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Ninja Gaiden II ~ The Dark Sword of Chaos :: Review by Sitorimon

Ninja Gaiden II ~ The Dark Sword of Chaos Album Title: Ninja Gaiden II ~ The Dark Sword of Chaos
Record Label: Meldac
Catalog No.: MECG-28004
Release Date: April 21, 1990
Purchase: Buy at eBay


Ninja Gaiden II ~ The Dark Sword of Chaos is an arranged album based on the very old-school soundtrack to Ninja Gaiden II. Though an upgrade from the chiptune soundtrack, it still sounds especially old due to the use of an early 90s style of music and various dated instruments. Still, it's quite an enjoyable listen.


"Inspirited Friends Field" is the opening song and it is actually a vocal theme. The song is actually very catchy and shines through due to the good Japanese singing. The guitar work was also surprisingly strong. "Herald", in complete contrast, starts of with a string arrangement and then breaks into a J-Pop classical song. The combination might sound dreadful on paper but it sounds fantastic — like a song you'd expect Vanessa Mae to release! Each extreme complements the other extremely well and the track finishes with a little authentic game music for fun!

"Midnight Runner" keeps the early 90s theme going. It uses the chords from the original game music and adds a lot of guitar work atop. In fact, it sounds like an instrumental number one hit from 1990! Depending on whether you can stomach that is whether you'll like this soundtrack or not. "Shootin' Star In Your Eyes" meanwhile is a Japanese-influenced track that reminds me of the stadium rock love songs that came to surface in the mid 1980s! Once again, the guitar work is top-class.

Considering the darker entries on the arranged album, "Jack O Lantern" starts of like a jester's theme, and then gets a lot darker and demonic with some bizarre instrumentation. "Fire Stone" reminds me of a danger theme from most RPGs. There's urgency all over this track, but it goes on a little too long for my liking. "Squeezer" is more of a military theme and gives a refreshing new aspect to the album with its heavy percussion and grandiose instrumentation.

"Culture End" is a much slower song initially with its rolling drumbeat. It soon breaks out into a bass-filled synth pop entry once again. While the track is nothing special, it has a lovely piece of in-game battling music at the end to listen to. The closing track is "Friend's Field", the synth version of the vocal theme. It is very catchy indeed and is carried off nicely.


Ninja Gaiden II ~ The Dark Sword of Chaos took me by surprise. What I thought would be a substandard rehash was actually a top class production from some great musical talent. However, your opinion on this album will depend very much on whether you liked pop music in 1990. If you didn't, avoid this album at all costs. If you did, this is your heaven...

Overall Score: 7/10