Street Fighter V General Story -A Shadow Falls- Original Soundtrack

sf5story Album Title:
Street Fighter V General Story -A Shadow Falls- Original Soundtrack
Record Label:
Suleputer
Catalog No.:
CPCA-10419/20
Release Date:
September 14, 2016
Purchase:
Buy at CDJapan

Overview

A few months after the release of Street Fighter V, the game received an update containing a story mode. The Street Fighter V GENERAL STORY <A Shadow Falls> Original Soundtrack features the content of that update. However, additional music that was released throughout the year, such as new stage themes and character themes, are absent from this release. Composed by Hideyuki Fukasawa, how does the music stand up to the original score?

Body

The soundtrack is set up in blocks of tunes, all with a common atmosphere. For example, the opening “An Avenger in the Darkness” set features a blend of cinematic orchestral work mixed with electronic elements, such as dubstep influences, to create a dark and brooding atmosphere. There is a theme dedicated to Nash in this block that is a bit more substantial, but the original rendition of his tune, if it is there at all, is quite obscure. However, this does help set the tone for a lot of the soundtrack, for better or worse. “Nash’s Theme –Confronting the Past-” does a bit better by adding some soft piano that juxtaposes nicely with the more electronically oriented elements. It is a repetitive tune, however.

Many of the game’s characters get central roles in the story and also have a lot of substantial music related to them, although like many of the tunes on the soundtrack doesn’t really do much to differentiate itself among the others. “Ryu’s Theme -Hesitating Fist-” features a blend of cinematic orchestral and electronic tones but doesn’t stand out because of the lack of the iconic theme associated with him. Likewise, new character Necalli gets two themes, “Necalli’s Theme 1 (Hesitating Fist)” and “Necalli’s Theme 2 (Hesitating Fist)” that are bombastic, percussion forward pieces that bring a lot of darkness to the atmosphere, but don’t incorporate any semblance of the established theme on the original soundtrack.

Two new characters also get some play time on the soundtrack. “Rashid’s Theme (Reunion)” is heroic in nature and features another cinematic approach blending strings with brass and electronic elements. “Laura’s Theme –Hot Wind of Brazil-,” on the other hand, is typical Street Fighter IV style with its bubbly electronic approach, but I find this theme much better than the original character theme that he also composed for her. One of the DLC characters, Alex, also gets some air time with “Alex’s Theme –The Sleeping Lion” bringing an 80s flavor with its rock/orchestral cinematic approach, but unfortunately doesn’t offer much in the way of engagement.

One of the character themes that pays homage to the original tune is “Cammy/Two Souls (That Which I Must Save).” The electronic focus and the incorporation of her original theme makes this trance-like approach a smashing success compared to most of the nondescript music that finds its home on the soundtrack. While much of Ryu’s themes on the soundtrack are wholly original, “Ryu’s Theme -The Fist That Knows No End- (Endless Road)” brings back the iconic theme with an orchestral focus, similar to the Street Fighter V rendition, but also adds some light drum pad work and a more cinematic flair to it. As for the rest of the music, there is plenty of it featured on the release, but as it has been stated before, much of it is hardly memorable or engaging.

Summary

Much of the music of this soundtrack is very cinematic in approach, which plays to Hideyuki Fukasawa’s strengths. The problem, however, is that much of the music is much better suited in-game. When listening on a standalone basis, much of the music blends together, is forgettable, and relies on similar approaches. To make matters worse, many of the character themes in the game, aside from a few instances, rarely, if at all, make reference to the character theme that is so popular in video game music communities today. If you were a fan of the Street Fighter V Original Soundtrack, I’d pass on this one and wait for the next release that hopefully will contain all of the missing character and stage themes that have been released since the game’s inception.

Street Fighter V General Story -A Shadow Falls- Original Soundtrack Don Kotowski

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

1.5


Posted on January 6, 2017 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on January 7, 2017.

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About the Author

Don Kotowski

Currently residing in New York, I spend my days working in antibody therapeutics and dedicate some of my spare time in the evening to the vast world of video game music, both reviewing soundtracks as well as maintaining relationships with composers overseas in Europe and in Japan.



One Response to Street Fighter V General Story -A Shadow Falls- Original Soundtrack

  1. Thanks for the review Don! I haven’t listened to this one yet, but it doesn’t surprise me that it’s dull. I can’t recall a single fighting game where I particularly enjoyed the cinematic music!

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