Game Music, Reviews

Neo XYX Puts Rafael Dyll In Exciting New Territory (Review)

January 20, 2015 | | Comment? Share thison Facebook Neo XYX Puts Rafael Dyll In Exciting New Territory (Review)on Twitter

Neo XYX (XYX pronounced “Zikes,” rhymes with “likes”) is the latest shooter from the unique group NG:DEV.TEAM. They’ve been putting out special way-past-end-of-life games for Sega Dreamcast for quite some time now, and their games also appear as arcade cabinets (usually just in Japan). NG:DEV has had for most, if not all, of their game music, turned to German composer Rafael Dyll. Games like Last Hope, Gunlord, and another studio’s (Sidequest STudios’) recent RPG Rainbow Moon all had their music composed by Dyll.

In this latest soundtrack, Rafael Dyll ventures into new musical territory, trying out new styles and instrumentation that I’ve not heard him take up before. The end result? Follow along to get my answer.

Here’s my extremely crappy metaphor for what happened here. I’m stretching the “having a baby” metaphor as far as I can. It goes like this: Nihon Falcom and CAVE got together and had a baby. That baby then grew up, got together with SuperSweep, and they built a bunch of robot-babies. Those robot-babies combined into a Mega-Zord-like Voltron guy. Then Rafael Dyll found the Voltron robot, piloted it, and this soundtrack just started playing in the background while he sliced up evil aliens and stuff.

Something I noticed about this soundtrack, that I really enjoyed, was the re-use of key melodic themes. Stage 1 and Stage 3 have that same drag triplet melody. And it’s a melody akin to Ys III‘s “The Boy’s Got Wings.” Stages 4 and 6 have some similar counter-melodic / harmonic patterns. Stranglely, “In the Machine” is the more acoustic sounding track, while “Lion’s Den” is heavily synthesized.

The six stage themes are all beautiful. In my opinion, stages 3 and 4 are the best. I also enjoy the end credits music quite a bit. It is fitting for this short burst of energy. And I cannot emphasize that word enough: short. If there’s one thing that bugs me about this soundtrack, it is its length. Only 25 minutes, no!!! This fun new style Rafael Dyll has adopted is so very scrumptuous, but I want more! Fortunately, for its size, this soundtrack is priced just right. The digital version (which only came out a few months ago) on Bandcamp runs at minimum price of 2 Euros. That’s a great deal for a 25 minute OST. But I’d rather pay 10 Euros and have a 70 minute soundtrack. Maybe if NG:DEV makes a bigger game in 2015…

Until then, enjoy the layered synths, chips, and more life-like instruments. This is a beautiful amalgamation, very much worth adding to one’s digital VGM collection.

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