Knights in the Nightmare Perfect Audio Collection

Riviera -The Promised Land- Full Arrange Soundtrack Album Title:
Knights in the Nightmare Perfect Audio Collection
Record Label:
Five Records
Catalog No.:
VGCD-0147
Release Date:
September 26, 2008
Purchase:
Buy at CDJapan

Overview

Due to the power of the Internet, Knights in the Nightmare is a bit better known than previous games in the Dept. Heaven series. I’m sure at a glance most average gamers didn’t even realize Knights in the Nightmare belonged to any sort of series in the first place. It’s actually the fourth episode (and third game) in the series and composed by long-time composer Shigeki Hayashi. How does the composer in the Knights in the Nightmare Perfect Audio Collection. Is there enough in this two disc package to justify a purchase, even though a one disc soundtrack was released with American orders of the game?

Body

Knights in the Nightmare Perfect Audio Collection is a crisp, dark and deep complement to a game of the same caliber. Well, it may not be as deep as the amazingly ridiculous gameplay, but it’s still complementing. It seems no matter whom composed music for an Atlus game, there will always be your more typical dungeon fanfare music. This, of course, has a lot to do with the game itself. A lot of this “sticking to tried and true dungeon sound” kind of music that I just hear all the time really hinders me from fully loving it. I think it can still have likeability through superb craft and care that is usually given. With all that said, I think this soundtrack plays it a bit safe within its own Dept. Heaven family at times, but there are still some great elements to be found that I will mention in the end.

I’ve also noticed the other Dept. Heaven games use unlikely instruments for fantasy music like synths and rock guitars. There’s a lot less of that on this album, but it’s still here! This soundtrack has its own merits though. Touches like a slightly out of tune piano, such as in “Gleivnir Knights”, or some background Gregorian chanting really give it its own feel. It definitely has a different feel than Shigeki Hayashi’s first soundtrack from Riviera. The DS limits these elements really coming to life, though. It’s a shame because there is a lot of background choir in this game that just has trouble being heard. It’s all very dark and haunting also, obviously — “Confrontation” is a good example of that type of sound the album has as far as the first disc goes.

Some of this music is just forgettable and repetitive or too short to matter. “Endless Melee” or “Battle Preparations” are examples of the more boring pieces which repeat measures a lot. And a lot of these tracks are boring, but also last a really short amount of time. I think it is something that would flow better when playing the game I suppose. Since it is DS music, it makes it even harder to enjoy. It sure doesn’t break many technical boundaries, but it stands in the better half as far as DS quality goes. However, the sound quality is inferior compared to the PSP versions of the early Dept. Heaven games.

I was starting to give up a bit, but then I found many of the best tracks come from the second disc. Most of the battle or clash themes are where the goods are at. There are definitely enough of these to make up for the lesser tracks on the first disc. Many of the energetic battle tracks use church organ for melodies. It’s very fitting to have these church organs play during the battle music like in “Clash with the Cursed Pische”. Gregorian chanting stands out in a few like “Clash with the Fallen Angel Melissa” and “Moonlight Fallen Angel Battles” and there are some catchy dark upbeat melodies like in “Clash with the Imperial Princess Arlie”. In the end, I’d definitely have to compare this to Game Boy Advance Castlevania music with more synth and organ. If you like that, you will like this album. It’s good that the battles are the best tracks as they play the most. The rest is just very boring and I wonder, “Why even have a first disc”?

Summary

Again, if you like that Castlevania feel, than this is definitely a good soundtrack to pick up. It’s an appropriate soundtrack, but it is a bit boring on its own though it has its touches, especially on the second disc. And luckily there is a lot of second disc there. Fans will most likely enjoy it if they liked past work though it is a bit darker. Some times I feel like a lot of RPG music is kind of like looking at a realistic painting of a landscape. You can’t hate it really, but you sure won’t win an award and go down in history for being a great artist in this day and age. It may not apply here perfectly, but this game made me think of that. That said, the complete release might not be the one to go for, as a bonus with American releases of the game was a one disc soundtrack that compiled all the best tracks from the game. Then again, completists might wish to import the full thing at a cost.

Knights in the Nightmare Perfect Audio Collection Charles Szczygiel

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

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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Charles Szczygiel. Last modified on August 1, 2012.


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