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Yggdra Union Perfect Audio Collection Plus :: Review by Charles

Yggdra Union Perfect Audio Collection Plus Album Title: Yggdra Union Perfect Audio Collection Plus
Record Label: Five Records
Catalog No.: VGCD-0028
Release Date: April 21, 2006
Purchase: Buy at CDJapan


Yggdra Union Perfect Audio Collection PLUS is a compilation of music from the second game in the Dept. Heaven line, the tactical RPG Yggdra Union. The first disc features the Game Boy Advance version, the second disc features a complete rearranged version, and the end of the disc features some elaborate bonus arrangements. It was a perfect audio collection when it first was released, but it's not so perfect anymore now that there is also a PSP version of the game out there. However, rest assured the arranged tracks are basically like the PSP ones. Also, this is the only official release of the original Game Boy Advance soundtrack, which is Shigeki Hayashi and Minako Adachi's most energetic score for the Dept. Heaven series.


I was pleasantly surprised to hear the intro track, "Yggrda Union". It sounds amazing on in the arranged version. In fact, this arranged version is much more brought to life than the Riviera intro theme. The melody is majestic and I love the bass lines during that melody part. It's very beautiful and also very hardy. It sort of sets a more upbeat tone for this album, minus the electric guitar. It's one of my personal favorite tracks, and usually intro tracks aren't.

In general, Yggdra's soundtrack is a bit more upbeat and rocking than Riviera's. With all this energy, you can kind of tell that it's 16-bit music. It's simply harder to hide when it comes from the Game Boy. I suppose it's just harder on the small system to polish so much energy. It's easily forgivable as it's only a Game Boy Advance game. "We'll Never Fight Alone" is a great example of that classic 16-bit guitar. Some may like it, and some may not want to listen to it outside the game. Fortunately, there is a full arranged version on the second disc that essentially reflects the intention of these tracks before they were downgraded. The result is quite inspiring.

Besides electric guitar, you will also find the most synth heard in a Dept. Heaven game. "Yggdra Sortie" has so much synthesizer, especially in the bonus arrange version that I wouldn't be able to guess it came from this album if I didn't know better! Too much of the electric guitar and synth, mixed with Shigeki Hayashi and Minako Adachi's style and the Game Boy Advance quality sound, makes for some very generic old school action game sounding tracks. Some may like it, but it got a little too cheesy for what this game is at time. It's more of a general statement but some tracks like "Imperial Army Sortie" may be applied to it.

The bonus arranged tracks in general are a little disappointing. The "Battle Medley" at the end of the first disc compiles a lot into an impressive ten minute playtime. However, it's not one of the most coherent medleys out there. The arranged tracks in the second disc are interesting renditions of many of the better themes on the soundtrack, but still aren't really fleshed out enough. Criticisms aside, these tracks will all be enjoyable for those who like the sound of the game, just not those looking for something more ambitious.


The music from the Yggdra Union Perfect Audio Collection is obviously by Shigeki Hayashi and Minako Adachi and it's a great follow up to the previous installments. The arrangements seem a bit stronger than Riviera's, but the actual music wasn't as strong. I personally like the idea of a more upbeat Riviera even if it didn't work the best on the GBA. Of course, you will still find those tracks that sound like super generic old-school action game music. However, it's still among the better old-school tributes out there and many will dig exactly that type of thing. Given all this two disc release offers, it comes with a good recommendation for those who enjoy retro music in a variety of flavours.

Overall Score: 8/10