Okamiden Music Collection

Okamiden Music Collection Album Title:
Okamiden Music Collection
Record Label:
Capcom
Catalog No.:
N/A
Release Date:
September 30, 2010
Purchase:
Buy Used Copy

Overview

Surprising quite a few, a sequel to 2006’s cult hit Okami was recently released for the DS in Japan, and while the development team had changed, Rei Kondoh, one of the original’s composers, returned to arrange old tracks and compose new ones. An album was bundled along with a video collection with the limited edition of the game, which features a curious collection: first, three tracks from the new title (one of them being a classic Okami piece) are arranged in an Asiatic style, and then the same are arranged for guitar duo, a curious choice given the title’s Eastern influence. How does this repetition fare? Are the arrangements themselves worthwhile, and do the two variations of each piece complement each other?

Body

The album gets off to a good start with “Okamiden – Limited Edition Arrange.” The track begins with a mournful yet peaceful melody that fans of the first title will recognize, then breaks off into a new theme, a rousing march that accomplishes a dichotomy of being both a dramatic, wonderful piece as well as having a lighter feel, accentuating the new title’s younger protagonist. The piece’s variation, “Okamiden – Guitar Arrange,” remarkably loses none of the drama and flair of the original, each guitar in the duet providing a perfect accompaniment for its companion breathing a remarkable complexity into the piece, different from the Asiatic version, yet certainly not inferior.

“Yakushi Village – Limited Edition Arrange” is a track entirely original to Okamiden, a piece that is both reminiscent of the first title’s “Kamiki Village” theme, yet also entirely original to the new title. Slow mournful notes on the shinobue, soon mirrored on the violin with some excellently placed spiccato, establish the calming nature of this theme. “Yakushi Village – Guitar Arrange” is a rather excellent variation, eschewing the calm nature of the original for a livelier rendition with some nice virtuoso moments that really shine.

“Shinshu Plains – Limited Edition Arrange” is the only track to originate from the original Okami, and its inclusion here seems curious, considering how similar it sounds to the original. It’s a very nice track and a slight variation of it doesn’t hurt, but it might have been a better choice to have chosen an entirely new track instead. The melody, for those unfamiliar with it, is grand and sweeping with strong dramatic overtones — a highlight of Okami‘s score. The guitar variation, “Shinshu Plains – Guitar Version,” is once again entirely unique from the original piece, this time arranged as a sort of soothing ballad at first, slowly developing into a more exciting arrangement. It’s a fitting conclusion to this short promotional production.

Summary

This is a rather capable promotional album. It’s a shame that it’s so short. Considering the quality of the pieces, I would love to see a more complete arranged album, released commercially. The arrangements are all unique from each other, both the track choices and also their separate variations. Fans of the original Okami‘s soundtrack should certainly keep an eye out for this one, keeping in mind its length before making a purchase.

Okamiden Music Collection Marc Friedman

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

3.5


Posted on August 1, 2012 by Marc Friedman. Last modified on January 16, 2016.


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