All Sounds of Albert Odyssey

 

Review by · November 5, 2005

For years, RPGFan has hosted a review of the Albert Odyssey Gaiden soundtrack, “The Legend of Eldean.” However, I had always known that Sunsoft had previously developed two RPGs simply entitled Albert Odyssey and Albert Odyssey 2. Knowing that Naoki Kodaka had composed the music for all three titles, and recognizing the brilliance of the compositions of AO Gaiden, I wanted to hear what the first two soundtracks were like. Well, after years of searching, I finally got my chance. Let me tell you what I think of this first soundtrack, “All Sounds of Albert Odyssey.”

Firstly, it must be said that Kodaka is proven as an accomplished composer by this soundtrack and its sequels; whether or not Kodaka was a student of music, I do not know for sure, but my guess would be yes. Making use of different compositional styles, modal scales, and chord progressions typical of many different historical eras, these songs effectively paint a soundscape that is cohesive despite its diversity.

Secondly, Kodaka does not seem to have mastered the art of making intense battle themes or anything that could be described as “rockin’.” Rather, Kodaka’s field of expertise seems to be with softer songs: both the ominous ones and the peaceful ones. They are not all of a slower tempo, but they all prefer the softer sounds of synth pads and flutes and pianos to, say, high-pitched brass or electric guitars. The most decent “fast” song I could find was track 31, which featured a lot of orchestra hits and a steady bass line.

Finally, it is sad to say that this score is not very memorable. It fits nicely onto one disc, as many of the tracks are short (15 to 30 second) fanfares, but the few songs that stand out are not enough to warrant seeking out the obscure soundtrack, nor is it even worth praising as one of the better soundtracks of its era. I was disappointed to find that I enjoyed Albert Odyssey Gaiden’s music much more than this soundtrack; either the limitations in sound hardware or the crudeness of Kodaka’s earlier compositions are what hinder this soundtrack from being as great as The Legend of Eldean.

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Patrick Gann

Patrick Gann

Therapist by day and gamer by night, Patrick has been offering semi-coherent ramblings about game music to RPGFan since its beginnings. From symphonic arrangements to rock bands to old-school synth OSTs, Patrick keeps the VGM pumping in his home, to the amusement and/or annoyance of his large family of humans and guinea pigs.