What we have here is an original soundtrack for a criminally underplayed game. The tracks are organized neatly and in a logical order, going from the intro songs to the character themes, the character themes to the menu songs, and then the menu songs to the battle songs, and then finally to the end game songs. The soundtrack maintains a consistent yet dynamic sound, using mostly the same synthesized patches of strings, brass, and drums to create an orchestral feel. Upon first listen I recognized that almost all of the major themes were present, but it is not complete.
The character themes make up most of the disc and each character's theme is distinctly memorable, with my personal favorites either being Junon's Theme or Mikhal's Theme. One of the amazing things about these songs is that they are so easy to listen to repeatedly, and as a former obsessive Dragon Force player, this was a vital part of the awesome experience of the game.
Besides the characters' themes, a good portion of the soundtrack contains battle themes which are exciting and generally speaking have a strong beat and epic-sounding accompaniments. I really enjoy the deep bass of both Snow Land Battle and Tool of the Wicked God, which has a cool minimalist feel to it until roughly a minute in when a grand accompaniment of horns, strings and drums enter for about 25 seconds.
The rest of the soundtrack is basically the themes from the intro and ending themes, which are all satisfying in terms of quality. The main theme is noteworthy and it has never left my head.
There are a couple bonus tracks at the end of the CD, which consist of the Opening Theme with the Japanese narration, and another track comprised of sound effects from the game.
One thing that disappointed me about this soundtrack is that it seems like they were trying to jam as many tracks onto one disc as possible, because most of the songs only play through once and do not loop. The total running time is only 59'34", and as you can see from those numbers they consistently cut every track that loops. This is even more obvious when you compare this release to the 2005 "Dragon Force Complete Album" release, in which you'll see the lengths of songs double.
Another thing to note is that some of the tracks, besides not looping more than once or once and a quarter times, sometimes have "endings" that are not present on the actual game songs, such as Wein's Theme and Leon's Theme. This is probably once again due to the space constraints of everything being on one disc.
One final disappointment is the fact that a lot of the short songs during gameplay are simply missing and did not make their way onto this disc, such as when you enter battle, duel another general, or when you encounter the Skull Children. With so much leftover space you have to wonder why these tracks weren't included.
The bottom line is that this is a cheap version of the game's soundtrack as they attempted to pack everything onto one CD and couldn't even do a good job of that, as there are at least a dozen omissions included in the two-disc release Dragon Force Complete Album. Released over 10 years ago, this CD is pretty rare and expensive now, I reckon, and in my opinion is for collectors only. Get Dragon Force Complete Album instead; it's everything this release should have been.
Reviewed by: Helmholz