01 - Opening
02 - Title
03 - Signs of the Beginning
04 - Hiougi City
05 - Bel's Theme
06 - Route 19 (Spring ~ Summer)
07 - Battle! Wild Pokemon
08 - Sangi Town
09 - Sangi Ranch
10 - Rival's Theme
11 - Battle! Rival
12 - Tachiwaki City
13 - Tachiwaki Gym (DOGARS · Performance)
14 - Team Plasma, Again
15 - PokeWood
16 - While Shooting in PokéWood!
17 - PokéWood - Theme of Confrontation
18 - PokéWood - Theme of Glory
19 - PokéWood - Theme of Defeat
20 - PokéWood - Theme of Invasion
21 - PokéWood - Theme of Success
22 - PokéWood - Theme of Defeat
23 - PokéWood - Theme of Strange
24 - PokéWood - Theme of Love
25 - PokéWood - Theme of Pathetique
26 - PokéWood - Theme of Horror
27 - - PokéWood - Theme of Purification
28 - PokéWood - Theme of Fear
29 - PokéWood - Theme of Humour
30 - PokéWood - Theme of Despair
31 - PokéWood - Theme of Shock
32 - A Statue was Erected in PokéWood!
33 - Hiun Sewers
34 - Hiun Gym
35 - Spotted! Harlequin
36 - A Fes Mission is Being Held!
37 - United Tower
38 - Achroma's Theme
39 - Battle! Trainer
40 - Join Avenue
41 - Join Avenue - Level Up #1
42 - Join Avenue - Level Up #2
43 - Join Avenue - Greeting!
44 - Raimon Gym - Runway
45 - Spotted! Beauty
46 - Raimon Gym - Stage
47 - Battle! Gym Leader
48 - Victory is Right Before Your Eyes!
01 - Hodomoe Gym
02 - Pokemon World Tournament (PWT)
03 - PWT Venue
04 - Battle! Gym Leader (Kanto)
05 - Battle! Champion (Kanto)
06 - Battle! Gym Leader (Johto)
07 - Battle! Champion (Johto)
08 - Battle! Gym Leader (Hoenn)
09 - Battle! Champion (Hoenn)
10 - Battle! Gym Leader (Sinnoh)
11 - Battle! Champion (Sinnoh)
12 - PWT Finals!
13 - Victory in the PWT!
14 - Won the PWT!
15 - Underground Ruins
16 - Battle! Regirock - Regice - Registeel
17 - Plasma Frigate - Deck
18 - Vio's Theme
19 - Cheren's Theme
20 - Fukiyose Gym
21 - Medal Rally - Goal
22 - Medal Box Renewal!
23 - Yamaji Town
24 - The Road to Reverse Mountain
25 - Reverse Mountain (Black)
26 - Reverse Mountain (White)
27 - Stranger House
28 - Battle! Legendary Pokemon (Sinnoh)
29 - Souryuu Gym
30 - Assault! Souryuu City
31 - Frozen Town
32 - Spotted! Team Plasma
33 - Battle! Team Plasma
34 - Dark Trinity's Theme
35 - Marine Tube
36 - Seigaiha City
37 - Seigaiha Gym
38 - Route 22 (Spring ~ Summer)
39 - Plasma Frigate Sortie
01 - Infiltration into the Plasma Frigate!
02 - Battle! Achroma
03 - Arousal
04 - Confrontation
05 - Absorption
06 - Coalescence
07 - Battle! Black Kyurem - White Kyurem
08 - Battle! G-Cis
09 - Route 23
10 - N's Castle
11 - N's Room
12 - N's Theme
13 - Battle! N
14 - Isshu Link
15 - Livecaster Minigame!
16 - Livecaster - Game Start!
17 - Livecaster - Game Won!
18 - Route 19 (Winter ~ Autumn)
19 - Heart Cave
20 - Battle! Yuxie - Emrit - Agnome
21 - Black Skyscraper - Entrance
22 - Black Skyscraper
23 - White Tree Hollow - Entrance
24 - White Tree Hollow
25 - Otamaro Choir
26 - Route 22 (Winter ~ Autumn)
27 - The Habitat Picture Book was Filled!
