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Shining Force Feather Soundtrack

[back cover]
Catalog Number: GNCA-7135
Released On: June 24, 2009
Composed By: Kengo Sakurai
Arranged By: Kengo Sakurai, Takashi Okamoto
Published By: Geneon Entertainment, Wave Master
Recorded At: CONTINUUM -musicians atelier-
Format: 2 CDs
Buy this CD from Play-Asia
Tracklist:

Disc One
01 - Take Off
02 - Fly on
03 - Suspicion
04 - Splash
05 - Impatience
06 - With Companions
07 - Attack!
08 - Passive
09 - Winner!
10 - Exploration
11 - The Ship
12 - Dressing Up
13 - Happy
14 - Goblins
15 - Break Battle
16 - Decision
17 - Reverberation of Victory
18 - Hit!
19 - Union
20 - Meeting
21 - Length
22 - Training Place
23 - Plot
24 - Another
25 - While They're...
Total Time:
61'06"

Disc Two
01 - Airship
02 - Four Generals
03 - Nostalgia
04 - Dinner Party
05 - Confrontation
06 - Mutual Love
07 - Boss
08 - Connect
09 - Different
10 - Don't Turn Around
11 - Ground
12 - Trace of a Dream
13 - Sadness
14 - Separation
15 - Decisive Battle
16 - Shuho
17 - The Only Existence
18 - Pressure
19 - Burn
20 - Kick Up
21 - Alfin's Theme
22 - Reverberations
23 - Clumsy Heart (Game ver.)
24 - Clumsy Heart
Total Time:
74'16"

The Shining series has never achieved the kind of mainstream success of Dragon Quest or Final Fantasy, but it has a very loyal and dedicated following. The most ardent fans are of the Shining Force series of strategy-RPGs, but the series also consists of dungeon crawls like Shining in the Darkness and many action-RPGs like Shining the Holy Ark. Unfortunately, Shining Force has suffered some unfortunate decisions over the years. Shining Force I and II are much beloved by Genesis RPG enthusiasts, but US Saturn owners only saw one-third of Shining Force III. Subsequent Shining Force games, such as Shining Force Neo and Shining Force EXA, eschewed the SRPG gameplay for action-RPG gameplay and were not well received by fans. Enter Shining Force Feather, an SRPG developed by Flight Plan that was released in Japan earlier this year. Word on the street is that Shining Force Feather is a very solid SRPG with some unique gameplay characteristics. The other word on the street is that the weakest aspect of the game is its music. My overall impression of the soundtrack is that the music is not terrible, but it is terribly forgettable.

I was very excited when I heard the first 12 seconds of the vocal track "Fly On." The riff totally grabbed me and I thought the best parts of the song were when the riff from the first 12 seconds was revisited. This cool and catchy vocal number was easily the best song on the entire soundtrack. Even though I liked the vocals, I would have liked a karaoke version of the song on the soundtrack as well. This song was worlds better than Clumsy Heart, the boring and horribly generic vocal song that capped off disc 2.

The rest of the soundtrack was very hit or miss. Some pieces were very repetitive, some were outright monotonous, others were generic, and sprinkled throughout were pieces that actually engaged me for a short while. I also felt that the soundtrack was a bit genre confused. Most of the pieces sounded like generic, orchestral JRPG fare, but when they deviated from that they were all over the place. Some pieces sounded like the surgery music in the Tendo Dokuta (Lifesigns: Surgical Unit) games. Others would not have been out of place in a love adventure. There were even some tracks that tried to evoke the electronica style in old-school Megami Tensei games, and did so rather poorly.

The pieces I generally liked best were the peppy, guitar driven battle themes. They may have been repetitive and not very original (many had nearly identical guitar riffs), but I felt as if I could listen to these themes for a couple of rounds without muting my DS and putting on some Master of Puppets in my stereo instead. Pity those were often the shortest tracks on the soundtrack, since those where the ones I would have liked to hear for another loop.

With 49 tracks across two discs, I wish I had more to say about the music, but I really do not. The soundtrack as a whole was not bad, but much of the music was horribly generic and when it tried to do something different, it just did not work for me. The biggest shortcoming to most of the pieces was that they were often too repetitive. I hope that the shortcomings of the music could be overlooked in the context of the game with the player's brain concentrating on other aspects such as the gameplay, story, and graphics. I also hope that if and/or when the game is released in the US, "Fly On" is kept intact, because that song was actually good and a bright spot in an otherwise muddy soundtrack.

Reviewed by: Neal Chandran



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