Mega Man X8 Original Soundtrack
Mega Man X8 Original Soundtrack
April 13, 2005
Buy at CDJapan
I’ve been a Mega Man fan for as long as I can remember it. Ever since the days of the cheaper, illegal alternative to the NES we had down here, I’ve fought alongside the Blue Bomber, battling Reploids, Mavericks and even the Bonnes!
I’m still a fan, but these last few games haven’t been that great. However, there can be few complaints about the soundtracks; the music of the Megaman games has always been captivating. Does the Mega Man X8 Original Soundtrack turns into little yellow orbs that spread out or is it another “Weapon Get!” for the series?
Someone over at Capcom was probably thinking that Mega Man (or Mega Man, if you’re a purist) rocks so much that he deserves a rocking soundtrack. Lo and behold, that’s what the Mega Man X8 Original Soundtrack is: a lot of rockin’. I wouldn’t go as far and say it’s like the Guilty Gear soundtracks. Despite X8’s consistency, Arc’s fighting series still reigns supreme in the rock world.
Every single Mega Man game has got themes that are fan favourites for a reason, and the Mega Man X8 Original Soundtrack has got a fair share of memorable themes. “Theme of ‘Mega ManX8′” appropriately sets the mood for the entire soundtrack, with the electric and distortion guitars working together for headbanging purposes; the progressive rock sound of “VS Maverick” and “VS VAVA” and the hard rocking “VS 8Boss” get you in the right mood to do some fighting; “Sneaking” is the kind of ambient music I dislike, but the ever-so-often guitar wails in the foreground complement nicely the shrieks way out back; “Intermission” won’t get you to take a break, only get you going even more. The rockin’ is strong in the album, and pretty much every track has something interesting to offer.
However, I have to give props to “Jakob,” because it’s the kind of tune that reminds me of the older Mega Man games. Great development, catchy melody, perfect arrangement. This piece gives me the same chill down my spine I get when listening to “Skullman Stage” from Mega Man 2, a classic.
The music in this album is so well-composed that even the jingles are not to be ignored. “Stage Start” is exactly what you need to start up your day; it’ll make you want to do stuff, even if it’s a Monday. “Stage Clear” begins like “Stage Start” ends, and adds a little conclusion to it. Of course, when you listen to one after the other, that nifty little effect is gone, but it’s still cool. Mega Man can flaunt his new weapon acquisition all he wants, because the guitars in “Weapon Obtained!” says he can’t wait to use it on something. Much better than the passive-aggressiveness of old “Get a Weapon” themes.
Not all is rock in the album, though, and that’s a good thing. Too much and, no matter how good it is, it’s going to start sounding all the same. The pseudo holiness in “Sigma Palace,” “VS Lumin ~ The First Form,” and “Paradise Lost,” especially in the second one, is enough to trick you into thinking it’s not from a Mega Man game. “Ending” is a pretty piano, strings and acoustic guitar piece, but it all goes to waste when the bass and the drums kick in to try and make it upbeat or something.
In 1994, Mega Man X gave Doc Light his first capsule theme, and he still hasn’t gotten a better one. “Dr. Light’s Capsule” lacks the charm that makes “Dr. Light” a superior theme. In over 10 years, you’d think someone would be able to write something better, but not even the remake of the SNES game was able to improve on it.
On a final note, the award for “Something I didn’t expect to listen to” goes to “Demo ~ With The Hunter Base.” It’s like a laidback, jazzy rendition of the “Theme of ‘Mega ManX8’,” but it feels weird because I can’t imagine Mega Man grooving to this kind of tune. Why would he groove to anything else? Go ask him.
The Mega Man X8 Original Soundtrack is a worthy installment in the musical legacy of Mega Man games. Combining several styles of rock, some electronica, and a few touches of strings and choir, the album is exciting enough to be listened to with no knowledge of game context whatsoever.
51 tracks in just one CD may not seem like much, but when it’s a disc filled with great compositions and excellent arrangements, it will seem like not enough.
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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Eduardo Friedman. Last modified on August 1, 2012.