01 - Theme of Hoshigami [Legend of King Sarnus]
02 - Ruining Blue Earth
03 - Dark Clouds [Battlefield of the Mardias Continent]
04 - Village of Dissoal
05 - A Beginning is Always Sudden
06 - Tower of Wind
07 - Theme of Romleth
08 - Escape [Departure]
09 - The Knight of Valaim
10 - Knights Squad of Da Nante
11 - Theme of Hoshigami [Elena Version]
12 - Battle Helpers March Theme
13 - Requiem [The Repose of Souls]
14 - Jacqueline's Pirate Crew Appears!
15 - March [Advance]
16 - Northern City
17 - Confidential Talk [Mean Plot]
18 - The Land Where the Spirits Live [Continent of Mardias]
19 - Decisive Battle [Going Over This Battle]
20 - Theme of Blackthorn
21 - To the Strong, Ephemeral Ones
22 - Last Battle
23 - Theme of Hoshigami [Tinn Version]
24 - A New Dawn [Dawn of A New Day]
25 - Village of Carcerius [The End of the Legend, and then...] (Not used in game)
There are only two opinions one can have of Hoshigami: 1) you absolutely hated it; or 2) you never played it. Knowing this, my decision to actually buy and listen to this album became a rather difficult task. I was then forced to resort back to the age old adage that one should not judge a book by its cover. Sure, the game was less than decent, but that didn't mean the music had to be less than decent either. And you know what, I wasn't disappointed. Of course, my expectations weren't all that high to begin with, but even though Hoshigami doesn't have the most remarkable soundtrack out there, it still managed to entertain enough to keep me listening.
From what I understand, the synth used in this album is of a much better quality than that of the game (most likely the reason for the "Special Soundtrack" title). However, having never played the game itself, I'm not exactly sure how much this affects or improves the music. I can tell you that the sound quality is above average, though, at least for a PSX title.
The overall theme of Hoshigami is very militaristic, which no doubt coincides with the strategic elements of the game itself. Both brass and drums feature prominently in most tracks, many of which have a distinctly symphonic sound to them. Of course, being a fan of orchestrated music, I found this to my liking. But, in a way, the soundtrack suffers due its overuse.
A problem I had with the CD is that each track's sound has a certain sameness to it. There's not a lot of variety in style from piece to piece, and although this is not a huge complaint on my part, it may lull some listeners to sleep. Most of the themes are rather subdued, as well; there are no heart-pounding, high energy battle themes, nor gut-wrenching, dramatic pieces. Again, this is not a huge problem for me, but may be for some listeners.
Among quite a few mediocre tracks there are some pieces, such as "A Beginning is Always Sudden" and "Last Battle", that I found to be quite good, once you get used to them that is. Unfortunately, many of these pieces require careful listening for one to grow to appreciate them, and it's for this same reason that many people may be turned off. However, with patience, I found Hoshigami to be quite rewarding.
Hoshigami: Ruining Blue Earth Special Soundtrack is a tough sell. It's not the most astounding album I've ever listened to, but I found it to be enjoyable nonetheless. In most cases with soundtracks like this, I'd recommend the album to those who've played the game. But, considering most who've played Hoshigami absolutely hated it, I'll just have to stick my recommendations to those adventurous individuals out there willing enough to take a risk. Otherwise, I'd only advise picking it up if you can get a good deal on it.
Reviewed by: Lucy Rzeminski