We just featured an issue of Note Worthy last week, but I thought the elaborate packaging and contents that GungHo put into the Ragnarok Online 10th Anniversary Package last year deserved its own moment in the spotlight. It includes an arrangement album featuring Japanese composers such as Motoi Sakuraba, Shinji Hosoe, and Kenji Ito, who come thanks to Japanese company GungHo taking the reins of Korean develop Gravity.
The set includes playing cards, a mouse pad, a cloth, the game client, a USB thumb drive, and more, which you can see above, but I've delved in deep with the unprecedented music album below.
Chime in an let us know what you think!
Ragnarok Online BGM Arrange Collection
Release Date: December 3, 2012
Price: 16,380 Yen ($164)
Artist(s): Various Artists
You can see all the contents of the 10th anniversary collection in the video above. Nice, right? But I was most drawn to the idea of famed Japanese composers arranging music from my favorite Korean MMORPG. I’m disappointed to report, however, that many of these guys play it way too safe!
The Ragnarok Online soundtrack is touted for its high production values, so it doesn’t really make sense to arrange tracks in the same style as their source. Many of the arrangers, including electronica legend Shinji Hosoe as well as Kenji Ito, fall into this very trap. I was impressed, however, with Masaharu Iwata’s adventurous take on the sleepy “Theme of Payon" (playing in my video above), Motoi Sakuraba’s signature style in “Erebos’ Prelude,” and the rockin’ guitar solos in “Monestary in Disguise” and “Can’t go home again, baby.”
Last but not least, GungHo introduces G-SHINE, the internal band that performs metal arrangements of some Ragnarok classics. They tear up the title theme and three others on this album, although the one-to-two minute track lengths left me wanting more.
Unfortunately, this album is only available with the full package above, which retails for nearly $164 USD and is not even available from most importers even if you were willing to pay that price. This would make a great stand-alone release for fans, even in a digital format.
Still, it’s great to see GungHo keeping the spirit of Ragnarok Online’s amazing soundtrack alive. They have a second effort that just came out this month, which we’ll be looking at in the near future, so stay tuned.