Magical Chase Original Soundtrack

Magical Chase Original Soundtrack. Front. Click to zoom.
Magical Chase Original Soundtrack
Front
Composed by Hitoshi Sakimoto / Masaharu Iwata
Arranged by Azusa Chiba / Hitoshi Sakimoto / Masaharu Iwata / Mitsuhiro Kaneda / Yoshimi Kudo
Published by SuperSweep
Catalog number SRIN-1108
Release type Game Soundtrack - Official Release
Format 1 CD - 26 tracks
Release date February 26, 2013
Genres
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Overview

The Magical Chase Original Soundtrack features music by Hitoshi Sakimoto and Masaharu Iwata for the Palsoft shmup, Magical Chase. Featuring the original soundtrack, as well as exclusive arrangements by the team at Basiscape, it offers both retro and modern sounds. Is it worth a purchase?

Body

The music for the original soundtrack is split between Masaharu Iwata and Hitoshi Sakimoto. Iwata’s main contributions are those of stage themes and boss themes. “Azure Way” has a very exuberant and lighthearted melody that captures the essence of flight although it does feature some more sinister aspects as well. Simialrly, “It’s Not Debugging” features a somewhat mysterious sound backed by an airy melody. It’s not the strongest  theme of the album, but it’s fairly successful. His other stage theme, “It’s Not Ice,” has a very crystalline sound in the melody at times, which captures the essence of the title. It has a heroic sound as well. However, the two themes that I think are Iwata’s best are his two boss themes. “Gizmo Dancing” has a very progressive rock sound to it. Frenetic and chaotic, it captures the essence of a battle and sounds like something that Motoi Sakuraba might have composed in his earlier years. “Demons, Come and Sing a Song” is another progressive rock sounding battle theme that features a more sinister tone, something akin to what you might find on an earlier Castlevania sound. Of the two boss themes, this is definitely the superior.

Sakimoto, on the other hand, is largely responsible for stage themes, the final boss theme, and the ending themes. The first stage, “Rampish Chase,” features a really catchy, adventurous melody with bubbliness about it. However, of the three stage themes Sakimoto composed, I find this one to be the weakest. “Waltz of Meditation 2” has a very somber tone, perhaps reflective of the title. Unlike most of the stage themes, the lower tempo of this one helps make it stand out. It’s also where you’ll hear Sakimoto with his signature sound, just done in an 8bit style. In particular, the small heroic flourish is a beautiful touch. “Variations on a Ra Melody” is a dark and ominous stage theme signifying the end of the journey. There are some more heroic passages, but they still harbor a sense of dread. “Termination,” the final boss theme, compared to the normal boss themes, sounds rather tame. There are moments when there is a nice sense of chaos, but for the most part, it doesn’t instill a sense of dread that most final boss themes do. The two ending themes, “Theme of Ripple,” which is the ending theme to a particular game mode features a very bubbly tone with some beautiful synthesizer work and a melody that gives a nice sense of accomplishment. Lastly, “Ending” is a bubbly and bright theme that really has a sense of accomplishment to it while fitting the atmosphere of the various themes found on the album.

There are also a variety of bonus arrangements by the members of Basiscape. “Azure Way,” arranged by Azusa Chiba turns the original into something a bit more dramatic with an orchestral flair. There is still some of the lightheartedness of the original, thanks to the woodwinds, but I’d say the tone was altered with the more modern soundscape.  Kudo’s arrangement of “Waltz of Meditation Part 2” starts by sounding like it is being played by an old phonograph. The first part of the arrangement is a fairly faithful upgrade of the original sound, helping to capture that waltzy feel, however, it definitely gets more of a pop/rock flair when the drum pads are introduced. There are also some sections that have a bit more of a progressive flair, providing a bit of artistic license with the source material. Of note is the section that has a nice jazzy sound mixed with accordion. Of all the arrangements, this is definitely the strongest one. Iwata arranges the two boss themes and turns his boss contributions into a dark orchestral affair. The first part is quite ominous and also features a bit of a desert-like flair. The second half is also quite dark, although the overall arrangement isn’t as strong, but the ominous nature is definitely boosted in the second half. Sakimoto’s “Theme of Ripple” is a beautiful orchestral arrangement that really manages to capture the spirit of Valkyria Chronicles and some of the softer tunes in strategy RPG repertoire. It’s another arrangement that really takes the original and makes it excel. Of all the arrangements, Kaneda’s “Ending” is the only non-orchestral one. He upgrades the bubbly and fun original into a synth arrangement with a decent beat. It isn’t the strongest arrangement on here, but it was nice to see Kaneda take some stylistic freedom when many of the other arrangements opt for an orchestral sound.

Summary

In the end, the Magical Chase Original Soundtrack may garner mixed reviews. In my opinion, some of the arrangements, while nice, lack some of the artistic freedom that these arrangers have exhibited in the past. The original chiptune soundtrack, while having its moments, doesn’t capture some of the exhilarating moments of other shmups of its time. This could be due to the artistic direction of the game itself; however, on its own, the Magical Chase Original Soundtrack falls a bit short when compared to its use in game. For fans of early Sakimoto and Iwata, this might just be worth a purchase. You can listen to some of the samples on Basiscape’s website if you need further impetus to purchase.



Album
6/10

Music in game
0/10

Game
0/10

Don Kotowski

Arrangers
Azusa Chiba (20)
Masaharu Iwata (21)
Yoshimi Kudo (22)
Mitsuhiro Kaneda (23)
Hitoshi Sakimoto (24, 25, 26)

Album was composed by Hitoshi Sakimoto / Masaharu Iwata and was released on February 26, 2013. Soundtrack consists of 26 tracks tracks with duration over . Album was released by SuperSweep.

CD 1

1
You're restless! (Title)
2
Awakening (Start)
3
Gizmo march (Stage Start)
4
Rampish Chase (1ST STAGE - WALL TOWN)
5
Uncle Pumpkin (Shop)
6
It's not debugging. (2ND STAGE - RUINS)
7
Azure way (3RD STAGE - DUAL SNAKE)
8
Gizmo Dancing (Stage 1ST~3RD Boss)
9
Phew~ Phew~ (Stage Clear)
10
Theme of Ripple (Raku Raku Mode Ending)
11
It's Not Ice! (4TH STAGE - BLOCK MAZE)
12
Demon come, and sing a song (4TH, 5TH Stage Boss)
13
What a relief...! Vol.1 (Miss)
14
Waltz of Meditation Part2 (5TH STAGE - HELL FIRE)
15
Variations on a Ra Melody (6TH STAGE - SUNCTUARY)
16
Termination (Last Stage Boss)
17
Endging (Ending)
18
What a relief...! Vol.2 (Game Over)
19
Waltz of Meditation Part1 (Unused)
20
Azure way
21
Boss Battle Medley
22
Waltz of Meditation Part2
23
Ending
24
Theme of Ripple
25
Discovered Track #01
26
Discovered Track #02
22.02.13
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