01 - Story Chapter
02 - Shop
03 - Stage Result
04 - Joy 1
05 - Joy 2
06 - Joy 3
07 - Confession
08 - Title
09 - Fight
10 - Battle -Advantage 2-
11 - Battle -Advantage 3-
12 - Battle -Advantage 4-
13 - Normal Battle
14 - Battle -Disadvantage 3-
15 - Battle -Decisive Battle 5-
16 - Battle -Verus the Emperor-
17 - Battle -Crisis-
18 - Battle -Hussle, Muscle, Do...?!-
19 - Ending
20 - Staff Roll
It wasn't long after I had fully digested the six-disc MASAYA / Langrisser I~III soundtrack box that the 3DS remake/re-visioning of the very first Langrisser title hit the market. Specifically, we're talking about the international market, since Aksys localized the game. In Japan, the LE bonus with the game was the full two-disc soundtrack. In America? Well, we didn't get a big LE box, but pretty much all copies came with a single-disc soundtrack in a cardboard sleeve. Here, we are talking about this latter soundtrack.
As someone who's written reviews on RPGFan for over a thousand soundtracks, I'm intimately familiar with the process of curating music for the reader/listener. Hand-picking an assortment of the best songs, without going too heavy on battle tracks or town tracks or character themes, can be tricky business. So my first thing to assess in looking at a pared-down "best of" soundtrack is determining if this soundtrack adequately represents the full OST at a smaller scale. Generally, they did a good job. I don't think we needed all three "Joy" tracks, and they are not at all balanced by the three "Sorrow" tracks only found on the full Japanese OST. Also missing is the vocal track "Blood Blade," which I imagine didn't make it onto the American soundtrack due to licensing/royalty issues. There's also a typo in the tracklist: "Verus the Emperor" isn't working for me, because the Emperor isn't named Verus. That was almost definitely meant to be written as "Versus the Emperor," since the Japanese track reads "VS Emperor Battle."
Those complaints aside, this is a pretty decent set of music. The songs they did choose to include are really quite good. The "Advantage Battle" themes are all insanely catchy, but my two favorites are 2 and 4, and as such, I've left audio samples for you to enjoy. I was also pleasantly surprised with the Cho Aniki cameo track. In previous Langrisser games, the Cho Aniki character track is hum-drum and boring. In this one? It's intense, and the sexual innuendo is there too, complete with a censor noise in their chant: "Hussle, Muscle! [beep!]...tsu?!" I'll leave it to your imagination to decide what was being censored. Anyway, the composition is really solid on this one. It's the only track on the disc not composed by Iwadare; someone who I don't know at all, one Shohei Sato, wrote this piece. I must say, it really is a good song. It makes me happy that the token silly song on the album is also an enjoyable listen.
I've included audio samples for both the "Ending" and "Staff Roll" tracks. The latter was another pleasant surprise, with some catchy percussion that really stood out in this sound format. As for the Ending, it's the full version, complete with the key change (featured in the sampled minute). That song is just...perfect. It's one of Iwadare's best, ever, I can assure you.
The first half of the disc is more about the non-battle portion of the game. "Stage Result," though, uses the same theme as the Ending track (though shortened), and it sounds great so early in the soundtrack. "Story Chapter" and "Shop" are great, unforgettable tracks for fans of the classic Warsong / Langrisser experience and are must-haves for the remake. And "Confession" is a lovely, if a little saccharine-sappy, piece of music that I can only imagine involves the hero falling in love with one of the special ladies in the game.
I haven't finished playing the 3DS game; I've heard Internet chatter about it being generally unsatisfying, but I remain optimistic. If nothing else, this pack-in soundtrack is added incentive to consider purchasing the game, though you're unlikely to get it secondhand, since the cardboard sleeve is in no way attached to the game's packaging — it's just sealed in the shrink wrap plastic when you first purchase the game. Something to consider...
Reviewed by: Patrick Gann