Game Music, Reviews

A Bloody Good Time: Trauma Center 2 Soundtrack (Review)

March 14, 2012 | | Comment? Share thison Facebook A Bloody Good Time: Trauma Center 2 Soundtrack (Review)on Twitter

We really dug the original Trauma Center soundtrack that SuperSweep put out last year. It featured a nice blend of jazzy electronic tracks, and the addition of the Wii version tracks was a nice touch. A few months later, SuperSweep released the soundtrack for Trauma Center 2, which takes an all new direction.

Responsible for the score this time around are SuperSweep’s Manabu Namiki and Noriyuki Kamikura, and with Namiki in the mix, you can probably already get a sense of what’s in store for your ears if you haven’t already heard the music in-game!

Hit the jump for our review.

First and foremost you’ll notice the dramatic improvement in sound quality presented on this album. While the music likely didn’t come out of the Nintendo DS sounding this good, the tracks presented on this album are more in line with the ‘original’ version tracks that were used on the Wii from the first Trauma Center album.

This will be apparent right from the opening notes of “Asclepius, Again,” starting with string stabs before going into some heavy electronic sounds and ending with the familiar series piano motif. And that’s what I was alluding to in the intro: there’s a lot of great electronic music here. “A Ripple of Omen” sports a foreboding electronic sound with filtered synth lines that while “Medical Tactics” gets heavy with a powerful bass synth and orchestral hits. “Approaching Sirens” opens with… sirens (surprise!) wailing in the background along with searing guitar work and drum ‘n’ bass percussion and “Stand up Against the Threat” will smack you upside the head with chugging electronics and electric guitar. Finally, “Swaying Shadow of GUILT” is an emotionally charged techno track with strings and piano accenting the electronic background, coming off as quite effective.

But that’s not to say that the cool, groovy soundscape that you loved from the previous Trauma Center isn’t present. In fact, Namiki and Kamikura do it quite well. There’s “Unflagging Surgery” which transitions from this groovy and laidback to angry and tense with some blazing synth lines. “Gentle Wind” stands out as a remix of the map theme with the same jazzy foundation and a cute pop vibe added by the use of belltones. “Clinical Skills,” while quite funky, leans more on the dark side with its melody, while “Active Doctors” really gets down with jazzy string stabs, a lovely piano melody, and a sax solo.

Rounding out the album are the obligatory emotional theme, “Sacrifice,” with beautiful strings and piano, the epic final stage theme titled “Cut Off the Fate!!” with an epic orchestral/electronic hybrid sound complete with choir, and two tasty arrangements of the map theme. “To the Neverending Tomorrow” is a slower and smoother version with poppin’ side sticks and a gorgeous woodwind melody that floats above the base piano chords, while “Growing Feeling in my Heart” is another version that’s more deep and contemplative.

I’m torn a bit on this one, actually. I think I like the themes here better, but I’m more attached to the first Trauma Center because I played the Wii version. Still, what’s presented here is a nice collection of electronic and pop tunes that pay fitting tribute to the key themes from the first game. Some may be disappointed that there’s only a little more than 30 minutes of music on the disc, but it really is a matter of quality over quantity (although some remixes would have made for a great bonus).

In terms of packaging, there’s not much to talk about outside of some limited artwork and a single-page booklet with credits (unfortunately not track-by-track) and a small blurb about the game. Still, the music is solid, and the 2,100 Yen asking price is fair.

Let us know what you think of the franchise and of the Basiscape score compared to other installments.

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