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Nintendo DS Pokémon Black•White Music Super Complete

[back cover]
Catalog Number: ZMCP-5919
Released On: October 20, 2010
Composed By: Jun'ichi Masuda, Go Ichinose, Shota Kageyama, Hitomi Sato, Morikazu Aoki, Minako Adachi, Satoshi Nohara
Arranged By: Shota Kageyama, Go Ichinose, Hitomi Sato, Minako Adachi
Published By: Media Factory
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 4 CDs
Buy this CD from Play-Asia
Tracklist:

Disc One
01 - The Day I Was Crowned King
02 - A New Adventure!
03 - Title
04 - Now for the Adventure!
05 - The First Day
06 - Kanoko Town
07 - Cheren•Bel Battle!
08 - Taken Along 1
09 - Professor Araragi
10 - Pokémon Research Lab
11 - Received a Key Item!
12 - Let's Go Together!
13 - Route 1
14 - Wild Pokémon Battle!
15 - Victory Over the Wild Pokémon!
16 - Level Up!
17 - Karakusa Town
18 - Taken Along 2
19 - Pokémon Center
20 - Recovery
21 - Pokédex Evaluation...Onwards!
22 - Team Plasma's Secret Maneuvers
23 - Route 2 (Spring~Summer)
24 - Live Caster
25 - Spotted! Shorts Youngster
26 - Trainer Battle!
27 - Victory Over the Trainer!
28 - Spotted! Miniskirt
29 - Obtained an Item!
30 - Sanyou City
31 - Pokédex Evaluation...Not Yet
32 - Abandoned Lot of Dreams
33 - Team Plasma Appears!
34 - Team Plasma Battle!
35 - Victory Over Team Plasma!
36 - Evolution
37 - Congratulations on Evolving!
38 - Spotted! Twins
39 - Cheren's Theme
40 - Here Comes Trouble!
41 - Shippou City
42 - Pokédex Evaluation...Do Your Best!
43 - Gym
44 - Gym Leader Battle!
45 - Victory is Right Before Your Eyes!
46 - Victory Over the Gym Leader!
47 - Received a League Badge!
48 - Obtained a Technical Machine!
49 - Gate
50 - Skyarrow Bridge
51 - Hiun City
52 - Spotted! Businessman
53 - Route 4 (Spring)
54 - Spotted! Backpacker
55 - Raimon City
56 - Bel's Theme
57 - Unwavering Emotions
58 - One Captivated by Formulae
59 - N Battle!
60 - Crisis in Battle!
61 - Bicycle
62 - Champion Adeku
Total Time:
68'34"

Disc Two
01 - Hodomoe Drawbridge
02 - Hodomoe City
03 - Refrigerated Container
04 - Route 6 (Spring~Summer)
05 - Spotted! Parasol Lady
06 - Spotted! Scientist
07 - Tourmaline Cave
08 - Fukiyose City
09 - Papa Araragi
10 - Pokédex Evaluation...You're On the Way
11 - Forget a Move
12 - Spotted! Psychicer
13 - Sekka City
14 - Ryuurasen Tower
15 - Spotted! Team Plasma
16 - Dragon Spiral Tower Top Floor
17 - Route 4 (Summer)
18 - Ancient Castle
19 - Lightstone•Darkstone
20 - Cylinder Bridge
21 - Shopping Mall R9
22 - Spotted! Skinhead
23 - Souryuu City (Black)
24 - Souryuu City (White)
25 - Route 10
26 - Champion Road
27 - Spotted! Elite Trainer
28 - Pokémon League
29 - Elite Four Battle!
30 - Pokémon League Under Siege
31 - Carrying Out a Mission
32 - N's Castle
33 - N, the Pokémon Child
34 - N's Dragon
35 - Dragon Awakened
36 - Zekrom•Reshiram Battle!
37 - Decisive Battle with N!
38 - Goetis's Designs
39 - Goetis Battle!
40 - Sayonara
41 - Ending -To Each Future-
Total Time:
70'25"

Disc Three
01 - Handsome's Theme
02 - Route 2 (Fall~Winter)
03 - Received a Pokémon Egg!
04 - Cruiseferry SS Royal Isshu
05 - Wi-Fi Connection
06 - Global Terminal
07 - GTS
08 - Spin Trade
09 - Pokédex Evaluation...Just a Little More!
10 - Route 4 (Fall)
11 - Gear Station
12 - Battle Subway
13 - Battle Subway Trainer Battle!
14 - Recieved BP!
15 - Musical Hall
16 - Obtained Goods!
17 - Dressing Up with Goods
18 - The Curtain Rises on the Musical
19 - Musical "Stardom!"
20 - Musical "Stroll in the Woods"
21 - Musical "Evening Party"
22 - Musical "Impassioned Raimon"
23 - Ferris Wheel for Two
24 - Checking Your Chemistry!
25 - Your Chemistry is the Best!
26 - Your Chemistry is Getting There
27 - Your Chemistry Doesn't Measure Up?
28 - Route 6 (Fall~Winter)
29 - Legendary Pokémon Battle!
30 - Kanawa Town
31 - Wonder Bridge
32 - Route 12 (Spring~Summer)
33 - Spotted! Cyclist
34 - Shift Factory
35 - Poké Shifter: Choose Your Pokémon!
36 - Poké Shifter: Catch Your Pokémon!
37 - Spotted! Daisuki Club
38 - Black City
39 - White Forest
40 - Game Sync
41 - High Link
42 - High Link Mission Start!
43 - Someone's High Link
44 - Mission Success!
45 - Mission Failed...
46 - Spotted! Gentleman
47 - Sazanami Town (Fall~Spring)
48 - Sazanami Town (Summer)
49 - Shirona's Theme
50 - Shirona Battle!
51 - Lost Forest
52 - Powerful Wild Pokémon Battle!
Total Time:
61'31"

