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Mana Khemia 2 ~Fall of Alchemy~ Alchemic Symphony

[back cover]
Catalog Number: N/A
Released On: August 25, 2009
Composed By: Ken Nakagawa, Daisuke Achiwa
Arranged By: Ken Nakagawa, Daisuke Achiwa
Published By: NIS America
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 1 CD
Tracklist:

01 - My Silly Days
02 - Memory Lane to School
03 - Academy Transformation
04 - Defender of Justice Has Come 2
05 - Tsunderella Honeymoon
06 - To A Journey
07 - Aerial Worship
08 - Chaotic Moon
09 - People Don't Learn in the Workshop
10 - Noble Girl in Love
11 - Roar of Delirium
12 - Ah, Disciplinarian of Sorrow
13 - Classroom of Summer
14 - Azure
15 - Hired Mana
16 - Wyvern
17 - Goodbye Childhood
18 - Ringing Bell of Hope
19 - Romantic Is Not Happening
20 - Wind Through the Valley
21 - Spring Cat Fight
22 - Giant Fairy
23 - Sacred Saber
24 - Chaotic School Festival
25 - Fighter's Marching Song
26 - Beginning of Fall
27 - Verethraghna
28 - Afterglow
29 - Vanishing Mirage
30 - The Story of Light and Darkness
31 - Namenloses Licht
32 - Sail
Total Time:
75'57"

NIS America is always happy to please the consumer. Mana Khemia 2, following NIS America's tradition with releasing games from Gust, comes with a bonus one disc soundtrack packaged inside the double-sized cardboard box.

Now, the full soundtrack (which you'd have to import from Japan, as it's published by Team Entertainment) covers two discs. NIS America takes that full soundtrack and distills it, finding the most memorable and most enjoyable tunes from those two discs, and selects them for a single disc. It's par for the course at NISA, and Atlus, and a host of other publishers that release these "best of" bonus soundtracks. In this sense, NISA did a great job with this particular release: the music chosen here really presents Nakagawa and Achiwa's latest collaborative effort in the most positive light possible.

That said, the music to the game itself is a little lackluster, compared to Gust Sound Team's past works. And not every track, no. Some tracks do shine: in particular, the battle themes are really strong. I think it might be time SSH gets back on board to do another Atelier guitar-rock arrange album, focusing on Mana Khemia 2. There is also some great usage of piano throughout the album: I specifically noticed this on tracks 17 and 26. Finally, like I said earlier, NISA did pick the best tracks, so on this particular CD you will have to be paying attention to find the "filler" music. But there definitely are some character and event themes that exist purely as novelties, and do not hold up well to scrutiny because of either uninspired melody or poor choice in instrumentation.

It is this reviewer's personal opinion that you won't go wrong in choosing to purchase this game, unless you absolutely loathe "oldschool" turn-based RPGs. The soundtrack is one more bit of incentive, and it really is a great "best of" album. I usually prefer having the whole OST, but in this particular case, I think music collectors are just as well off with this one disc "best of" than with the full OST from Japan.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann



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