Note: the back cover has a German and English tracklist, but there are some errors in English (which we have corrected). For example, they have "Princes" when it is actually "Princess", and "Fight It Out" for track 10 is completely incorrect (although it conveys the same meaning).
Langrisser II holds a special place in my heart. Growing up, I had a neighbor who was deeply obsessed with the Sega Genesis title Warsong (Langrisser I, the only one of the series to come to America). He loved the game so much that he managed to secure an import of Langrisser II. This game was the only game I've ever played from beginning to end in Japanese...I missed out on the majority of the story, seeing as I couldn't read the dialogue, yet I still managed to complete the game.
Looking back over that experience, one of the things I remember most clearly from the experience was the outstanding music. It should come as no surprise to readers that this excellent music was composed by none other than Noriyuki Iwadare, the man who made most of the Langrisser series music. However, though this soundtrack claims to be "Original" game music, it's actually 20 tracks of well-arranged epic-synth-rock themes.
Rather than attempt to sample a variety of themes from the game, I simply picked my five favorite songs to share with the world. These songs left the most lasting impression on me when I had originally played the game, and they are also some of the best arranged tracks on the CD. Track 7 has some fun and enjoyable guitar performances; track 19 (the last battle) is so epic it almost hurts; tracks 1 and 3 hit you in the face with some kickin' beats and licks from beginning to end. For crying in the mud, why hasn't this album ever been reprinted? It's clearly worthy of one.
I must admit, however, that the entire album isn't as glorious as my favorite songs. All four of the Mizoguchi-composed tracks are subpar, and most of the character themes are bland when compared to the intense battle themes.
If you ever wish to secure your own copy of this fine album, save up at least $60 and go hunting on Yahoo! Japan Auctions. This outrageous price, of course, makes it a collector's item, but considering all the "collector's only" CDs out there with boring and forgettable music, this one might be the one that's worth your time and money. If you're an Iwadare fan, you should probably seek it out.
Reviewed by: Patrick Gann