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Armodyne

[back cover]
Catalog Number: SBPS-0010/11
Released On: March 28, 2007
Composed By: Yasunori Mitsuda
Arranged By: Yasunori Mitsuda
Published By: Sleigh Bells
Recorded At: Procyon Studio
Format: 2 CDs
Buy this CD from VGM World
Tracklist:

Disc One
01 - ARMODYNE
02 - The Destined One
03 - Prologe -Dark Conspiracy-
04 - Tactical Plan
05 - A Strike from Behind
06 - Logistical Support
07 - Mission Accomplished
08 - Command and Control
09 - The World of Chaos
10 - Coded Operation
11 - To Dust and Ashes
12 - Under a Free Flag
13 - Training Grounds
14 - Powder and Shells
15 - Stage Zero
16 - Black Wraith
17 - The March of Iron
18 - Stride
19 - Parts Shop
20 - Goodness Gracious!
21 - Valiant Souls
22 - Blitzkrieg
Total Time:
46'50"

Disc Two
01 - Man on a Mission
02 - Reason
03 - Stone Butterfly
04 - Smoke Fills the Air
05 - Beautiful Day
06 - Judgement Day
07 - After the Storm
08 - Lur Xecran
09 - Path of Misery
10 - Cosmic View
11 - Memories
12 - Crimson Skies
13 - Deeper Underground
14 - Ark of Winds
15 - Storm Dancer
16 - For Peace
Total Time:
45'53"

Armodyne: a small-scale strategy RPG from Omiya Soft. Omiya's track record includes some games in the Culdcept series, as well as Front Mission: Gun Hazard. Gun Hazard marks the last time Omiya worked with composer Yasunori Mitsuda. They got together again for this unique, mecha-centric strategy RPG. It's been awhile since Mitsuda took on a hearty, epic RPG, and we at RPGFan were excited to hear how the music would turn out.

Unfortunately, it seems Mitsuda's past achievements continue to overshadow his current work.

I don't like saying that. If this were some no-name composer, I'd probably be praising the album for having solid composition and some excellent use of traditional instruments, particularly piano. But it just so happened that our pal Mitsuda also penned the music for Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, Xenogears, and Xenosaga Ep. I. With that sort of track record, it's almost too difficult to get any recognition until you create that breakthrough score that puts you back into the spotlight.

All that said, the Armodyne soundtrack is perfect for the setting of the game, and as the liner notes read, Mitsuda provided the perfect music for this game. Standing on its own, however, it's clearly not as "inspired" as old Mitsuda fans would hope. If anything, the style suggests a hollow shell of Xenogears/saga, but with somewhat better production value.

One other thing that bothered me about this two disc set is the length. Each disc is under 50 minutes, and if you like at individual track times, most songs barely break the two minute mark. There's no time given to the listener to let the music sink in. Indeed, this isn't just an issue of "looping," in my opinion; Mitsuda would have done well to "flesh out" the themes of these songs a little more, expanding the track length for the sake of creating a song that is overall more impressive.

Many people continue to put hope in Mitsuda for recreating past works, or else just outdoing himself with something new and phenomenal. That time still hasn't come, and it may never come. So suck it up, and if you're still a big fan of everything this composer breathes on, then get the album. Otherwise, continue holding your breath. I'm semi-satisfied, and bittersweet as it may be, it's still good music to listen to, and most importantly, it's something new.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann



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