Resident Evil -The Mercenaries 3D- Original Soundtrack
Resident Evil -The Mercenaries 3D- Original Soundtrack (Biohazard -The Mercenaries 3D- Original Soundtrack)
Suleputer (JP Edition); Sumthing Else Music Works (US Edition)
February 22, 2012; March 25, 2014
Download at Sumthing.com
Since its introduction with Resident Evil 3, the action-packed Mercenaries minigames have been one of the most enjoyable features of the Resident Evil franchise. Capcom ended up deciding to make a full game out of the feature, combining original content with material recycled from Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5. The soundtrack followed suit, blending reprises from past titles in the series with around thirty minutes of new music from Kota Suzuki, Ichiro Kohmoto, and Yasumasa Kitagawa. The music is available in three forms: a bonus disc with the first press of the game in Japan; a digital release available commercially through Sumthing Else Music Works; and as part of the box set Biohazard Sound Chronicle II.
Much like the game itself, most of the new musical content of The Mercenaries 3D is solid but sparing. The soundtrack sets up listeners for an action-packed experience with the vibrant opening track “The Soldiers Dance”, a punchy, memorable blend of techno beats and anthemic orchestration. But it has one problem that stops it from rivalling other main themes in the franchise: its measly ninety-second playtime. The title and menu themes are both decent in composition, the former urgent and discordant, the latter gritty and militaristic. However, they’re even shorter than the opening theme, with “M3D Main Menu” looping before a minute is out. “Calling” and “Voices” bring some warmer textures to an often hostile score, but again don’t leave much of an impression due to their minuscule playtimes.
As for the meat of the soundtrack, the length problem doesn’t go away — all the tracks clock in between the 90 and 120 second mark — but many of the tracks come together to quite an intense listening experience. The composers get to explore a different sound for the franchise with hard techno tracks such as “Contamination” and “Power of Flames”. Though these tracks could be significantly more embellished, the electronic styling is confidently done and syncopates well with the action. Such elements are also satisfying when hybridised with other forces, such as African percussion in “Breaking Limit” and intense orchestral buildups in “Subspecies”. It helps that the mixing is excellent. Even though it was released for the 3DS, this is one of the best-implemented soundtracks of the series, with a bright, defined mix that is light years ahead of Operation Raccoon City‘s.
Other tracks such as the trance-influenced “The Path for Flight” and “Secret Lines” keep the tempo high, but break up the intensity nicely with their more motivating vibes. “Ghost on the Blue” is particularly decent, with an almost dreamy vibe that still somehow works within the context of the rest of the soundtrack, though again could have really benefited from a little more time spent on it. But perhaps best of all is “A Warrior with Hope”, one of the most vibrant and catchy of all tracks on the soundtrack. If only it went beyond the 1:40 mark… The intensity creeps up a notch with “Hurry Up!!” leading to the climactic “Impending Threat”, an orchestral track that could have reached the heights of the best in the franchise had it received a bit more development.
Most of the rest of the soundtrack is comprised of reprises from Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5 soundtrack. The tracks used as the background music for the five characters in Resident Evil 4‘s Mercenaries mode are reprised. Significantly more abstract than The Mercenaries 3D originals, these tracks combine a booming exterior with all sorts of fascinating intricacies, whether the distorted “Hunk”, percussive “Krauser”, or semi-operatic “Wesker”. Krauser’s climactic theme from the main game also makes a return here. There are also three tracks from Resident Evil 5, “Assault”, “Rust in Summer 2008”, and “Killers”. These tracks are more similar to the original content on The Mercenaries 3D in style, with their groovy electronic beats and intense orchestral overtones. But with long playtimes and tonnes of individuality, they also reflect how the original tracks could have been so much better.
The experience closes with an end credits orchestrated by the Kazuki Kuriyama and performed by full orchestra. The body of the track is a mellow, reflective reprise highlighting a powerful violin solo. However, the final minute builds into a high-intensity military anthem that is again impressive in both its outward sound and various intricacies. This is certainly the highlight of the soundtrack. Note that Biohazard Sound Chronicle II features both an orchestral version of “Soldier’s Dance” and a digital version of “M3D End Roll”, but for some reason these were completely omitted from the Capcom bonus album and Sumthing Else digital album. While omission of the alternative version of the ending theme is tolerable, the orchestral version of the opening theme is a real joy to listen to.
The original tracks on Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D do not live up to those created for the Mercenaries mode of Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5. They are all competently styled and mixed, prove engaging in context, and can be quite enjoyable on a stand-alone basis. However, they lack somewhat in originality and are highly deficient in length. As a result, only the reprises on this soundtrack and the bonus orchestral track fully satisfy. The rest of the material is only worthwhile if you’re a hardcore fan of the originals. Otherwise, it is better to go for the full-length soundtracks for Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5, which boast a tonne of content and originality in both the main gameplay themes and the bonus tracks for the Mercenaries mode.
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Posted on July 14, 2015 by Chris Greening. Last modified on July 7, 2015.