Game Music, Reviews

Everybody’s Super Sonic Racing: Sonic Free Riders Soundtrack (Review)

March 11, 2011 | | Comment? Share thison Facebook Everybody’s Super Sonic Racing: Sonic Free Riders Soundtrack (Review)on Twitter

Okay, so maybe you forgot all about Sonic Free Riders, the Microsoft Kinect launch title that lets you race against other characters in the Sonic universe by moving your body in your living room. There have been a number of Sonic titles that have come out recently, and even some of the hardcore Sonic fans here at OSV have yet to experience Free Riders.

But that doesn’t mean we haven’t taken notice of the music. With a catchy theme song by Jun Senoue, and some upbeat electronic music by Sonic veteran Tomonori Sawada and Koji Sakurai, even if the Kinect isn’t your thing, there’s no reason this music can’t be.

Hit the jump for our review.

So, about the theme song. I’ve never been a fan of the cheesy rock direction that the Sonic series has taken after the Sega Genesis days, but I think “Free” has won me over. It’s funny that my first exposure to this track was a live performance at Tokyo Game Show 2010 where the guest singer on hand forgot the lyrics, leaving me entirely unimpressed. Here, however, we get the track in all of its post-production glory. The electronic/rock fusion music composed by Jun Senoue, production by Ricahrd Jacques, and lyrics by Johnny Gioeli make not only for a well-polished track, but an honestly catchy and “cool” one. I think the team knew they were on to something, as an alternate version performed by Crush 40 appears at the end of the album, taking on more of an alternative metal edge without the electronic elements and filters on the vocals.

From here on out, composers Tomonori Sawada and Koji Sakurai offer up a fun and varied collection of tracks. Starting with Sawada’s contributions, the smooth electronics of “Start-Up Your EX Gear! (Free Riders Version)” as you learn about your futuristic equipment to the ascending progression and laid back vibe of “Theme of Dolphin Resort” suit their place in the game perfectly. Both “Theme of Frozen Forest” and “Theme of Forgotten Tomb” have sleek, well-produced backings, but the simple synth melodies lend the tracks a whimsical, almost kid-like charm. Towards the end, “Theme of Metal City” is a pure electronic affair, sounding like something out of F-Zero with its 303 sounds, driving percussion, and trancey synth lines.

Koji Sakurai, on the other hand, takes us in a few different directions. “Theme of Rocky Ridge” is a fun track with filtered banjos and harmonicas along with some snazzy vocal elements. “Theme of Metropolis Speedway” goes in a similar direction, bringing in some distinctly Western sounds with a poppy rock sound and English lyrics. It’s probably one of my favorite tracks on the album. As you’d expect, “Theme of Magma Rift” is a searing electronic track that turns into a fiery club experience about midway through.

The album is considerably short at just over 47 minutes in length, but what’s here is good. There’s also not much going on with the packaging outside of the lyrics and composer credits in the single-page booklet. The price is right, however, at 1,800 Yen, so don’t let the game’s reception keep you from experiencing it. Unfortunately SEGA music is generally not readily available outside of Japan, but VGM World is currently taking special orders if you’re interested.

Did you happen to check out Sonic Free Riders or have any thoughts regarding the game’s soundtrack? What do you think of the main theme, “Free?”

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