Note: “Gyakuten Saiban” is known in America as “Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney.” The literal translation is “Judicial Reversal”, and “Yomigaeru Gyakuten” can be translated as “Reversal Revival” or “Revival of the Reversal.”
A special-order item from Capcom, the Yomigaeru Gyakuten soundtrack contains all 27 tracks from the first disc of the “Gyakuten Saiban 1&2 Original Soundtrack” (also a special-order item, one which quickly became hard to find), as well as seven bonus tracks for the DS title’s added scenario. The 27 tracks from original game have been slightly upgraded and arranged for the DS remake, whereas the seven new songs are all original.
Working backwards, I have to say that I was not pleased with the added songs (tracks 28 to 34). The new Gyakuten Sisters’ Theme is the worst of the four sisters’ themes to date, taking an enjoyable musical theme and turning it into something mediocre. The only song I found even remotely enjoyable was Kyosuke Saimon’s theme, which sounds like something out of an old Western (more specifically, it sounds a lot like the first Wild Arms soundtrack). Yomigaeru Gyakuten’s End credits theme was not as enjoyable as the original Gyakuten Saiban End theme (which is a softer arrangement of the “Trial” theme). If you were looking to buy this soundtrack because you wanted these extra songs, let me tell you now: that’s a bad reason to buy this soundtrack.
As for Sugimori’s original 27 tracks (arranged by Akemi Kimura), these are some of the best chip-tune-style songs you’ll ever hear. A lot of American fans have given rave reviews for Phoenix Wright’s music, and there’s no reason why I shouldn’t join in the praise. Though low on sound quality, the songs have such catchy melodies that one is content to listen to the same song looped for a significant period of time. Many of the best songs reside within the first half of the soundtrack: Trial, Logic and Trick, the classic “Objection!” theme, Announce the Truth, Investigation / Variation, and the undoubtedly spectacular Gyakuten Sisters’ Theme. Each and every one of these songs is ridiculously well-composed, though I do admit that I almost prefer the GBA original tracks to these re-done songs.
The second half of the album is less catchy, but there are still some very fun songs found here. “Oo-edo Soldier Tonosaman” mixes traditional Asian sounds with a catchy superhero-style fanfare and a slick guitar solo. The result is, as expected, quite good. The “Reminiscence” tracks remain some of the most boring songs, but they are quickly finished and the CD moves on to the much more enjoyable character themes. Also, as I said earlier in the review, the “End” song (track 26) is a beautiful arrangement of the trial theme; it doesn’t move me to tears, but it’s helped me sleep at night.
If you already own or intend to find the Gyakuten Saiban 1&2 OST, I’d have a hard time recommending this soundtrack to you. However, as this soundtrack is much more readily available (at least at the time of this review), and because the soundtrack includes all songs from the only Gyakuten title in the US thus far, I have to say that many VGM / RPG lovers ought to get to VGMworld.com (the only place I know that has it in stock) and pick up this special item.