TALES OF LINK ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK
TALES OF LINK ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK
June 16, 2018
Buy at CDJapan
The Tales of Link Original Soundtrack is the second mobile soundtrack to a Tales of series spinoff released by Supersweep. Featuring the music from Namco’s Kazuhiro Nakamura as well as some outsourced composers, how is the end result and is it as enjoyable as the other Tales of spinoff title, Tales of Asteria in terms of music?
Approximately a third of the soundtrack is composed by Kazuhiro Nakamura. Opening with the titular tune, “Tales of Link,” piano opens the piece before moving into a sweeping orchestral tune with a magical sound and a beautiful melody. It really starts the album off quite strongly. However, not everything thereafter manages to reach the same captivating heights. “Liafyse” is a woodwind and brass tune done with a militaristic march in mind. It’s certainly upbeat, but is largely forgettable. Anthemic in nature is “Everyday Heroics,” which comes off as a decent tune led by brass, but it certainly doesn’t stand out. Likewise, “Creeping Shadow” is tense and ominous, with a heavy focus on percussion, brass, and strings. It gives off a nice atmosphere, but certainly sounds more on the generic side of things. Similarly, “Mysterious Flickering” is atmospheric, but forgettable with its mysterious and curious strings sound. Fortunately, tunes like “Calm Journey,” with its acoustic guitar and rustic sound, and “Fading Sentiment,” with its more melancholy strings and piano, lend themselves more towards the first track with their beautiful melodies.
One area where Nakamura doesn’t particularly shine is in the battle themes. “Stone Poetry Battle” is militaristic in nature, with a heavy brass and percussion focus. It’s certainly heroic and adventurous, but is quite short and leans towards generic military battle music. Likewise, “Confronting a Threat” keeps a similar soundscape but is more tense, but still comes off as rather generic. The victory theme, “Taking Victory in Hand” is a brass fanfare followed by uplifting woodwinds and strings. It isn’t anything particularly special, but it captures the sense of jubilation quite well. More action oriented is “Single-Handed Breakthrough,” another brass led piece full of martial percussion that is fairly standard in execution. “It’s a Good Opportunity Right Now?” uses the same melody as “Single-Handed Breakthrough” but with more brass and intensity, but also suffers from similar issues as its inspiration. Other action oriented tunes include “Taking the Moment in Hand” and “Overflowing Malice,” with the former having a determined sound and the latter being more ominous and berating. However, the former doesn’t contain anything that gives it an edge over the others and the latter is quite repetitive in the accompaniment and can’t recover with a melody that stands out.
The rest of the soundtrack is composed by a plethora of composers with sound direction from Shoy Tokunaga. xaki’s contributions are overall quite nice. “Gently, Smile” is a largely acoustic guitar led piece with a peaceful and warm melody while “Moving Towards Twilight” features playful strings, a determined sound, and a sense of adventure that helps accentuate the beautiful melody. Also of good quality are Shota Fukugawa’s tunes. “A Red Light Pierces the Darkness” is an upbeat orchestral battle theme with an engaging sound and a fairly memorable melody while “Beyond Deadly Struggle” is a tense orchestral battle theme with some nice brass hits. It borders on the generic side of things but is still more impressive than Nakamura’s battle tunes. Another battle tune is “Dancing with the Evil Dragon,” a tense strings based battle theme with brass harmonies, strong drum hits, with a heroic and adventurous tone. “Let’s Prepare for Adventure!” has a typical adventurous sound full of brass, strings, and woodwind that sports some bright harmonies. It isn’t his strongest contribution, but is an enjoyable one. “Azure Wings Cover the Skies” is another adventurous sounding orchestral tune with a bright soundscape and a wonderful melody. In some ways, it reminds me of Sakuraba style Tales of tune. Both “Light of the Goddess” and “I Cannot Go, I Will Not Go” are both piano pieces with the former having a more reflective sound to its beautiful melody and the latter being more poignant.
Shintaro Mori is another more represented composer on the release. “The Assassin’s Dagger Dances on the Battlefield” is a dramatic high tempo orchestral piece with a decent melody, but isn’t particularly unique. While not necessarily unique, “The Cycle of Cause and Effect” is a rock/violin led piece in the style of Falcom. It’s engaging, has a heroic sound, but does come off as a generic imitation. Likewise, “Run Through Unknown” mirrors the same style and the same outcome as his previous Falcom-esque tune. There is also a remix version of it, a collaboration between him and Shoy Tokunaga, towards the end of the soundtrack that has a more heavy metal sound and more of an electric guitar focus. It’s super invigorating and is much better than the original. His strongest contribution, in my opinion, is “Seaside Hometown,” an acoustic guitar driven piece with a rustic and warm melody that shines due to its simplicity. There is also an “with the Waves ver.” that incorporates subtle wave sound effects. It’s a nice bonus, but wholly unnecessary.
Shoy Tokunaga’s work also encompasses a variety of sounds. “Zephyr & Allen” is a heavy rock tune sitting amidst a sea of orchestral tunes on the soundtrack. It’s certainly a breath of fresh air with its intense sound, fun melody, invigorating nature, and of course, plenty of electric guitar noodling. There is also another version of this tune “Zephyr & Allen -Overlink Mix-,” which is an expanded version of the original. Another rock tune is “OTSUKIMI Drive!!,” featuring a more J-rock sound. The melody is certainly fun and has a typical sound of the genre, but also incorporates saxophone, which is certainly a unique touch, but it is quite a strange combo given the rest of the soundtrack. The “Overlink Mix” version of this tune adds more guitar and guitar solos while eliminating the saxophone, making it subjectively better. Lastyl, “Future Path” is an upbeat J-rock/pop tune with vocals that are certainly of select taste. They complement the bubbly melody, but the end result is a tune that is a bit shallow. There’s also a karaoke version of the tune that is devoid of the vocals, but also loses out on some of the melody because of it.
In the end, the Tales of Link Original Soundtrack isn’t as strong as Tales of Asteria Original Soundtrack, but it still has a fair share of enjoyable tunes. Due to the nature of the sound direction being split between two different people, likely to account for the updated scenarios as the mobile game aged, there is a bit of a disparity in terms of sound. While the first portion of the soundtrack is more orchestral in nature, it comes off as a bit uninspired. On the other hand, the second half certainly has more musical variety, but at the same time, doesn’t always deliver with its approach either. The Tales of sound is still captured, but it certainly falls within the middle echelons of the series, main series or otherwise. Not a bad listen, but not an integral one either.
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Posted on August 1, 2018 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on August 1, 2018.