Mega Man Xover Original Soundtrack
Mega Man Xover Original Soundtrack (Rockman Xover Original Soundtrack)
June 10, 2013
Download at Official Site
Capcom practically abandoned the Mega Man series following the departure of series’ creator Keiji Inafune back in 2010. Just one new game has been released in the last six years, Rockman Xover, a Japan-only free-to-play smartphone title that brought the various Mega Man universes together. Capcom released the main tracks from the soundtrack to download/stream for free through its official website; six tracks were offered in the original download and there are currently eight tracks available. However, those that are looking for the complete commercial release of the soundtrack should seek the Capcom Special Selection instead.
Capcom found the perfect composer to handle Rockman Xover’s music: Masahiro Aoki. As a long-term fanatic of the series and its music, he was able to stay faithful to the character of the series while still taking it in exciting new directions. His acclaimed main theme for the game, for example, recalls memories of the Mega Man X series with its heroic melodies and rock spirit. He gets straight to business by introducing the ultra-catchy, magnificently-shaped melody. The briskly-paced composition also packs in a bittersweet interlude, a heroic bridge section, and a superb recapitulation topped-off with some ad-lib guitar solos all within its two-minute playtime. With this work, Aoki manages to simultaneously pay tribute to the retro-flavoured synth rock elements of the X series while offering modern production values and fantastic performances.
Aoki maintains his dense, energetic approach to rock scoring with subsequent additions to the album. “Battle Arena” is a straight-up rock battle theme that blends Aoki’s electric guitar performances with sequenced drum kit and bass guitar backing. While the track adheres to a tried-and-tested formula, it still proves a highlight thanks to the fantastic melodies and commanding performance. Aoki’s self-confessed electric guitar obsession also extends to “Arcade Man”, which boasts perhaps the strong melody of the entire soundtrack, and the slightly more vanilla “Attack!”. While all these tracks are sufficiently individualised in melody and style to still make strong impressions both in and out of the game, a little more timbral variety (e.g. a keyboard here and there) would have certainly made the soundtrack a richer one.
Thankfully, there are a couple of tracks that break up the guitar focus. There’s an excellent chiptune rendition of “Arcade Man” that, in addition to being ultra-catchy, impresses for its authentic 8-bit writing and synthesis. For the game’s soundtrack release, Aoki also penned a contemplative arrangement of Rockman Xover’s main theme. This tastefully-done remix brings some much-needed timbral variety and emotional depth to the stand-alone experience. As with all his tracks, there’s a guitar here but (shock, horror!) it’s an acoustic one this time round. The boss theme “Master Boss” also introduces jagged rhythm parts and epic choral chants. It certainly impresses with its sheer relentless sonic energy. The choral element introduced in this track was further developed in the original compositions featured at the climax of the Capcom Special Selection album.
Overall, Masahiro Aoki’s soundtrack for Rockman Xover is an impressive one. The artist captures the sound of the series’ music, while emphasising his own contemporary electric guitar sound. This eight-track download captures the majority of the highlights of the soundtrack, though omits the classic remixes and climactic tracks featured on the Capcom Special Selection. I strongly recommend fans download these eight free tracks from Capcom’s website while they remain available and, if they particularly enjoy them, consider tracking down the Capcom Special Selection.
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Posted on July 23, 2016 by Chris Greening. Last modified on July 23, 2016.