ACE STRIKERS Soundtrack
ACE STRIKERS Soundtrack
August 14, 2016
Buy at Sweep Record
The ACE STRIKERS Soundtrack accompanies the PC mecha dungeon RPG game of the same name, developed by Ninja Rabbit. How does Hiroto Saitoh, whose original albums are primarily jazz focused, approach this soundtrack?
The album opens with “Dive into Deep,” an upbeat synth tune featuring electric guitar that helps drive the fun and bubbly melody of the piece. “Fleeting Rest” is another upbeat tune focusing on a jazz with piano focus and also sporting a great melody. Continuing the trend of being upbeat is “Unknown Format,” relying on synth and some slick slap bass and choral samples. The end result is quite enjoyable. Presumably a battle theme, “Encounter” is a rock/electronic oriented tune with an energetic melody, some modern electronic elements, a bit of a gothic flair, and some distortion effects, making it one of my favorites on the album. “I am here” is also upbeat and is synth rock focused. It’s a fun tune, but a bit on the superficial side.
There are also some more atmospheric pieces on the album, such as “Fog Invisible” with its tense industrial tone and “Approach a Target,” with a similar tone but also incorporating some more futuristic and orchestral tones. “Despair” is another atmospheric tune that gives off a mysterious and smokey vibe with some jazz tones. “Digital Flower” is an ambient, futuristic tune with an electronic focus that gives off a calm feeling.
“Inner Space” is a beautiful tune featuring woodwinds, ethereal synthesizers, and acoustic guitar to craft an extremely warm and inviting piece of music. Another beautiful tune is “Folk Song,” which features exotic vocals, electronic elements, and percussion. There is a dance vibe to the overall piece that helps boost the wonderful melody. It’s certainly a highlight of the album. Despite its name and its action oriented nature, “Menace” also provides some moments of beauty, particularly in the haunting choral sections of the piece that give off a wonderful sense of ethereal textures. The rest of the piece is much tenser and focuses on sharp synth hits.
The album ends with two bonus tunes. The first, “Dive into Deep – Arrange Version,” by Supersweep’s Takahiro Eguchi and cittan*, is done in a psytrance inspired style with vocal samples and heavier and industrial inspired tones. The piano breakdown featured in the arrangement is extremely beautiful with its haunting, mysterious, and evocative tones. The progression of the piece is another highlight of the piece. The second bonus tune actually comes from Saitoh’s nova galeria tune. “Gun and a girl” is a vocaloid piece that opts for a trance-like dance tune that serves as the backdrop for a great melody and some wonderful jazzy piano. Given the nature of the game, even if it isn’t in the game, it certainly fits with the mecha concept of the game, in my opinion.
The Ace Strikers Soundtrack manages to provide a fitting accompaniment for the indie developed PC game. While some of the tunes are a bit superficial, a lot of the soundtrack manages to provide moments of beauty and intensity. The bonus tunes are also quite nice and introduce listeners, both to new composers, as well as some of Saitoh’s older original work. Fans of Hiroto Saitoh or retro-inspired tunes with more modern production values, this might be worth checking out.
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Posted on September 19, 2016 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on September 19, 2016.