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Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology OST

[back cover]
Catalog Number: KICA-1433/4
Released On: March 7, 2007
Composed By: Takuya Yasuda, Motoi Sakuraba, Go Shiina, Kana Uemura
Arranged By: Shinsuke Sawachika
Published By: King Records
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 2 CDs
Buy this CD from VGM World
Tracklist:

Disc One
01 - Light and Shadow
02 - Radiant Mythology #1
03 - Character Making
04 - Mormo
05 - Under the Yggdrasil
06 - Ailily
07 - Funny Companion
08 - Place of meeting
09 - Ad libitum
10 - Fellowship
11 - Kanonno
12 - New Frontier
13 - Blazing!
14 - Ruins of Muscai
15 - Middle Boss
16 - Mysterious Place
17 - THEME OF EVIL
18 - Desperate Battle
19 - Dopurune
20 - Mine of the dark
21 - Sudden Crisis
22 - Valley of lava
23 - Theme of Sorrow
24 - Deep Forest
25 - Gavada
26 - Mysterious
27 - The Freezing
Total Time:
70'37"

Disc Two
01 - World eater
02 - Forest of paleozoic
03 - Time of Facing
04 - Sad memory
05 - Gilgulim
06 - Whisper of evil
07 - Widdershin
08 - See U again
09 - Paper Plane
[Series Battle Theme (Radiant ver.)]
10 - TAKE UP THE CROSS (from Tales of Phantasia)
11 - Bare its fangs (from Tales of Destiny)
12 - INFERIA BATTLE (from Tales of Eternia)
13 - THEME OF BATTLE (from Tales of Destiny 2)
14 - Full Force (from Tales of Symphonia)
15 - Battle organization (from Tales of Rebirth)
16 - Battle Artist (from Tales of Legendia)
17 - The arrow was shot (from Tales of the Abyss)
18 - ABILITY TEST (from Tales of Eternia)
19 - Lion -Irony of fate- (from Tales of Destiny)
20 - The end of a thought (from Tales of Symphonia)
21 - The trial (from Tales of Rebirth)
22 - Seeking Victory (from Tales of Legendia)
[Extra Track]
23 - Jingle - Quest Clear
24 - Jingle - Quest Report
25 - Jingle - Main Story Quest Report
26 - Jingle - Battle Victory
27 - Jingle - New Companion
28 - Jingle - Job Change
Total Time:
67'39"

Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology is a game where it seemed a lot of effort was put into one aspect while the other aspects fell short. The battle system in the game is brilliant and the visuals are generally good. But that's about it. The storyline is a weak, throwaway plot. And the music? Well, like the game itself, there is a small handful of standout tracks that I like, but ultimately the music is not very good. I was not impressed by the music while playing the game, and this soundtrack has not changed my mind. In fact, I think I like some of the music less now, because paying more attention to it outside the context of the game exposes more flaws.

The man behind the majority of the music is Takuya Yasuda. The compositions are done in a MIDI format, though I feel the PSP's hardware and software medium can handle better sound formats. While playing the game, I was unimpressed by the town, dungeon, and overland themes, but enjoyed "Blazing!" (the normal battle theme) and "Middle Boss" (one of the boss themes.) "Middle Boss" has a really catchy melody at the :27 second mark that just grabbed my ear and stayed stuck in my head for a long time. Whenever I encountered this piece in the game I would pause so I could hear it more, and it's the one piece on the soundtrack I played multiple times in a row. "Kanonno" has melodic aspects that sound like "Middle Boss" and it does a great job capturing the mysterious nature of her character. These two were personal favorites. Although not original sounding by any stretch, they have that intangible "something extra" that makes them stand out from the rest of the soundtrack.

Generally, Yasuda prefers more atmospheric, ambient, and mood-setting pieces over those with strong catchy melodies. Because of that, the music sounds much better within the context of the game than on its own, because there is more occuring in the game for the player to focus on. When the music becomes the primary focus, it falls flat and ultimately sounds shallow, soulless, and boring. Dungeon themes such as "Ruins of Muscai," "Mine of the Dark," and "Deep Forest" for example are boring to listen to without something else to do. To be honest, I found all the dungeon themes boring to listen to both in and out of the game, though "The Freezing" was the best dungeon theme out of them all. The other battle themes are mostly fast with driving beats, but not as interesting as "Blazing!" or "Middle Boss." The town themes for Ailily, Dopurune (Dopland in the game), and Gavada are largely uninteresting. If the pieces are not dull, they are extremely generic, by the numbers themes that could be phoned into any average Japanese RPG. Evil themes sound cartoonishly sinister, heroic themes have MIDI trumpet fanfare, sad themes are slow and feature less instrumentation, and it just seems like there was not much soul in the pieces and that little effort was put in to make any of the pieces stand out.

Although Takuya Yasuda is the man behind the majority of the game's compositions. Compositions from Motoi Sakuraba and Go Shiina, composers for prior Tales games, are present here as well via the various classic Tales battle themes in disc 2. These versions of past battle themes are optimized for the PSP's hardware so they may sound different from the original versions. One example is track 3 in disc 2. This is the battle theme from Tales of Destiny. The melody is the same, but the instrumentation is slightly different. Others such as track 6 in disc 2, Tales of Symphonia's battle theme, have strong sonic similarities to their full size counterparts. disc 2 concludes with some of the short jingles used to signify events such as quest completion or a character joining the party.

Ever since 1995's Tales of Phantasia, each Tales game has had a solid opening number by a J-Pop or J-rock artist. These have typically been altered for the US releases, which is a shame. The US version of Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology has an instrumental version of Kana Uemura's "Hikari to Kage (Light and Shadow)" which was good, but felt empty without the vocals. The full length version of this song is a solid opener and feels "right" with vocals. Uemura's voice is aesthetically pleasing, but would have preferred a more powerful voice in the opening number than the softer more delicate voice presented here.Another Kana Uemura song, "Kami Hikouki (Paper Plane)," can be found on disc 2 and I did not really like this one. On the other hand, I found her voice overpowering during some of the more interesting instrumental moments of "Kami Hikouki." I felt that this piece would have ben much better as an instrumental piece than a vocal piece. Go figure, huh?

The bottom line here is that I do not recommend this soundtrack. In two discs' worth of music, I only encountered eight tracks that I actually wanted to keep permanently; among them, three were pieces from prior Tales games. The unimpressive music far outweighs the redeeming music, and even the redeeming music may seem generic to listeners.

Reviewed by: Neal Chandran



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