Note: This soundtrack is for the sequel to Tales of Symphonia for Nintendo Wii, known in North America as "Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World."
I don't know how he does it. Sakuraba put out this OST and the Tales of Vesperia OST in the span of one month. Granted, Tamura helped him with this one, and Aoyama helped him with the other, but still...this is just insane. And he's got Infinite Undiscovery, Star Ocean 4, and Valkyrie Profile DS coming soon too. How does he compose this much music?
Well, we know how he's done it in the past. He recycles basic themes, beats (drum and bass parts), etc. And in this case, he reuses themes from the original Tales of Symphonia, as well as a few other Tales titles. Nonetheless...I'm still amazed that he's able to do it. Truly, truly prolific.
In my opinion, this four disc set is every bit as excellent as the original Tales of Symphonia. It borrows some of the best songs from ToS, and it also adds a great roster of new songs. Songs like "The wilderness of sadness" are fresh and new, while "Like a glint of light" (newly arranged) sounds great, just like its original counterpart.
Even though I'm loathe to admit it, I think I'm okay with the similar style Sakuraba and Tamura have held all these years, since the days of Phantasia and Destiny to the present. The town themes are soothing, the dungeon themes enigmatic, and battle themes energizing. How can you go wrong?
The only thing I wasn't particularly fond of? The opening vocal theme, "Ninin Sankyaku" (translated "Three-Legged Race"). It's not a bad song, but misono's performance here is weaker than in other Tales titles.
If you're a Sakuraba collector, or you're big on the Tales series in general, this is a great soundtrack to add to the collection. If you've never had a Tales CD in your collection before and are looking to add, I would recommend either this one or "Tales of Rebirth" as a starting point (though really, any would work out just fine).
Reviewed by: Patrick Gann