28 - Collected all the Medals!
29 - Battle! Champion Iris
30 - Staff Roll
31 - THE END
32 - Musical - Attract * Munna
33 - Musical - Pokemon Smash!
34 - Musical - Pokemon Centre DE Fashion ?
35 - Musical - MELOETTAAA!!!
36 - Pokemon World Championships Final
37 - Ancient Song
01 - Title (Emerald)
02 - Entry Call
03 - Abnormal Weather
04 - A Visit from Rayquaza!
05 - Battle Frontier (Hoenn)
06 - Battle Tower (Hoenn)
07 - Battle Factory (Hoenn)
08 - Battle Arena
09 - Battle Dome
10 - Battle Tube
11 - Battle Palace
12 - Battle Pyramid
13 - Battle Pyramid Summit
14 - Received BP! (Hoenn)
15 - Battle! Frontier Brain (Hoenn)
16 - Received Battle Symbol!
17 - Battle! Mew
18 - Title (Platinum)
19 - press start
20 - Special Program - Listening to Doctor Nanakamado
21 - Handsome's Theme
22 - Global Terminal
23 - Wi-Fi Plaza
24 - Wi-Fi Plaza - Minigame
25 - More and More Sonans Cleared!
26 - Wi-Fi Plaza - Parade
27 - Giratina Appears!
28 - Giratina Appears! Part 2
29 - Distortion World
30 - Battle! Giratina
31 - Spin Trade
32 - Mysterious Gift (Platinum)
33 - Super Contest - Cute Division
34 - Super Contest - Cool Division
35 - Super Contest - Tough Division
36 - Super Contest - Beauty Division
37 - Super Contest - Smart Division
38 - Villa - Futaba Town Music Box
39 - Villa - Minamo City Bossa nova
40 - Fight Area (Battle Frontier)
41 - Battle Roulette
42 - Received Roulette Points!
43 - Battle Stage
44 - Battle Factory (Sinnoh)
45 - Battle Castle
46 - Received Castle Points!
47 - Received BP! (Sinnoh)
48 - Battle! Frontier Brain (Sinnoh)
49 - Defeated! Frontier Brain (Sinnoh)
Author's note: the track names on these CDs are given in Japanese only. The English track names listed below are unofficial translations.
It's funny how you can play entry after entry in a series without ever really noticing the way its music has evolved over time. You simply hear the themes you've heard time and time again and think "yep, that's the Pokémon theme." And then the four-disc Pokémon Black & White 2 Super Music Complete set comes along. At 173 tracks and 4 1/2 hours long and including music from several other Pokémon games, this collection provides just about all the Pokémusic you could ever need, and it does so while providing a range of musical experiences that's so wide it may come as a surprise to many listeners. I know it surprised me.
Disc 1 leads off with opening music that will feel familiar to any veteran Pokémon trainer, then goes on to include tracks from the beginning of Black & White 2's journey through the Unova region. I particularly enjoyed the Aspertia City (aka Hiougi City) tune. It's one of the longer tracks, and it does a nice job of maintaining a central theme without simply sounding like a short loop being played over and over.
The journey on this disc covers a lot of Unova ground, but its clear focus is in Pokéstar Studios (aka Pokéwood), where 17 of its tracks are set. This in-game movie studio lets trainers shoot films, and the track list makes it clear that the movies can traverse the gamut of emotions, from love or fear to purification and glory. While Shooting in Pokéstar Studios! has a great player piano/silent movie feel to it that starts the set off right. The emotionally-themed tracks that follow it do a remarkable job of portraying their title feelings, and a few of them remind me strongly of music from other series. Theme of Comedy, for example, makes me think of Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door, and Theme of Sorrow goes even farther afield to the underworld of Disgaea.
In disc 2, we move on to the Pokémon World Tournament, which provides the opportunity to revisit boss themes from previous games' regions. The first of these themes, appropriately, is Battle! Gym Leader (Kanto) ,from the first generation of Pokémon games. It's a nice update of the old track that feels familiar but benefits greatly from the additional audio fidelity the DS offers over the original Game Boy. Unfortunately, Battle! Gym Leader (Johto) stands as a reminder that you can be too faithful when bringing forward an old piece; its opening matches the original version well enough, but the first 15 seconds or so feel annoyingly like a ringtone I'd set for my phone's alarm clock. Still, it's an interesting group of tracks, and it's fun to go through the series' boss music generation by generation and hear the themes that have stayed and gone over time.
