Front Mission 1st Special BGM Selection :: Review by Dave
When the full soundtrack is already out, buying a promotional album like the Front Mission 1st Special BGM Selection is probably the least financially intelligent thing that you can do; not only do you have to pay for the promotional album, but if you like it, then the likelihood is that your money will also go towards paying for the main soundtrack too. There aren't many other problems with the selection of tracks featured, however, as with reprises of both Shimomura and Matsueda's Front Mission works being paired up against an original composition from Iwasaki, the selection is pretty diverse. One must be critical about the length of certain compositions though; with the majority of the themes barely exceeding the 2 minute mark, the whole experience only lasts twenty minutes. One theme, "Defeat," for example, barely lasts eighteen seconds, and in my opinion, this is hardly a good representation of the main soundtrack.
Still, there is no doubt that you will be pleasantly greeted by Iwasaki's reprises of Shimomura and Matsueda's Front Mission score, as with the sound quality receiving a revamp, courtesy of Ryo Yamazaki, and many of the original melodies receiving expansion, it turns out to be a good listen. Not only this, but the album explores quite a number of styles, ranging from the jazzy "Shop" to the terrifying "Martial Ecologist," and indeed, this is pretty much what is needed on a promotional album. There are two standout tracks, and these are the stunning character theme "Kalen," and the Matsueda-esque "Theme of BlackHounds." "Kalen" is a really simple composition, but it is immediately effective though its development and unique atmosphere. One thing to look forward to on the Front Mission 4 Plus 1st Original Soundtrack is a full-blown arrangement of this theme in "Ending." Iwasaki's "Theme of BlackHounds" is even more stunning however, one of the five original compositions Iwasaki himself created for Front Mission 1st and remains my favourite composition on the album. Its energy and awesome development really ensures considerable impact.
On the whole, the experience is pretty good, but I strongly suggest that you don't waste your time by buying the album from VGM World, as not only will it be a waste of your money, but you won't find anything on the album that the Front Mission 4 Plus 1st Original Soundtrack doesn't have. At the time that this album was released I may have suggested that you gave it a try, since the Original Soundtrack wouldn't have been released until another seven months, but as for now, a whole two years later, you should save up your money and consider purchasing the Front Mission 4 Plus 1st Original Soundtrack instead.
Overall Score: 4/10