Sunday, February 24, 2013

Full Review: The World Ends With You (DS) / Part II: Music

So once again, I've finally gotten off my ass and now I'm at it.  Finishing up watching The Oscars.  I've told The Kid and I'll stand by it, the 2013 Oscars have been fairly lackluster and ". . .eh. . ."  Seth McFarlane has been not that great of a host of a show that hasn't been all that great, although far be if from me to critique a job that I would never be able to do, nor want to do.  I don't even like talking on the phone, let alone to a group (more than one) of people.

On that note, finally finishing this review.  It's been an odd challenge that I can't fully explain.  But this time, I'm hear to talk about the music from The World Ends With You, primarily composed by Takeharu Ishimoto.

Madd 'shoppin' skills yo!

I'm going to try and not make this sound like the Wikipedia article or like an article on Wikipedia and will probably be more like some of the other Game Scores articles that I've written, except that this has a corresponding article about the content of the game.  So why does TWEWY deserve it's own full article for the music?  For one, there are four separate releases.  There's the The World Ends With You Original Soundtrack, the Subarashiki Konosekai + The World Ends With You EP and full length album and The World Ends With You - Crossover.  The fact that Square Enix had enough faith in both the game and the music to warrant this kind of a musical release for a stand alone original game, that wasn't part of a franchise is pretty awesome.

Granted Takeharu Ishimoto had previously worked with Square Enix before as both a synth programmer and composer since the 1999 release of The Legend of Mana.  That being said, I am only familiar with Ishimoto's compositions for Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII and Dissidia: Final Fantasy, both of which I have very much enjoyed.

In my Initial Review I said that the music was somewhat remeniscent of the music that you might find in Atlus' Shin Megami Tensei Persona series and, now having listened to the TWEWY soundtrack more extensively, I feel that that initial compassion was made because I was not very familiar with contemporary music in an RPG, let alone in a game from Square Enix.  It was very much welcome and I am very glad that the music remained the same from the Japan release to the North American release as it very easily could have been inundated or ever replaced with current popular artists from North America or other English speaking countries.  I do not really care that I can't understand seven eighths of what is beings sung since the majority of the the "sung" music is played during battles which last maybe 30 seconds.  The game even makes it a point to award higher points the faster you can complete a battle, so the music you do hear is only a very brief snip-it.  It wets your pallet for more and I often found myself letting the post battle score screen play for an extra minute to listen to the songs.

So the music.  The music is a very eclectic mix of hip hop, electronica, rock, hip rock hop, and a half dozen other genres that I don't think I'm very familiar with.  J-Pop most likely.  I don't really know, but that's not the point.  The point is, is that the majority of the music is very good and even if I wouldn't normally listen to Japanese hip hop, I like to listen to this soundtrack.  And like almost any soundtrack or compilation album, I don't like every song, but I don't hate any of them.

So now let me highlight a couple of my favorite songs off of the various soundtracks.

Déjà Vu (feat. Joanna Koike) from Subarashiki Konosekai + The World Ends With You full length album & EP:
This is one of the songs that plays while you're not in a battle, although like the battle music, you'll only hear snip-its of it unless you don't progress to another area and thus, another song.  

Hybrid from The World Ends With You Original Soundtrack:
Battle music and if you're lucky (or slow), you'll get to at least the first chorus by the end of the scoring screen after a battle, if it's the song that's playing during your last battle that is.

Transformation [Feat. Andy from Sixpin] from Subarashiki Konosekai + The World Ends With You full length album & EP:
This was probably my favorite battle music and although I have no idea who Andy or Sixpin is (although after an iminint Google search, I kind of now know), it's one of the tracks that falls more in a pseudo-rock genre than some of other songs on the both the album and the in-game soundtrack.

Some other songs that I won't link to, but that I really like are: 
"No Name [Secret Track]"
"Someday (Unplugged) Feat. Sawa"
"Twister Gang-Mix [Bonus Track]"
"Three Minutes Clapping Feat. J.D. Camaro"

I'm sure it will come as no surprise that I highly recommend the original soundtrack as well as the Subarashiki Konosekai + The World Ends With You full length album, the two which I have.  You don't even have to have played the game, the music is great on it's own.  Just peruse youtube for a while if you like what I've posted here.  I would recommend purchasing from the iTunes store as buying physical copies from Amazon will put you back ~$60-70 and there aren't any MP3 albums available.  I don't often endorse iTunes, but in this case, I couldn't justify to my bank account the expense to own the physical copy rather than the MP3 downloads.  I know, to some people I'm a very bad person, but that doesn't make the music any less awesome.

Any Earlier And It'd Be Too Late

No comments:

Post a Comment