September 27, 2013
Buy at CDJapan
The Scorpius Soundtrack is one of the latest releases in the Game Music Discovery series published by Supersweep. Composed by Yusuke Takahama and Norio Nakagata, the music accompanies a shmup game developed by Shinsheisha B-Type and released in 1991. In addition to the soundtrack, it also comes with a DVD featuring a superplay of the game. However, is the high asking price on the album, due to the addition of a DVD, worth a purchase?
The majority of the soundtrack is definitely the stage, boss, and ending theme to the game. The stage themes all manage to create an enjoyable experience for a variety of reasons. “Stage 1” features an extremely catchy melody that definitely gives off the feeling of starting an adventure in space. “Stage 2” accompanies the water stage and has a very dark, spooky atmosphere to it. It really manages to fit the environment, despite its length. “Stage 3” is an extremely upbeat and fun tune that really manages to stick with you. It’s a bit short and the B section suffers slightly compared to the A section’s tone. “Stage 4,” on the other hand, is an extremely ominous and militaristic tune that accompanies the fire based level. It isn’t as a melodically pleasing as some of the other stages in the game, but it definitely makes up for it in terms of atmosphere. Both “Stage 5” and “Stage 6” are quite short. “Stage 5” gives off a very triumphant and heroic atmosphere with its fairly memorable melody while “Stage 6” has a bit of a progressive rock tone to it and while it is another short stage theme, the atmosphere it gives off is quite fun, even if the melody is slightly lacking. The last stage theme, “Stage 7,” features a dark atmosphere with plenty of deep bass. I really like the B section, however, as it definitely manages to add a nice little moment of hope in the piece.
The boss themes are all quite short, but are for the most part, successful. “Stage 1 Boss” is is an intense theme full of dark tones and plenty of percussion. It isn’t that melodic, but it manages to give off a fearful tone. “Stage 2, 4 Boss” is another very dark theme that focuses on organ tones, plenty of ominous percussion, and some short woodwind passages to give off a very chaotic and sinister vibe. The other boss themes are a bit of a mixed bag. “Stage 3, 7 Boss” is definitely ominous and dark, thanks to its slower tempo, but it doesn’t engage nearly as much as the previously mentioned tunes. On the other hand, “Stage 5, 6 Boss” seems out of place. Unlike the other boss themes that focus on dark atmospheres, this theme opts for a more upbeat, almost jovial sound, that really doesn’t do much and isn’t nearly as impressive. The ending theme, “Ending,” on the other hand, is one of my favorite tunes on the album. It really reminds me of those classic ending themes to RPGs and other shooters out there. The melody is really fantastic, gives off a calm, peaceful, and celebratory tone.
When it comes to the Scorpius Soundtrack, I’m quite torn. The music, for the most part, is largely enjoyable with plenty of memorable melodies and atmosphere to give the soundtrack a nice identity. At the same time, the music content on the album release is a mere 18 minutes. It’s hard to justify such a steep asking price for an extra DVD of gameplay so I’d recommend this soundtrack should only be purchased for the diehard fans. I feel that this could have been released on the same disc as the Gigandes Soundtrack to give a better value to this music; however, I understand that licensing fees and the fact that different companies made the games may have caused single releases.
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Posted on March 17, 2014 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on January 17, 2016.