3D Dot Game Heroes OST
Catalog Number: SVWC-7659
Released On: November 25, 2009
Composed By: Shoichiro Sakamoto
Arranged By: SuperSweep
Published By: Aniplex
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 1 CD
Buy this CD from Play-Asia

01 - Opening
02 - The Legendary Hero's Theme
03 - Main Theme
04 - Temple of the Plains
05 - Combat
06 - Dotnia Castle
07 - Lejac Village
08 - Escaping the Forest
09 - The Lost Forest
10 - Temple of the Forest
11 - Neungtra Desert
12 - Gathello, the Desert Village
13 - Block Destruction
14 - Temple of the Desert
15 - Advancing Across the Coastline
16 - Corneria, the Waterside Village
17 - The Temple of Water
18 - Boss Fight 2 (Unused Track)
19 - King Medal's Theme
20 - Travel Preparations
21 - Dash Race
22 - Cavern
23 - Biscrow Volcano
24 - Temple of the Volcano
25 - The Goddess's Spring
26 - Crossing the Waste
27 - Temple of the Wind
28 - The Hall of Aube
29 - The Dark Priest Fuel
30 - Game Over
31 - The Hero's Tomb
32 - Risk Your Life
33 - Demon Valley
34 - Tower of Darkness
35 - Overlord Onyx
36 - The Hero's Return
37 - Staff Roll
38 - Title
39 - Editing Theme
Total Time:

Apparently, chiptunes are what you need as the defining mark of intentionally "retro" gaming.

From Software's new game, "3D Dot Game Heroes," re-imagines the pixelated 8-bit world we love by taking it fully 3D... but keeping the idea of the "pixel" intact. Everyone and everything in this world looks like the blocky, pixelated worlds of old NES games. But now, it's been trasmuted to a fully 3D environment.

To match this visual idea, the game's audio takes the chiptune music of the NES and augments it with effects, newer MIDI synth, and even some live instrumental performances. Some songs are more "faithful" to the retro sound than others, but taken as a whole, the 3D Dot Game Heroes OST revels in the past.

For someone like myself, this is almost always a good thing. Let it come as no surprise to you, dear reader, that I am fond of this soundtrack. I was worried that the soundtrack wouldn't do the game's concept justice. It turns out, I had no reason to worry.

I'm going to let the audio samples do the descriptive work for me, for the most part. I will note that there were some tracks that sounded a little too similar to pieces I've heard in Mega Man, Ninja Gaiden, Dragon Quest, and a few other NES games. I don't think there's anything here that could be considered plagiarism, but that melodic line and chord progression in track 20 sounds remarkably similar to something I heard in Dragon Quest IV.

The battle themes are top notch. Give tracks 21 and 32 a listen, and you'll hear what I mean for yourself. The additional decoration that comes outside the realm of chiptunes actually help accentuate the chiptune sound, and make it slightly mroe palettable for a new generation of gamers.

I can only handle so much intentionally retro stuff per year, and I think I've about reached my limit for 2009 between this and 4 Warriors of Light. But I'm very happy with both of the aforementioned soundtracks; this one, perhaps moreso, because I wasn't expecting From Software to put together a good sound team for this game. Fortunately, they went to SuperSweep to outsource the music (specifically, Shoichiro Sakamoto). So thanks, FromSoft and SuperSweep, for outperforming my expectations!

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann