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Go Go Go! Bionikku! Bionic Commando/Dead Rising Review

January 25, 2010 | | 1 Comment Share thison Facebook Go Go Go! Bionikku! Bionic Commando/Dead Rising Reviewon Twitter

As a kid, I was always really into Bionic Commando on the NES. The game offered something different from the other games at time, and captured my imagination and interest quickly with the swing hook game play and WW2 influences throughout the game. My father is a writer and WW2 historian, and it was one of the few games outside of racing games I can remember him looking up from his books at and being slightly interested; the game portrayed Nazis well enough for even my old man to pick up just by watching. The music, by Junko Tamiya, was memorable and still echos in my memories to this day with its militaristic approach and emotional melodies.

In 2008, the now defunct Swedish game developer GRIN was commissioned by CAPCOM to make a remake of Bionic Commando titled Bionic Commando: Rearmed. In Japan, the remake was released as Bionic Commando: Master D Resurrection Project and while the marketing in the west relied on nostalgia and cross promotion with the development of an all new sequel, Japan took a different approach. Part of that approach was the release of a special promotional soundtrack, which also happens to be today’s review, Bionic Commando / Dead Rising.

Read on to find out more about the musical promotion for Bionic Commando!

As the name suggest, this CD promotes both Bionic Commando and Dead Rising. The CD contains 6 tracks, where 4 are dedicated to Bionic Commando, and 2 songs dedicated to Dead Rising. Now as I mentioned, Bionic Commando: Master D Resurrection was promoted a bit differently than Re:armed. CAPCOM brought in veteran anime and tokusatsu (live action super hero drama) singer Ichirou Mizuki, who is known by fans as Aniki. More so than the Bionic Commando connection, it was actually Mizuki that got me first interested in this CD as I have been a long time fan of him and Hironobu Kageyama. The song he worked on here went on to gain some fame on YouTube; it’s also track 1 on this CD, simply titled “Bionic Commando.”

And let me tell you why it got famous: the song is absolutely over the top! Girls chanting Go Go Go Bionikku, Mizuki with a deadpan action-packed approach, chanting along, screaming, shouting — it’s absolutely hilarious. The song is modeled after songs that fans expect from talents like Mizuki with show themes that have these serious over-the-top feelings to them, but it works brilliantly. You get drawn into singing along with the girls, and the music is great with a fast rock ‘n roll guitar lead, solo and everything. The only way to sum up the song would be the word “fun.” The entire song will make you smile and even though the music itself isn’t taken from the game, because of the lyrics and some similar cues you’ll get the right feeling.

The second song is the commercial music for Dead Rising in Japan, and is performed by the Japanese punk group Gagaga SP. I have no previous knowledge of this band, but they seem to have been around for around 10 years. The song is a standard Japanese punk rock affair. Fast guitars, energetic drums and horrible vocals, or shouting rather. It’s kinda humorous since they keep on shouting DEDDU LAISHING over and over and proceed to growl weakly, though my Norwegian Black Metal probably spoiled me when it comes to growls. The song itself is okay I guess — I’ve never really been a fan of punk outside of a few artists, and this has a feel of cheapness to it, some parts in the vocal department feels really forced, but unlike the first song that was intentionally over the top, this doesn’t really cut it.

Track 3 is a karaoke version of Mizuki’s “Bionic Commando,” for those of us who are manly enough to sing along.

The rest of the CD is probably the biggest surprise. I think because of the connection to the trailers the first songs were based on, people passed this as a CD strictly based on those, however track 4 is a piano arrangement of the NES Bionic Commando! The song is based on the “Bionic Commando Theme” and every fan will instantly recognize this song. It’s a wonderful jazz piano arrangement, which makes it real nice, slow and soft, which is quite the contrast to the original, which features militaristic drums driving you right into the action. The arrangement also has an original section which sounds really reminiscent of the Legend of Zelda of all things. I’m a sucker for piano, and with a surprise like this, I couldn’t be happier. The 5th track is a song taken directly from Dead Rising, “Brock (Commander).” I never played this game, but it sounds like a typical boss theme judging by the rhythmic guitar and synth. I like the slow middle section with the ambiance and guitar together. It’s a good track, though the fade out ending makes it strangely out of place since it’s the only song that fades.

The last track is the 8-bit version of the “Bionic Commando Theme.” It’s mixed into proper stereo, and does some neat stuff with the harmonies going from side to side, which is cool since it shows they actually put some real effort into doing this track. What can you really say about this song, it’s a classic, and most NES gamers know it by heart. The iconic drums, the war themed tone, it’s a song fans love dearly. It would have been nice if they mixed in a few more songs and made a medley out of it, but at the same time it compliments the piano arrangement earlier.

For fans of Bionic Commando, I’d suggest picking this up, if only for the jazz piano song. The 2 first songs might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but at a budget price, and for pure nostalgia goodness, it should bring back fond memories in some of you. Maybe the Bionic Commando: Master D Resurrection trailer will convince you to pick this up? It sure did for me.

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