Tales of Phantasia: Narikiri Dungeon X OST
Catalog Number: PCCG-01117
Released On: August 18, 2010
Composed By: Motoi Sakuraba, Hibiki Aoyama, Hanako Oku
Arranged By: Motoi Sakuraba
Published By: Pony Canyon
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 2 CDs
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Disc One
01 - Symptom
02 - Norn
03 - Blue Sky
04 - Etos House
05 - Comedy Touch
06 - Decision Xver.
07 - Town of Valhalla
08 - Danger Approaches
09 - Large Reversal
10 - Take Up the Cross Xver.
11 - Go a Step Further Xver.
12 - Olive Village Xver.
13 - Glimmer Spire Xver.
14 - Overcome Difficulties Xver.
15 - Requiem In Evening
16 - The Second Act Xver.
17 - As Time Goes On Xver.
18 - Retaliation Burning Xver.
19 - Dios Meltia
20 - Fighting of the Spirit Xver.
21 - Gentle
22 - Valhalla Village
23 - Sylph Xver.
24 - Underground Way Xver.
25 - Dark Cave Xver.
26 - Serious Failure
27 - Resurrection Xver.
28 - Raising a Curtain Xver.
29 - Harmonious Moment Xver.
30 - Euclid Xver.
Total Time:

Disc Two
01 - Morlia Gallery Xver.
02 - Mystic Forest Xver.
03 - Surt Woods
04 - The Sublime End
05 - Abyss of Thor Xver.
06 - Mysterious Japon Xver.
07 - Final Act Xver.
08 - Cave of Illusion Xver.
09 - Field of Sunset Xver.
10 - Forest of the Treant Xver.
11 - Cavern of Nervi
12 - Conclusion Xver.
13 - Peaceful Every Day
14 - Nam Cobanda Isle
15 - Chaos Field
16 - Burning Tower Xver.
17 - Miasma
18 - Daemonium
19 - Biting Cold Xver.
20 - Open Fire Xver.
21 - Past Crime
22 - Retaliation Grave Xver.
23 - Desolate Road Xver.
24 - Go Over Adversity Xver.
25 - I Miss You... Xver.
26 - Unicorn Xver.
27 - Crystalway of Judgment
28 - Transmigration of the Soul
29 - Reason
30 - Glassy Flower Xver.
Total Time:

The "Narikiri Dungeon" gaiden series that was spun off of the very first Tales game, Tales of Phantasia, has had long-running success in Japan on handheld platforms. The latest title, "Narikiri Dungeon X," is the first to have its own retail soundtrack release. And while you may be thinking, "isn't the chief soundtracks reviewer at RPGFan tired of covering Sakuraba?" I gotta tell ya ... now and then, I'm brought back to a place where it feels fresh, even though I know it's not. Today when I was listening to the ToP NDX soundtrack, I reached that place again.

What got me there was, for the most part, the new original music. The first nine tracks of disc one are all original pieces, and they're pretty enjoyable. I especially enjoyed track 2, "Norn." It's that tense and mysterious ambiance that Sakuraba creates so well with his neo-Baroque prog rock style. Even when I tell myself I've had enough, well... maybe I can't get enough. "Sacred Song" on SO2 is still a favorite, so why not this?

Over half of the tracks here are labeled "Xver," which means they are re-arranges of previously-composed tunes from the Tales series (namely, the original Tales of Phantasia). The number of original tracks would have easily fit on one disc. Is this a value judgment on my part? No, mostly a factual statement. But it is frustrating to see so much re-use. Who can complain when such classic tracks are off of ToP? "Final Act," "Forest of the Treant," "Biting Cold" ... there are some classic tunes here.

The good news is that, from time to time, the "Xver" tracks are significantly changed from their original counterparts. Not always, not even most of the time. But some of them, indeed, are able of bringing something new to the table. And, for better or worse, that's about as good as you can do with a body of work as large as Sakuraba-san's.

It's not the best Tales soundtrack ever, but it's far from the worst, especially in the last 3 years. If you'd like a booster shot of VGM prog rock, this might be the one for you. Also, man, check out that cover art. I have to say, it really makes me wish this game came to the US. I'd love to experience the soundtrack in context. I'll keep dreaming.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann