DoDonPachi Dai-Fukkatsu for iPhone / iPod Touch Original Soundtrack
DoDonPachi Dai-Fukkatsu for iPhone / iPod Touch Original Soundtrack
December 26, 2010
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In 2010, Cave started releasing mobile ports of some of their existing games as well as some original games. One such port, for DoDonPachi Dai-Fukkatsu had a special iPhone mode that used unique functionality to the iPhone, such as tilt controls. For the new mode, Kenichi Maeyamada (aka Hyadain) composed a brand new soundtrack, with the assistance of prolific arranger Shoichiro Hirata. Unlike the scores composed by Basiscape, this soundtrack definitely has a more mainstream sound and appeal. This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad soundtrack, but its target audience may be different from other Cave soundtracks. The resultant soundtrack was exclusively released at the Cave Maturi at the end of 2010. Does it fit the series’ sound and is it worth a listen?
The first stage theme, “Fly Above the Sky,” in my opinion, is definitely the weakest of the five stage themes. It’s very much in the same style as the equivalent stage themes for Muchi Muchi Pork or Pink Sweets, though I don’t find it to be as strong as the other two. It has some nice elements, such as the trance and piano effects, but the melody doesn’t seem to be as appealing as other Cave soundtracks. Fortunately, I find the rest of the stage themes to be quite good. “The Skygazer” is another theme written in this style, but I think it’s a much more successful theme. The electric guitar harmonies, in particular, really mesh well with the bubbly melody line and the house beat that accompanies it all really helps accentuate that feeling of the sky. The piano, when featured, serves as a clear contrast to the elements aforementioned and doesn’t feel out of place.
The second stage theme, “Rock the World”, is particularly interesting as it combines some rock elements and some more club-like trance elements. What I find most interesting about this theme, however, is the fact that the guitar section in the intro is reminiscent of the intro in “Flotage” from DoDonPachi Dai-Fukkatsu Black Label. The B section is also a nice contrast from the rest of the track. It’s much happier in atmosphere and I really like how it gives a feeling of adventure, although it is a bit on the light-hearted side. The third stage theme, “Samba Metropolitania”, is probably the most fun of the bunch. It features some beautiful samba-like piano with some edgy guitar riffs and smooth jazz synthesizer sounds. I think it’s a very creative fusion and the piano and keyboard work is what truly makes this theme shine.
Shoichiro Hirata arranged a few of the stage themes for in-game use. The first, “Rock the World ~ High Tide Remix,” definitely transforms the original into something entirely different from the original. It offers some pretty intense beats, sinister orchestral tones, and a variety of synth manipulations that range from more trance to rock imitations. It’s an absolutely crazy rendition of “Rock the World” that rejuvenates the original. Similar in execution, “Samba Metropolitania ~ Toy Box Remix” is also quite a crazy beast in terms of soundscapes. It opens with a very playful, almost toy-like opening before moving into a synthy jazz rendition of the original melody. In addition, there are also some chiptune sections and some absolutely stunning synth manipulations. The stage four remix, “The Skygazer ~ So Blue Remix,” is probably my least favorite of Hirata’s in-game remixes. I do enjoy the more rave-like rendition of this version, but when it comes to the creativity of the other two in-game remixes, it is definitely the most straightforward of the three.
Complementing the stage themes are a series of boss themes. The first boss theme, “Don’t Disturb Me, Girl?” is probably the most unique of the four. It’s an intense electronic theme with fantastic electric guitar harmonies that adopt an almost Middle Eastern sound, some jazzy piano accents, and an overall rave like atmosphere. It really manages to capture the spirit of the boss themes composed by Basiscape. The second boss theme, “Beat That!,” is also in the vein of the Basiscape boss themes of the original soundtracks. It’s an intense electronic theme that is stylistically similar to Mushihimesama Futari‘s boss theme. It has a hard-hitting beat and some wonderful synth leads in the melody line. Before the loop, there is some chaotic keyboard work that manages to fit, but may seem jarring to some since it’s only featured at the end, almost as if it wasn’t necessary.
The last stage theme, “Rush to the Future,” is probably the best of Maeyamada’s stage themes. It has a bunch of energy and definitely features some of the most entertaining elements, in my opinion, to create a pretty intriguing theme. Throughout the theme, you’ll hear some excellent electric guitar accompaniment, some bubbly synth, some trance elements, synth that sounds like it could also serve as a dentist drill, and even some vocoder usage. It’s not as strong as Namiki’s final stage themes, but it is enjoyable.
The two final boss themes are not exactly what one would expect when facing the toughest opponents in the game. The final boss theme, “Where’s the Happy Ending?”, is a fast-paced electro-rock fusion that definitely features a strong melody and elaborate countermelodies. It’s a fun song, for sure, but at the same time, it pales in comparison to “Longhena Cantata” or “Desperado”. Similarly, the true final boss theme, “Battle for the Last,” is probably the most unorthodox theme for the fight against Hibachi in the entire history of the DoDonPachi series. Rather than have a heartpumping bass and chaotic accompaniment to go against the frenzy that is Hibachi, Maeyamada decides to do another electronic/rock theme that, while fun, manages to come off as an Ace of Base song on steroids. Lastly, the ending theme “Back to the Dream”, while not as impressive as Azusa Chiba’s or Kimihiro Abe’s ending themes, still manages to capture the beauty of the ending with its pop vibes and emotional development.
In addition to the in-game remixes, there are several bonus remixes featured on the soundtrack releases. “The Skygazer ~ Deep Tribal Mix,” actually an unused version of the in-game music, should have been used as the true stage four remix theme in my opinion. It’s an awesome ethno-rave theme with some awesome strings work that really manages to excite. The other two bonus remixes by Hirata are remixes of stage themes that don’t have an in-game remix. The first, “Fly Above the Sky ~ Pump It Up Remix” greatly improves upon the original with another rave arrangement complete with crazy vocal samples and some more dramatic, intense sections that really hammer on the synth and beats. Lastly, “Rush to the Future ~ BB Remix” transforms the electronic rock/vocoder original into an intense drum and bass mash up. Although it’s not my favorite of the remixes by Hirata, it still does a good job at transforming the original into something pretty entertaining. Finally, there is a remix by Maeyamada of the last boss themethat adds some vocals, which makes the theme a bit more fun, but also reinforces the idea that it is a 90’s dance theme with a bit more edge.
In the end, I do not think that Kenichi Maeyamada and Shoichiro Hirata’s soundtrack for the iPhone / iPod Touch version of DoDonPachi Dai-Fukkatsu fits the game or musical styles set forth by Basiscape. There are a number of weak links and perhaps some poorly matched themes for the game itself. However, at the same time, I do think it’s an entertaining album to listen to on a stand-alone basis, thanks to some captivating stage and boss themes. I think that Hirata did a fine job on the remixes too, though I would have preferred the entire soundtrack to be based on the remixes of Maeyamada’s original material. If you enjoyed what you heard from the game, by all means, try to find it, but at the same time, for those who like their Cave music with a little less mainstream influence, this album may not be for you.
Do you agree with the review and score? Let us know in the comments below!
Posted on August 1, 2012 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on August 1, 2012.