Prinny ~Can I Really Be the Hero?~ Promotional Soundtrack
Like clockwork, a main Nippon Ichi title is released every year, and for the most part, Tenpei Sato is the one behind the music. He followed up his very successful score to Soul Cradle to mixed results with the soundtrack to Disgaea 3. The Prinny ~Can I Really Be the Hero?~ sidescrolling action platformer is, in many ways, a departure from the normal strategy RPGs that Sato is used to composing. With Disgaea 3 also having come out this year, many were worried that this spin-off soundtrack would be one of his weaker efforts. Unfortunately, there has been no official announcement for a full soundtrack, but there was a promotional album released with the game in Japan. Is it any good?
The promotional album opens up with what I assume is the main theme of the game. As with a lot of his Disgaea openings, it's a fantastic composition that sets a serious yet extremely playful tone. The combination of xylophone, strings, and brass combine for a very addictive piece of music. It's easily one of my favorite Disgaea series pieces and it definitely puts me in the mood to listen to the rest of the album. "Roulette of Lead" is another fun piece on the album. In this piece, the saxophone is the star. An extremely jazzy piece with a ton of energy, it also has a hint of danger at times with the accompaniment. The instant I heard "Led Astray By The Shiny Colored Strand," I was immediately reminded of Soul Cradle. It's a fantastic tribal tinged piece with a strong focus on woodwind works. Throw in some accompanying brass accents and some extremely catchy percussive rhythm and you have a winner in my book, especially in terms of melody.
When I first saw the track title, "Tower of Ice," I was expecting a nice, soft crystalline piece that I've gotten used to hearing when ice is mentioned in the track title. Instead, my socks were knocked off when I found out it was a rocking theme, reminiscent of "Rock'n Rocks" from Soul Cradle. I always love it when Tenpei Sato uses electric guitar this well and it really adds some edge to the promotional album. Another style that Tenpei Sato rarely traverses into is the full on focus of electronica. "I Just Might Be Able To Reach The Far Off Aurora" was another excellent surprise on the album. As with "Planet X" on the Disgaea Original Soundtrack, this piece is just full of energy. The rhythm is great, the various synth choices used help to paint a picture of a color aurora in the distant, and the piano adds some nice crystalline sound to the mix. Fast paced and energetic, it's another winner in my book.
"Asagi - Metamorphosis" is one of Tenpei Sato's various vocal pieces. Unlike his Disgaea 3 contributions, this one is quite good. There is a strange fusion of styles on this one. At times, I'm reminded of his Disgaea vocals, while at others, I'm reminded of his Phantom Brave vocals. Regardless, the fusion works quite well and the playful rock composition seem to hit all the right spots, at least to me.
Overall, this promotional album is excellent. I really hope to get a full soundtrack release in the future, as the game rip I've heard is some of his best work yet. Given that this quality of composition is for a Disgaea spinoff, I'm rather impressed. If he put as much time into Disgaea 3, that one could have been a much bigger success. Keep it up Tenpei Sato — I like when you are extremely diverse and consistent. This is definitely worth tracking down if you can find it, but be warned — it only came with the Japanese release of the game. Apparently, a special soundtrack CD will come with the US version. Whether it's the same or not remains to be seen, but hopefully it offers some different tunes.
Prinny ActionTenpei Sato
Lead RouletteTenpei Sato
Green LabyrinthTenpei Sato
Tower Of IceTenpei Sato
Crossing the AuroraTenpei Sato
Asagi MetamorphosisTenpei Sato