Dragon Ball -Raging Blast- Collector’s Edition Soundtrack
Dragon Ball -Raging Blast- Collector’s Edition Soundtrack
Namco Bandai Games
November 13, 2009
Buy Used Copy
Unlike its predecessors of the sixth generation of consoles, Dragon Ball: Raging Blast doesn’t follow the same musical formula established by Kenji Yamamoto on the first Dragon Ball Z Budokai games. This time, most of the music focuses on the mix of Rock and Electronic elements, unlike the prominent resemblance of Ska music that was pretty much nailed as a style on the Budokai games. Still, despite the considerable lack of Jazz elements this time, there are still resemblances in many aspects and the music still fits the over-the-top, anime-inspired game perfectly. Unlike most existing DB games, Raging Blast was composed by Japanese musician Toshiyuki Kishi, of abingdon boys school fame, who is capable enough to create a score that resembles the Budokai style. Unfortunately, there was no official commercial release for the soundtrack, since the original Japanese version used the much-beloved anime score from Shunsuke Kikuchi, and Kishi’s score was used exclusively for the American and European versions. However, the European Limited Edition of the game came with a disc that featured Kishi’s score, making it mostly a collector’s item, much like its title implies.
Clocking around 70 minutes, with a meaty track list of 29 themes, one could expect quite a lot from this soundtrack. And in fact, the opening theme “Raging Blast” really manages to build a lot of anticipation for the rest of the score. Merging rocking rhythms and anthemic trumpet melodies, the composer creates a simple yet highly entertaining theme that most fans of Budokai’s music will feel right at home with. The theme is further reprised, marking it as the main theme. “Fire Fight” is a revised, more frantic version, full with tasty guitar solos. “The Hero” combines the main theme with epic guitar leads that offer rather enjoyable results despite the slightly thinner percussion. Although the substantial variations are not groundbreaking, they still manage to be really enjoyable.
“Victory Road” is an upbeat theme that features a nice combination of strings, piano, guitars and electronic percussion. It inspires a very cheerful and adventurous vibe. Similarly, the following track “The Warriors” is cheerful too, albeit quieter, with an almost bubble-gum feel to it because of its airy synth melodies and relaxing guitars. “Beginning to the Story” and “Always Forever Now” offer a nice mix of acoustic guitars and electronic elements, resulting in repetitive, generic, but also catchy and upbeat tracks. That is not to say that everything is jazzy or upbeat. “Nemesis” is a climatic theme full of mellow electric guitar riffs that gives a sense of awe and anticipation before the confrontation against a formidable foe. It’s a really cool theme, albeit slightly short, and it’s also one of the best tracks on the album.
In fact, despite some more “event” type tracks, the majority of the Raging Blast soundtrack is action-oriented. “Awakening” is perhaps what simplifies this statement, since it fuses Punk-inspired guitar riffs with distorted and catchy breakbeats and rhythms. “Brief Rest” and “Hot Feeling” feature the same elements, with the former being kinda repetitive and the latter being much more developed. Needless to say, both tracks are catchy and fun, and everyone who enjoys the musical fusion of groovy guitars with electronic percussion and sound that don’t offer much melody, won’t be disappointed by the rest of tracks of this style featured on the soundtrack. I highly recommend “Demolition Man” since it’s the most intense and best variant of the aforementioned style.
There are also a few orchestral elements thrown in for good measure. For example “The Heat” and “Expectation” are typical in their execution, mixing in even some electric guitars, and the former featuring some nice piano and trumpet elements. Even more interestingly, “The Pursuit of Truth” rhythm guitars and string motifs that result into a pretty average theme… until a really awesome and catchy guitar section in the middle totally steals the show. While it’s short, I can’t help but enjoy that nice groovy part whenever I listen to it. In fact, one of the most notable aspects of the soundtrack is the guitar performance. Whether it is for rhythm, riffs, or solos, the guitarist that goes by the nickname “SUNAO” offers a fantastic execution, giving to the soundtrack the much needed edge and making it rather guitar-heavy. In tracks like “Tracking Dragon Ball” he exceeds with beautiful and harmonic electric guitar leads, while in tracks like “Dragon Cry” “Super Sonic”, “A Moment” and “Perserverance” he offers balls-out-rock experiences, with the latter being an intense ride of awesomeness. Needless to say, the guitar work is phenomenal, and the album only does but benefit from it.
Despite being much more Rock-focused than the Budokai soundtracks, there are a few tracks that resemble the Jazz or Ska styles heard in those games. “Explosion” starts with a badass guitar intro then blasts with the energetic trumpet melodies, later to be followed by some awesome electric guitar solos. “Edge of the Fist” and “Schemer” are structurally similar, and they manage to be enjoyable in their own way. In the end, it’s cool that the integrity of the music is preserved, despite the change in composers.
Dragon Ball -Raging Blast- Collector’s Edition Soundtrack is a rather enjoyable and well-executed album. The overall production quality is great, particularly the guitar performance, and there is a sheer abundance of tracks to like here. Unfortunately, most of the album is made up of rather formulaic music which is primarily effective in-context. The problem lies exactly in the nature of the soundtrack, since most of the tracks are rather predictable, repetitive or simply forgettable. That is not to say that there is any bad music here — in fact, everything is well done and performed, and there is no single track that I hated or disliked. But still, at the same time, there was very little memorable material. Ultimately, if you get your hands on the special edition copy of the game, this bonus soundtrack is a rather welcome and worthy addition to any game music fan, since it offers a blast of good music and ton of fun. Let’s hope the delayed soundtrack release for the sequel will eventually bring the goods.
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Posted on August 1, 2012 by George Capi. Last modified on August 1, 2012.