Biohazard 2 Complete Track :: Review by Chris
The most important thing to know about the Biohazard 2 Complete Track is that it is an additional score complementary to the Biohazard 2 Original Soundtrack. No single complete soundtrack for Resident Evil 2 has been released unlike other soundtracks in the series. This particular soundtrack features the pieces that were omitted from the best soundtrack mainly pieces used in short cinematic sequences, transient or bonus areas, and bonus gameplay modes. There are plenty of interesting pieces to be found here that probably would have been welcome in the best soundtrack. However, there is a lot of superfluous material and short tracks too. Is this album worth your time and money?
Despite being an additional score, there are quite a few tracks on the album that will be highly memorable for those who played the game. "Left Alone?" is an atmospheric theme for the arrival at the police station; it offers a tragic string-based recital of a secondary recurring theme to prepare gamers for the drama that will unfold. "Nothing More to Do Here" was one of the most notable omissions from the main soundtrack as it was used in several places during the police station chapter; it mysteriously combines slow glissandi between string notes, minimalist glockenspiel figures, and fulfilling chord progressions. Also notable is "Madness Under the Mask". Featured during the encounter with the police chief, it uses increasingly more prominent glockenspiel as the primary source of curiosity in a similar way to Resident Evil's "Vacant Flat". Other pleasing tracks include the bittersweet piano-decorated interlude "Hope Against Hope", the understated but beautiful sewers theme "Wandering Alone", and the excellently assembled RE4-styled noise music "This is My Nest". Wesker's secret theme used in the laboratory is also to be found here!
The action themes are all effective in context, but vary in enjoyment levels on a stand-alone basis. They range from striking modernist themes like "Above the Blood Pool" to slow-building preparation themes such as "Destined to be Malformed". The Psycho-influenced panic theme "Screaming Target" is striking in context too, but pretty unbearable during the 30 seconds it plays on the soundtrack. Others like "The Gigantic Alligator" or "'It' is After You" are pretty lacklustre out of context and don't inspire many emotions at all. While derivative and underdeveloped, "The Buildup of Suspense" and "Like a Shadow" do exactly what is intended in the game. Cinematic themes like "Who's That Lady" and "Women Squaring Off" also add mystery to the storyline by blending continuity with contrast. Beyond that, there are cinematic cues that are too short like "Now in Two Pieces" and "Heads Up" or so low-key that they come across as filler in the soundtrack such as "His Final Scoop" and "Drove the Passengers To Be the Living Dead". Evidently, there are a lot of superfluous cues here even if they're collectively tolerable.
"Fearful is No Word For It" and "Maximise Your Survival Instinct" are two themes used for the gameplay with Hunk or Tofu in 4th Survivor mode. They both revolved around a quirky augmented string motif that continually grows faster to reflect time running out. The Extreme Battle section features some remixes of established themes while taking more liberties with styles and instrumentation. Most of the themes focus on offering an atmospheric militaristic tone, however, and "The Daredevil Tour" even provides an introduction to Resident Evil 3's so-called main theme. Another bonus addition is the excellent eight minutes orchestral medley of Resident Evil 2 themes provided on the Biohazard Orchestra Album. It's wonderful to hear classic themes like "Raccoon City", "Escape From Laboratory", and "The Third Malformation of 'G'" presented with the emotion and power of a full orchestra. Most listeners would be better buying the full arranged album rather than limit themselves to this arrangement. The second disc merely features a sound effects collection, voice collection, and a composer interview all in Japanese.
Casual players of Resident Evil 2 probably won't notice the omissions from the main soundtrack featured here. Only a few tracks like "Nothing More to Do Here", "Madness Under the Mask", and "Wreakage of the Mad Experiment" were particularly memorable in the game. Most of the rest of the material serves to enhance the cinematic sequences or maintain the mood of the game, but isn't interesting on a stand-alone basis. There are nonetheless a few bonuses, such as the well done 4th Survivor and Extreme Battle modes and the additional material for orchestra lovers and Japanese listeners. Those that find the Biohazard 2 Original Soundtrack should consider this, but it should only be a secondary purchase for the most hardcore fans.
Overall Score: 5/10