Romancing SaGa Re;univerSe Original Soundtrack

 

Review by · December 6, 2019

Another mobile title in the SaGa series? I was hoping Imperial SaGa would be the end of it, but here we are with a Romancing SaGa-specific title, “Re;univerSe.” The fanboy in me would love to play it — the realist in me recognizes the exceedingly low probability that this game would be localized.

Does the soundtrack make me envy the players who have access to the game? Surprisingly … the answer is “no.”

You heard me. The mega-SaGa fanboy himself, lover of all things Kenji Ito, is fine foregoing this game. And, to the collectors out there, I think you may be okay foregoing this soundtrack as well. My reasoning is as follows:

(1) Repeat source material

Take a look at that tracklist. Yes, there are some entirely original songs. Five, to be exact, totaling 15 minutes of audio. These are the first four tracks, plus track six. And yes, there are new arranged tracks. Again, there are five of these, clocking in at about 11 minutes. So that’s 26 minutes of new music, on a disc that is about 49 minutes in length. When the tracklist says “arrange from [X],” those are new arrangements from previous source material. If the word “arrange” isn’t there, however, what we have is the exact, original audio from the Super Famicom Romancing SaGa trilogy (and, in a few instances, music from “SaGa THE STAGE,” which is surprisingly cool!). What I’m getting at, though, is that under 30 minutes of this disc is music exclusive to the Re;univerSe soundtrack. That’s not a lot of original music, so quantity is weak here.

(2) Phoned-in arrangements

Remember those five arranged tracks I mentioned? They’re not all that stellar. I will give a shout-out for the surprise arrangement of SaGa Frontier’s “Battle #1,” which really stands out. Even “Temptation” from SaGa THE STAGE, in newly arranged form, is pretty interesting. The rest? Not so much. Tracks 7 and 8 are particularly underwhelming … I reckon they are leftover arrangements from the re:tune jazz arrange album; I don’t find them compelling at all.

(3) A high standard to match

The Romancing SaGa trilogy has some of the best, most underrated music from the Super Famicom era. In my opinion, it has grown all the more interesting over time. I find myself returning to Ito’s incredible trilogy more and more, loving it just as much as I love Uematsu’s big Super Famicom trilogy (FFIV-VI). Do the five original compositions in Romancing SaGa Re;univerSe live up to the Romancing SaGa pedigree? Not a chance. They’re not bad, but they will not stand the test of time. Perhaps that’s why over half the songs on this disc are straight carry-over ports of original RS tunes: at the end of the day, that’s all we ever needed.

This one is for collectors and completionists only. My recommendation is to skip it, picking up the OSTs for the Romancing SaGa trilogy instead (and even that nifty SaGa THE STAGE album) before coming here. If you’re looking for decent SaGa arrange albums, look no further than the Re:birth and Re:tune albums, or perhaps the old orchestral arrange albums for each game in the trilogy. They all top the arranged tracks on Re;univerSe, no question. This is the tail end of SaGa quality music, so if you must have it, I cannot stress this enough: save it for last. Literally everything else in the SaGa franchise is more interesting than this one.

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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 cats.