Symphonic Suite Dragon Quest III Soshite Densetsue…

 

Review by · November 16, 2008

Dragon Quest III is a fan favorite. It’s been through many remakes, as has its symphonic suite; and as the conclusion to the Roto trilogy, it is well-loved by most who have played it. However, in the grand scope of Sugiyama’s works, I am obligated to be honest and say that this is one of my least favorites among the Dragon Quest Symphonic Suites.

Now, the version being reviewed here is the most recent recording of the Symphonic Suite to date. Performed by the Tokyo Metropolitan, and conducted by composer Koichi Sugiyama, this recording is known for being mixed and normalized to the point of removing any errors; and with the errors go the highs and the lows, the dynamic range, all the things that people associate with a symphony orchestra performance. The Tokyo Met recordings have fared better with some DQs, worse with others. In this particular case, I wasn’t impressed.

Beyond the issues of who performed and how it’s recorded, I generally do not enjoy the Dragon Quest III compositions. They are decent, yes, but they are nothing compared to my favorite tracks from each of the other Dragon Quest albums. Dragon Quest III’s score is consistent, but it is boring. Even the parts that ought to excite me leave me feeling bored, and in need of something better (like Dragon Quest IV, or virtually any other DQ album). One track I do always enjoy from DQIII is “Heavenly Flight.” Sugiyama’s sky exploration themes are always good, so I wasn’t let down by this track. But this is the one diamond in the rough for me. Other people really enjoy this score, but I generally don’t.

If you’re going to get a Dragon Quest III Symphonic Suite, I would recommend finding one of the older albums due to their recording, mixing, and performance qualities. But if you’re a huge fan of these Tokyo Metropolitan recordings, I guess my opinion won’t sway you.

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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.