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Music from Brandish 2 The Planet Buster :: Review by Charles

Music from Brandish 2 The Planet Buster Album Title: Music from Brandish 2 The Planet Buster
Record Label: King Records
Catalog No.: KICA-1125
Release Date: April 21, 1993
Purchase: Buy at eBay


Music from Brandish 2 The Planet Buster contains the full sound track to the PC-9801 and Super Nintendo sequel for the original Brandish. The series as whole isn't the most well known series and even that's pretty much an understatement. The Falcom Sound Team J.D.K. has never spoiled their reputation no matter how little known they might be. For such a rare and unheard of game, its music is definitely on par with a lot of mainstream games, but does it excel anymore than that?


The album as a whole blends technological, rocking, and medieval styles. When I say it has a technological feel, I mean by the instrument choices and not just the fact that it is chip tune music though the chip tunes also definitely add to the feel. This is something I have heard in other Nihon Falcom albums I've listened to so far and I have no problem with it. You can hear this style in the majority of tunes on this album. I'm not exactly a fan of the old technological sounds when they get too high pitched, but it doesn't hurt the album that much. They do try to mix it with more organic sounds at times, but because of the limits in technology, it's hard to see what is meant to be organic and what's not. In the end some tracks just blend together into a grey and lack a certain needed contrast.

The majority of the tunes are also in a minor key, which sets a certain moody tone for the album, though not exactly a depressing or dark one. This is part of what I meant by this sort of fantasy medieval feel since a lot of melodies remind me of it. The music from the first game was definitely a bit happier sounding without a doubt. This is also a dungeon crawler style of game, so the music is still definitely fitting in this sense. It might fit a bit too much at times and it starts to feel like background music after a while. So, while it's still a solid soundtrack for the game, it doesn't exactly make every track memorable. There are still a couple that stood out though!

I find myself skipping to the theme and credits music first as they tend to have fuller compositions in games. You couldn't exactly guess what the finale or credits music was by just listening, but I do think some end tracks just stand out as having fuller compositions in general. "Prologue", for example, definitely has a richer composition in comparison to "Prison", which is most definitely a background type of piece. I think this is just to do with how much the melody stands out against the background instrumentals. "Prologue" doesn't exactly set a tone energy-wise but it sure does in every other way. "Mystic Dora" stands out by having more of a memorable melody and also has a bit of tavern atmosphere to it. "Brandish House" stand out more just for being a bit more unique than the rest and that's always a good thing. A lot of the above mentioned tunes have pretty nice baselines that add energy to the compositions.

A lot of the music has much energy, and I think "Master Ninja" is a great example. Energy is great especially when dealing with these types of genres, but even that doesn't help make all of these tracks that memorable. In tracks like "Master Ninja" the energy feels very old school and it's not just because of its age, but also because of how the sound team composed it. A couple other highlights I personally like would be "Wood" and "Journey Without the Rest". "Wood" has an extremely cool Castlevania style chord progression and I found it to be a bit catchier than some of the other tunes and it keeps that same energy. "A Journey Without the Rest" is one of those contrasting major tuned pieces that breaks up the album a bit so it's not just a block of the exact same thing.

The music is very crisp given it features the PC-9801 rather than Super Nintendo sound version. Sometimes Super Nintendo games seem to have this slight muffled feel to them, but you can hear everything on this album very clearly. Another advantage of using the PC-9801 sound version is that it includes every track while the Super Nintendo game lost a few. It's not much more technologically advanced than that though, which isn't ever a first priority when it comes to composing music I suppose. Either way it was pretty good quality music for PC game music at the time. That being said, I can't help but feel like this style of music needs a bit less chip tune audio and a bit more of a realistic touch. After hearing the Falcom J.D.K Band, I can say that without a doubt. Here's to hoping it'll get a similar treatment to Brandish: The Dark Revenant some day.


Music from Brandish 2 The Planet Buster is a moderately solid, fitting, and fairly listenable album even today. None of it is exactly generic, but the album in its entirety isn't the most memorable. I believe some would like it and, although it's not my personal style, I think many Falcom fans will find it as an interesting look back on history. It's a style that doesn't exactly break boundaries and isn't exactly the catchiest, but at the same time you can hear bits quality sprinkled throughout so it's hard to dislike.

Overall Score: 6/10