Shinobi 3D Original Soundtrack

Shinobi 3D Original Soundtrack. Front (small). Click to zoom.
Shinobi 3D Original Soundtrack
Front (small)
Composed by Norihiko Hibino
Published by Wave Master
Catalog number WM-0690
Release type Game Soundtrack - Official Release
Format 1 CD - 32 tracks
Release date January 25, 2012
Genres
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Overview

In 2011, Sega brought back their historic series' of ninja action titles — Shinobi — exclusively for the 3DS. This time, the game was externally developed by Griptonite Games and scored by multinational company GEM Impact, headlined by Norihiko Hibino. Having created an excellent score for Ninja Blade, Hibino and team seemed like an excellent fit for Shinobi. While featuring a comparatively modest soundtrack, the 3DS' Shinobi features plenty of diversity and is astoundingly well-produced.

Body

Hibino created the main theme "Stillness" to capture the image of a ninja in a modern world. To do this, he hybridises traditional Japanese instrumentals with brassy Hollywood influences in his signature way. In many ways, the track is reminiscent of his acclaimed main theme for Ninja Blade. But when condensed into just two minutes, it does not develop into anything as breathtaking. Nevertheless, quite a bit is packed into the track — including personal, scenic, and action-packed moments — and there are plenty of memorable hooks to latch on to. At the end of the soundtrack is a concept version, with a more atmospheric and cinematic sound, that nicely completes the experience. Event tracks such as the meditative "Full Proficiency" and menacing "Attack on Oboro" also emphasise the game's traditional stylings. Though such tracks are sparse, they complement the anime-styled cutscenes and are still well-implemented: every breath of the shakuhachi performer on the former can be heard.

Moving to the main gameplay, "Oboro Village" accompanies the opening stage with its dramatic leads and robust backing. It sets the pace effectively for the side-scrolling action, while having enough development to sustain looping. But Hibino didn't pay any attention to the fact this track was set in feudal Japan, whereas the other stages are set in modern times. There are even trance beats and electric guitars here! While the final result is pleasant, it's a pity the opportunity was missed for a more authentic experiment. More successful is the accompanying boss theme, "Yuki Onna". It retains many of the elements from the stage theme, but fastens the tempo and increases the volume. The result is extremely catchy and worthy of more than a few replays. There are similar combos of stylistically related stage and boss tracks throughout the soundtrack: the former building the tension, the latter bringing the goods.

GEM Impact's Takahiro Izutani and Yoshitaka Suzuki took a more central role in scoring the modern-set stages of Shinobi. They continue to integrate traditional instruments into the score, but incorporate plenty of new features too. For instance, "City of Zeed" sounds instantly refreshing thanks to Izutani's denser musicality and the tasteful Arabian tonalities. "BioShark" later proves to be the most intense stage-setter on the album, with its blistering mainstream-targeted guitar rhythms and solos. Suzuki's "Hyper Transport MG97" demonstrates the artist's tendencies towards epic Zimmer-esque stylings and features quite striking developments. "Jungle of Blood" is something completely different once more with its electro focus, whereas "Shadow Temple" is a dark ambient orchestration that matches the imposing scenery. While everyone will have preferences for different tracks, the combined result is an array of approaches to colour and distinguish the game's stages.

The boss themes for Shinobi are also a major asset, and it is admirable that the producers decided to offer a unique theme to accompany each stage's bosses. Highlights include "Shadow Master" with its metallized bass-driven sound, "Lava Crawler" with its wild overdriven synth leads, and "Kryoborg" with its orchestral sci-fi influences. Having a long-standing relationship with Shinobi's most famous composer Yuzo Koshiro, Hibino also offers a tribute-of-sorts to the series' past with "Trickshot"; mixing the score's own trademarks with chiptunes and dance beats, it's quite enjoyable. Talking of retro, Shinobi bizarrely also features a level dedicated to After Burner; Hiro's famous main theme for the game is featured on this soundtrack in both original and remixed versions. Other Easter eggs include the exciting themes for the secret stage and accompanying boss. Rounding off the release are a series of unremarkable jingles.

Summary

Overall, Hibino and his assistant composers did a fine job when scoring the 3DS' Shinobi. They captured the way of the ninja with their traditional instrumentals, while incorporating Hollywood-inspired orchestral, electronic, and rock elements. Each stage theme in Shinobi offers something different to the picture, while the boss tracks are often even more exciting. That said, the score might struggle to find a wide audience. After all, it isn't a ultra-melodic score for a humble Japanese beat 'em up. Neither is it a gigantic score for a big-budget action game. Instead, it mishmashes elements of both to create something interesting, but not entirely satisfying.



Album
7/10

Music in game
0/10

Game
0/10

Chris Greening

Album was composed by Norihiko Hibino and was released on January 25, 2012. Soundtrack consists of 32 tracks tracks with duration over . Album was released by Wave Master.

CD 1

1
Stillness
2
Full Proficiency
3
Oboro Village
4
Attack on Oboro
5
Into Deep
6
Bad Omen
7
Yuki Onna
8
Cold Demise
9
Catapulted Through Time
10
City of Zeed
11
Sarah's Stand
12
Trickshot
13
Hyper Transport MG97
14
Kryoborg
15
Jungle of Blood
16
H43 Attack Chopper
17
Massive Carriers
18
After Burner
19
Red Out - Shinobi Style -
20
BioShark
21
Lava Crawler
22
Shadow Temple
23
Shadow Master
24
Secret Mission
25
The Ultimatum
26
Stage Clear
27
Fatality
28
Countdown
29
Game Over
30
Pause
31
Stillness - Concept version -
32
After Burner - Shinobi Style В–
27.02.13
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