302)
Released On: April 20, 2005 (reprint August 5, 2009)
Composed By: Koichi Sugiyama
Arranged By: Koichi Sugiyama
Published By: Aniplex (reprint King Records)
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 1 CD
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01 - Roto
02 - Prologue
03 - Rondo
04 - Around the World
05 - Rolling Dice
06 - Adventure
07 - Dungeon ~ Tower ~ The Phantom Ship
08 - Distant Memories
09 - Requiem ~ Small Shrine
10 - Sailing
11 - Heavenly Flight
12 - Grueling Fight
13 - Zoma's Castle
14 - Fighting Spirits
15 - Into the Legend
Total Time:

Dragon Quest III is a fan favorite. It's been through many remakes, as has its symphonic suite; and as the conclusion to the Roto trilogy, it is well-loved by most who have played it. However, in the grand scope of Sugiyama's works, I am obligated to be honest and say that this is one of my least favorites among the Dragon Quest Symphonic Suites.

Now, the version being reviewed here is the most recent recording of the Symphonic Suite to date. Performed by the Tokyo Metropolitan, and conducted by composer Koichi Sugiyama, this recording is known for being mixed and normalized to the point of removing any errors; and with the errors go the highs and the lows, the dynamic range, all the things that people associate with a symphony orchestra performance. The Tokyo Met recordings have fared better with some DQs, worse with others. In this particular case, I wasn't impressed.

Beyond the issues of who performed and how it's recorded, I generally do not enjoy the Dragon Quest III compositions. They are decent, yes, but they are nothing compared to my favorite tracks from each of the other Dragon Quest albums. Dragon Quest III's score is consistent, but it is boring. Even the parts that ought to excite me leave me feeling bored, and in need of something better (like Dragon Quest IV, or virtually any other DQ album). One track I do always enjoy from DQIII is "Heavenly Flight." Sugiyama's sky exploration themes are always good, so I wasn't let down by this track. But this is the one diamond in the rough for me. Other people really enjoy this score, but I generally don't.

If you're going to get a Dragon Quest III Symphonic Suite, I would recommend finding one of the older albums due to their recording, mixing, and performance qualities. But if you're a huge fan of these Tokyo Metropolitan recordings, I guess my opinion won't sway you.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann


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