Game Music, Reviews

The World Ends With You: Come on and do the peace! (review)

June 24, 2008 | | 1 Comment Share thison Facebook The World Ends With You: Come on and do the peace! (review)on Twitter

Can a game have too much style? Well, when the highly-stylized Subarashiki Kono Sekai was announced in Japan, most gamers dismissed it as a Japanese-tailored title that would never make its way to the United States. We were subsequently shocked when it quickly made its way here as The World Ends With You. Even more, with the recent addition of game music to the new Square Enix Store, I was further surprised to see them championing the game’s soundtrack in the US.

The music is composed by Square Enix’s Takeharu Ishimoto with a variety of artists performing on the album. From hip-hop, to electronica, to pop, to straight-up experimental, Ishimoto demonstrates his versatility while maintaining a high level of quality. The album features mainly vocal tracks that are (and I keep saying this) surprisingly in English for the most part. I haven’t seen such an eclectic collection of music outside the Dance Dance Revolution franchise!

Read full impressions of this experiment in gaming and audio after the jump.

To start things off, the opening track, “It’s so Wonderful,” has a quirky yet calculated feel that is somewhat reminiscent of Nobuo Uematsu’s style. It has a sleek layer of funk to give it its own distinct flavor, although truly, this is an exception to the rules (or lack thereof) that govern the rest of the album.

From here female vocals dominate, starting with “Twister,” which sports fast-paced vocals with a robotic tinge. There are actually several versions of “Twister” on the album, making it a theme song of sorts. “Long Dream” follows suit with catchy English pop lyrics sung over a trance-like musical accompaniment. The slow paced yet busy atmosphere make this track one of my favorites on the album.

Another track, “Hybrid,” appears twice, once in English and once in Japanese (a nice treat), featuring a rock sound with a memorable chorus section, although the dreamy synthesizer segment in the middle of the song is what hits the spot for me. “Fighting for Freedom” on the other hand is a driving electronic piece that chugs along at a steady pace, making occasional use of vocals in the form of computerized voices that repeat the track’s title.

A Japanese track titled “O-Parts” follows with maximum weirdness. Female vocalists go back and forth in a hip-hop style, throwing in English phrases like, “I always dress right,” and “do the peace!” Telephones ring in the background and voices are manipulated in chipmunk fashion, creating a unique listening experience that is one of the highlights of the album. “Let’s Get Together” and “Slash and Slash” ensure that 8-bit music is represented while “Imprinting” show’s off Ishemoto’s scratching skills.

Strange? Maybe, but definitely interesting. It’s great to hear music that matches the game’s visual style so perfectly. With that said, this album isn’t for everyone. However, there are a variety of styles represented, so it’s likely you’ll find at least one track that you’ll enjoy.  Ishimoto should definitely be commended for both his originality and ability to write effective music in so many different styles. The packaging itself is pretty cool as well with a heavy embossed plastic sleeve to protect the disc case itself (pictured below). If you’re up for something new, I recommend heading over to the Square Enix Store to pick up a copy of The World Ends With You Original Soundtrack along with other albums from the Final Fantasy series and more.

Did you play the game and have thoughts about the soundtrack? Would you like to see more original soundtracks like this in the future?

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