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Capcom Fighting Jam Original Soundtrack :: Review by Chris

Capcom Fighting Jam Original Soundtrack Album Title: Capcom Fighting Jam Original Soundtrack
Record Label: Suleputer
Catalog No.: CPCA-10101
Release Date: December 22, 2004
Purchase: Buy at CDJapan


Capcom Fighting Evolution was a critically panned fighting crossover title based on the cancelled Capcom Fighting All-Stars. The soundtrack for the title featured a range of classic music to represent the various characters taken from earlier Capcom titles. In addition, Noriyuki Asakura was asked to create a range of new music for the additional stages and various menus. In doing so, he certainly made an impact on listeners...


Noriyuki Asakura didn't tone down his hard fusion style in any way on Capcom Fighting Evolution. The opening stage theme "Severe Way", for instance, is a bizarre combination of overdriven electric guitar riffs, overblown saxophone parts, pulsating electronic beats, and ethnic chanting, among other forces. It's certainly much more wild and abrasive than Street Fighter gamers will be used to listening to, so might be a little inaccessible. However, Asakura still ensured the track was somewhat catchy, rhythmically compelling, and, above all, effectively implemented with instrumental performances.

There is plenty of diversity elsewhere on the soundtrack to represent the contrasting environments of the game's stages. "Night of Hong Kong" references Asakura's preferred pan-Asian style with its blends of various traditional instruments and thrusting electronic beats. "Goes a Syoten-Gai!" is a little more reminiscent of classic Capcom tunes with its catchy electric guitar melody and 80s-influenced rock stylings, while "Prospered Fatherland" asserts quite an attitude with its harder anthemic rock riffs. "Desperate Struggle" is an excellent climax of the soundtrack, uniting all the contemporary and worldly elements featured on the soundtrack into a sinister and driving blend.

Not all the contributions to the soundtrack are successful, however. "At Ease!?" is a cringe-worthy attempt to integrate hip-hop into the soundtrack, combining rap voice samples with a particularly uncool electronic beat. It would have worked far better if the voices were recorded rather than taken from overused libraries. Ingrid's theme "Heat Haze" is a vocal composition that features some beautiful vocals by Maiko Kubo. Unfortunately, the instrumental arrangement is quite derivative and references the riff from "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" throughout. What's more, this track and its instrumental version are exclusive to a bonus mini CD, which will be rather inconvenient for most consumers.

Beyond the stage themes, the various tracks for the menu screens are mostly filler. Asakura certainly creates an action-packed sound on the trascks for the "Opening Demo", "Player Select", and "Game Menu (Home Version)", but they're too short and abrasive to be of long-term value. The "Ending" and "Staff Roll" are cookie-cutter rock themes that lack the personality or individuality of the stage themes. When these various subsidiary tracks are ignored, the soundtrack is certainly on the short side — featuring just eleven full-length tracks — in part due to the absence of the classic reprises.


Noriyuki Asakura's guest spot on Capcom Fighting Evolution yielded some pretty interesting music. He used his artistic freedom to offer some particularly compelling and well-implemented fusions of various contemporary elements on the stage themes, while still offering serviceable music for the menus and ending. However, his music wasn't destined to become the new sound of Capcom's fighting games, lacking somewhat in terms of mainstream accessibility and superseded in practically everywhere by Hideyuki Fukasawa's Street Fighter IV. This album is nevertheless a fairly interesting listen and partly compensates for its inconsistency and brevity with some outstanding stage themes.

Overall Score: 6/10