Game Music, Reviews

Daaaytooona Isn’t Going Away: The Daytona USA Anniversary Box (Review)

April 8, 2009 | | 7 Comments Share thison Facebook Daaaytooona Isn’t Going Away: The Daytona USA Anniversary Box (Review)on Twitter

Takenobu Mitsuyoshi is back for more, just as we promised in our Derby Owners Club 2008 review. Can you believe that Daytona USA has been around for fifteen years? Wave Master has released the Let’s Go Away The Videogame Daytona USA Anniversary Box to celebrate this event, and I bet you’re dying to find out what’s inside.

The 4-disc collection features all the music from across the series, as well as a couple bonuses. What kinds of bonuses? No, not stickers and posters and the like (although these would have been cool), but rather a few arranged tracks that are tacked on to the beginning and end of the first disc. With the box due out tomorrow in Japan, is it worth your hard-earned money?

Find out after the jump!

First off, this isn’t a “box” in your traditional sense. More often than not, a special box will include some sort of cardboard sleeve with individually packaged discs inside. Not the case here. Instead, the four discs are housed in a single 4-disc CD case. Kinda disappointing if you were expecting a “box,” but hey, the music’s all here.

The opening track is appropriately the “Let’s go Away -Piano Ver.-,” a jazzy piano arrangement of the iconic theme featuring none other than Mitsuyoshi himself belting out the lyrics. From here, things get rolling with the Daytona USA and Daytona USA 2 arcade soundtracks. You’ll notice that the sound is dated, but very catchy nonetheless. I’d say my favorite track is “King of Speed” with its groovy bassline and rock organs. Fortunately this track appears in other Daytona USA titles, so there are a lot of versions to enjoy throughout the box set. You also better like “Let’s Go Away,” as it is everywhere throughout the first two discs. If you’re not sick of it by the time the second disc rolls around… well, I salute you. Rock tracks like “Sling Shot” and “I Can Do It” are particularly catchy, but way too short! I was totally digging the wailing guitars and “badassness” of these two.

The additional bonus tracks I mentioned come in at the end of the first disc, starting with a promotional piece titled “Coming Soon – DEMO 1993 -.” Next, a sliced-and-diced remix called “DaytonaUSA – Crackin’DJ PART2 Ver.-” and the oh-so-smooth “Pounding Pavement – Unplugged Ver.-” make their debut. They’re all nice additions, although the “Pounding Pavement” arrangement is the only one I’d seek out for a future listen.

Fortunately disc three offers a break from the repeated themes from the first two discs, starting with Daytona USA Circuit Edition from the Sega Saturn. You’re in for a lot of rock and electronic tracks, which had me thinking of F-Zero. Rather than beat you over the head with the vocal themes heard in the previous games, a tasteful rock version of “Let’s Go Away” is included instead. Also, my favorite track from the first game, “King of Speed,” returns in a big way. The original version of “Pounding Pavement” also makes an entrance, featuring your typical rock instruments with rock organs, which you know I love. The guitar wah-wahs in “Funk Fair” sound a whole lot like porn, and “Race to the Bass” serves up some delicious drum ‘n’ bass.

The Daytona USA 2001 Dreamcast version is split between the third and fourth disc, and features much of the same along with a couple new tracks. “Desert Grit” is an appropriate title for the gritty rock track that hops and skips along with electric guitars. “SPEED FRIEND” sports a similar swing, giving off an upbeat 50s rock vibe with some brass synth stabs here and there. Oddly enough, they tacked the ending credits to the end of disc three, so the box set instead ends with “Don’t Look Back,” a race track that is laid back and somewhat motivational. I dig the bendy synth melodies and droning organs. It’s a good track, but a strange one to end the entire set with.

So there you have it. All the Daytona USA music you could ever hope to own all in one tidy package. The packaging is pretty nice despite the aforementioned lack of a “box.” The discs are each printed in solid colors, from blue to red to yellow to green. There are also extensive credits listed on back disc tray as well as compose profiles (in Japanese) in the booklet. Interesting to find out that the bonus tracks were recorded in the Philippines of all places! You can still grab it at Play Asia.

Are you a fan of Daytona USA waiting for the day that the series is revived? Will you ever get enough of Mitsuyoshi’s “Daaaytooona, let’s go away?”

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