Majin Tensei Excellence Sound Collection


Review by · March 28, 2009

Composer Hidehito Aoki is fortunate to be a part of one of the greatest legacies in gaming history: the Shin Megami Tensei series. The two “Majin Tensei” games are cousins, or “gaiden” titles, in the overall SMT franchise. Most people associate SMT with two composers: Shoji Meguro (for the newer games) and Tsukasa Masuko. But Aoki got a bit of action with the series as well: the two Majin Tensei games, as well as the first Persona title, have music composed by him included. So, how does Aoki-san compare?

Generally, I feel that these compositions are weaker than what you’d hear from Masuko-san on the old Shin Megami Tensei games. And even comparing Aoki vs. Aoki, I think his compositions in Persona are stronger. But that doesn’t make this a bad album; just weaker, in comparison to other SMT works.

One thing I really enjoyed on this album were the bookend arrangements. Well, “The Wrath of God” wasn’t the greatest arrangement ever, but “Actual Feeling…You” was a big surprise for me. You see, the song is only 30 seconds in its original version, but receives a 6 minute arrangement in turn. I don’t know how this was pulled off (it seems some original melodies are injected into the arrangement). But whatever the case, I’d have to say that this ending track (arranged by Masumi Ito) was my favorite track on the album.

Other classic tracks, like “Chaotic Law” and “Pallid Tears” appear in their original forms here (they were later arranged on the “Megaten World” album). Like many SMT songs, the style is like…a dark, but electronic, “house” dance song. Very interesting, and very different. It’s all part of the SMT charm.

Collectors should not hesitate to get this album if given the chance. If you don’t like most SMT soundtracks, though, you’ll probably dislike this one as well, even with Aoki at the helm in place of the two staple composers.

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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.