Featuring a tempo reminiscent of games like Skies of Arcadia and Star Ocean: The Second Story, Rogue Galaxy's soundtrack may come across to some as an inspired, familiar sound, to others as a fresh note of high adventure.
The OST features 61 tracks, including an arrange of the game's vocal ending track, "Dreaming My Way Home" performed by the talented Barbara Kessler. The unrecorded version doesn't seem that much different from the one used in-game at first, but the beat is far more relaxed and feels like something you could daydream to. There's definitely more body to the unrecorded version, giving it a lull that proves very soothing. It's subtle, but a nice change from the regular take.
Most of the OST is atmospheric music, taking the listener from one locale and situation to another. Tracks like "A Road to the Ruined Castle" and "Varkogu's Theme" reminded me a great deal of Skies of Arcadia's stellar soundtrack, though I'm sad to say, lacking the same punch. Still, the tracks are wholly enjoyable.
I have to reiterate that a majority of the album serves to create a depth of atmosphere, giving the impression that you're actually travelling somewhere or experiencing something as you listen. Tracks such as "The Holy Valley" are excellent examples of this roaming element, making it a perfect accompaniment if you are in fact travelling at length on the train or going on a long walk.
Only a few of the tracks actually come across as weak on their own. Some like "Factory (In Production)" just don't inspire the same feeling as the rest of the album. Certainly, one of the album's shortcomings is that much of the music is atmospheric and so may not be suitable for regular listening outside of the game's context. However, as background music, it serves its purpose quite well, and the album is a general treat.
Fans of Dark Cloud and Dark Cloud 2 should be most familiar with the album's sound. The composer Tomohito Nishiura worked before on both soundtracks, and here he again displays his talent for creating a diverse, engaging sound that takes the listener on an adventure all by itself. With the assistance of Barbara Kessler, Yayoi Ono, and Katsuyuki Yamasaki on vocals, Nishiura has managed to create a true classic.
Where it lacks the dramatic flair of say, a Square-Enix album, Rogue Galaxy's soundtrack is a gem all its own. Some gamers will be reminded of fond classics, while others are bound to appreciate it just based on its atmospheric merits. An excellent addition to any music lover's library.
Reviewed by: Mark P. Tjan