Generation of Chaos Original Soundtrack The Best

 

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Review by · March 20, 2006

One of the regretful things about RPGs is that a great many of them are released in Japan only to never see the light of day outside the country of the rising sun. Now I’ll be the first to admit that there’s good reason for this in a great many cases, having seen some of the truly awful things pawned off on the Japanese gamer. But it does sting when a particularly great game ends up without an English release for reasons beyond my understanding. Recently, however, there’s been a trend towards the translation and release of games that originally had no chance of being made available for the American consumer. Of these games, Generation of Chaos is one of the more recent examples, the fourth game in the series currently being brought over to the PSPs of American gamers by NIS. While I can’t comment on the game, I was personally curious how the music of the series stacked up. And thankfully for me, there just so happened to be a way of finding out.

Generation of Chaos The Best is a compilation album of selected tracks from the first, second, third, and fourth games in the series. For the most part, the album consists of synthesized orchestra not unlike, say, the Ogre Battle series. I do have to question some of the track selections, mostly from the first and second games as they tend to be a little on the dull side. “Day of the First Campaign” is good fun that reminds me quite a bit of Ocarina of Time, but it lacks the pep I’d prefer to start an album on. The selections from the second game are also less than the best, with the synth quality taking a small hit in addition to being not all that involving.

The selections from the third game, though, are where it really begins getting good. “Confronting the Destroyer” is exactly the kind of thing I’d look for on an album for a strategy game. Featuring driving string and horn section with a very well-utilized choir in the background, the track has all the hallmarks of a battle theme from the genre. The entire third game section makes up for the lackluster selections from the first and second games, though is a bit on the short side track number-wise.

The real meat of the album is contained in the selections from the fourth game, which is a good thing for those that want a preview of what they can expect while playing through the game in English. Beginning with the haunting strains of “Within Eternity,” a tone is set for the fourth game. Leaning back more towards the music in the first game, the selections here combine the more powerful, upbeat music of the third game with a hint of the slower parts of the original. While sometimes the balance is a touch off, overall it’s a very enjoyable listening experience. For those that want their orchestral bang, “Awakening of the King” more than delivers it with a highly prominent brass section that’s really easy to get hooked on. In fact, these selections also bring in a new element not really seen in the selections from the other games, in the form of a synthesized guitar. Not as good as a real one, but it mixes the usual fare up some. I was a little disappointed with the slower pieces, however. While they’re all enjoyable, they for the most part reuse the melody of “Within Eternity.” It’s a brilliant melody, yes, but you can enjoy the same song remade for only so long.

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Overall, Generation of Chaos The Best is a good listen. Despite my questioning of some of the track selections, the music itself is quality material. It offers a decent taste of the series for those unfamiliar with it and is something that I would readily give someone to expose them to the music of the games. For those familiar, however, there’s nothing new here to find unless you’re a hardcore collector.

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