Patrick Gann
End-of-Year Soundtracks! Pokémon Black&White, Radiant Historia, Many More!
Ring in the new year with detailed information, critique, and audio samples for 16 RPG soundtracks!
12.31.10 - 11:45 PM

"Hey man, what did you do over your holiday break?"

"Oh you know, the usual. Listen to tons of VGM and put my thoughts to paper in an attempt to share my love of the niche genre with the world."

*awkward pause*

This year, more than one RPGFan editor will be able to have this awkward conversation around water-coolers in the coming days. Big props to Kyle Miller and Bob Richardson for joining me on this quest for an absurdly large year-end soundtrack review blowout. We all hope you enjoy!

First, some big DS titles that are on their way to English-speaking territories and are well worth your attention. Radiant Historia, from Atlus, is on its way soon. The soundtrack, by Yoko Shimomura, is shaping up to be mighty fine. Japanese preorder-ers got a limited Piano arrange soundtrack (I think Atlus USA is offering this same bonus CD in North America). We have reviews for both albums.

Pokémon Black&White is another big one. You know what else is big? Its soundtrack. FOUR DISCS! Jun'ichi Masuda leads the pack, but there's a whole host of composers getting their names into the credits for this one. Is it a quantity over quality ordeal, or is it just a lot of great music? We have the answer.

And how about Ghost Trick? The DS graphic adventure from the same folks who did Phoenix Wright has some surprisingly good tunes. We have the details.

And here's a DS soundtrack you will probably never find, because the game is not likely to be localized (thanks for not buying my favorite Wii game, jerks...). Yes, I'm talking about Mystery Dungeon Shiren the Wanderer 5 ~Fortune Tower and the Dice of Fate~. And yes, I just called all our readers jerks. I'll apologize in a few paragraphs.

Let's see, let's see... oh, did you hear about that big expansion for WoW? Surely you did, it was just earlier this month that World of Warcraft: Cataclysm rocked your ethernet cables. If you bought the boxed collector's edition, you probably got a soundtrack as well. We have a review of said soundtrack from Blizzard's sound team.

Speaking of MMORPGs, we have not one but two separate soundtrack reviews for Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures. We wanted to also have a soundtrack review for its recent expansion, but (I'm not kidding here) the CD was lost in the mail somewhere between Europe and my house. The woes of International shipping, eh? Well, that's one to look forward to in 2011. If it ever gets here.

We also have a "theme song" review for an MMORPG called Key of Avalon Online. I'd never really heard of it, and I wouldn't really care, except that Hitoshi Sakimoto worked on this single. Attention: gotten. Thanks Sakimoto-san!

Which reminds me... theme songs... oh yes, we have a review for "Eyes On Me." No, not that really old (and good) one from Faye Wong on Final Fantasy VIII. I'm talking about the new (bad?) one from Superfly on The 3rd Birthday. Next update, expect an OST review for that one as well. Exciting! I'm giddy!

There are a few others. What did I miss?

(Interlude: sorry for calling you guys jerks a few paragraphs ago. To make up for it, check out Tokyo Mono Hara Shi Karasunomori Gakuen Kitan Gakusou. It's my favorite soundtrack among everything we've posted today.)

Fans of the Summon Night series should be pumped to see we have a review for the Summon Night X ~Tears Crown~ OST. This one was surprisingly enjoyable, if I do say so myself.

Only a few left! There's Tales of Phantasia: Narikiri Dungeon X. The Tales series continues to have music from Motoi Sakuraba. It's one of those constant variables in life.

Then we have three arranged albums. One is Falcom's newest, "Falcom vs. JDK Band 2010 Summer." It's got arrangements from Falcom titles old and new, including Ys SEVEN. Then there's Pia-com II, a piano collections CD from Keita Egusa and crew (printed on Nobuo Uematsu's "Dog Ear Records"). It has music from Final Fantasy III (NES) as well as Dragon Slayer IV, which is a Falcom title you've never heard of. Unless you're awesome.

And you know what else has Falcom on it? PRESS START The 5th Anniversary. This is a really nifty CD; if you can find it for sale, you should get it before it becomes super-rare. It has an Ys medley on it. It also has The Velvet Room and other beautiful, all-orchestra arrangements from Persona 4. And I should also mention that it has Suikoden and Professor Layton. That CD packs quite a punch.

OKAY! And there you have it. A grand total of 16 soundtrack reviews. The backlog is cleared. It's time to start fresh in 2011. Can you guess what my New Years Resolution is? Hint: it involves game music and this website. And no, Pinky, it does not involve taking over the world. Yet. Happy new year!