Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Doujin CD Review - Ages

01 Turbo Outrun - Rush A Difficulty
02 Power Drift - Like the Wind
03 Lunar: Silver Star Story - Tsubasa
04 Space Harrier 2 - Harrier Saga
05 Magic Knight Rayearth - Taflon by the Sea
06 Yumimi Mix - Achichicchi
07 Fantasy Zone - Prome
08 Super Shinobi - Medley
09 Galaxy Force 2 - Alone Fighter
10 Eternal Arcadia Legend - Last Battle
11 Lunar: Silver Star Story - Wind's Nocturne

Circle: Woodsoft


I love me some Sega, and I'm absolutely sure the guys at Woodsoft do too. This album begins with the classic "SAY-GAH!" chant, and the "logo on dark background" seems heavily inspired by the Segagaga packaging, which was also a huge (self-addressed) love letter to the company. Despite its intentions, though, the album as a whole is unfortunately disappointing. The selection digs from a lot of Sega's more obscure games, which isn't always bad. Every fan nowadays knows Outrun or After Burner, but Turbo Outrun and Power Drift are considerably more obscure and it's great to see a Skies of Arcadia track make it out here too. Still, you can't help but feel they're cheating by including two songs from Lunar: Silver Star Story, which originated on Sega platforms but soon went elsewhere, and aren't even Sega games. (Magic Knight Rayearth, on the other hand, was at least published by Sega, but it's hardly a classic or even a distinctive tune, you know? Some of soundtrack of that game was just taken from the anime anyway.) And then they went super obscure with Yumimi Mix, a Mega CD title from Game Arts.

Beyond the song selection, though, the real trouble lies with the cheesy synth that permeates nearly every song. The Lunar songs sound the same as their original counterpart except with worse instrumentation and vocals, so what's the point? The Space Harrier II theme sounds dull and neutered, and it's mind boggling how they could take the awesome Last Battle theme from Skies of Arcadia and make it sound so terrible, completely ruining the drama and intensity of the original track. Prome from Fantasy Zone was one of the more obnoxious songs from that game, and the arrangement here is just as bad.

At least the synth doesn't ruin every song. The Power Drift tune is catchy if uneventful, and while there are better tunes from Turbo Outrun than Rush a Difficulty, it's still an alright rendition. The only really standout track is the five minute Super Shinobi (Revenge of Shinobi) medley, combining the first level song with the Chinatown theme and ending song, My Lover. The tempo is heightened a bit for great effect and the instrumentation here is far better than the rest, especially the guitar that breaks in parts of the song. But there's nothing else on the CD remotely to that level, so it's really hard to recommend as a whole.

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