Ace Attorney -Dual Destinies- Original Soundtrack
Ace Attorney -Dual Destinies- Original Soundtrack (Gyakuten Saiban 5 Original Soundtrack)
September 25, 2013
Buy at CDJapan
The Ace Attorney (aka Gyakuten Saiban) games have had a long legacy of excellent music, with a whole slew of arranged albums to boot. With that said, I feel as though Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies has the best soundtrack out of all of the games due in part to better-quality samples, theme arrangements, and overall composition. The soundtrack was written by series’ mainstay Noriyuki Iwadare under the direction of Toshihiko Horiyama. Dual Destinies’ soundtrack is filled with prevailing motifs, from character motifs to thematic motifs to returning themes that fans of the series know well and love.
“Prologue” opens the soundtrack with a slew of various themes and thematic portions of the soundtrack in combination. Iwadare doesn’t necessarily seamlessly blend them well, but the track works in context. In any case, “Courtroom Lobby ~ Prelude to the Future” specifically sets the scene for the trial. It seems to extend from Apollo Justice’s reliance on bass, but adds some of Phoenix’s own flair to the conversation with piano, guitar, and some synth. “Trial” plays off of the older trial themes but gives the original melody better backing with better-quality samples, and enhances it, making the theme far more dramatic and fitting of a courtroom trial. The themes of both Phoenix Wright and Apollo Justice have their themes arranged to sound more elegant. “Objection 2013” has more bass drive accompanying the now-familiar violin-played melody. Apollo gets two themes to his name, both arrangements of his original one: the sombre “I’m Fine!”, featuring an absolutely wonderful bass backing and violin and piano interplay, and “The Start of a New Chapter! 2013”, which sounds far more triumphant and more confident with a peppy piano and synth melody leading the way up to the guitar bridge.
The new cross-examination themes “Questioning ~ Moderato 2013” and “Questioning ~ Allegro 2013” sounded kind of weird to me because of their use of a 7/4 time-signature. Something I don’t see every day, but it makes the themes more interesting. With that said, I think both themes are among the better cross-examination themes in the entire series. The new “Telling the Truth” theme for 2013 is an amazing take on the original composed 12 years before. It takes on a more tragic note, adding organs and better sound samples than ever before. “Suspense 2013” sounds far more sinister than its original counterpart. Similar enhancements occur in “Investigation ~ Core 2013”, “Great Revival 2013”, “Magical Girl 2013”, and “With Pearly 2013”. The new “Pressing Pursuit” theme is very good, one of the best in the series. It uses the prevailing instrumentation throughout the entire soundtrack with edgy brass, a constant bassline, and a catchy melody to make its intent clear to the player. The new “Detention Center” theme is also very good thanks to Iwadare’s improved string and synth library.
With that said, the best themes on the soundtrack are the original ones. In additionto the best-written character in the theme, Athena’s themes are the best themes on the soundtrack for me. Her upbeat main theme “Let’s Do This!” is a peppy synth-filled melody, but where Athena seems to shine is in the courtroom. “Bringer of Revolution!” is one of the best character themes of the year, with an excellent melodic bass backing, awesome percussion with tons of cymbals and tambourines, and great synth and brass. The progression of the theme is excellent, with the build-up to the bridge of the loop and the brass supporting the way. It’s definitely one of the catchier character themes of the year. The distorted music box version of her theme in “Sad Memories” is one of the best-arranged versions of that theme on the soundtrack. The most interesting version is “The Depths of the Depths of the Heart”, which is a distorted music box version of her theme. I’m very much a fan of those sort of arrangements.
Among other additions, I also find the additions of “Mood Matrix”, “Wandering Heart”, and “Arafune Aquarium” very pleasant to listen to. Two of them sound incredibly twisted (and essentially one is a cross-examination theme), and the other is a tender, sentimental theme. “Departure from Regret” is certainly the better out of the sentimental client / suspect pity themes. “The Dark Days of the Law” and “Phantom ~ Unknown” are two themes I like putting together, not just because they’re right after each other on the soundtrack disc, but because they’re so reflective of what the game is trying to convey. Dual Destinies is a little darker than the other games, I feel. “The Dark Days of the Law” is certainly a good piece that continues to be sombre throughout, with the bass adding to that, not just the overlaying ensemble. Getting to the brass section of the theme is the direst part of the theme. “Phantom ~ Unknown” is one of my favourite final villain themes in the series, because Iwadare uses a whole slew of instruments and movements to get its point across, as though the character is difficult to figure out, but is one singular entity. There are these strange breaks in the rhythm that’s completely unbecoming of a normal piece, but I enjoy it for that.
Dual Destinies’ soundtrack is one of the best soundtracks in the entire series, and certainly one of the most consistent soundtracks in the series. I don’t think there are a lot of themes that I dislike. Even the NPC themes, which I tend to tire of in the other Gyakuten Saiban soundtracks, are very good and well-composed. The soundtrack certainly benefits from its arrangements, and especially its better sound samples. It is definitely one of the best put-together soundtracks of recent memory and should delight fans of the series.
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Posted on April 15, 2014 by Kimberly Singh. Last modified on April 15, 2014.