About a year ago, reader Connary presented to me a rather unique review: the two-disc soundtrack to the Korean MMORPG "TalesWeaver." The soundtrack was a limited edition item printed in Korea, not available for sale through any retail outlets. We were pleased to have such a review submitted to us.
Connary raved about the quality of the review. Based on the samples I heard, I figured the album was decent, but not as good as what our reader-reviewer made it out to be.
I was wrong.
TalesWeaver has, over the last few years, become a popular MMO around the globe, and it has received a fair amount of attention in Japan. As such, Marvelous Entertainment picked up the soundtrack and released it as a retail item in Japan...but this time, the album was a whopping four discs instead of the two found on the Korean edition! The Japanese simply had to outperform everyone else yet again.
The first two discs are a replica of the Korean print, with the exception of the last track of disc two, "We Wish Your Merry Christmas," which is now featured on disc four of the Japanese album. Let's start by taking another look at these first two discs.
The first disc, the "ESTi" side, is simply excellent. Though this description categorizes all the music from TalesWeaver, it is especially true for the first disc that, just when VGM started to sound more and more like a film score, this music uses today's technology to make awesome music that is truly its own style.
Actually, it's a blend of styles. The most prominent thing about the style is the choice of sound selection. A lot of unique, wavy synths are used, and the melodies created with them simultaneously remind me of Metroid Prime, Sonic the Hedgehog, and other games with catchy synth tunes. Fast or slow, these are some excellent songs.
"Nauts," the second of the two main composers, keeps the sound's style alive on the second disc. If you liked the first disc, you'll probably love the second disc. I liked every song on this disc, but I was especially pleased by songs like "First Run" and "Real World."
Before moving on to the last two discs, I'd like to stop and point out the naming of tracks. Talk about serious Engrish problems. My favorite is "This Tales," but there are plenty to check out for yourself. Delight in the poor grammar as you enjoy the excellent music!
If the first two discs are the main course, then the last two are the dessert. Disc three is also composed primarily by Nauts, so it sounds a lot like disc two. These songs were created (I believe) after the release of the Korean OST, and are additional songs for new areas in TalesWeaver. I was a big fan of these songs, particularly the sampled tracks. The English version of "Beyond" wraps up the album; I like the Korean version more, but all-in-all it's a great ballad.
Disc four is the most disappointing of the lot. This is where all the other composers show up, and in my opinion, their songs are subpar compared to ESTi and Nauts. The best stuff is on the first half of the disc, which is all work from Nikacha. JIMMie uses this synth string sound ad nauseum: it's no good.
Oh, actually, I forgot to mention the Christmas music! Okay, this section is ridiculous. The first three tracks are just some standard instrumental arrangements from ESTi and Nauts. And then, track four, "Bloody Bloody Silent Night"...what?! The song is a genuine song about the innocent infant baby Jesus, but now it's like a scary Halloween tune. Totally inappropriate.
Even though the last disc is the weakest among the four, it in and of itself is still a decent selection of music. That speaks volumes about the album as a whole.
If you like music in the same vein as the Ragnarok Online OST, or (as I said earlier) ethereal music from Metroid Prime or Sonic the Hedgehog, this album is an excellent, albeit pricey, choice. This Ur Tales, I Make U Tha Weaver...?
Reviewed by: Patrick Gann