- Atlus
  - Capcom
  - Cave
  - Falcom
  - 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


Shin Megami Tensei NINE Premium Soundtrack :: Review by Chris

Shin Megami Tensei NINE Premium Soundtrack Album Title: Shin Megami Tensei NINE Premium Soundtrack
Record Label: Atlus
Catalog No.: Promotional
Release Date: December 5, 2002
Purchase: Buy at eBay


Shin Megami Tensei: NINE is a Japan-only Xbox exclusive with rather distinct gameplay elements to other games in the Megami Tensei series. It isn't the ninth game in the series and instead the title refers to the number of alignments in the game. Two lesser known Atlus composers, Masaki Kurokawa and Takahiro Ogata, offered a stylistically diverse accompaniment to the game. They blended new compositions with arrangements from Shin Megami Tensei and Shin Megami Tensei II. The results are compiled in the Shin Megami Tensei NINE Premium Soundtrack released in limited quantities with the game.


The game's opening concept music demonstrates that the composers have kept alive most of the trademarks of the series. Opening with deathly ambient chords taken from Shin Megami Tensei, the theme transitions into a section dedicated to fast-paced hard-edged rock riffs. The soundscapes are eventually rounded things off with fresh piano work and electronic overtones reminiscent of Meguro's works. Most of these elements are explored elsewhere in the album, though it is probably the electronic elements that are most prominent. For example, "Shinjuku" depicts the Tokyo district in a modern manner with cool piano lines and jazzy electronic backing, while the abstract Shin Megami Tensei II remix "RTS" is bound to take listeners on a surreal journey with its bubbling beats. "Shibuya" and "Kichijoji 2" are particularly interesting since they are more atmospheric and imaginative arrangements of their Shin Megami Tensei counterparts.

The action tracks are a little less effective on the album. There are also plenty of rocking pieces on the album. "Boss Battle System" and "Battle (D Neutral)" really get the pace going with their rocking riffs and distorted electric guitar parts. However, the former sometimes seems a little too barren in the chord-focused sections, suffering from its relatively weak source material of the Shin Megami Tensei "Boss" theme. Others are rhythmically focused themes intended to create tension transiently in the game, such as "N Law" taken from Shin Megami Tensei II, whereas "D Law" is a refreshing new age take on the usual battle formula. The battle tracks at the end of the game, "L Chaos" and "D Chaos", offer a little more grit and intensity within the otherwise established rock format, though are nothing special. At least the "Last Boss Battle" is wonderfully haunting in context and uses the Xbox to produce atmospheric soundscapes built from chorus and percussion use.

There is quite a bit of diversity elsewhere in the soundtrack. Of the ambient themes, "Name Entry" is notable since it sets the eerie tone of the game in a simple but effective way, using material from Shin Megami Tensei's "Dream". However, "Panic" is pretty fascinating too with its experimental percussion use and string crisis motifs. Perhaps in homage to Majin Tensei, the strongest funk influences in the soundtrack are actually in the highly contemporary Kichijoji, Akihabara, and Roppongi themes, while "Shop" is a rare light-hearted effort with semi-acoustic guitar improvisation and doo-wop vocals. Taken from Shin Megami Tensei, "Heretic Mansion" is once again an awe-inspiring pipe organ solo, although the faux-Baroque writing is less intricate than it pretends to be. Based on Shin Megami Tensei's "Law", "Mesia Cathedral" creates similar emotions but through a gorgeous synthesized chorale. "Staff Roll" wraps things up with one of the most chilling efforts on the soundtrack, though also note that there is also a rocking bonus track for the true last boss after lots of silence around the 8:50 mark.


The Shin Megami Tensei NINE Premium Soundtrack is one of the strongest scores in the Megami Tensei series aside Shin Megami Tensei III and Revelations: Persona. The composers offer a wide variety of soundscapes in line with the rest of the series while asserting their own identity with contemporary electronic pieces and various experimental arrangements. The vanilla battle themes let down the release slightly, but there is more than enough offered by the setting themes and beyond for it to be worth a look. Serious Megami Tensei music fans should try finding this at auction.

Overall Score: 8/10