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Sin 'Vin and Shin's Music Review

Welcome to the music review at RPG! Our goal is help people see the soundtracks they listen to in a better light as well as well as help the rpg music lovers out there know what to get and know what crap they should stay the hell away from before they're stuck listening to something so bad, they'll want to drive ice picks into their ears to relieve the pain. This week in the spolight is the soundtrack to therelaxing Dewprism. Unfortunately, the samples we've provided for you are in real audio, but they're good quality and you can download them here Thanks to Zeppelin for hosting the samples!!

To view our previous reviews, check out the archives

Rahvin Shinryuu
meLife is full of surprises… I mean each day something special, sometimes unwanted yet maybe pleasant arrives in your life. That's what happened to me a few weeks back when I acquired the Dew Prism OST. I haven't played the game, but I knew that I was downloading the soundtracks of a kid's game made by Square. I was surprised by the fact that, in my opinion, this soundtrack had achieved a level of quality equal to the soundtrack Legend of Mana. I thought the songs were well composed, but what really got me was how well the instruments were picked for some songs. They can a have quite a magical effect.

The album composed by Junya Nakano is set up in peculiar way, each of the two CDs are built with songs related to one of the two characters, Rue and Mint. The first CD is Rue's one, it has more relaxing songs while on Mint's CD, they are more cheerful. The selection of instruments in the soundtrack itself is surprising, you can find songs with violins, an accordion, xylophones, flutes, acoustic guitar and/or drums, these instruments like the accordion are not often heard in a soundtrack. The biggest example of how well you can mix all these instruments together has to be "Dawn in Dense Woodland". The drum gives you the heartbeat of forest, while you hear xylophone and flute in the background acting like birds and other forest animals. If you close your eyes, you can almost see yourself there, standing in the forest… It's a simple song, but that's where the charm lies. And I always loved to be able to picture scenes conjured up by the music itself. If we do a more in-dept look at some songs of each CD. First of, Rue's disc is definitely composed of calmer and mellower songs, but it's also the one with the best mix of instruments which makes it also a very ambient collection of songs. "Pass through the forest" is the song with "Dawn in Dense Woodland", which I talked about earlier, are the best ambient tracks in the whole soundtrack. Surprisingly both songs don't have the same feel, "Pass through the forest" gives you more the impression of movement compared to "Dawn in Dense Woodland". It's more of "walking in the forest towards new adventures" type song. It's definitely one of the best tracks in the CD. Also "Microcosm" is another powerful song although you can't really imagine something really specific with this song. I think it's another song that proves the unknown power of instruments such as the xylophone and the chimes, but it's also one of the songs that show off the most of that dream effect that the soundtrack can have. "Fancy Mell" is quite a special song… it's style is a quite different than the rest of Rue's disc. Cheeriness is definitely at home in this song. This is the only song of its type on this CD so think of it as pause of fun and joy in this otherwise gloomy set of songs. It's quite a refreshing twist! "Magic Bursts" is a track where the drumbeats rule unchallenged and drives the song to new exotic highs. The melody, rhythms and the feeling of a chase against death definitely sell this song as a battle track. Finally, "Reunion" is one of my favorite songs, I can never really say if this is a relaxing song or a more cheery and jumpy one because of the inconstancy in the melody. This is clearly one of the most memorable songs on disc 1 because it seems to really paving way for last two songs that seem to me more like a staff roll and an epilogue. It also gives off this feeling that the adventure isn't over. This also concludes my brief overview of Rue's disc. Mint's CD is the complete opposite of Rue's disc. The music is a lot more joyful and cheery. The songs are also much more driven the melodies than by the instruments. A good example, "Serene Town" is a song where the melody and the accordion really make me feel like if I were in this normal country town. The slower pace in "Serene Town" makes it also one of the few relaxing songs on the CD where you can easily picture yourself in sitting in a chair on the terrace of the local Café enjoying life at it's fullest. Not too far a head, you have the "Passionate Wanderer" which has one thing I really like… Acoustic Guitar! Unfortunately, the melody is quite simple and repetitive and gets boring after a certain time. But I just can't resist the Spanish flavor in that song. It sounds a lot like a matador song we often hear in cartoons. "Burn with Rage" also has a very interesting element, I like a lot. In the beginning, there's a chant and chimes, which really starts this song on a dark note. But that's only momentary because the voices will slowly die down as they are replaced by fast paced rhythms and the small organ solos thrown in really give of the feeling of chaos often associated with a boss themes. Finally, "Mint's Finale" is a jazzy, upbeat remix of the title song "Dew Prism", but I find that one a lot better than then the other. I like the style a lot more and it's longer! I think it makes look a lot more joyful than the plainer title song. Again, it's got this feeling of openness that I found in "Reunion". Maybe it's because they're both at the end of each CD. ^^; There are also 2 songs from the TV commercials which I don't see why they put them in. They're too short for my taste. On the two CDs, I prefer Rue's because I like more the ambient feel of that disc than the cheerier and melodious second. I also happen to like a lot more of the songs on Rue's disc. There's also the fact that I find that some songs on Mint's CD are similar to ones on Rue's. It's a matter of taste and I can say that the Dew Prism OST has a lot to please many and also so show some new beats that are surprisingly good. You only have to bear with the slower music.

