The OneUps Volume 1

 

Review by · September 17, 2008

The OneUps put out three different “themed” arranged albums before they got around to their self-titled “OneUps Volume 1.” This full disc of music hits up many fan favorites, as well as eccentric little tracks that were probably favorites for the band members themselves.

Since we’re RPGFan, though, let’s pinpoint the RPG-related tracks and talk about those.

I never took Schala, the pensive princess from Chrono Trigger, to be a jazz fan. But after listening to this track, I think maybe she ought to be. The whole “saxophone plus violin” thing that the OneUps are so good at works wonders on this track. All of the instruments are on top of their game, even the drummer (you normally wouldn’t expect a trap set for this song…).

The next track on the RPG radar comes from the only truly RPG-styled game in the Zelda series. “The Adventure of Link” had some memorable tracks, but many people are quick to immediately think of the adventurous dungeon/battle themes. However, the town themes are quite memorable, and when you hear this classical/romantic arrangement for acoustic guitar, you will realize just how distinct these songs are. The arrangement is, dare I say it, perfect. It might be my favorite track on the whole album. Great work!

As for “Bossa De Link,” let’s just say that worse arrangements have been made (*cough* Donkey Konga). I’m not entirely impressed by the chosen style for arrangement, but the performance is everything you could hope for from a Bossa Nova style.

The only other track on here that one would consider RPG-esque is from the adventure/puzzle-solver “Maniac Mansion.” The arrangement for the character theme “Michael” is rock solid, which you would expect since the original song’s style fits the band’s setup almost perfectly. This is a great theme to set as the basis for a jam session, and that’s exactly what happens in the OneUps arrangement. Three cheers to the guitarist for excellent work here.

It’s a shame the album didn’t have more RPG offerings on it, but for VGM fans in general, there’s a lot to love here. “Andy Asteroids” is amazing, and who doesn’t love the water music from Donkey Kong Country? The whole album is excellent; being a labor of love, you will find that all of the arrangements are top-notch. This may be the best of all the OneUps albums released to date…the production value is absurdly high for a “fanmade” project. Be sure to pick it up.

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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.