Dino Crisis 2 Original Soundtrack
Dino Crisis 2 Original Soundtrack
September 20, 2000
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Dino Crisis 2 was the inevitable PlayStation sequel to a commercially successful dinosaur horror game. The sound team from Dino Crisis were responsible for the new score, though Sayaka Fujita took the leading role instead of Makoto Tomozawa while Akari Kaida wasn’t involved at all. Given the composers, I expected little from this soundtrack — after all, the Dino Crisis Original Soundtrack sufficed as a derivative accompaniment to the game, but was absolutely horrible to listen to on its own. Fortunately, there was a big change in sound direction overall. The soundtrack features greater stylistic diversity, fewer intolerable action themes, and enhanced sound quality so surprisingly suffices on a stand-alone level. Is it worth purchasing?
The strongest aspects of the score are its atmospheric themes. “Research Facility Sound”, for instance, creates the ambience of an abandoned laboratory with lonely electronic synth reverberating against sporadic percussion and sound effects. “Search for Survivors” creates great rhythmical impetus with its earthy percussion use, while “Underwater Echoes” creates a very unsettling atmosphere with its fluidly incorporated suspended notes, ethnic percussion, and atmospheric noise. Other additions range from the industrial noise of “Lethal Gas” to the disturbing experimentation of “Trashed” to the warped and percussive “Silence of Edward City”. “Save” is a welcome reprise of Dino Crisis‘ “Set You at Ease” that, while still a little underdeveloped, sounds more beautiful than before because of the improved synthesis. Towards the end of the soundtrack, there are also some more dramatic tracks such as “For the Missile Silo” with its anthemic melody and rock influence and “Time to Go Back” with its retro electronic work and urgent beats. Though the setting themes occasionally lack development and depth, they all work flawlessly in context.
Overall, the action tracks tend to have a bit more structure and individuality this time. A lot of the tracks seem to syncopate strings runs or jabs with Soukyuugerentai-esque timpani rolls. This works well in tracks like “Don’t Let Me Down” and “A Living Sub” where there are electronic beats to bind together the otherwise disparate features. However, ten or so pieces such as “Swimming Lizard, “Daddy Long Neck”, and “Here it Goes” are written in a similar manner to the messy action themes on the Dino Crisis score. Their lead string, brass, or piano work is often noxious and the bombastic timpani do not help matters. Fortunately, they’re less numerous and slightly better written overall, but definitely the weak point of the score. There are some more novel action themes too, like “Chase of the Horned” and “Dino Crispo” with their layering on strong rhythmical groovs or “End of the Road” and “For the Missile Silo” with their fusions of industrial, rock, and orchestral elements. Another highlight is the final battle theme “Anti-Satellite Attack” with its epic organ support and strong thematic elements.
The opening narrative is given some pathos with the evocative chants of a woman’s choir in “Prologue”. The soundtrack soon becomes action-packed to represent the initial ravage of the dinosaurs with “Opening Movie” and “Three’s a Crowd”. Fusing rapid orchestral crisis motifs with hard drum kit beats, they are fortunately more coherent and listenable than Dino Crisis equivalents. Between the short tension and action cues, there are plenty of short emotional cues throughout the score such as the piano and strings contemplation “Necklace” or the chorale “Stop It”. A central extended track is “Hologram”, which blends the choral, militaristic, and ambient elements of the score together prior to the final battle. Moving to the final cues, “Ending Movie” is a disappointingly sluggish tension theme for the most part, though it has some motivating moments. Surprise bonus additions are industrial rock tracks for some menu screens and a set of five catchy bonus remixes mainly featuring abstract electronica and samples. The soundtrack ends with an excellent main theme featuring an expressive trumpet solo, exotic and ethereal accompaniment, and a beautiful chorus.
The Dino Crisis 2 soundtrack is a spectacular improvement on its predecessor with altogether more diversity, creativity, and appeal. It’s a genre-spanning soundtrack that also manages be a coherent collective whole and distinctively characterised. Usually for better rather than worse, there are still elements of continuity with its predecessor. In context, it is a step above its predecessor in terms of the atmosphere and intensity it creates. Even better, it is a relatively enjoyable listen on a stand-alone basis. The soundtrack has some problems, such as some ear-piercing action tracks, a range of underdeveloped and superficial pieces, and a lack of particular highlights. As a result, it isn’t among the best of Capcom’s horror and action soundtracks, though it is still a recommended purchase for those who enjoyed the music in the context of the game. Overall, a very surprising turnaround from the two lead forces of Dino Crisis.
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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Chris Greening. Last modified on August 1, 2012.