In summer 2000, Squaresoft had released about 6 rpgs, one of theme was Threads of Fate(AKA Dewprism in Japan). One of the least known composers , Junya Nakano, was being given the task of writing it's score. I might as well give the following warning : If you don't like laid back or very slow music, then by all means, skip this OST. Now for the review itself.

Disk 1 (Disk Rue) General review :

Disk 1 is the one containing the most laid back tracks, but there are good ones as well as (sadly) some very bad ones. The first winner " Pass through the Forest " easily sets the mood with it's drum and a sort of flute instrument. " Stupid Racketeers " is among the bad tracks, it's mostly comprised of tribal drums and some other type of instrument that's downright annoying. " Noisy fight " though, isin't that bad a battle track, and is alot more lively than " Stupid Racketeers ". " Sunny Smile " is one of the " cute " tracks, nice little piano, and it dosen't get on my nerves at all. There are also some ambient tracks, a good example is " Climb Higher " it's mainly comprised of tribal drums and some sound effects, but like " Pass through the Forest ", it's among the good tracks. Another lovely track would be " Ruin of the Lake ", it's simply quiet and slow and easily entrances the listener, not to impress emotionally but to sit back and relax. The second battle theme, " Mode Master " is defenately not your usual boss theme, it's not epic for one but still it ain't laid back enough to be boring. " Fancy Mell ", another " cute " track is nice to listen a few times, but quickly gets repetitive, thus putting it as neither terrible, neither great, just an ok track. For the third battle theme we get " Doll Master " : it dosen't have much melody, it's mostly a type of vocal track, for some reason, I tend to prefer " Mode Master " over this one, it's nearly impossible to listen to this one completely without starting to fall asleep, yep, it's boring to that point. " To the Ultimate Relic " is a nice change from the past tracks, it's a 5 minute long dungeon track, but it's very good and easily sets the mood for the final dungeon in Rue's quest. Next we get the final boss theme " Magic Bursts ", this one is also an instant winner, it's easy to imagine Rue struggling against the enemy, it's a very epic battle theme and a possible reason for reccomending this set. " Hurry out ! " is awesome , and fits the escape scene ( I'm guessing there's a timed escape event) pretty well. " Rue's Finale " is one of better ending themes I've heard in a while, simply marvelous, you just can't skip this track, it's just too fun to listen. As you can see, Disk 1 has it's share of winner and loser tracks, let's move on to Disk 2.

Disk 2 (Disk Mint) General review :

Disk 2 is far more cheery and upbeat and has very little bad tracks compared to the first. The first noticeable track, " Mint : A tomboyish princess " sounds abosutely corny with it's wacky choice of instruments, complete with some corny sound effects. " Serene Town ", is by far one of the most beautiful town themes of any rpg, mostly the accordeon gives it a certain feel of nostalgic feel, sounds like french music you often hear in french romantic films. The first dungeon theme on this CD, " Underground Labyrinth ", is also a nice soothing piece, another fine example of a track that you can relax while listening. " Passionate Wanderer ", like Rahvin said, it defenately sounds spanish, and is among my favorites, despite that it's short and simple. Now we come to the very best of the normal boss themes, " Confrontators " while still being a tad laid back, it's alot easier to get to enjoy this one easily and beats all the other boss themes. " Temple of Ghosts " starts a bit slow, but when the melody comes about, it easily becomes the very best of the dungeon themes, only rivaled by " To the Ultimate Relic " on Disk 1. Although there is little melody, it's still pretty good in my opinion. " Rough Stream " has more tribal drums than the rest of the tracks, but it's alot better than " Climb Higher " in terms of ambient tracks. " Trap Master ", being a lighter version of " Mode Master " is the black sheep of the battle themes, it's terrible, it dosen't sound like a battle theme at all, it's too laid back, barely has any melody and feeling put into it. " A little palpitation " , being another cute track, simply it too repititive to even enjoy it. " Maya : A Graceful Princess " is however, a gem of a track, it's distinctive asian sound quickly grabs your attention, I'd say this is the final dungeon theme in Mint's quest, and it fits the mood like a glove. " Burn with Rage ", starts like " Doll Master " but quickly perks up and gets better and better, a very good last boss theme. " Mint's Finale " is a jazzier version of Serene Town and really, it's lovely. Last but not least, we got some music that was used for a TV commercial, weird thing if you ask me 8). Save for " Trap Master " and " A little palpitation ", Disk 2 tends to be far more enjoyable then the first disc.

In conclusion, if you like music to soothe your mind and simply relax, you can't go wrong with this. However, Dewprism OST is too laid back to impress the listener emotionally, but still stands out firmly on its own.