Mighty Switch Force Original Soundtrack
Mighty Switch Force Original Soundtrack
December 22, 2011
Download at Bandcamp
One of the most enjoyable titles on the 3DS, WayForward’s Mighty Switch Force features the latest soundtrack by Jake Kaufman. Compared to previous games in the series, this one definitely has a more modern electronic focus and generally surpasses the music heard in the earlier two games. In addition, there are a variety of retro and electronic remixes, both by Jake Kaufman as well as other composer friends of his.
Once again, listeners are introduced to Mighty Switch Force with a remix of the series’ main theme. This time, virt blends loud trance beats with funky synth licks to entertaining effect. Moving to the first stage theme, “Caught Red Handed” continues the more electronic approach with its upbeat synthesizers and experimental beats. But he also keeps the retro spirit of the series alive with a catchy melody and, towards the end of the track, some funk stylings. “Launch Hearts” opens up with an intense electronic beat before moving into a spacey, heroic melody that gives feeling of flying high in the sky. As the track progresses, particularly into the B section of the melody, there’s definitely a slight shift into some mysterious tones. The contrast between the two is absolutely wonderful and provides a fresh and captivating experience throughout.
Without a doubt, “Love You Love You Love” has to be one of my favorite virt tunes ever. If the intro doesn’t hook you, I honestly think you might not have a soul. The funky beat with that beautiful jazzy piano line entices the listener into the rest of the track, which still keeps that funky atmosphere. “Jive Bot” is a slightly weaker track, but still has lots of assets. It’s a fun tune, blending a motivating melody, electro beats, and wobbled bass lines. Another favorite of mine of “Whoa I’m in Space Cuba”, which gives me vibes of Yousuke Yasui with its retro synthesizer melodies. But given the abstract setting of the level, virt also incorporates some Latin jazz vibes. The final result is pretty unique. Among other fine stage themes are “Apprehend Them!” and “Yummy”. These sport extremely energetic and catchy melodies, while having distinctive assets.
Moving towards the climax of the soundtrack, “Break Up Take Down” seems to be inspired by classic shmups. The extremely fast beat, combined with the string sweels, really give that feeling of soaring. In stark contrast to the other stage themes, “Final Level” is more reminiscent of the final stage theme from Mighty Milky Way in that it focuses on a dark, electronic atmosphere rather than on a strong, upbeat melodies. While it isn’t as engaging melodically as the rest of the soundtrack, it gives off a great sense of impending doom and the industrial influence in the rhythm is fantastic. When it comes to “Final Boss,” this is definitely one of my favorite themes on the album. I love the combination of espionage-like sinister orchestral tones in conjunction with the drumstep accompaniment. It really fits the scenario well. The “Ending Credits” theme is fantastic, since it captures the entire soundtrack. It utilizes melody lines from various themes in the soundtrack, while coming together as a jubilant, retro track in its own right.
In addition to the original tracks, there are also some bonus remixes by various artists at the end of the soundtrack. virt himself offers “Yummy (Electronugget Remix)”, a fantastic electrohouse remix of the original featuring an even more powerful beat, lots of wobbled synthesizers, and that similar retro vibe of the original. xaimus also arranges the same tune. Titled “Yummy (Photosynthesis Mix)”, it also sports a club vibe and incorporates the melody in a more abstract way. It’s there, but you definitely have to search a bit for it. “Jive Bot (Psycho Prismatic Mix),” by cancel, is an extremely catchy theme with an infectious beat, retro melody, and distorted synthesizer. I like how the beat is sometimes dropped and the melody is the star of the show, giving a nice break from the energy. Overall, these themes are definitely creative and fantastic takes on the originals and would be played every night if I ever owned a club.
The “Caught Red Handed (Melting Point Mix)” by surasshu is a gorgeous retro remix of the original that reminds me of some of Daft Punk’s softer themes. The melody is infectious and really provides a strong contrast to the more upbeat original. In addition, coda’s “Love You Love You Love (Good Morning Onee-san Mix) provides another delicious retro sound. The FM synth sound is absolutely intoxicating and really works well in conjunction with the funky and catchy melody of the original. What’s more, the rhythm reminds me of Sonic the Hedgehog’s Genesis ventures. Finally, virt penned some bonus chiptune versions of “Apprehend Them!” and “Whoa I’m In Space Cuba”. These capture the essence of the originals, while demonstrating virt’s talent with 8-bit sampling.
Out of all the soundtracks in the series, the Mighty Switch Force Original Soundtrack is the most accomplished in my opinion. It has a very cohesive sound that reminds me of the very best in terms of Japanese electronic video game music composers. In addition, the bonus remixes featured at the end of the soundtrack are all stellar and give a nice arch of the soundtrack, ranging from the retro vibes heard in the soundtrack to some of the more modern elements as well, albeit to either extreme in these cases. The album can be purchased on Jake’s bandcamp page for any price you want. It’s definitely worth a listen and although you can download the album for free, if you want to support Jake’s future endeavors, feel free to give him some cash.
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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on August 1, 2012.