Luminous Arc 2 ~will~ OST

[back cover]
Catalog Number: MJCD-20125
Released On: June 25, 2008
Composed By: Yoko Shimomura, Akari Kaida, Yoshino Aoki, Shunsuke Tsuchiya, ISEPPE (1-01)
Arranged By: Yoko Shimomura, Akari Kaida, Yoshino Aoki, Shunsuke Tsuchiya, HΛL (1-01)
Published By: Marvelous Entertainment
Recorded At: Procyon Studio
Format: 2 CDs
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Disc One
01 - Unlimited World (game ver.)
02 - Will
03 - The Land of Carnava
04 - A Road Where the Wind Dances
05 - Maelstrom of Battles
06 - A Retribution That Comes and Goes
07 - Into the Darkest Depths
08 - Assault!!
09 - Rosefall
10 - A Weekend for Shopping
11 - Gospel
12 - Streets into the Light
13 - Everyone, Good Luck?
14 - Under Construction
15 - Already!
16 - The Dark Wings, Hugging to Freeze
17 - Incoming Flames
18 - Don't Let the Machine Escape!
19 - Challenging a Formidable Enemy
20 - The Ice-Shaped Witch
21 - The Supervisor
Total Time:

Disc Two
01 - Awakening
02 - Glorious Carnava
03 - The Dictator's Force
04 - Black Flames
05 - Demise of Dreams
06 - Becoming the Light
07 - What the Heck are Kopin?
08 - A Scatterbrain Runs Around
09 - The Future Palace's Witch
10 - Bounding the Voice of Seven Colors
11 - Rosette Rosso
12 - Malice's Whereabouts
13 - The Shadow of Destruction Draws Near
14 - In the Slumber of Memories
15 - The Bell Tolls for the Dead
16 - Raging Flames
17 - The Future in These Hands!
18 - The Day That Falls Upon the World
19 - Triumph for the Heroes
20 - An Endless Future
Total Time:

The soundtrack to the sequel to Luminous Arc features a great collection of music from a great group of composers. The staff is made up of many ex-Capcom members, including: Yoko Shimomura, who is better known for her work with Square, but also worked with Capcom early on; Yoshino Aoki, who composed music for Breath of Fire III and IV; Akari Kaida, who worked on Breath of Fire III with Aoki-san; and Shunsuke Tsuchiya, the newcomer to the group, who is also working on the soundtrack to World Destruction.

The opening vocal track is a standard J-pop theme, and we only get the 2 minute "game size" version of the song, so it's out of the way quickly. Then we get to some classic, high-quality synth tunes that are perfect for a traditional RPG. The composers don't attempt an entirely real/lifelike instrumentation, but the music is extremely impressive nonetheless. I was surprised to find that the best tracks were not frontloaded, but scattered evenly throughout the soundtrack. Each composer has a few weak tracks, and plenty of strong tracks. I was pleased even as I switched from the first disc to the second, because disc two continues to present some excellent melodies.

The most impressive tracks were those that intended to be silly, bouncy, and quirky. These tracks surpassed their peers threefold (be it Gust, Square Enix, NIS, whoever). The quirky tracks are usually there for novelty, but here I actually enjoyed them and wanted to have them on repeat. Tracks 7, 9, and 10 of disc two stood out as the perfect examples as to what I am refering.

Shimomura's additions are memorable. I especially like the two "Rose" tracks, one appearing on each disc. "Rosette Rosso" surprised me; at first I thought it was the same song as the previous, because it used the claps, the Latin classical guitar, and the fast 6/8 rhythm. But it's definitely a different song entirely, and the violin melody really helps it to stand out. Shimomura also did some decent battle themes for the soundtrack, though the guitar parts aren't as impressive as they were in, say, Legend of Mana.

There's plenty of beautiful, memorable music across these two discs. But it's not going to be a bestseller. The album is far above average for the Nintendo DS era, but it is in many ways a "standard" RPG soundtrack. It covers all its bases, has a few stand-out excellent tracks, and otherwise is consistently strong. I enjoyed it, but I would only recommend it to extensive collectors or those who have a strong attachment to a) the Luminous Arc series or b) all things Shimomura.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann


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