Dewy’s Adventure Original Music Encyclopedia
Dewy’s Adventure Original Music Encyclopedia
Konami Digital Entertainment
August 22, 2007
Buy at CDJapan
The Wii’s Dewy’s Adventure was a charming action fantasy game featuring the young water droplet Dewy. Konami veterans Hiroshi Tanabe (Metal Gear Acid, Yu-Gi-Oh!) and Maki Kirioka (Zone of the Enders, Elebits 2) took quite a radical approach to its soundtrack. They intended to capture the youthful mood of the game with childish melodies and bouncy rhythms. In addition, they portrayed the game’s seven worlds and adding energy to the battles by blending electronic features with other styles. Dewy’s Adventure Original Music Encyclopedia falls short of its potential to be a great soundtrack like its predecessor Elebits. Though it has its moments, it feels like a fundamentally misguided production. Can it be redeemed?
The 30 second opener revolves around an extremely simple four bar piano melody. Hiroshi Tanabe was clearly intending to reflect the youthful tone of the game by composing such an infantile tune; despite attempting to endear, almost everyone will find the melody irritating and patronising, kids included. Unfortunately, its use isn’t limited to just this track. Instead it serves as the main theme of the game and manages to appear on most of the opening and closing pieces on the soundtrack. Most of its arrangements are unappealing — whether juxtaposed with baby cries and steel drums in “Hello Heart”, interpreted with cliché piano and new age sound effects in “Our Number One”, or given a ridiculous techno remix in “Which One Should I Pick?”. Even the otherwise solid composition “Date on a Summer Day” is tarnished by the fact the melody isn’t compatible with anything. The very worst offenders the two versions of the ending vocal theme “Rainbow Smile”, though. The melody is sung over and over again by an especially out of tune children’s choir accompanied by mind-numbing drums and synth. Tim Burton plans to feature it on Mars Attacks 2, but worries it might be too cruel on the audience!
There are nevertheless a handful of likeable compositions featured. Hiroshi Tanabe’s “Soda Jungle” and “Frozen Frequency” are both calm yet bubbly tracks built with electronic forces; they work beautifully in their respective settings to embellish the fantasy feel. “Ancient Sensation” is a soothing fusion of new age, jazz, and techno styles in conjunction with some enigmatic ethnic forces while “Volcano Bye-Bye” has the percussive thrust of volcanic activity behind it. Much like Elebits, both maintain the youthful sound of the game while being musically fascinating too. Several of his boss themes such as “Pure White Darkness Little Brother” and “Megaton Poison” channel influences from hard techno and manage to be quite compelling. Even better, “Strike While the Iron’s Hot!” brings in some wild overdriven guitar solos too. Tanabe also injects a little rockabilly flavour into “Seared Bacon” and some funk undertones on “Letter from the Starry Sky”. Neither are particularly impressive in their own right, but they do tend to add a bit of colour and quirk to a sometimes samey soundtrack. It’s clear that Tanabe’s strength lies in creating more mature themes and feels out of place in Dewy’s Adventure.
Moving on to Maki Kirioka’s creations, the cave theme “Screaming Ancient” is a rare example of a track that manages to revolve around silly ideas yet still be moderately enjoyable and interesting. The spacey stage theme “Whispering Prelude” is also quite good for the end of the game. It successively blends the minimalistic and abstract yet rich and expansive sound developed throughout the soundtrack. For the last boss, “Juicy Stoic” and “For Tomorrow” are fascinating electro-acoustic creations underlaced with tension. Unfortunately, most of the remaining melodic tracks also fall into the lame category. The opening theme “Paradise History” is principally a cringe-worthy piano lamentation of a well-known children’s tune. “A Musical Called the Wind” seems intent on introducing children to cheap grooves they should expect in more adult movies… and it’s only just the first stage! There are a handful of really underdeveloped novelty compositions too such as “Surreal Cream”, “Bonded with You”, and “Powerful Washing Machine Mama” that could be employed in a viable torture procedure. Other tracks like the boss themes “Grigori Thrill”, “Unwavering Brother”, and “Deformed Machine” do a lot during their playtime, but never really sway listeners because their initial ideas are pretty weak.
Dewy’s Adventure Original Music Dictionary is ultimately an unfulfilling listen since it revolves around weak ideas too much. In addition to having possibly the more irritating main theme of a video game, most of the other compositions have immature and restricting motifs. It was probably more of an error of direction that the composers ended up creating mostly infantile material here. After all, it’s obvious that Hiroshi Tanabe and Maki Kirioka are reasonably talented composers since they elaborate and experiment with a lot of acoustic and electronic styles during the soundtrack. They seem desperate to redeem some pieces, but their attempts are mostly futile when their core components are lacking. However, they succeed in producing some excellent stage and boss themes nonetheless. While quite numerous, these pieces tend to be jewels in rough, because of the unappealing way the soundtrack is defined overall. They manage to save face, but not this soundtrack.
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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Chris Greening. Last modified on August 1, 2012.