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Old Mar 3, 2014, 01:06 PM
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Daemonskald Daemonskald is offline
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I chose "Yeti" as publisher according to what is printed on the Limited Edition box, not the CD box nor the CD.

発売元 イエティ
(Publisher: Yeti)

Last edited by Daemonskald; Mar 3, 2014 at 01:11 PM. Reason: Link
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Old Mar 16, 2014, 11:29 AM
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layzee layzee is offline
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There have been very few game music composers that have never failed to impress. To me, these include Daisuke Ishiwatari (as mentioned in my previous post)[1] and Yuzo Koshiro (in his case, quite a spectacular feat considering the variety in his musical styles[2] in contrast to Ishiwatari's arguably "one trick pony").

Then we come to the composer of this particular soundtrack, namely, S.S.H. The games he has composed for cover a decent variety. He contributed to visual novels with an emphasis on battles (Lost Child) back in the early doujin to post-doujin days; a thinking man's game that consists of a unique blend of strategy and action with a time constraint (Gainground for PS2); SHMUP or plane shooting games (Exceed 3rd for PC); and versus fighting games (Project Cerberus for PSP)[3]. The fighting game theme is revisited with the relatively long-titled Shin Koihime†Musou ~Otome Taisen☆Sangokushi Engi~. Though this latest game does differ from Project Cerberus in the sense that cute "moe" girls are beating each other up, as opposed to badass Tokusatsu Super Sentai-style superhero cyborgs.

The relevant question: did he meet my (or his) sky-high standards? Is the sky blue (during the day)?

I would imagine that those you who are used to the old S.S.H. (pre-2012) may have slight trouble recognising/identifying his current sounds if you missed all of the 2012-13 stuff. For example, if you are coming from his doujin works or the Lost Child/Aterlier Iris Arrange period. A similar situation may be pre and post Star Ocean 3 Motoi Sakuraba[5] where he made much more use of live bands.

The very first song of the album is a good example of contemporary S.S.H. which I would say started with his earlier duo-album "Frenzy Frenzy" (where he teamed up with Eru, three albums in total at time of writing) or perhaps his solo free for download album "Blast From The Blast". His new guitar style definitely has a distinctive sound that is different from what you might hear from say, Exceed 3rd, and obviously significantly different from his early rougher-sounding music from his doujin days (i.e. synth guitar).

Actually, this musical change was entirely deliberate and he even explicitly stated the fact that he would like to (and perhaps would like his listeners to) focus on his new style[6].

Another significant change (if you are new to new S.S.H.) is the use of electronic music and fusion of eletronic/S.S.H. heavy metal consisting of about half of the soundtrack. He may be known (or was known) as a game music heavy rock/metal king but he's obviously not content sticking to any one style. In hindsight, he has, throughout his career, given hints of his foray into the world of eletronica and first culminated in the formerly free for download original work 「味噌煮込みコンビナート」[7] (roughly translated to "Miso Stew Complex"), a techno-ish/trance-ish song in which any sort of stringed instrument (like guitars) is completely absent.

Finally, the setting of this game is based on the feudal era Sengoku Period[8] and re-imagined with the aforementioned cute moe girls playing the roles of general, warrior etc... Now, I don't know much about nor particularly care about the history of any country (I only know barely enough to follow the "we shouldn't repeat the mistakes of the past" principle) but the only thing we need to know is that the countries of Japan and China go way back. I only point that out because, musically-speaking, in additional to heavy rock/metal and electronica, S.S.H. has infused a slight tinge of traditional Chinese music to the overall soundtrack (this isn't the first time - he also composed Chinese-sounding music for the China stages of Gainground for PS2). Granted, for the laymen such as myself, the line between traditional Japanese music and traditional Chinese music can be very faint.

01 アドバタイズ
The intro movie and pre-release trailer theme. It does the job and I particularly like the 1:09-1:17 section.

02 メインタイトル
The title screen music and the most Chinese-sounding of them all. This is the odd one out of the lot and I usually skip it but I recognise that it does what it sets out to do so I'll refrain from scoring it.

