01 - New Generation ~Opening Theme~
02 - Poem ~Towns Theme~
03 - Worlds ~Fields Theme~
04 - Through the Mills ~Battles Theme~
05 - Death Trap ~Dungeons Theme~
06 - Kingdom ~Castles Theme~
07 - As Time Goes By ~Events Theme~
08 - Mother Ocean ~Ending Theme~
01 - Narration
02 - Captain
03 - Science Officer
04 - Computer
05 - Ratix = Farrence
06 - Milly = Kiliet
07 - Dorn = Marto
08 - Ronixis = J = Kenny
09 - Iria = Silvestoli
10 - Cius = Warren
11 - Joshua = Jerand
12 - Tinek = Arukena
13 - Marvel = Frozen
14 - Ashlay = Barnbelt
15 - Perisie
I love Motoi Sakuraba's music, especially his older stuff. He has such a wonderful grasp on how to create epic and awe-inspiring themes without making them sound a bombastic mess. Star Ocean Sound Collection is the perfect example of this. Taking the original Super Famicom score, and arranging the pieces with a much higher sound quality, Sakuraba goes above and beyond my expectations for the album. And although he co-composed the original music with two other artists, Yoshiharu Gotanda and Kazushi Satoh, one can definitely hear his style as a dominant influence on the score.
Star Ocean Sound Collection consists of 2 CD's. Disc one features 8 arranged medleys of the in-game music. This here is the heart the collection, and despite others' opinions of it being inferior to his more recent work, I beg to differ. This is excellent stuff. Many of the compositions represented are inspiring and highly enjoyable. The battle medley is no exception. "Through the Mills ~Battles Theme~" is full of energy, furious in its execution, and one of the main reasons I love Sakuraba's music. It amazes me how he is able to switch between fast and slow paced melodies without losing synch with the rest of the piece. Even his slower arrangements such as "Poem ~Towns Theme~" are interesting mixes of serene/homey themes, and upbeat/busy melodies
I'm not too familiar with Star Ocean's music (there is no original soundtrack), but I do know that the sound quality is much better than the 16-bit synth of the original. In my opinion, this really helped the compositions, especially since I'm a bit of a stickler for good sound quality.
Disc two contains character voice performances, but it's really not a drama disc since it doesn't tell much of a story. It's more like a voice collection than anything else, although I'm not sure if these are actually featured in the game. They're interesting the first listen through, but don't have much more appeal other than novelty. A few of the tracks actually feature English speaking voice actors, which is a refreshing change from most other drama albums.
An observation I made was that many of the compositions here are beginning to sound similar to his later work, most notably Star Ocean: The Second Story. As one of Sakuraba's older scores, I find it compelling that the sound he created in this album has carried over into the second game's music. In a sense, Star Ocean Sound Collection is a benchmark between his old and new compositions; the music here is also very similar to earlier works such as Beyond the Beyond and Shining the Holy Ark.
So, is Star Ocean Sound Collection worth tracking down? Definitely, if you're a true Sakuraba fan. His older work is some of his best, and it saddens me how sorely underrated this album is. Unfortunately, for those who are interested, it's rather hard to come by. eBay may be your only option, although I haven't seen it there very often. GOOD LUCK!
Reviewed by: Lucy Rzeminski