Game Music, Reviews

You’re It: Tekken Tag Tournament, Hybrid Style (Review)

November 21, 2011 | | 1 Comment Share thison Facebook You’re It: Tekken Tag Tournament, Hybrid Style (Review)on Twitter

We posted last week about Tekken Hybrid which is out this week, containing Tekken Tag Tournament HD, a demo of the upcoming Tekken Tag Tournament 2, and the Tekken Blood Vengeance CGI film all in one nice set. While the standard edition will be available for $39.99, those who want to splurge and spend $59.99 will get a nice case, an art book, and of course a double-disc limited edition soundtrack.

While we already noted what was contained within, we’re going to take a more in-depth look at the music to let you know what to expect. Hit the jump for our review.

Tekken Tag Tournament is easily my favorite Tekken title, and the one I probably spent the most time with along with Tekken 3 and the original Tekken (which I liked to show off to non-gamers to demonstrate how far videogame graphics had come). The soundtrack was also fantastic, with several tracks from Yu Miyake, Keiichi Okabe, Nobuyoshi Sano, Akitaka Tohyama, and the rest of the gang.

My hands down favorite, and one that’s been near the top of my iPod rotation since its release is “Xiaoyu” by Keiichi Okabe. I had this track as my ringtone for a time, and the awesome disco track may even top Okabe’s work on NieR as my favorite composition of his. It certainly demonstrates his versatility in comparison to NieR.  Yoshimitsu gets a fitting quirky electronic tune, highlighting my favorite eccentric space ninja, while Ogre gets an epic orchestral/electronic fusion piece, hitting heavy as the final battle theme from the game.

Yu Miyake is a highlight on this album with his frantic theme for Marshall Law, sounding as though something is about to explode, as well as the slow, gritty, and seemingly confused theme for King, which sums up how I feel about that character.

In all, I have to say that the Tekken Tag Tournament soundtrack has certainly aged quite a bit, but there are still some real gems here. The tracks tend to be a little on the short side, but you pretty much have the entire PS2 version of the soundtrack presented here, which is pretty awesome.

It’s then on to Tekken Tag Tournament 2 on disc 2. The only track names that are missing from the 2-disc release from SuperSweep are the two ‘extended version’ tracks, although we won’t know until we have both releases in hand what the real differences are. The disc presented with Tekken Hybrid may very well be pretty complete, and I’m liking what I’m hearing.

The album will get the nostalgia pumping with a slew of remixes, although Yu Miyake’s eclectic compositions seem to be missing. You’ll be able to pick out the remixes as they each have ‘mix’ in their subtitle, with the two highlights being the main “Piano Intro” theme, which gets a nice update with some heavy electronic sounds and “School” by Nobuyoshi Sano which is my favorite track from the Tekken Tag Tournament 2 material. The driving bass-heavy remix actually surpasses the original which never really caught my attention. I also dig “The Strongest Iron Arena” with its ascending melody.

The other remixes don’t really stand out as much. “Moonlit Wilderness” from Tekken 5 was always one of my favorite stages (and themes), but the arrangement here is muddy and less defined. Go Shiina recreates his own track with “Snow Castle,” abandoning the awesome rock and orchestral stylings of the original in favor of an uninspired electronic remix.

This is Tekken, however, and gritty electronic bass and synth lines dominate. Rio Hamamoto’s sole contribution, “Sunny,” gets the blood pumping and adds a refreshing ethnic vibe in the process, sounding very desert-like. The character select theme, “AIM TO WIN,” has a very club-like feel to it (I already know I’m picking Yoshimitsu), while “Zirkus” sports a bass line that will hammer down on your brain. “Tool Pusher” stands out for its seemingly detuned warbling synth work that is a tad unsettling along with “F.F.Y.R.” or “Fight For Your Right” with its bizarre robotic vocals.

There are of course the few tracks that don’t really fit the electronic mold. “Sadistic Xmas” is a strange and almost festive track, while “Fiji” is a silly tropical vacation. “Electro Parade” will have you thinking of Disney’s electric light parade, not only because of its title, but because of its cheerful melody, while “Un Deux Trois” is an evil circus of sorts with high-pitched synth notes. I love the dreamy belltones and warm pads in “What you will see” before it delves into glitchy IDM territory, and “Night falls,” another favorite of mine, has a cool pop quality about it that is instantly catchy. “Tekstep Fountain” will surprise you with its romantic orchestral chorus section that sounds like something out of Granado Espada.

Best song title goes to “IT’S NOT A TUNA!,” which perhaps refers to the rapid, seizure-inducing shifts in direction of the track, working in vintage music bits in between electronic sections without much of a melody.

The packaging it pretty minimal, but does provide complete track credits, which is a nice touch. If you’re a fan of Tekken Tag Tournament and want to get your hands on the extra book and this CD, the $20 price difference between the standard and limited editions is definitely worth your consideration. SuperSweep is putting out a 2-disc soundtrack for Tekken Tag Tournament 2 as I mentioned, but paired with the music from the original Tekken Tag Tournament, this CD certainly has some value, and I enjoyed giving it a spin.

Let us know what you think about the Tekken Hybrid release and what you’re most excited about regarding Tekken Tag Tournament 2’s soundtrack!

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