Ginga Force Complete Soundtrack

gingaforce Album Title:
Ginga Force Complete Soundtrack
Record Label:
Sweep Record
Catalog No.:
SRIN-1102
Release Date:
March 22, 2013
Purchase:
Buy at Sweep Record

Overview

The Ginga Force Complete Soundtrack is one of the latest shooting soundtracks by Supersweep. As with Eschatos, another QUTE production, this soundtrack is primarily composed by Yousuke Yasui. This time, however, Ginga Force isn’t a solo effort and in fact encompasses composers from across SuperSweep, as well as external guest composers Hiroto Saitoh and Yasuhisa Watanabe. How does the soundtrack turn out, given this large composer pool?

Body

The album opens with “Ginga Force (OP Size),” the anime styled vocal theme that has that distinctive Yasui sound. It’s extremely catchy and definitely captures the overall mood of the soundtrack to follow. In addition, there is a full version of this tune at the end of the soundtrack that serves as a bonus.

The music by Yousuke Yasui is just as catchy as it was in Eschatos, and in some ways, mirrors it very closely in terms of synth styles. While the majority of it is delegated to event music, all of which captures the spirit of the soundtrack, Yasui does manage to compose some of the most memorable stage themes and also features some of the best melodies on the soundtrack, some that even rival the music on Eschatos. The melodies, on the other hand, tend to be catchier on the whole. “Aeronaut,” the first stage theme, manages to impress with its extremely memorable A and B sections; however, the bridge section that occurs before the track loop, while short, is definitely my favorite part. “Gallant Gunshot,” the seventh stage theme, is definitely my favorite on the entire album. It has that energetic sound that gets you pumped up, that synth rock sound, and the best melody on the entire soundtrack, in my opinion. The chord progression is one of the aspects that stands out the most and the airy, heroic, and uplifting B section is a treat to the ears. Of course, the bridge before the loop, similar in terms of execution to “Aeronaut” manages to be even more bubbly and infectious.

The rest of the stage themes are delegated to the other composers featured on the album. “Backdoor Blaster,” the second stage theme, composed by Ayako Saso has a great funk to it. The slap bass that dominates the majority of the track is quite infectious and goes well with the smooth synth melody it accompanies. Saso’s other contribution, “Free Flight,” the sixth stage theme, is a fantastic synth rock tune that would fit even better in the world of Megaman. It features a beautiful and playful melody and some lovely percussion work in the accompaniment. Of her two themes, this is definitely her strongest contribution. Shinji Hosoe’s “Dubious Dealer,” the stage five theme, conjures up images of Under Defeat. It has a wonderful retro sound and I really like the percussive elements that really complement the synth melody, particularly in the B section which is one of the strongest on the album. Kazuhiro Kobayashi’s “Excavation Express” is one of the weaker stage themes in the game but it manages to carry that retro spirit in terms of melody. I feel that this game would also work well in the universe.

Hiroto Saitoh, one of the guest composers, contributes the third stage theme, “Cielo Cantabile.” This theme has some really interesting percussion accompaniment giving it a bit of a quirky element that complements the A section quite well. However, the B section is definitely my favorite portion of this tune, sounding uplifting and airy in nature, conjuring perfectly zipping through the air in a ship. While most of the stage themes have that retro vibe, the music by Yasuhisa Watanabe features both some retro inspired themes, although a bit more modernized than their counterparts. “Hopeful Horizon,” the eighth stage theme, features a very spacey melody that really oozes retro goodness. However, his two ninth stage compositions, “Illicit Ideology -Invasion-” and “Illicit Ideology -Ideal-,” are definitely more modern in approach, although they do encapsulate some of Watanabe’s more atmospheric works from his Taito days. While not melodic compared to the rest of the stage themes, they do set the tone for nearing the end of the journey and some of the ethereal sections are truly stunning.

Yousuke Yasui is also responsible for the boss themes on the game. The regular boss theme comes in two varieties. “Bust a Move!” is reminiscent of “Massive X” from Eschatos, although not as frenetic and definitely bubblier in approach with some nice groove in the accompaniment. The melody would work wonderfully in a stage theme, but as a boss theme, it does lack that ominous nature. The Zero-G Mix helps add a bit more energy to the mix causing the boss theme to sound a bit more frenetic in nature and, of the two, is the more superior version, in my opinion. His last boss theme, which is the entire 10th stage, “Zenith,” manages to take the tone of “Extermination” from Eschatos and amplify it. It features sharp synth bites, an infectious melody that has a heroic touch. This is definitely one of Yasui’s crowning achievements, as I feel that this tune would also work as an RPG battle theme quite well.

There are also two other members of Supersweep featured on the album that compose music used for training purposes outside of the main game. Teruo Taniguchi contributes three themes. “Tiger’s Claw” has that stage select sound mixed with some spacey synth tones from time to time. “Tiger’s Fang” is definitely more uplifting in terms of melody and sounds like it would fit in one of the later entries in the Megaman X series, whereas “Tiger’s Roar” sounds like a CAVE boss theme with its sinister synth tones, pulsing beat, and general lack of melody. Takahiro Eguchi also contributes three such tunes. “Dragon’s Lead” is airy and uplifting with an extremely catchy, yet also beautiful melody. “Dragon’s Menace,” is a more intense theme that focuses more on rhythm, although it does have some lovely synth tones. Lastly, “Dragon’s Prophecy” is another intense theme, but one that is definitely a bit more focused on melody which has a beautiful, spacy vibe to it.

In addition to these themes, Takahiro Eguchi also remixes two of the stage themes of the game as bonuses at the end of the soundtrack. The first is his version of “Aeronaut” which features intense electronic beats and some beautiful synth tones. I do feel that this version does go on a bit long, as it isn’t super creative; however, I do appreciate how Eguchi does change things up slightly in the second half of the arrangement. His take on “Gallant Gunshot,” though, is definitely the better of the two arrangements. While the original was fast and action packed, I really love how Eguchi toned down the original and made it more ethereal and beautiful in nature. It really manages to cast it into a new light and while it may not be for everyone, I think Eguchi has a wonderful ear for creating stunning atmospheres through his mixing and synth blends. Though Eguchi modernizes both of these remixes, they both manage to capture the retro aspect of the original in some fashion.

Summary

In the end, I think that the Ginga Force Complete Soundtrack is a very solid effort that is largely cohesive given the plethora of composers attached to the project. While it does give off an Eschatos vibe at times, in the end, I think the end result is one that is stronger than Eschatos, with more variety in terms of themes and soundscapes. If you can purchase this from the Supersweep store, it also comes with an extra disc, while supplies last, that features a medley of the majority of substantial tunes on the soundtrack; however, if you can only purchase from another retailer, the bonus disc isn’t a must-have as there aren’t any special remixes featured.

Ginga Force Complete Soundtrack Don Kotowski

Do you agree with the review and score? Let us know in the comments below!

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Posted on December 26, 2014 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on December 26, 2014.

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About the Author

Currently residing in New York, I spend my days working in antibody therapeutics and dedicate some of my spare time in the evening to the vast world of video game music, both reviewing soundtracks as well as maintaining relationships with composers overseas in Europe and in Japan.



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