Friday, August 14, 2009

Doujin CD Review - Cave Love

01 far east blowin' - Dodonpachi Daioujou - East Asia (Stage 1)
02 母を訪ねてBomber!Bomber! - Pink Sweets ~ Ibara Sorekara - Verde di circostanza (Stage 2)
03 土曜の夜はミスター・サイボーグ兵士 - Dangun Feveron - Hello Mr. Cyborg Soldiers - Stage 2)
04 むしむしうにゃーの大冒険 - Mushihime-sama - Shinju Heading into the Forest (Stage 1) / Levy Sense (Boss)
05 空ノ帝 - ESP Galuda - Huge Battleship Elinies (Stage 3)
06 サイドストームあらし - Storm of Progear - Boss
07 Show Time under Leaden Skies - Ibara - Show Time (Stage 1)
08 デスレーベル95-97-02 - Donpachi / Dodonpachi / Dodonpachi Daioujou (Boss)
09 夜叉桜 - Guwange (Stage 1 / Select)
10 大型連結戦車物語 ~嘘だと言ってよ、イーニィ - Suburb - Armored Green (Stage 2)
11 DDP-198x Powered by"2203" - Dodonpachi (Stage 1 & 4)
12 ウェッハといっしょ - ESP Galuda II - Aerial - Sadness Bathes in Dust (Stage 4)
13 ESP RAGING [myu314 remix] - ESP Rade - Raging Decide (Boss) / Snow Illusion (Ending)
14 Just a couple of more... - Dodonpachi (Stage 1 & 4) / Dodonpachi Daioujou - East Asia (Stage 1)

Video Game Music Database entry

Circle: Cool & Create

Even if you aren’t a fan of Cave’s ridiculously overwhelming style of shooter madness, you have to admit their soundtracks are almost consistently excellent. (We’ll forgive Muchi Muchi Pork and that blasted theme song of theirs.) Cave Love features songs from their catalog, ranging far as back as Donpachi (1995) up to Pink Sweets (2006). The style mostly focuses on fast paced dance-style arrangements, although there are a few exceptions, and a handful of vocal tracks.

The opening track is a drastic rearrangement of the first level theme from Dodonpachi Daioujou. I always thought the music style of that game was pretty weird – it felt way too laid back, especially compared to the rocking guitars of its immediate predecessor Dodopachi. Here, it plays around with the main melody quite a bit, even adding some vocals about a minute in. It’s pretty drastic, but a decent song. The second track takes one of the tracks from the already ridiculously upbeat Pink Sweets soundtrack and makes it even more hyper, along with some vocal samples (“BOMBAA!) that are remarkably catchy. The fifth track is one of the stage themes from ESPGaluda, although I think I prefer the techno-rave sound of the OST version a bit more. There's also a medley of boss themes from the Donpachi games, which is honestly a bit too sugar-infused for my taste.

The fourth track takes the first level theme of Mushime-sama, slows down the intro and adds a peaceful vocal theme, before speeding up the pace a bit - apparently this is a remix of the boss theme, though I can't really pick it out. Like the first track, it’s a pretty big departure but it’s still excellent. The final track is a surprisingly haunting medley of the first stage themes from Dodonpachi and Dodonpachi Daioujou - the fiddles and flutes make it sound like something Mitsuda would do, which is obviously a huge step from the original rocking original - and while the melodies are only barely noticeable, it's still a great song and a fantastic way to close out the CD.

One of the most interesting remixes is “Show Time Under Leaden Skies”, the first level theme of Ibara, here done in the synth and style of Battle Garegga, its spiritual predecessor. “DDP-198x Powered by 2203” is the first level theme from Dodonpachi, here done with a computer FM synth I can’t quite place – maybe it’s X68000? About a minute in, a live guitar breaks in and the theme just gets all kind of awesome, expanding on what was already an excellent song. I love it when more recent tracks are played with older sound hardware, and both of these totally rock in that regard.

Not all of the tracks are great. The boss theme from Progear is nice and tense, but it’s certainly not enough to fully support a four minute arrangement and it grows tiresome here after the halfway mark, even with the added dance beats. The naff male vocals in the Guwange song kinda ruin what could've been, though.

Overall, it’s a pretty decent collection, and at 14 tracks, is fairly long for a doujin CD, making a good value.

For all reviews going forward, I'm going to upload MP3 sets with a handful of tracks from the CD, as well as their OST versions for comparison.

Samples for Cave Love:


Additionally, here are samples for Happy Trigger from last week, as well as a truncated medley on Youtube:


No comments:

Post a Comment