Dragons’ Odyssey Original Soundtrack

dragonsodyssey Album Title:
Dragons’ Odyssey Original Soundtrack
Record Label:
OverClocked Records
Catalog No.:
N/A
Release Date:
May 11, 2012
Purchase:
Download at OverClocked Records

Overview

Dragons’ Odyssey is an action role-playing game coming through Steam Greenlight. Developed by Exe-Create, the original game The Lost Chronicles of Frane was released in Japan. For the Western release, OverClocked ReMix’s Jordan Aguirre (also known as Jordan Steven and bLiNd) was asked to create a whole new score for the title.  The ever expanding market of role-playing games is known for having brilliant music that pulls from many different genres and cultures. Aguirre continues this approach with a score inspired by the SNES classics of Yasunori Mitsuda and Nobuo Uematsu. The music of Dragon’s Odyssey works together seamlessly to produce a cohesive vibe, and most of the tracks are hooky containing memorable melodies. The instrumentation is a familiar mix of percussion, horns, strings and some electronic sounds. However, the stylings are quite diverse, and I never felt like any one track looped too often or became repetitive. There are variations of melodies scattered throughout the soundtrack that makes the album inviting, nostalgic, and imbued with a rich fantasy like feel.

Body

The music of Dragons’ Odyssey fits nicely into the fantasy RPG genre, with lots of tracks reminiscent of classic scores. “Salvation (Title Screen)” reminds me of the later Final Fantasy games because of the calm piano introduction and serene mood. The mood is stately and a little on the sad side, but provides for a moment of zen before starting the game. “When The Sun Shines (Kunah and Riel’s Home)” is another example of unique yet defining RPG music. When I listen to this piece, I can imagine the homes and villages of classic RPGs such as Secret of Mana, Chrono Trigger, and Dark Cloud. The melody is sweet and in a classical style which adds to the warm timbre. It has a timeless feel to it that flows with the rest of the soundtrack. The melody and counter melodies are mixed together evenly so neither overpowers the other.

Moving on to action tracks, I was again reminded of the golden age of RPGs while listening to “Determination”. With viola performed by Kacy Burleson and trumpet by Lance Aguirre, the music has a classic orchestral march feel. “Determination” is a great name for the first boss battle because this game is not necessarily easy to play. Fired Up! (Krokopp Desert)” is groovy and hard hitting with plenty of progressive style breakdowns. I really like the Eastern inspired flute and string melodies as they counter the high gain guitar solos. This track helps get you through the frustrating desert mazes and hordes of enemies. “From The Ground Up (Krokopp Desert Boss)” maintains the metal inspired vibe and takes it a step further with the addition of synth sounds and trumpet performed by Lance Aguirre. The driving rhythms and catchy riffs are enough to make me want to play the game, regardless of the sometimes awkward gameplay.

However, not all the boss music is an intense epic orchestration of dark rhythmic melodies. “Playing the Harlots (3 Sisters Boss)” is a different take on the intensity felt during a boss battle. The bossa nova-inspired beat and Latin-sounding melodies mixed with the Brazilian whistle makes for a danceable jam that will be sure to put the listener in high spirits. The energy in this music is comparable to the rest of the boss battle music, but in a slightly different way. The use of modern almost sci-fi sounds in “Siphoner (Denarius’ Scheme)” is excellent and does not overpower the melody or drumset. The electronic sounds are merely there to accent the mood and evil sounding melodies played by effect strings and chimes. Similar electronic sounds are heard in “Death’s Grin-It’s Not Too Late!-Saved!”, even thought the music fades out with an orchestral style march. “Bloody Rose” is another piece that uses electronic drumset and synth sounds that have hints of techno and classic video style shooter music.

Adding a modern characteristic to classic style RPG music, the percussion and drumset are a constant driving force. “On the Upside (Happy Theme)” is an example of a track with plenty of percussion to make the light-hearted melody groove. Shakers, bongos, drumset and xylophone add a worldly feel that could only be achieved in modern game soundtracks, as the melody sounds like a classic SNES track. “Never Give Up (Game Over)” has congas and drumset mixed in with the video game sounding instrumentation. The organ sound reminds me of countless Game Over screens and the bass adds depth to the sad melody. That said, a rendition without the percussion may have been effective, since it adds almost too much energy. Although “Fugare Draco (Last Boss)” was a bit lengthy at 10 minutes, it packs quite a punch when it’s not focusing on the spacey parts. The final piece, “A New Way (Theme Song)”, would simply not be the same without the dramatic yet intense drum beat. The drums add depth and strength to Ashleigh Coryell’s vocals, almost as if the beat was written around the vocal line.

Summary

This album has made me a fan of Jordan Aguirre and the projects he contributes too. As a debut work, some aspects of the composition and implementation could be a little more polished. Aguirre brings incredibly positive energy to this album that helps the project shine. The musical influences and musicianship alike make for a diverse listening experience that is never repetitive or dull. Overall, this soundtrack is indeed a great addition to any RPG fan’s collection and should not be overlooked.

Dragons’ Odyssey Original Soundtrack Marc Chait

Do you agree with the review and score? Let us know in the comments below!

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Posted on October 27, 2014 by Marc Chait. Last modified on October 26, 2014.

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