Jeanne d’Arc Original Soundtrack


Review by · March 12, 2007

Level 5’s first PSP project is, strangely, a re-telling of the life and events of Jeanne d’Arc (Joan of Arc). Though I regularly trust Level 5, and have really enjoyed music from their usual composer (Tomohito Nishiura), I was surprised to see a new face (Takeshi Inoue) accompany this new project. Despite the change in composers, I purchased the album trusting that Team Entertainment would make good on their general reliability (they publish good stuff almost always).

The bad news? Like the generic nature of the game (essentially an FF Tactics knock-off), the music was rather bland.

My first complaint: where is the variety in rhythm? Other than the opening track, the first half of the album is entirely in 4/4. It was driving me crazy, and around track 18, I said to myself, “if only they’d switch to…I don’t know, 3/4!” Be careful what you wish for. The album is in 3/4 for the entire second half of the album.

Next complaint: where is the variety in instrumentation? The primary instrument for this entire soundtrack is the orgel (the music box sound), with some synth horns and strings coming in a close second and third.

Complaint numero three-o: where is the variety in melodic pattern? Most of these songs are minimalist; at best, they can weave you into a trance-like state, but mostly, they bore you. After a few listens, I relegated this album to “sleep-time music,” and I rarely made it to past track 10 before entering my VGM-induced sleep.

Final complaint: the PSP is capable of using streamed audio; and while I’m not demanding that they do this (I love synth), the sound quality could have been a lot better than it was.
My overall impression is that this soundtrack was rushed together to be mixed into what is a very generic Tactical RPG. It’s really a shame, coming from Level 5. And, since this is the first work I’ve ever heard from Takeshi Inoue, I’m tempted to label Inoue-san an amateur; first impression do count after all! But, I’ll hold out hope for the future since I’m such an optimist.

This soundtrack will probably fade into obscurity, and it will be better off that way. It has a few good spots, but most of it is, dare I say it: FILLER MUSIC (dun dun daaaa). Unless you were already set on buying it, I’d not consider it a high priority for collectors.

For information on our scoring systems, see our scoring systems overview. Learn more about our general policies on our ethics & policies page.
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.