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Super Robot Taisen F Original Soundtrack & Arrange Album :: Review by Chris

Super Robot Taisen F Original Soundtrack & Arrange Album Album Title: Super Robot Taisen F Original Soundtrack & Arrange Album
Record Label: First Smile Entertainment
Catalog No.: FSCA-10014
Release Date: September 19, 1997
Purchase: Buy at eBay


In 1997, Super Robot Taisen F closed the original line of Super Robot Taisen titles with a remake of 4th Super Robot Taisen for the PlayStation. Its album release follows a similar format to the previous releases dedicated to 4th Super Robot Taisen, Super Robot Taisen Gaiden, and Shin Super Robot Taisen. There are therefore anime theme songs, original compositions, and bonus arrangements, although the former tracks certainly predominate...


As per series' tradition, Super Robot Taisen F features a range of instrumental arrangements of famous theme songs from various mecha animes. There are over 25 tracks here, ranging from Neon Genesis Evangelion's legendary "Cruel Angel's Thesis" to Mobile Suit Gundam Wing's beat-heavy "Just Communication" through to Mazinger Z's jazzy main theme. Even Koichi Sugiyama receives some attention with three classically-oriented pieces from Space Runaway Ideon. The arrangements feature rather conservative stylistic choices and moderate synth work, leaving the melodies to have the pulling power. While a good selection, it's also worth noting that many of these tracks have been arranged to a better standard in later Super Robot Taisen games.

Although there's not really that much of it, the original music created for Super Robot Taisen F tends to be more varied and elaborate. Some tracks maintain the superficial and upbeat tone of the theme song arrangements in a slightly modified setting. For example, "Crossing Time" features very generic rock stylings and a melodic focus, serving more as an original theme to draw listeners in. With their punchy melodies and rock influence, the ecstatic "Scirocco! Gale! Cybuster" and youthful "Flapper Girl" once provide memorable and enjoyable depictions of their characters. Yet while there is little depth to these themes, their extensive development and bold implementation proves that Daisuke Fujimoto decided to do much more than 'just get the job done'.

However, it's with the darker tracks on the soundtrack that the album eventually gains its edge. "Dark Prison", for instance, has gained the status of a series' classic with its gothic organ work and courageous orchestral passages. Another of the arranged themes from 4th Super Robot Taisen, "Valcyon" benefits from the technological enhancements that the transition from Super Nintendo to PlayStation facilitated. The arrangement itself loses the abstract hybridised quality of the original in favour of a chaotic rock sound. While less artistic, it is still likely to be appealing to most game players. The soundtrack ends with a decent original vocal theme, "Courage in Hot Blood", from Ichiro Mizuki. It's a typical anime-styled vocal theme with humorous lyrics, upbeat brassy accompaniment, and a charismatic male lead.

The album is introduced with four arrangements of the original tracks from the game. These tracks tend to adhere closely to their original, feature dated implementation, and lack somewhat in length. That said, they're enjoyable bonuses on an album where just the original score would have sufficed. It's wonderful to hear a succession of flashy, cheesy guitar solos based on the material introduced in "Crossing Time". It's also appreciated that "Armageddon" is fleshed-out from its rather humble origins into a full-blown blistering rock theme, while "Invasion" is a little more multifaceted with its contrasting focal points and slightly bittersweet tone.


Finishing up, the official soundtrack for Super Robot Taisen F is a pleasant way to round off the initial era of Super Robot Taisen. With its memorable melodies, unpretentious stylings, and humble synth, the soundtrack certainly has much in common with Super Nintendo RPGs despite its PlayStation source material. In some regards, this album makes the preceding soundtracks for the series somewhat redundant, but suffers considerably for sacrificing original material in favour of theme song arrangements and is a little on the cramped side. There's little special here, but it's still a decent listen.

Overall Score: 7/10