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Shining Force EXA Music Collection

[back cover]
Catalog Number: WM-0557/8
Released On: March 22, 2007
Composed By: Tomoko Morita, Shiro Sagisu
Arranged By: Tomoko Morita
Published By: Wave Master
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 2 CDs
Buy this CD from VGM World

Disc One
02 - Hope
03 - Yi'el Village - Lakton Village
04 - Rest
05 - Cyrille's Secret
06 - Il'Gonia Valley
07 - Il'Gonia Valley - Battle
08 - Confrontation
09 - Tension
10 - Shock
11 - Geo-Fortress Control Room
12 - Geo-Fortress Residential - Engineering Block
13 - Paora Plains
14 - Paora Plains - Battle
15 - Intruder
16 - Defensive Battle 1
17 - Ancient Arena
18 - Commander Philip
19 - The Tables Are Turned!
20 - Let's Go!
21 - Victory!
22 - Leisure
23 - Gyro Terminal
24 - Ilnad Forest
25 - Caverns
26 - Caverns - Battle
27 - Ragnadaam III
28 - Riemsianne La Vaes
29 - Tactics
30 - Unease
31 - Snowfield - Permafrost
32 - Snowfield - Permafrost - Battle
33 - Big Trouble!
Total Time:

Disc Two
01 - Ranburr's Tomb
02 - Ranburr's Tomb - Battle
03 - Reconciliation
04 - Happiness
05 - We Did It!
06 - Cantore Village
07 - A Girl's Feelings
08 - Balcan Desert
09 - Balcan Desert - Battle
10 - Defensive Battle 2
11 - Ambition of Noswald
12 - Heartbreak
13 - Mt. Fyrgarum - Magma Prison
14 - Mt. Fyrgarum - Magma Prison - Battle
15 - Great Bridge
16 - Great Bridge - Battle
17 - Defensive Battle 3
18 - Crimson Palace
19 - Crimson Palace - Battle
20 - Thaw
21 - Amidst Confrontation
22 - Sky Ship
23 - Sky Ship - Battle
24 - Final Battle
25 - Xeyon Palace
26 - Xeyon Palace - Battle
27 - The World Is One
28 - Love
29 - same sky
Total Time:

Going into this review, I ought to say that I have never really gotten into the Shining games. I knew people growing up who loved them, and I did give Shining Force III a whirl on the Saturn. But this is new territory for me; usually I write reviews for soundtracks I know very well, like Ys or Shin Megami Tensei. So do forgive me if I overlook some subtleties or traditions in the music.

Upon starting up the album, first signs point to generic. The intro song was unremarkable pop and the first few tracks went nowhere.

But out of the blue we start hearing some very nice tracks! The 'Geo Fortress - Residential' tracks are very nice, especially the 80's-soundtrack-tinged 'Engineering Block'. 'Paora Plains' and its battle track also were great. 'Snowfield - Permafrost' has a wonderful ethnic, kind of Italian feel with a great haunting piano. And again, its battle counterpart is wonderful.

Though not strong as a whole, there are moments of shimmering, high quality synth, like the cello on 'Reconciliation'. Very good! 'Cantore Village' has a slightly Zwei!!/Chrono Cross feel, and 'Heartbreak' is gorgeous - nice, ethereal mandolin and pads - a very pretty song.

Speaking of other games, 'Great Bridge - Battle' has a soaring string melody which reminded me of the great battles of Langrisser and Growlanser. 'Amidst Confrontation' sounds like Suikoden V's more chilling numbers, and 'Final Battle' throws back to the Ys track of the same name with a hint of OZ thrown in. And the 'Sky Ship - Battle' tune has this great bass line that I could hum along to forever.

Ending the album is 'The World Is One.' It's alright, but really nothing special. Earlier games have had much better themes, like FFVIII's "Eyes on Me" and Shadow Hearts II's "Getsurenka". But still, a decent effort seems to be put forth for the closer.

Despite several strong tracks, the overall quality of the OST is a bit low. Most of the instruments sound very cheap and clearly MIDI - it's just a little too clean and synthetic. The sound set is kind of budgety, like the Taito Ys remakes.

But it was still a lot of fun to listen to, and I am convinced it would work better inside a game, especially with the battle variations. I would recommend at least giving the music a chance, because there are some very strong tracks despite the aforementioned shortcomings.

Reviewed by: Connary


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