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Blade Dancer ~Lineage of Light~ Bonus Soundtrack :: Review by Chris

Blade Dancer ~Lineage of Light~ Bonus Soundtrack Album Title: Blade Dancer ~Lineage of Light~ Bonus Soundtrack
Record Label: NIS America
Catalog No.: Promotional
Release Date: July 18, 2006
Purchase: Buy at eBay


Blade Dancer: Lineage of Light was the first of several titles that Hitmaker developd for Nippon Ichi Software. The game was a very conventional RPG that failed to ignite much of a commercial or critical response. Composed chiefly by an unknown, its score was similarly an average. NIS America commemorated it in the West with a bonus soundtrack featuring 25 minutes of music.


Blade Dancer: Lineage of Light featured two vocal themes composed by Hijiri Anze, "To the Future" and "Aika". This particularly soundtrack only features one of these themes, "To the Future", and the other remains exclusive to a Japan-only single. The song is reminiscent of most anime opening themes out there, with upbeat female vocals, organic backing instrumentation, and various uplifting beats. Like so many other pieces in the soundtrack, it is competently produced and essentially likeable, but lacks that special quality needed to compete in the market. A version lacking the vocals is featured at the end of the soundtrack.

Moving to Keiji Nishino's instrumental themes, the majority of the setting themes on the soundtrack have a folksy quality to them. "On Our Way", for instance, complements the scenery of the game with its soothing blend of guitar passages and ethereal synthpads. "Desert Oasis Rem" subsequently offers more of a rustic touch with its slightly more abrasive use of guitars and woodwinds. These compositions are certainly effective in the game and rather easy to listen to. However, they lack the memorable melodies, extensive development, and excellent implementation required for them to compare with the greats of Yasunori Mitsuda and others. Instead they are simply average RPG themes that could have come from a stock library.

While the soundtrack has quite a relaxing vibe to it, there are some darker compositions too. "Forgotten Sins" and "The Dread Knight Appears" are soundtrack's more moody offerings and, while not ideal for stand-alone listening, they are above-average attempts at ambient soundscaping. "Against All Odds" is a refreshing deviation — an action-packed orchestration filled with modernist flourishes — though might be overbearing for some. Finally "End Times" relies on the tried-and-tested music formula of orchestra and chorus. The resultant composition certainly enhances the climax of the game, yet it also pales to the more expansive such themes out there.


Blade Dancer: Lineage of Light features a mundane soundtrack. All the music here is moderately effective and listenable, but there is little special or creative that will leap out to listeners. Essentially everything here has been done before in superior ways in numerous other soundtracks. The bundled soundtrack might be worth a quick run through the CD player, but it's unlikely to become a treasure collector's item.

Overall Score: 5/10