01 - The Beginning and the End of a Dream
02 - Choice of Departure
03 - Lost in the Dark Forest
04 - Also Within the Darkness
05 - Gentle Moment
06 - The Adventure Continues
07 - Invitation to the Nightmare
08 - Nightmare
09 - Deep Sadness
10 - Snowbell Village
11 - The Wind Rustles the Green Meadow
12 - Old Battlefield Fortress
13 - Guidance From the Seven Lights
14 - With Extreme Force
15 - Battle Against a Ferocious Person
16 - Prayers of the Fallen
17 - Under the Starry Sky With You
18 - Invisible Road
19 - Valley of the Caged Lantern Demons
20 - Karaiza Village
21 - Cave of the Evil Fire Spirit
22 - The Sea Breeze Makes My Heart Dance
23 - Southbell Village
24 - Land of the Rough Seas and Wind-Swept Sands
25 - Tower of Sorrow
26 - Prayer of the White Flower Princess
27 - Temple of Murmuring
01 - Graibell Castle Town
02 - Graibell Castle
03 - Red-Haired Knight
04 - Seeking the Truth
05 - To Carry the Sword
06 - Tribute to the Fallen
07 - Many Promises
08 - Strategy Meeting
09 - The Time of Answered Prayer
10 - Common Happiness
11 - Run, Adventurers!
12 - Valley of Snow Flurries
13 - Ice Ridge Ravine
14 - Holy Flame Volcano
15 - Great Force
16 - Sword of the Red Wing Falls
17 - Embracing the Promise
18 - Sword of Determination
19 - Jingle
20 - Sky Fortress Shaitan
21 - The Final Battle
22 - The King and the Flower Princess
23 - Visited by Peace
24 - Together With Your Smile
25 - Memories of the Journey
26 - Land of the Rough Seas and Wind-Swept Sands 8bit Arrange
27 - Graibell Castle Synth Arrange
28 - Together With Your Smile Piano Arrange
Hailed as "the last PS2 RPG," Flight Plan's latest console outing for the Summon Night series is a follow up to Ex-These. Granthese will probably not come to America, but import soundtrack collectors should take note of the impressive two disc soundtrack.
This music is jazzy, funky, and ultimately quite catchy. It's incredible work on the parts of both composers, a smooth yet unexpected positive motion forward when compared to previous Flight Plan titles.
It really is hard these days to find good "BGM VGM," the kind of music that works well looped and catches your attention within the first minute. Most of the tracks on this OST get high marks for being what I would consider the highest-quality BGM out there: using the best synths available, but sticking to a style that is decidedly "oldschool." That is not to see it's particularly European neo-classical, or that it's entrenched in chiptunes-esque beat and structure. It just means that the looping works well, and that the melodies are complemented but not overpowered by everything else happening.
I've cited this concept in the past, as to how to judge a really solid, consistent soundtrack. And that is, in trying to decide which five songs per disc to sample, I get extremely frustrated because there are over a dozen excellent options per disc, and I have to whittle it down. I had that experience with this soundtrack. Having done hundreds of soundtrack reviews for RPGFan, I tend to take that as one of the most important signs that a game soundtrack has really done its job well. That, or I'm just terrible at making quick decisions. Probably both.
There are a few moments of intentional retro-ism. On disc 2, "Final Battle" uses that "distorted slinky" sound famous from the Sega Genesis. And at the end of disc 2, there's an "8bit arrange," which is something that composer Takeshi Abo is certainly familiar with (he did a whole 8bit arrange album for Memories Off).
Which brings me to what I consider a great development for this franchise. Takeshi Abo was, for years, pegged as the "KID composer." He did the Infinity series (Never7, Ever17, etc) and all the Memories Off titles. But he is now aligned with the soundtracks publisher 5pb and is taking jobs with other game developers. While I am happy to see Takashi Okamoto doing his part here as well (the tracks are split about 50/50 between the two composers), the fact is that I don't think anyone expected Abo to jump on a project like this. We're all better off for it.
I've enjoyed a lot of music in the Summon Night series, and it's only gotten better. Between this and the handheld title Summon Night x: Tears Crown (also released in 2010), I can only hope this level of quality continues, even if Flight Plan is disbanding/reforming. These composers are the sort of unsung heroes I want to "sing" about in the coming years. Keep an eye out for more projects from Okamoto and Abo, and if you're enjoying the audio samples, consider adding this OST to your collection.
Reviewed by: Patrick Gann