- Atlus
  - Capcom
  - Cave
  - Falcom
  - Irem
  - 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


Onimusha 2 Original Soundtrack :: Review by Chris

Onimusha 2 Original Soundtrack Album Title: Onimusha 2 Original Soundtrack
Record Label: Suleputer
Catalog No.: CPCA-1059
Release Date: March 20, 2002
Purchase: Buy at CDJapan


Onimusha 2: Samurai's Destiny proved to be a generally satisfying sequel to Capcom's samurai action game. Mamoru Samuragouchi did not return for the score and was instead replaced by established cinematic composer Taro Iwashiro and two additional composers from Capcom. The resultant score is functional and enjoyable, but lacks the ambition or refinement of Samarugouchi's magnum opus.


Taro Iwashiro headlines the soundtrack release with several expansive cues. The "Onimusha 2 Main Theme" has a conventional cinematic quality to it, contrary to the more avant-garde theme for Onimusha, with soft soaring strings and sampled tribal percussion. The peak of this slow-developing composition comes at 3:44 and, though subtle, it is still inspiring and leads into a somewhat elegaic conclusion. The opening theme meanwhile takes a militaristic approach with agitated phrases and driving snares. It is less wholesome than the main theme, due to its abrupt development and average production values, but there are still plenty of twists and contrasts during the development. Primarily a fitting accompaniment to the vivid scenes in the game's opening, it is also a considerable stand-alone highlight.

Iwashiro elaborates on these foundations with a range of setting and boss themes used in the main gameplay. Tracks such as "Gold Mine I" or "Kotarou's Theme" blend traditional Japanese instruments with driving use of orchestra. Unfortunately, both types of instruments are used primarily in a functional rather than artistic way, with the leading strings often sounding repetitive and the shakuhachi use sounding derivative. There are some more ambitious moments on the soundtrack, such as "Valley Hidden in the Fog" with its surreal development, "Magoichi's Theme" with its decisive melody, or "Battle with Nobunaga" with its organ continuo, but even these don't fulfil their full potential. They sound rather meagre efforts compared with the better produced and developed themes on the original Onimusha or Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams.

A significant proportion of the soundtrack is composed by two in-house Capcom composers, Hideki Okugawa and Toshihiko Horiyama. For the most part, their contributions sound more like conventional game music than Taro Iwashiro's and are even less elaborate in terms of both thickness and development. Setting themes such as the pastoral "Merchant Town" or mystical "Forest of Deception" certainly suffice in context, but are rather mundane outside of it; they're not masterful works of ambient soundscaping, like equivalent themes on the successor soundtrack, but rather successions of simple looped passages atop a percussion line. There are occasionally more interesting timbres on tracks such as "Jujudoma's Cave" and "Gifu Castle", but even these loop too soon to be particularly impressive.

Sadly, their action tracks also lack in terms of quality. "Decisive Battle with Kingamfats", for instance, was intended to be momentous in the game, but in actuality it sounds feeble; Horiyama's desperate attempts to create tension with the trap kit and piano discords certainly fall flat. The battle themes for Jujudoma and Gogandantes are also underwhelming. The inconsistent soundtrack ends with one more anomaly: the theme song for the Japanese version of the game, "Russian Roulette". Tomoyasu Hotei's light-hearted vocals and the rocking accompaniment is certainly a wild contrast to the rest of the soundtrack, and not a particularly welcome one at that.


The Onimusha 2 score is probably the weakest soundtrack in the series. There is no doubt that Taro Iwashiro is a competent orchestral composer, but it is clear that the artist reserves his best material for films such as Red Cliff, whereas this score features mostly generic and underdeveloped compositions from him. The in-house contributions from Capcom are even more disappointing and often exhibit an amateurish quality. The production values are also quite disappointing throughout and, while most of the sampling is adequate, the album certainly falls against other soundtracks in the Onimusha series for its the lack of orchestra performances. It is best to skip the Onimusha 2 Original Soundtrack and consider the Onimusha 2 Orchestra Album instead.

Overall Score: 6/10