Here we are, almost 10 years after the original release, and people still love the original Wild Arms. Many fans will agree: no sequel has topped the original Wild Arms, especially in terms of music. Even the “Alter Code: F” remake doesn’t have the same feel as this title.
Of course, hardcore fans of Naruke’s first big work also know that the one-disc release from 1997 was severely lacking in terms of “completeness.” Yeah, there were a lot of decent dungeon themes and a few variations missing. Though I myself cannot say for sure, I do suspect that this new album was printed to satisfy those fans.
What all can I say? The one-disc print of this soundtrack was one of the first soundtrack reviews I wrote for RPGFan, and to this day, I love the music. This two-disc “complete” print proves it all the more. Every song is classic, and Ms. Naruke is clearly a musical prodigy.
One thing that does stand out (to me) is the track ordering. All of Toyama’s orchestrations (which were played during the game’s prologue and were the first few tracks of the old OST) are now found scattered throughout the two discs. I don’t know why this happened: maybe they play again during in-game instances that fit the new track ordering. I don’t remember, as it has been many years since I last touched the game.
Otherwise, this soundtrack is just one big, awesome, seamless experience. The previously-unreleased tracks do not stand out, for better or worse. They are every bit as solid as the other songs that were featured on the old soundtrack.
What was it that made this soundtrack so great in the first place? The faux-Western style, the synthesized choir vocals, the ridiculously catchy melodies, and the lack of annoying/droning filler music. Yeah, that about sums it up.
You owe it to Michiko Naruke and yourself to buy a copy of this before it becomes as hard to find as the old Antinos Records printing became. That likely won’t happen anytime soon, but still, get your hands on it. It’s good.