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Last Ranker Limited Soundtrack - Piano Trio Arrange :: Review by Marc

Last Ranker Limited Soundtrack - Piano Trio Arrange Album Title: Last Ranker Limited Soundtrack - Piano Trio Arrange
Record Label: Capcom
Catalog No.: Promotional
Release Date: July 15, 2010
Purchase: Buy at eBay


The Last Ranker Limited Soundtrack - Piano Trio Arrange album was given as a preorder bonus alongside copies of the PSP title upon its release. It's a short album, comprising merely five tracks out of the original soundtrack's much larger playlist, but each track receives a full arrange treatment in the form of a piano trio. Are the arrangements distinct enough from their original counterparts to provide a worthwhile listening experience? And how do they stack up amongst each other?


The album opens fittingly with an arrangement of "Main Theme of 'Last Ranker,'" the game's appropriately titled main theme. A slightly bombastic, virtuoso opening on the piano, lends itself into a rather expected yet satisfying arrangement. The three instruments complement each other quite nicely, and the cello and piano make up for the lack of beat as a driving force in the bass, when such a force is necessary to mirror the original. In fact, this track does little else than mirror its progenitor, and despite a bit of added complexity when the melody loops, this prevents it from really achieving something beyond the expected, instead sounding somewhat dull and lifeless.

"Wanderers, Look Up at the Sky" contains a much more interesting lead-up to its presentation of the main theme, with the strings imitating the original's sitar to quite interesting effect. The fusion of the instruments works far better on this track, with a rather enjoyable buildup to the repetition of the melody, and excellent sweeping motions on the piano and violin besides. The violin was far more integral to the melody in the original of this piece than its preceding, a fact brazenly brought out by its wonderful performance during the melody's climax.

"Ghandoar, a Gorgeous Capitol" was a rather lively track in its original incarnation, featuring a bevy of instruments and impressive orchestration. Its transition to its current state changes the whole feel of the track, feeling like an alternate, nighttime version perhaps. This track most certainly embodies the result of a successful arrangement: distinct from the original, displaying whole new qualities of the principle composition. The gentle instrumentation really shines a new light on this track: the graceful arpeggios on piano and counterpoint between the strings. This arrangement serves as proof that the original melody doesn't need a bombastic showing to impress; in fact, I must say I prefer this arrangement.

The only battle theme to feature an arrangement, "The Bloom of Passion," follows in the footsteps of its preceding in terms of quality, though it more closely follows its original composition. The instrumentation and orchestration quite soundly is able to pull off the same frantic, exciting mood of the original piece while not losing the essence of the ensemble itself. Of all the battle tracks, this was certainly the most fitting to arrange, considering its quite impressive presentation.

The closing track on the album, "The Flower Blooms on That Shore," does mostly the opposite that "Ghandoar, a Gorgeous Capitol" attempted, taking instead what was once a quiet, laidback piece, and turning it quite successfully into a more boisterous, feisty piece. The counterpoint between instruments really shines in this track, as it must in order fully take advantage of the medium. This track is also the most evolved on the album, going through some rather enjoyable development phases, instead of being mostly a retread of the original. Certainly, a fitting conclusion to the album.


This is an album that improves in quality as it continues. The first piece feels like a hollow, empty arrangement, merely an unsuccessful copy of the original's charms. Yet each track beyond further improves on the album's concept and orchestration, until soon the listener doesn't want to return to the relatively mundane showcasing of their originals. Still, the album is short and difficult to obtain. Most certainly recommended for fans of the original album and the ensemble presented herein, though all others might let this one slide, at least until it might become more readily available.

Overall Score: 7/10