03 キャラクターセレクト
If you're hoping for a rockin' Character Select theme, you won't be disappointed. It will fit in right at home with the Guilty Gear and BlazBlue series.

04 VS
Pre-battle character artwork confrontation theme with that slight Chinese touch.

05 Loading
Interesting thing this one. I haven't played the PS3 version of the game yet but on the PC version, this song plays right after the above song while the game is loading the next stage. The problem is that there doesn't seem to be a way to make it load really slow so that I can actually hear the full song instead of only the first 5 to 10 seconds. Again, it's too short to comment much on.

06 城下市場
Dear readers, my favourite track of 2013 (or 2014 if going by soundtrack release dates). There is a reason why this song was chosen to be the stage theme to be chronologically heard on this album: because it is the best. It has to be the reason. I already gushed about it on a different forum[9] last year. To my ears, this is heavy metal perfection. Of course, it's not for everyone. As far as HM goes, the 1:07-1:30 section (which is once again repeated later) is a bit unusual. It's relatively slower-paced so those who prefer hyper-fast guitar shredding might come out of this song thinking what the big deal is. But somehow it works. I find it very... rich... and layered... and so smooth, if you'll forgive the food critic terminology. Then we reach the 1:42-2:18 part. I don't think there should be any complaints there, only praises. It is S.S.H. doing what he does best and what you expect him to do. And in this section is my favourite two to three seconds of the song: 2:05 to 2:07. It's like I just had a glimpse of heaven. Finally, we reach the beginning of the end at 3:18. Song over. Curtains fall.

07 長坂
From the pure metal of the previous track to a more electronic one. The backing guitars are pretty nice and consistently hard throughout.

08 暁の城壁
Similar to the above, a fusion of electronica and metal, though catchier. I like the slowing down at 2:13 and the song quieting down to emphasise the bass guitar at 2:25-2:36 before picking back up again.

09 赤壁
The "1-2-3" of the guitar at 0:12 reminded me of "God of Wind, God of Thunder" from Falcom Boss Zanmai, which I guess is a good thing since I like that song. While I don't dislike this song, it doesn't quite tick the right boxes for me. Having said that, whenever the song comes up, I do look forward to 2:09-2:38. Obviously the song sounds very urgent, like you're running out of time. On the PC version, it's the final boss theme.

10 宛城
Great until the part beginning 1:13 which I found a bit boring. Apart from that part, not bad.

11 官渡
Compared to what we've heard so far, the guitars are less pronounced here. While I don't overly like it, I don't have much to complain either.

12 玉座の間
Overall, nice and rough sounding guitars throughout. The alternating between the main guitars and the elecs conjure up images of "Condemnation Wings" from BlazBlue (in that case, it was alternation between the guitars and violins). Which is good because I liked that concept in both songs.

13 漓水
Every album has a slow song. This one is that song. S.S.H. goes for the ethereal and oriental sounding tune here. I understand the intention and I don't think there's anything wrong with the song, but based on my tastes and preferences, I'm afraid I'll have to skip the track more often than not.

14 山道
Like the above, I lean more towards skipping this one too.
**/***** or ***/*****

15 虎牢関
Good intro.

16 勝利
Victory theme.

17 敗北
Lose theme.

18 乱入
Challenger theme.

19 エンディング
Nice and catchy ending theme. Another one that is up there with Guilty Gear's ending themes.

20 Continue~Game Over

21 Outro
Not sure where this plays but it's some kind of variation of track one.


Last edited by layzee; Mar 16, 2014 at 11:33 AM.
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Old Mar 21, 2014, 05:54 AM
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layzee layzee is offline
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Just received word that S.S.H. will also compose the music for the sequel:

その、真・恋姫†夢想 ~乙女対戦★三国志演義~の続編、

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Old May 9, 2019, 01:30 AM
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SNKhero SNKhero is offline
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it's nice to get eng translate for this awesome soundtrack =)
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