- Square Enix
  - Nintendo
  - Konami
  - Nippon Ichi
  - Grasshopper
  - Mistwalker
  - Cave
  - Basiscape
  - 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

  - Vocalists
  - The Black Mages
  - The Star Onions

Pre-Order Now:

Stream Online:

Home Contact Us Top


Yu-Suzuki Produce After Burner II :: Review by Chris

Yu-Suzuki Produce After Burner II Album Title: Yu-Suzuki Produce After Burner II
Record Label: Marvelous Entertainment
Catalog No.: MJCAX-00007
Release Date: December 17, 1997
Purchase: But at eBay


After Burner II is an aerial combat game that wasn't scared to get straight to the action. Given the game was more of an enhancement than a sequel, Hiroshi Kawaguchi took a similar approach to its score by slightly arranging, resynthing, and expanding the After Burner soundtrack. The result was one of the most memorable rocking game scores of the 80s. Initially commemorated in the After Burner - S.S.T. Band album, the game producer also decided that the game score should headline an album in his iconic 'Yu-Suzuki Produce' series. Yu-Suzuki Produce After Burner II happens to be the least comprehensive soundtrack of the series, featuring just one score and no arranged tracks. However, is it ideal for those just looking for After Burner II music with no frills attached?


Hiroshi Kawaguchi offered just six tunes for After Burner II, but they were sufficient to accompany the gameplay. The tracks define the rock flavour and gritty rhythmical focus of the series, though aren't quite as memorable as the tunes on several other Sega scores. "Maximum Power" works well as a transient title theme, tensely alternating between three suspended chords against rocking drum backing, though is not really suited for out-of-context listening. The chords are reused in a much more liberating way in "Final Take Off" as an ascending progression rather than back-and-forth. Meanwhile there are lots of rapid funk-influenced treble elements to keep things aerial during the 4:28 playtime. The samples are slightly updated relative to the After Burner score, but still more dreary than intended.

A variety of other well-developed compositions diversify the mood during gameplay. "Red Out" is an ideal theme for reflecting the endurance of air combat with its harder rock emphasis and dissonant chord sequences, though the more mellow interlude is also welcome. The synth has a considerably richer sound than the After Burner version too. "Super Stripe" meanwhile is one of the most motivating tracks on the album and probably the most catchy too. Unfortunately, it only has a track time of 1:57 on the album release whereas it fully loops on After Burner - S.S.T. Band and After Burner 20th Anniversary Box. The title theme "After Burner" is even better with its catchy opening chord progression and particularly anthemic section at 1:14. It attains a brighter sound than the original because it has been modulated up a few tones.

Hiroshi Kawaguchi also composed one new piece for the After Burner II soundtrack, "City 202". While another short piece, it has much more substance than "Maximum Power" did. Two of the themes were also given 'Melody Versions' for the game in which the once bass-focused themes are enhanced with more substantial leads. "After Burner" receives an especially impressive transformation with its extravagant keyboard lead and reaffirms its position as the strongest track in the franchise. The changes to "Final Take Off" are comparatively modest, but still welcome. Unfortunately, the revamp of "Maximum Power" is exclusive to the After Burner 20th Anniversary Box and not very interesting in the first place. The album ends with five tracks dedicated to sound effects and voices.


The After Burner II soundtrack is a solid achievement. Hiroshi Kawaguchi expands what was good about the otherwise mediocre After Burner soundtrack to create a much more emotional and memorable score. While one of the best rock game soundtracks of its time, it's still only six tracks and has been surpassed numerous times since. What's more, Yu-Suzuki Produce After Burner II is not the definitive version of these compositions. Obsessive collectors will prefer to stick with the expensive After Burner 20th Anniversary Box and others will find comfort in the arrangements on After Burner - S.S.T. Band or additional tracks on the After Burner Climax Soundtrack. Either way, this 30 minute album suffices for those looking for nothing but the original game music if it can be found cheap.

Overall Score: 6/10