DoDonPachi I & II Original Soundtracks :: Review by Don
These soundtracks accompany one of Cave's most recurring shooters. Composed by Eddie You and Andrew Persons Lin, both soundtracks offer an interesting sound. Sure to split opinions, let's dive into this one, shall we?
The big focus on the DoDonPachi II soundtrack that starts the album is definitely techno. Unfortunately much of it sounds generic, even if it does offer an interesting soundscape. The few pieces I enjoy would be "Unknown (Stage 7 Boss - Secret Bee)" and "Dragnet (Stage 3 Boss - Hex Comb)," both for very different reasons. "Unknown" has a very ominous sound, even if it is rather repetitive, and the industrial sound effects combine with the synth in an enjoyable and tension building manner.
DoDonPachi II's "Dragnet," on the other hand, sounds almost verbatim to Final Fantasy IX's "Battle 1." That's the reason I like it so much. It's almost like an industrial techno doujin remix of that battle theme, to be honest. It scores no points for originality, but at the same time, it's oddly enjoyable. Overall, a fairly disappointing soundtrack. Time to move on...
Rock is the focus on the DoDonPachi soundtrack. For the most part, every piece on this soundtrack is really nice. "1 & 4 Scene BGM" is an excellent first and fourth stage theme. Intense and exhilarating, this is definitely a piece to rock out too. The electric guitar just sets the entire tone of the piece and the synth accompaniment makes an excellent addition. "2 & 5 Scene BGM" is a much slower piece than the last piece. It's got a nice guitar melody and a catchy bass line. However, at the same time, the guitar solo just helps meld together the melody and is a nice point for looping. It's a very flowing piece.
Continuing with DoDonPachi, "3 & 6 Scene BGM" offers a nice blend of electronica and rock. The electric guitar work here is mellower and doesn't offer anything flashy, but it definitely helps to define the track. The boss theme, "Boss," is awesome. The ominous opening and interludes, the wailing guitar line, and the intense bass line percussion make this one of the best shmup boss themes, at least in my opinion. They definitely did a great job with that one!
On the whole, this album is average. Offering a rather generic soundtrack with no real highlights and one chock full of highlights, it ends up coming off as a real bummer. DoDonPachi is fantastic. Hopefully Namiki can do justice to it with the upcoming DoDonPachi IV. I'd hold off on this album and try to find the one packaged with ESP Ra.De.
Overall Score: 6/10