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Luminous Arc 2 Will: Luminous Symphony :: Review by Don

Luminous Arc 2 Will: Luminous Symphony Album Title: Luminous Arc 2 Will: Luminous Symphony
Record Label: Marvelous Entertainment
Catalog No.: Promotional
Release Date: May 15, 2008
Purchase: But at eBay


It's been little over a year since Luminous Arc came out, scored primarily by Shota Kageyama, Akari Kaida, and Kazume Mitome with a special appearance by Yasunori Mitusda. Luminous Symphony is a preorder bonus for those who decided to preorder the next iteration in the seemingly popular series, Luminous Arc 2: Will. Since the last game came out, Shota Kageyama has departed Procyon Studio; however, Shunsuke Tsuchiya has filled that vacant position. In his first soundtrack debut, he co-composes alongside a reprising role by Akari Kaida. However, both Yasunori Mitsuda and Kazumi Mitome were not involved. Instead, they are joined by Yoshino Aoki, who has worked on Breath of Fire III with Kaida previously, and Yoko Shimomura, popular composer of the Kingdom Hearts series. How are the samples and do they give a glimmer of hope for improvement? Read on to find out...


In my opinion, on the original Luminous Arc, Akari Kaida was one of the weaker links to the overall sound of the soundtrack alongside Kazumi Mitome. Fortunately, from the samples, there does seem to be an improvement. "Awakening" is a simple piano piece, reminiscent of "Prelude" from the first game. It boasts a wonderful melody and is quite pleasant. Her composition "Will," which I assume to be the main theme of the game, turned out to be my favorite sample on the Luminous Arc 2: Will website. Its heroic nature, with peaceful interludes, reminds me a lot of "Theme of Luminous Arc," composed by Shota Kageyama. It even features a small section of that piece, arranged of course. It really helps to tie the two games together in my opinion.

"Future Palace Witch" is a bright and bubbly composition that reminds me of her works on Breath of Fire III. She tried this playful approach in the first game, but it didn't seem nearly as inspired as this. "Approaching Blaze" is most likely a battle theme of sorts. While it's not the best thing I've heard her compose, the staccato piano line adds a sense of doom while the brass and percussion only seems to accent this further. Unfortunately, "Reciprocative Retribution" is the weakest Kaida contribution on this sampler. Sure, it has that peppy tone, but at the same time, it reminds me a lot of some of the weaker tracks from Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. Not that I don't enjoy it, but it seems to be a bit too generic. Upon further listening, my opinion might change, but at the moment, it's just one of those decent pieces.

Yoko Shimomura has been confirmed to have contributed ten pieces to the final soundtrack. Two, "Shaded Ice Witch" and "Rosette Lasso," are featured on this small sampler. Perhaps the best thing on this promotional album, "Shaded Ice Witch" is full of suspense and mystery. The combination of harp, strings, organ, and choral work makes for an engaging piece of music. Even if the string work does get repetitive, I think it adds to the overall atmosphere of the piece. "Rosette Lasso" is a very interesting composition. In what I assume is another battle theme, it takes a very ethnic approach. The flamenco guitar, violin, and accordion create a very compelling melody. The clapping gives it that hint of Spanish undertones and accents the flamenco guitar very well. It's a very upbeat piece. I only hope the rest of her contributions can stand up to these two!

Last to be featured on the promotional album is Shunsuke Tsuchiya. Hired at Procyon Studio after the departure of Shota Kageyama, he debuts in Luminous Arc 2: Will. The extent of his contribution, though one piece, "Assault!!," is sampled here. It's clear that Tsuchiya has at least some influence from Mitsuda's compositional style. The piece is an epic brass led piece full of heroism and courageous tones. However, the peaceful B-sections sound like Mitsuda could have done them himself! Another thing I like about this piece is the harp inclusion and the rolling woodwinds throughout.


Overall, this is a very insightful look into the full release of the Luminous Arc 2: Will soundtrack. From the samples, it seems to be a vast improvement, though they could have just given us the cream of the crop as well. Akari Kaida seems to have improved for the better with this soundtrack. I also think the addition of Yoko Shimomura, in more than just a guest role, will add wonders to the soundtrack. Shunsuke Tsuchiya's sample is promising and gives me hope that he will at least match Kageyama's contribution to the first Luminous Arc. Surprisingly absent from this promotional album is the game's fourth confirmed composer, Yoshino Aoki. Perhaps her role isn't as large as the other contributors, but judging from her previous works in Breath of Fire III and Breath of Fire IV, I think she might add a bit of ethnic diversity to the soundtrack. Only time will tell though! If you preordered the Japanese game, you received this as a promotional bonus. However, for those of you who do not have this, I'd wait for the full release in order to save money.

Overall Score: 7/10