01 - Neptune suite
02 - LeanBox's Theme
03 - Lastation's Theme
04 - Lowee's Theme
05 - Planeptune's Theme
06 - The Soul Of Fight
07 - The Ruins Of Ancient LeanBox
08 - The Gushing Broken Pipe
09 - The Ruins Of Ancient Lastation
10 - The March Of Animals
11 - The Ruins Of Ancient Lowee
12 - Tough Guard
13 - The Ruins Of Ancient Planeptune
14 - Clapping
15 - Keeps Me Alive
16 - LeanBox Rising
17 - Magiquone's Theme
18 - Lastation Rising
19 - Sacred Time
20 - Planeptune Rising
21 - White Time
That's my new theme song for Kenji Kaneko, lead composer at Idea Factory. Some of his more recent works are the soundtracks to the two "Neptune" titles (and, I assume, he'll be on for "Neptune V" as well). The second Neptune title got its soundtrack published with the LE box in both JP and NA regions. But the first game, it was a Japanese exclusive. Hence, it took me awhile to hunt down the soundtrack. But I finally have it, and now I can talk about it.
Basically, Kenji Kaneko is a "chameleon" because he's able to mimic the styles of so many peer composers in the industry, it's like he's built for crossovers. And considering Neptune is this insane meta-crossover that turns whole game companies into cute anime girls, he's even more suited for the role of chameleon in this game.
Who does Kaneko-san emulate? In my opinion, I can detect flavors of Tenpei Sato (NIS), Gust Sound Team, Yoshitaka Hirota (Shadow Hearts) -- particularly for songs with heavy bass parts, and others. For a good example of a Sato-esque song, check out "Keeps Me Alive," track 15.
But this isn't to say Kaneko can't just be his own man. One of the final tracks on the album, "Planeptune Rising" is very much its own song, putting a capstone on the game, making it feel like a complete adventure.
Though I think Neptune 2 has a stronger soundtrack, this one is also good. Good enough, in fact, that it really ought to have had a retail release. Maybe it's time for Idea Factory and Compile Heart to start looking into selling digital soundtracks on iTunes!
Reviewed by: Patrick Gann