Chip Music, Game Music, Reviews

Fake Retro, Real Glory: Dark Void Zero Soundtrack (Review)

March 31, 2010 | | 3 Comments Share thison Facebook Fake Retro, Real Glory: Dark Void Zero Soundtrack (Review)on Twitter

One of the first big title releases this year was Dark Void, which was released on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC early January. The game centers around a pilot during the WWII era who gets teleported into a different dimension where he meets Krang and battles the Technodrome. Well, maybe not that last part, but he did travel through dimensions, and we already reviewed the soundtrack and found it to be an enjoyable affair. While it may not have been the most memorable game, it did offer some excellent music, and one track in particular stood out among all these, the Mega Version 8-bit rendition of the main theme.

CAPCOM seemed to take notice of this as they had previously had great success with retro inspired titles like Mega Man 9 and Bionic Commando ReArmed and announced a faux NES title would be developed on the DSiWare dowload service. Bear McCreary was brought in to score and arrange, which was surely a dream come true for the admitted videogame music fan.

Hit the jump to see if they captured the NES feel!

The first thing you’ll notice is the short length by today’s standards. While we now see more multiple disc epics than I see female bosoms per month, back in those glory days soundtracks often consisted of only 3-4 stage tracks which were short loops of melody and small jingles to either congratulate your success or rub in your defeat. CAPCOM originally started this whole retro game as a joke, which grew into being a real release, and was ironically better received than it’s next-gen counterpart. They went all the way by creating a back story where the game had been shelved during the shift from NES to SNES, and even dragged Jimmy Fallon into the game to tie in with real life.

The soundtrack itself is extremely inspired by Mega Man titles, and uses the same samples and progression. The melodies are strong, and work well to back up the action in the game which is something of a lost art in newer soundtracks. When using samples so reminiscent of a classic series like Mega Man, it further enhances the “real” feel to the supposedly forgotten retro title and there’s something familiar to each track. Every oldschool gamer out there has at one time or another listened to Mega Man music, and so you welcome this soundtrack quickly because it is so familiar.

Composition-wise, it’s all solid stuff as well. As mentioned, you won’t find long drawn out epics here, but nor do you need it. Every full length song uses effective ways to trigger emotions in the player rather than relying on a high budget orchestra. As in all Mega Man soundtracks, you’ll find heroic themes, frantic high-paced boss stage themes and a somber ending theme. The percussion is the same bubbly style, and arpeggios and harmonies are used throughout. My favorite track is probably “Dark Void Zero Cinematic,” which is a nice slow ending theme integrating the main theme melody, though “Inner Sanctum” is also quite awesome and mysterious. It’s also the longest track at 2 minutes.

With only 9 tracks clocking in at 13 minutes total, half of which are roughly a minute and a half long, you might be wondering if it’s at all worth it. It redoubtably is if you’re a fan of authentic styled NES soundtracks, and being a Mega Man fan doesn’t hurt either, as you can think of this as an adopted third cousin to the series or something. It’s also priced very reasonably at $1.99 US, so there’s little reason why not to pick this up. If you’re a fan of these things and wanna see more, why not help the cause?  It’s currently available at Sumthing Digital.

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