September 27, 2013
Buy at CDJapan
The Gigandes Soundtrack is one of the latest releases in the Game Music Discovery series published by Supersweep. Like many of their recent Game Music Discovery albums, it is a soundtrack to a shooter game composed by Akira Inoue and Takaro Nozaki, this time developed by East Technology Corporation and released in 1989. In addition to the soundtrack, it comes with a superplay DVD as well. How does the soundtrack turn out and is it worth the asking price?
Before beginning, at the time of this review, the tracklist has not been translated for the album, so I will be using simplified names identifying stage numbers and bosses. The stage themes all feature a variety of soundscapes. “Stage 1” features a really catchy and adventurous tune that definitely has that “start of a journey” vibe while “Stage 2” definitely has a much more mechanical sound to it with a slightly darker tone as well. It’s a very enjoyable tune, nonetheless. Shifting tones a bit, “Stage 3” gives off a very tribal vibe, giving me the impression this is used in a jungle stage. It has some really nice rhythms and a great melody. One of my favorite stage themes, “Stage 4” has a very bubbly melody with a catchy hook and some really airy accompaniment. “Stage 5” is definitely more on the prog side of the spectrum. It features some slick synth work and a funky groove as well. “Stage 6” features an interesting blend of slap bass and synth. It gives it a bit of an espionage vibe, but at the same time, a slightly hopeful soundscape as well. “Stage 7” gives off a very tense atmosphere, as if your journey is coming to a close. The melody itself also gives off an air of mystery and the accompaniment to the tune is a bit on the quirky side. Lastly, “Stage 8” definitely gives off the feeling of the end of the journey. It features some slick accompaniment and the funky melody mixed with the more sinister tones really work in its favor.
The boss themes, on the other hand, are all fairly similar in terms of atmosphere and vary in length. “Stage 1 Boss” is a very short tune with an industrial and ominous tone that gives off an air of oppression while “Stage 2 Boss” is another ominous tune, although it is definitely more mysterious in nature and manages to keep the same mechanical soundscape featured in the corresponding stage theme. “Stage 3 Boss” is rather unique in the sense that it is the length of a stage theme rather than the shorter boss themes that the rest of the soundtrack features. It features a very industrial sound and a very relaxed atmosphere; however, as the tune progresses, the tempo gradually continues to increase to signal the intensifying battle. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really do much in terms of melody despite this unique progression of tempo. “Stage 4 Boss,” with its chaotic atmosphere, “Stage 5 Boss,” with its ominous and mechanical sound, and “Stage 7 Boss,” with its mysterious nature mirroring the stage theme’s atmosphere, are all very short in terms of playtime. “Stage 6 Boss” is quite chaotic in nature and harbors an extremely evil soundscape throughout its length. Lastly, “Stage 8 Boss” features a really progressive rock sound. While it isn’t as chaotic as some of the other boss themes, it definitely gives off an epic vibe, especially for its time.
The music on the Gigandes Soundtrack is, for the most part, quite successful. The boss themes may be short, but they fit the tone of the game and serve well at creating a variety of tense moods; however, they may not serve quite as well in terms of a standalone listen. The stage themes, on the other hand, are generally much more successful and also manage to create a variety of atmospheres. Unlike the Scorpius Soundtrack, the amount of music featured on this soundtrack is more in line with the asking price when considering the superplay DVD that accompanies the soundtrack release.
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Posted on March 17, 2014 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on January 17, 2016.