Game Music, Reviews

The Bible According to SuperSweep: Last Bible III (Review)

The Bible According to SuperSweep: Last Bible III (Review)

March 2, 2012 | | Comment? Share thison Facebook The Bible According to SuperSweep: Last Bible III (Review)on Twitter

My only familiarity with the Last Bible series is when Patrick got really excited about SuperSweep finally releasing the soundtracks for the first two games in the series. Beyond that, I know it’s an RPG series, I know that Last Bible III was released on the Super Famicom, and I know that composer Hiroyuki Yanada has been on board since the beginning.

So, here I am looking at the Last Bible III soundtrack. Do I fight, flee, or listen?

Find out after the jump.

First off, the tracks here are generally pretty short, coming in at under two minutes in length. There are a few lengthier ones, but for the most part, you’re left with short and memorable pieces of music that do their job in a short amount of time. All the jingles are included as well, which can be argued for or against as a good thing; they are great for the completionist who wants everything, but they do break up the flow on an album. You’ll find your typical RPG themes here, and really, there’s a great vibe about the whole album with some retro SNES-era sounds, great melodies, and lots of variety.

Right from the warm and homey “Opening” to a title screen jingle with attitude, this sounds like a game that I want to play. There are tons more upbeat and lighthearted themes, including “Loading” with a playful tambourine and acoustic guitar and “Music Box” which sounds like a J-pop melody with a cranking sound between the loop point, which is a cute touch. “Hometown” brings in acoustic guitar and accordion with lots of reverb, sounding laidback and care free while “Megalopolis” is a bit bigger on scale but is equally pleasing. Even “Devil City Usher” is surprisingly upbeat for one of the final locations in the game.

There are some rather eclectic compositions as well, including “Brantika” which uses spacey synths and belltones, sounding like something out of Super Mario Galaxy and “Felest Tower,” another spacey track focusing on funk, reminding me of a Jamiroquai track. “Dinner” and “Dance” are classy upbeat jazz tunes with random cats meowing and darks barking. Then there’s the hoedown with “Excite,” and a cool 80s synth pop track called “Val Ship” that sounds like it could be a Depeche Mode song.

Things get a little more serious with the foreboding “Underworld” and the groovy “Birds Flying” with its startling sound effects (birds chirping?) during the first few seconds. I immediately looked up from what I was doing when “Field I” came on with rich bass paired to gentle strings and steady acoustic guitar that had me thinking of Yuzo Koshiro’s work on Etrian Odyssey. We get smooth jazz with “Bulltown Tower,” and a spine-tingling atmosphere in “Resurrection” and tribal percussion with some interesting use of panning in “Dragon Fang.” “Shark Ship” opens with the sound of waves before getting into a super funky and cool jazz melody that’s traded off between belltones and saxophone. Finally, one of my favorite tracks, “Devil Forest,” sports funky bass, twinkling bell tones, and a dreamy atmosphere.

There are a ton of battle themes in this game, with “Battle I” sounding more like an escape theme with its heavy use of tension and “Battle III” standing out for its constantly changing tempo. “Battle II” is more upbeat and comical while “Battle IV” gets it funk on. There’s traditional battle rock in “Battle V” and then a strange and unsettling combination of rock and electronic sounds like something out of the Mother series in one of the final battle themes.

And of course you can’t end a classic RPG without a super bubbly ending theme and a catchy, pop-inspired credits theme. They’re both so simple, yet so good.

In all, I’m very impressed with what’s here. I see why Patrick was so excited about the music from this series finally getting a release. I find myself being drawn to these melodies, and I know for a fact that if this game had been buried in my memory back in the SNES days, these would have easily blossomed into some of my most favorite musical moments in a game, although I can only admire them as a new listener approaching them out of context now.

The packaging is not very exciting outside of the cover image that sports some screenshots and artwork from the game in a collage format. It looks and sounds like a really cool game, so maybe I’ll get the chance to check it out someday. The album is sold by SuperSweep for a more-than-reasonable 2,100 Yen, so I recommend picking it up.

Let us know what you think of the Last Bible series, Hiroyuki Yanada’s work, or SuperSweep’s dedication to getting this kind of music out there for fans.

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