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Gyakuten Kenji OST

[back cover]
Catalog Number: CPCA-10204/5
Released On: June 24, 2009
Composed By: Noriyuki Iwadare, Yasuko Yamada
Arranged By: Noriyuki Iwadare, Yasuko Yamada
Published By: Suleputer
Recorded At: Aobadai Studio
Format: 2 CDs
Buy this CD from VGM World
Tracklist:

Disc One
01 - Gyakuten Kenji - Prologue
02 - Investigation ~ Opening 2009
03 - Investigation ~ Middlegame 2009
04 - Investigation ~ Contradiction at the Crime Scene
05 - Logic ~ The Way to the Truth
06 - Investigation ~ Core 2009
07 - Confrontation ~ Moderato 2009
08 - Tricks and Gimmicks
09 - Reiji Mitsurugi ~ Objection! 2009
10 - Confrontation ~ Allegro 2009
11 - Confess the Truth 2009
12 - Tricks and Baroque
13 - Confrontation ~ Presto 2009
14 - Pursuit ~ Lying Coldly
15 - Jingle ~ A Break to Sheathe the Blade
16 - Mikumo Ichijo ~ The Great Truth Burglar
17 - Shiryu Ro ~ Speak up, Pup!
18 - Yatagarasu ~ The Gentleman Thief Who Dances in the Black Night
19 - "Turnabout Airlines"
20 - Zinc White ~ Time is Money
21 - Wakana Shiraoto ~ Good Niiight
22 - Doubted People
Total Time:
58'33"

Disc Two
01 - "Swept-Away Turnabout" ~ Overture to Kidnapping
02 - Taiho-kun March ~ Bando Land Theme
03 - "Swept-Away Turnabout" ~ Tragedy in the Horror House
04 - Noisy People
05 - Interesting People
06 - Reminiscence ~ False Relations
07 - Reproducing the Scene ~ The Gentleman Thief's Secret Weapon
08 - Court ~ Guardians of the Law
09 - "Departed Turnabout"
10 - Ittetsu Bado ~ The Truth isn't Sweet
11 - Himiko Kazura ~ Let Me Laugh at the Cool
12 - Reminiscence ~ KG-8 Incident
13 - Crises of Fate
14 - Keisuke Itonokogiri ~ I can do it when it counts, pal!
15 - "Turnabout Up In Flames"
16 - Two Embassies ~ The Lands of the Butterfly and the Flower
17 - Reminiscence ~ Torn Apart Countries
18 - Carnage Onred ~ The Enemy Who Surpasses the Law
19 - Solution! ~ Splendid Deduction
20 - Reiji Mitsurugi ~ Great Revival 2009
21 - Prosecutor's Murmur ~ Promise to Meet Again
Total Time:
56'00"

"Gyakuten Kenji" is the latest game in the "Gyakuten Saiban" (Ace Attorney) series. This gaiden title puts players in control of Reiji Mitsurugi (known to Americans as "Miles Edgeworth"), the prosecutor that was, for the first two games in the series, Phoenix Wright's chief rival. This game takes a look at some of Edgeworth's adventures in prosecution, without the meddling of that darned Phoenix Wright.

The game's soundtrack features a few bits of work from Noriyuki Iwadare (Lunar, Grandia), but the vast majority of the soundtrack is composed by Yasuko Yamada (of ZUNTATA fame). And, to be frank, Yamada's music just doesn't have the same feel as the other albums in the series?

Now comes the part where you might expect me to say: "that isn't necessarily a bad thing." Lord knows I've said it dozens of times when I hear an unexpected change in a series' music. But this time, I have to say, it is definitely a bad thing. Despite being the largest soundtrack of any game in the series, most of the music is fully forgettable. I actually tested this on myself to confirm that such a statement is verifiable, at least in my own life. I listened to the entire soundtrack every day for a week. At the end of the week, I tried to recall as many melodies as I could from the soundtrack. I could only recall a handful.

The melodies that win over so many game music fans from previous Gyakuten titles are usually found within the courtroom itself. The music that plays during the presentation of evidence, cross-referencing, accusations, and the classic "Objection!," all of these melodies are easy for me to recall at a moment's notice, from all the previous games (though the first game has the most memorable music, to be sure). Even Gyakuten Saiban 4, which traded out Phoenix Wright for the new defense attorney, Apollo Justice, had memorable music. That particular soundtrack also rested on the laurels of some new themes, such as the Serenade of Love. But Gyakuten Kenji has nothing new to offer, and it has little of the good old stuff to rely upon either.

As a matter of fact, my favorite track from the Gyakuten Kenji OST was a new arrangement of the "Gumshoe" (Keisuke Itonokogiri) theme, heard in many previous Gyakuten Saiban soundtracks. And the only thing I liked about it was that the original melody was present. The additional arrangement of melody and harmony around the track didn't change my opinion of the song in one direction or another.

The quality of the audio is another thing that bugs me. This series has a history of using a strange, lo-fi chiptune sound. It wasn't exactly 8-bit, and it was too alien to my ears to be considered "nostalgic." But it worked. They tinkered with that synthesized soundscape in Gyakuten Kenji, and I have to say I don't like the result. Some of the pieces were downright irritating because of the synthesizers used.

I'm sorry to say it, but I'm not sure I can recommend this OST. Collectors for the series will probably want it anyway. And though I'm still not impressed with the source melodies, perhaps a new orchestral or jazz album will help me to appreciate Yamada's work. The OST itself I can happily do without.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann



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