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Soul Calibur Broken Destiny Original Soundtrack :: Review by Chris

Soul Calibur Broken Destiny Original Soundtrack Album Title: Soul Calibur Broken Destiny Original Soundtrack
Record Label: Namco Bandai Games
Catalog No.: iTunes
Release Date: October 13, 2009
Purchase: Buy at iTunes


Soul Calibur: Broken Destiny is a critically acclaimed PSP spinoff of the Soul Calibur series of fighting games. The Namco Sound Team returned to craft the music for this entry, using epic orchestral writing to depict the style of the game and streaming technology to achieve realistic sound. Series' veterans Junichi Nakatsuru and Keiki Kobayashi crafted a mixture of new compositions and arrangements for the score, though the majority of the material is rehashed from other games. Its soundtrack was originally released in a best of compilation with the game's strategy guide. However, it is now available as a stand-alone purchase through iTunes.


While the selection is ten tracks long, only four of these are original compositions. The opening theme immediately sets the epic orchestral tone of the soundtrack complete with its bold brass and booming percussion. Due to the brief length of the cinematic, this piece clocks in at just 1:21; yet it packs so much drama and excitement into that playtime that it sounds surprisingly fulfilling. Nakatsuru's subsequent contributions, "Battle Cry" and "One's Mark in History", adapt the familiar tone of the series to prepare for the onset of action, the former a bittersweet anthem, the latter a rousing march.

Arrangements from Soul Calibur IV actually dominate the Soul Calibur: Broken Destiny score. Tracks such as "To the Wind", "Destiny Will Tell", and "Mystic Mystique" maintain the vigour and lyricism of their originals despite suffering a minor downgrade in sound quality. Nakatsuru's "Afterglow - A Silent Prayer" is more transformative; he marvelously elaborates upon "Immaculate Pledge" to give a track even better than the original. Meanwhile Keiki Kobayashi considerably improves "Innocent Vision" — beautifully juxtaposition of shakuhachi wails, passionate strings, and world percussion from start to finish — while offering an orchestral bombastic tone to Masaharu Iwata's once organic "Halcyon Harbor".

Nakatsuru's "Who's Stepped On Her Tail?" is a nice way to conclude the section with a comical march. Despite its silly tone, it is perhaps the most classically-oriented entry in the album and demonstrates once more Nakatsuru's command of the orchestra. Despite being a PSP game, the sound quality is very high in these themes, even if not quite up to the exceptional standard of Soul Calibur IV. It's somewhere between Soul Calibur II and Soul Calibur III in quality and that's certainly no mean feat.


The Soul Calibur: Broken Destiny score seems to have very little new material, but what is present is good musically and technically. The original compositions are quite strong and written in the spirit of the rest of the series. The arrangements meanwhile preserve the Soul Calibur IV sound despite the inferior capacity of the PSP. It's great that these tracks have received some sort of stand-alone release and iTunes provides a good way to listen to them. It's just a pity Basiscape's score for Soul Calibur: Legends never received a similar treatment. Either way, the Soul Calibur series continues to be a musically hefty franchise.

Overall Score: 7/10