Garakuta Masterpiece Theater Rakugaki Oukoku

 

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Review by · May 1, 2006

While browsing the net for information on “Zoids Infinity Arcade Sound Tracks The Boy” by ZUNTATA I came across their homepage over at taito.co.jp. Looking through the CD list there I discovered an RPG Soundtrack. I hadn’t been aware ZUNTATA – best known for their strange yet addictive shoot-em-up OSTs – has contributed music to an RPG. The sound-examples were impressive, and even better, the CD was still available from cdjapan, so I ordered it right away. Now, I know next to nothing about this game-but even so, I like the music very very much! This double CD set comes with a magic-color pencil, and the spine-card is on the right side, as not to cover the pencil. The booklet is made from special paper, which together with the water-painting-style radiates high-quality.

Now for the music. The first CD covers styles from mexican / yucatan to spanish mediterranean and some jazz, there are two excellent songs and best of all, it’s almost all done with real live instruments. All the tracks on disc one have a spanish name, and if this reminds you of Genso Suikoden Orrizonte – the music does, too (sometimes it’s even slightly better). The catchy opening song is ultra-happy-marching style, but don’t let that distract you. Things calm down in track two, with some Mexican/Spanish music. Most of the tunes don’t really have instantly memorable melodies, but almost all of them are uplifting and make you feel better after stressful day – probably. A good example for the fine arrangements is “Il mare” with guitar and accordion playing along. Unfortunately there are also some more dramatic tracks, which feature mostly drums and some synth sounds, and they are best regarded as filler tracks and skipped. “Il monologo” is a beautiful synth piece, reminding me a lttle of Mitsuda’s better works. “Il campo dei fiori” is very Mario-Sunshine-y, while “Il populo incontrollabile” with it’s strings-arrangement sounds like Joe Hisaishi’s movie soundtracks. Concluding this CD is a nice choir-piece and “Colore di cuore” a well sung, quiet song with guitar.

All of the PS2-synth-only songs are found on disc two. Most are simple arrangements at first glance, but catchy nontheless. High quality samples are used to replace real instruments, and some typical RPG-clichés are served: Asiatic, Western, and Mediterranean again. The last four tracks again feature real instruments: one wacky live performance (track 15), a medieval style piece played with bombarde (track 16), a nice laid back pop-song (track 18), and one piece featuring a real Theremin Vox, something unfortunately not heard very often. (in fact, I originally bought the soundtrack only because of this track, also it’s not the best).

So if you enjoyed “Orrizonte” or the Zelda-tracks on M&ZBBL, or if you like more happy music in general, or if you like arrange CDs, or if you like any of the above mentioned styles, you will probably like this CD. Despite its shortcomings (some filler tracks) it is already one of my favourite RPG-soundtracks.

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