Razion Original Soundtrack
Razion Original Soundtrack
Buy from Auction Site
Razion is the latest game for the Dreamcast by NG:DEV Team, behind other titles like Gunlord and Neo XYX, and features Andre Neumann, whose biggest work was for the DUX series. As with that series, the music features varied electronic styles and also includes some guest remixes. How does the soundtrack live up to past works?
The album opens up with “Ready to Fire,” and gives a great prelude to the soundtrakc. It has a wonderful sci-fi vibe to it, parts of which remind me of the soundtrack to The Terminator in terms of atmosphere. The ethereal and industrial tones of the piece work quite well together. The stage themes on the album, though, make up the majority of the soundtrack. The first stage theme, “90s Lasershmup,” is an energetic tune with a very 90s shmup inspired sound. There’s a great melody, tempo, and the synth really works together to create an exhilarating listen that makes me think of the DUX series. There are some other stage themes that follow this type of tempo. “Underground,” the theme for the third stage, opens up with some beautiful synth and soft tones. As it picks up, it definitely gets a more underground rave-like vibe with its drum n’ bass appeal, although with that, comes the loss of a strong melody and a slightly underwhelming stage theme. “Psy EnTrance,” the fourth stage theme, is an interesting blend of psytrance and chillstep. There are some great ambient sections full of ethereal tones that give me a bit of a Donkey Kong Country “Aquatic Ambiance” vibe while the more energetic psytrance sections feature a great dance vibe and some awesome synth.
The other stage themes are a bit more mellow in terms of tempo. Stage two’s “Mystic Cavern” gives off a mysterious and ethereal vibe. The soft tones mixed with the more dramatic drum hits makes for a wonderful combo. Combine that with the overall chillstep vibe of the piece and fantastic melody and there’s a winner in the making. While at first I was expecting “Bam! Eat My Bass!” to be a loud electronic piece, it turns out to be an orchestral/synth hybrid with a very cinema-esque quality to it. It’s ominous and industrial and really gives off a sci-fi atmosphere. While it is a nice combo, it does feel out of place a bit given the rest of the stage themes are all synthesized. The last stage, “Groove the Planet,” is probably the weakest of the stage themes. It’s an ominous and atmospheric piece to start, but as it picks up, it gets a bit more funky and incorporates some retro sounds into the mix. However, the tune itself becomes a bit monotonous at this point, making an otherwise fantastic intro into something a bit more of a chore to listen to.
The two boss themes on the album, “That’s My Fight” and “Fly 2 Die,” both offer slightly different tones. The former is a great shmup battle theme, with its intense and energetic atmosphere coupled with an awesome melody. The latter, on the other hand, is a bit less intense in style, although by no means tame, and still a decent tune overall. There is a psytrance vibe to it and I really like how it ties some stylistic features of the title theme into it as well. The game over theme, “Falling Spaceships,” is a very reflective piece with a sci-fi atmosphere. Although short, it is quite beautiful. The last tune on the original soundtrack to mention is “Hit the Ground,” the wonderful chillstep credits theme. It’s a stunning electronic theme with a fantastic melody and a lot of warmth to it. It closes the soundtrack quite nicely.
There are also four remixes featured on the album. The first, a remix of “Mystic Cavern,” by Dr. Future, takes the original and turns it into a beautiful blend of orchestral, synth, and electronic tones and makes it a bit more dance-like in style. Of course, there are still sections of the remix that feature the ethereal flow of the original. On the whole, it’s a solid remix. EIZ remixes “Bam! Eat My Bass!” and turns the original into a more electronic oriented affair with its dubstep approach. I think it’s an improvement on the original as it fits more with the tone of the rest of the soundtrack. The remix of the game over theme by Xenox is probably my favorite of the mix. He takes the reflective original and turns it into a wonderful dance tune with lots of atmosphere, some dubstep influence, and some great rhythms. Lastly, CZ-Tunes remixes the title theme to close out the CD. His approach keeps the cinematic style of the original, although he does make the synths a bit softer in sound. He also gives it a bit more of an edge with an increased tempo. Overall, the remixes on the album are pretty good and are worth a listen.
In the end, the Razion Original Soundtrack, while in my opinion not as strong as Neumann’s work on the DUX series, is still an enjoyable listen with tracks that fit the game. There’s a lot of variety and while not every tune manages to knock it out of the park, in the end, it is a mostly cohesive soundtrack with some fantastic production values.
Do you agree with the review and score? Let us know in the comments below!
Posted on March 3, 2015 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on March 4, 2015.