So what’s the big stink about Puzzle & Dragons? I was fascinated by the title before it blew up into a huge success for Japanese publisher GungHo, mainly because of Romancing SaGa/Culdcept composer Kenji Ito’s involvement. He provided a number of tracks for the game, and, in fact, is the only artist to put out music related to the blockbuster title.
The album comes from his own label, gentle echo, with a number of arrangements in tow. But is the soundtrack worth picking up off iTunes Japan?
PUZZLE & DRAGONS ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK -itoken limited-
Release Date: April 29, 2013
Price: 2,100 Yen ($21)
Availability: Limited (iTunes Japan)
Artist(s): Kenji Ito
Kenji Ito has been into lots of rock lately, as heard in his Romancing SaGa arrangement albums, but it’s obvious that Ito was tasked with providing something more upbeat with his entry theme, “Departure,” and the electronic-infused ballad, “A New Journey.” The short but bumping electronic track, “Walking Through the Towers,” and the rock-heavy “The Orb Festival” and “Dragon’s Den” are more where Ito shines, however.
In addition to the five compositions, Ito invites Nobuyoshi Sano and Kohta Takahashi to create their own arrangements, with Sano’s “Departure” adding a whole new dimension to the track with pulsing synths and pumping percussion and Takahashi’s “Walking Through the Towers” adding thick bass and blaring synths to the mix. Ito himself takes on “Dragon’s Den” with a “MORE ROCK!” arrangement, falling in line with his aforementioned rock efforts.
In all, I can’t say that there’s a melody from this album that has stuck in my head, but I think Ito fans who loved his recent Romancing SaGa albums will probably love this album too. Now, to the bad news: the album unfortunately isn’t widely available in a physical format, and is only available on iTunes Japan at the moment. My advice to you if you want this is to find a friend in Japan to lend you their address and pick you up some iTunes credit so you can get a Japanese iTunes account (game music fans should have done this ages ago!).
Let us know what you think if you've managed to play Puzzle & Dragons. Is the music any good, and does Kenji Ito's music play a big part?