The OneUps Volume 1

[back cover]
Catalog Number: OUS-004
Released On: June 28, 2005
Composed By: Koji Kondo, John Baker, Robin Beanland, Jun Chikuma, Mark Cooksey, Chris Grigg, Jun Ishikawa, Yasunori Mitsuda, Soyo Oka, Akito Nakatsuka, Tommy Tallarico, Hip Tanaka, Hideki Tobeta, Souji Taro
Arranged By: The OneUps (Mustin, Anthony Lofton, William Reyes, Greg Kennedy, Tim Yarbrough, Jared Dunn)
Published By: OneUp Studios
Recorded At: OneUp Studios
Format: 1 CD

01 - ToeJam & Earl - ToeJam Jammin'
02 - Super Mario Kart - Koopa Beach
03 - Mario Paint - Monkeys
04 - Super Mario Sunshine - Isle Delfino
05 - Earthworm Jim - Andy Asteroids
06 - Chrono Trigger - Schala
07 - Axelay - City Lights (Mother)
08 - Katamari Damacy - Katamaritaino
09 - Super Mario 64 - Koopa's Theme
10 - Bomberman - Bomberman
11 - Zelda II: The Adventure of Link - Town Medley
12 - The Legend of Zelda - Bossa De Link
13 - Donkey Kong Country - Aquatic Ambience
14 - Kirby's Dream Land - Green Greens
15 - Maniac Mansion - Michael
16 - Paperboy - Paperboy
Total Time:

The OneUps put out three different "themed" arranged albums before they got around to their self-titled "OneUps Volume 1." This full disc of music hits up many fan favorites, as well as eccentric little tracks that were probably favorites for the band members themselves.

Since we're RPGFan, though, let's pinpoint the RPG-related tracks and talk about those.

I never took Schala, the pensive princess from Chrono Trigger, to be a jazz fan. But after listening to this track, I think maybe she ought to be. The whole "saxophone plus violin" thing that the OneUps are so good at works wonders on this track. All of the instruments are on top of their game, even the drummer (you normally wouldn't expect a trap set for this song...).

The next track on the RPG radar comes from the only truly RPG-styled game in the Zelda series. "The Adventure of Link" had some memorable tracks, but many people are quick to immediately think of the adventurous dungeon/battle themes. However, the town themes are quite memorable, and when you hear this classical/romantic arrangement for acoustic guitar, you will realize just how distinct these songs are. The arrangement is, dare I say it, perfect. It might be my favorite track on the whole album. Great work!

As for "Bossa De Link," let's just say that worse arrangements have been made (*cough* Donkey Konga). I'm not entirely impressed by the chosen style for arrangement, but the performance is everything you could hope for from a Bossa Nova style.

The only other track on here that one would consider RPG-esque is from the adventure/puzzle-solver "Maniac Mansion." The arrangement for the character theme "Michael" is rock solid, which you would expect since the original song's style fits the band's setup almost perfectly. This is a great theme to set as the basis for a jam session, and that's exactly what happens in the OneUps arrangement. Three cheers to the guitarist for excellent work here.

It's a shame the album didn't have more RPG offerings on it, but for VGM fans in general, there's a lot to love here. "Andy Asteroids" is amazing, and who doesn't love the water music from Donkey Kong Country? The whole album is excellent; being a labor of love, you will find that all of the arrangements are top-notch. This may be the best of all the OneUps albums released to date...the production value is absurdly high for a "fanmade" project. Be sure to pick it up.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann


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