After the tournament, we continue our trip through Black & White 2's Unova region, and there are several good tracks to be found here. The Underground Ruins music, for example, is an appropriately subdued track for its setting, and tracks that match their settings well is the kind of thing I always like to hear in a soundtrack. Cheren's Theme pops up a few tracks later, and it's a bouncy tune that I can't help but like. It caught my attention any time it came up in the dozen or so times I listened to this soundtrack for this review. The Humilau City (aka Seigaiha City) tune also caught my ear, as it sounds like the theme song for an anime... or maybe it's just the Futurama-like chimes that make me think so.
Disc 3 completes our trip through Unova, beginning with the very action-oriented Infiltration into the Plasma Frigate! Parts of this song (particularly the beginning) remind me of the soundtrack to Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay. (Not a reference I thought I'd be making in a Pokémon soundtrack review.) Following that, we have Battle! Colress (aka Achroma), which has an electronic/dance feel I really enjoy. It's a track I could see a DJ using for samples. Jumping ahead briefly to the end of the disc, I feel the same way about Musical "Charming Munna," which reminds me of the game Space Channel 5, and that's never a bad thing.
Continuing our trip through the game where we left off, we reach N's Castle. Its music is very identifiable as JRPG music, but it's not what I'd expect to hear from Pokémon. Maybe Final Fantasy Tactics? It's also unusual in that it has the clicks and pops you'd hear if you played it on a record player, and I love that. Similarly, N's Room has a very creepy "old music box being cranked by hand" sound that reminds me of old horror adventure games like The Seventh Guest. It's not played at a consistent tempo, and some of the notes sound just out of tune, as though the handle of the music box has been left in one spot for too long, and some of its metal pins have been permanently warped. It's one of my favorite tracks out of all four discs.
All four discs cover a wide range of musical styles, but Disc 4 is uniquely varied in terms of the tracks it presents, since they're cherry-picked from previous games. If I understand correctly, this disc is comprised of tracks that were not included on the released soundtracks for Pokémon Emerald and Platinum. A puzzling choice, but welcome nonetheless, as there are some very interesting tracks to be found here.
As with the other discs, some of the tracks that stood out the most to me were those that reminded me of other games that I didn't see coming. For example, Battle Factory (Hoenn) brings to mind the theme music from the Virtual Boy game Red Alarm, which is crazy. Nobody makes references to Virtual Boy games. Likewise, Giratina Appears! Sounds like a track from the Portal 2 soundtrack, and I never would have expected to hear something like that in a Pokémon game. (That said, I must point out that this track comes from Pokémon Platinum, which came out a few years before Portal 2, so if there was any actual inspiration on a composer's part, it would have been the other way around.)
Of course, not all of the good tracks are reminiscent of other games. Some are just good at doing what they're supposed to do, like Wi-Fi Plaza - Plaza Game. This track is very fitting to its title, and feels like a short game show theme. Super Contest - Toughness features another unforeseen style twist, as it's a fun flamenco number. In contrast, I did not care for Super Contest - Coolness. It starts out with a syncopated rhythm that I enjoyed, but as the track proceeds, it tries to cram too much into that backbeat and falls apart.
Finally, the track Battle Arcade deserves a mention - there are a few tracks throughout this disc that have similar themes to one another throughout the disc, and Battle Arcade is the culmination of that collection of sounds. It has a cool blending of styles that incorporates synthesized traditional Japanese instruments, electric guitar, and even steel drums, then adds in Middle Eastern beats. You wouldn't think it'd work, but it does.
My take on this collection of music is clear at this point: I think it's great. I was taken by surprise over and over by the variety of musical styles presented on these four discs, but at the same time, I was impressed by the way that those disparate tracks hold together as a cohesive whole. As a result of this collection, I think I'll pay more attention to the music in my next Pokémon game.
Reviewed by: John Tucker