- Atlus
  - Capcom
  - Cave
  - Falcom
  - Konami
  - Microsoft
  - Namco Bandai
  - Nintendo
  - Nippon Ichi
  - Grasshopper
  - Sega
  - Sony
  - Square Enix
  - Western Games

  - Castlevania
  - Chrono
  - Dragon Quest
  - Final Fantasy
  - Kingdom Hearts
  - Mana
  - Mario
  - Megami Tensei
  - Mega Man
  - Metal Gear
  - Resident Evil
  - SaGa
  - Silent Hill
  - Sonic
  - Star Ocean
  - Street Fighter
  - Suikoden
  - Tales
  - Ys
  - Zelda

  - Masashi Hamauzu
  - Norihiko Hibino
  - Kenji Ito
  - Noriyuki Iwadare
  - Koji Kondo
  - Yuzo Koshiro
  - Shoji Meguro
  - Yasunori Mitsuda
  - Manabu Namiki
  - Hitoshi Sakimoto
  - Motoi Sakuraba
  - Tenpei Sato
  - Yoko Shimomura
  - Koichi Sugiyama
  - Masafumi Takada
  - Nobuo Uematsu
  - Michiru Yamane
  - Akira Yamaoka

Home Contact Us Top


Street Fighter EX2 Original Soundtrack :: Review by Chris

Street Fighter EX2 Original Soundtrack Album Title: Street Fighter EX2 Original Soundtrack
Record Label: Pony Canyon
Catalog No.: PCCB-00322
Release Date: June 17, 1998
Purchase: Buy at Game Music Online


In Street Fighter tradition, Capcom decided one incarnation of Street Fighter EX was not enough and they collaborated with Arika to develop the subseries into a trilogy. With each release, gamers were greeted with new characters, more combos, enhanced graphics, and a new musical score. Once again, Takayuki Aihara, Shinji Hosoe, and Ayako Saso returned to Street Fighter EX2 to offer an even more expansive and ambitious score. Their efforts were released, together with the new music featured on the PlayStation's Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha, for an album release in 1998. Time for a closer analysis...


For the most part, Street Fighter EX2 is harder and more experimental than its predecessor. The majority of the compositions feature some sort of hard-hitting electronic or industrial beat and most exhibit quite a wild flair. However, this doesn't mean that the series' character or melodiousness has disappeared. Take, for instance, Ayako Saso's "White Field". It has all the elements of a hostile industrial theme with its distorted leads and heavy beats, yet the melodies are surprisingly cutesy and the rhythms are amazingly catchy. It's industrial music, but not of the unattractive kind. Likewise, while the first section of Takayuki Aihara's "Mahatma Temple" is dominated by a hostile blend of organ work and trance beats, the thrash rock development makes it all the more worth it. Aihara also took the honour of contributing the game's cheesy rock-influenced piece, "The Infinite Earth", and the result is just as delightful as Ken's classic theme. Even the character select theme is amazingly catchy this time around...

Once again, there is a massive amount of diversity in the soundtrack. While the soundtrack is more location-focused than character-focused this time around, this still allows for plenty of cultural diversity. Take, for instance, how Saso blends punchy techno beats with pentatonic melodies to represent a busy Hong Kong in "Crowded Town". Likewise Hosoe beautifully blends shakuhachi melodies with wild chanting and beats in "Three Tree". Both are certainly among the score's most creatively inspired and wonderfully developed compositions. The Street Fighter EX2 soundtrack is rounded off with distortion-heavy arrangements of the climactic themes from Street Fighter EX, namely "Amusementative Crime 2" and "More Stronger". They lead into Saso's original composition "Passage of Lotus" to represent the encounter with M. Bison in Thailand; while mostly a very hostile industrial techno theme, even this track manages to incorporate a brief catchy and motivating moment.

Probably the biggest highlight of the album are the ten exclusive tracks featured from the PlayStation port of Street Fighter EX. Listeners are able to find out how the rocking title theme, flamenco-influenced "Garnet Sky", or Arabian-styled "Arabesque" would have sounded were hardware limitations not so significant. The conclusion? Great. These tracks are filled with crystal clear instrumental samples, all sorts of harmonic intricacies, and convincingly styled solos; the reprise of the series' main cue during "Arabesque" is especially welcome and testifies to the theme's status as a Street Fighter classic. There are also several original compositions, ranging from Chun-Li's peppy Chinese-flavoured "Spinning Bird" to Cycloid's minimalistic techno mix "The Future", all of which are creatively inspired and generally clear hits. If only Pony Canyon dedicated a whole album to such music...


Overall, this is a very accomplished album. The Street Fighter EX2 is clearly a massive improvement on its predecessor, both more stylistically creative and melodically appealing. The Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha selection is also very welcome, both for its inspired arrangements and high quality originals. However, note that the majority of the Street Fighter EX2 pieces were arranged for the Street Fighter EX2 Plus Original Soundtrack to accompany the console release of the game. Though many will still prefer the authentic versions, myself included, the arrangements do offer enhanced sound quality and many fascinating twists. It's therefore worth reading around before committing to the still excellent Arcade album.

Overall Score: 8/10