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Dino Crisis 3 Original Soundtrack :: Review by Chris

Dino Crisis 3 Original Soundtrack Album Title: Dino Crisis 3 Original Soundtrack
Record Label: Suleputer
Catalog No.: CPCA-1073
Release Date: July 16, 2003
Purchase: Buy at eBay


Dino Crisis 3 was a departure from the first instalment of the series in that it was set in a space station and offers technological refinements due to the use of the Xbox rather than PlayStation. To fit the space theme, Capcom opted for a cinematic orchestral score emulating science-fiction movie soundtracks. They decided to hire the T's Music rather than use their own sound team which wasn't very experienced at handling such scores. Shinichiro Sato, best known for his work on Record of Lodoss War and Gungriffon 2, ended up composing the entire score. The result was professional in terms of both composition and synthesis, but is there enough to distinguish this score from the similarly composed movie soundtracks out there?


"Opening" a space station at the start of the game with ethereal use of piano, percussion, and synth pads. The piece abruptly transitions into a commanding march with rich string punctuation and brass melodies to depict a team approaching the station. After a beautiful chorus-led interlude, the theme takes a sinister turn, demonstrating the approaching ship's destruction with dramatic string runs and bold brass and chorus use. There are other cinematic themes throughout the rest of the soundtrack that are all effective in context, though are too brief and similar to be notable listens. There are plenty of action-packed militaristic themes such as "Power of a Strange Ozymandias" and "Discovery of Hope" while there are also crisis themes like "Destruction and Creation" and "In Order to Live" that take their influence from dissonant music. Of the strongest cinematically inclined themes are the thematically continuous character themes "Patrick" and "Jacob". Whereas the former is a brief but beautiful string-led anthem, the latter is an intense action theme that integrates the electric guitar in the only time in the score.

Moving on to the action themes, "Australis" is a suitably formidable theme for a giant genetically modified T-Rex. The piece is based upon a bass crisis motif that represents the movements of the beast. The contrast of motion and repetition in the rest of the piece explores the player's decisions on whether to run or fight. Plenty of dynamism is created in later sections with roaring brass melodies, shrill woodwind and string runs, and heavy punctuation from percussion and orchestral chords. Though its constant return to the bass motif becomes eventually frustrating on a stand-alone level, it works well in context. As for the velociraptor mutants "Kornephoros", they're portrayed by contrasting mischievious brass figures with threatening percussion cross-rhythms in another exciting cue. "Miaplacidus" is another theme that creates action and atmosphere with brassy timbres and rhythmical grooves, though there is enough individualism for it to be interesting, especially in the soloistic trumpet line and industrial percussion use.

Moving on to more atmospheric tracks, "Grounds of Peacefulness" seems inspired by the soothing save room themes of past Dino Crisis scores. Some beautiful soundscapes are created with the contrast of several different types of synthetic instrument, though it's also clear that any relief is only transient. Though much more moody and punctuated, "The Way For Surviving" is a gorgeous highlight due to its soft piano use and other treble nuances. There are darker themes too like "Strange Fear" with its malevolent noise-infested soundscapes or "Space Filled with Doubt" with its ear-piercing treble synth and spacey sound effects. "The Nest of Nigel" and "Caren" are reminiscent of horror movie scoring with their contrasts of suspended arco strings, unpredictable pizzicato strings, and sinister sound effects. A high tempo standout is "A New Kind". It's surprisingly simple on an intrinsic compositional level, but creates a big impact in game and soundtrack alike with its combination of crisp techno, strings, and brass motifs.

The conclusion of the soundtrack is one of the greatest strengths. Following the short but stunning "Those Who Inherit Will", "Fight with a Gene" captures all the desperation at the end of the game. With motivating main theme reprises, bold choral interludes, and an action-packed finale, it's certainly a highlight. The final battle theme "Cebelrai" is as epic as it should be. Exhibiting rhythmical thrust and aggressive punctuation throughout, it incorporates multiple emotions from the monstrous opening to the enigmatic interludes to the heroic last section. After another short cinematic track, "Staff Roll" wraps everything up in an emotionally charged 5:32 cue for Sato's ever-brassy orchestra. With an heroic anthem, a glorious thematic reprise, a racing action section, a tragic spacey interlude, a fierce imperial march, and an awe-inspiring coda, it's hardly comforting overall, but certainly fantastic. These themes define exactly what this score is all about and ensures that it is at last thematically compelling.


As with most of T's Music productions for Capcom, this soundtrack is consistently competent, enjoyable, and fitting. It's definitely an impressive example of how Japanese composers can successfully emulate cinematic orchestral composers. However, I'm not sure if that equates with unmissable. There are numerous well-known science-fiction movie soundtracks that exhibit a very similar style to this one and are more thematic, coherent, yet diverse overall. The soundtrack is recommended if you've exhausted the well-known movie soundtracks out there or are such a big fan of the game that you're desperate to hear the soundtrack out of context. However, don't come to this soundtrack expecting a musical revelation or anything like the first two Dino Crisis soundtracks.

Overall Score: 7/10