Record of Agarest War Original Sound Track


Review by · July 5, 2008

Kenji Kaneko is Idea Factory’s in-house composer. He writes nearly as much music as Motoi Sakuraba per year, but Kaneko doesn’t get as much exposure. After all, many of his scores don’t get soundtrack releases, and those that do are for games that generally don’t reach American audiences. Also, Kaneko isn’t quite the veteran that Sakuraba is, and many of Kaneko’s early compositions demonstrate his “rookie” status. But now, it’s clear that Kaneko is starting to grow. The soundtrack for Agarest Senki (Record of Agarest War) is the proof.

This two disc set is three parts orchestral, two parts hard rock, and one part bouncy-pop fun. The biggest surprise for me was the extremely high quality battle themes, which sound like something you’d expect from the Atelier Iris arrange albums, or (in some cases) the battle themes from Legend of Mana. Yes, some of the battle themes on here are that good.

In contrast, I did think that many of the orchestral pieces were bland. There are enough decent orchestral songs on the OST to keep the soundscape afloat, but as I said earlier, about half of the soundtrack uses classical orchestra and chamber music styles. The worst, IMO, are the marches. But then, I’ve never been fond of marches in general, or any sort of “military” theme song in a videogame.

Ayako Saso, long-time member of the “SuperSweep” label, did an arranged track at the end of the disc. It, too, is excellent. Just listen to the sample. Heck, listen to all of the samples. This album is top notch.

At this point, Record of Agarest War is not scheduled to come to North America, which is a shame considering it is Idea Factory’s first outing on the PS3 and considering how much Kaneko has matured in the last few years. I can only hope for even more high-quality soundtracks from Kaneko-san and the Idea Factory / Compile Heart crew.

This album was printed directly by SuperSweep, and as such, it is difficult to find. The usual spots (Play-Asia, VGMWorld) do not have this album. Do what you can to find it, especially if you want a choice sampling of Kenji Kaneko’s work. I truly enjoyed this album.

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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.