Disc Four
01 - Surfing
02 - Undersea Ruins
03 - Route 12 (Fall~Winter)
04 - Kagome Town
05 - Village Bridge
06 - Mystery Gift
07 - Route 4 (Winter)
08 - Challenge for the Battle Conference
09 - Team Rocket!?
10 - Kyurem Battle!
11 - Pokédex Evaluation...Perfect!
12 - Champion Battle!
13 - Victory Over the Champion!
14 - Congratulatons on Entering the Hall of Fame!
Bonus Track
15 - Summer in Kagome
16 - Lullaby for Trains
17 - LAST BATTLE -N^n mix-
18 - sayonara -refrain-
Total Time:
37'22"

Since I have not played Pokémon Black or White I will have to judge the Super Music Collection based on its intrinsic value and perhaps how I could imagine the music working in the game. That shouldn't be difficult: what Pokémon game in the main series is really much different from old Red and Blue? That being said, the music here is very Pokémon-esque. The tinny sounds, the synth beats, the over-arching light-heartedness, and the familiar melodies cause images of pokéballs and Bulbasaurs to swim in the mind's eye, along with all those new things that don't resonate with those who grew up with the original 150. A second consideration is the sheer volume of music in this collection: almost four hours and over 170 separate tracks, although many are brief and little more than sound effects. The composers must be commended for that alone as well as the soundscape's incredible diversity that doesn't betray the Pokémon tradition.

The music of Pokémon hasn't changed much over the years. The quality has improved, while still being limited by the shackles of the cartridge. Much of the music sounds quite retro, the quality only marginally better than the old midi tracks of yore, which happens to fit with the franchise just fine. Black and White partially consists of remixes of old classics such as the "Gym" theme or the "Trainer Battle" theme, which will no doubt excite anyone who grew up playing the older entries in the franchise. Not much has been done to the music, however, except a few more layers of instruments, creating a fuller, yet occasionally more bombastic and obnoxious sound that takes some getting used to.

Some of the tracks suffer from an over-reliance on brass and other strident instruments, rendering many tracks unpleasant to the ear, particularly at first. Hearing them repeatedly in the context of a game could be trying. Even the "Wild Pokémon Battle" theme has undergone a brassy and ostentatious transformation. This boisterousness becomes a sort of theme throughout the soundtrack, but even then, the ridiculous number of songs makes that bearable. Even if one hates half the music, there's still two hours of good stuff, and this seems to be the Black and White Super Music Collection's greatest strength. After delving deeper into the soundtrack, however, the general sound starts to become more tolerable and even inviting. I find myself looking forward to the release of these two games in the U.S.

Apart from some fun remixes, there are many other tunes worth hearing. Most would probably work best accompanied by actual images of those adorable mutated animals and such, but even without having played the game, there is joy to be found here. Tracks such as "Kanoko Town" provide gentle atmosphere while "Route 1" and others of its ilk provide the kind of flighty cheerful tunes so well suited to the Pokémon universe. The wonderful "Hiun City" almost sounds like something from the Mother series, and "Ryuurasen Tower" provides a tranquil, yet slightly eerie change of pace with a great undercurrent melody. "ENDING To Each Future" is about as epic as Pokémon gets, and some of the battle themes are solid, like "Kyurem Battle!" There are plenty more to discover as well.

I find myself variously turning the volume up and down while listening to the collection. Some of the tracks, such as "Powerful Wild Pokémon Battle," are just too overbearing at times. Many of the tracks are so odd that pieces of them are shrill and terrible, while the overall theme is still enjoyable. The aforementioned "Wild Pokémon Battle" is one of these. The original Red and Blue theme is still there, but accompanied by annoying sounds. The original is better, as is the case with many of the remixes, which are simply more complicated versions of the old tunes. With Pokémon, simplicity works.

Listening to the Pokémon Black and White Super Music Collection is an enigmatic experience akin to unearthing the skeleton of some fantastic beast one bone at a time. You unveil a thigh, jump over to the skull, and then to a tail. Eventually the skeleton is fully revealed as all the little beginnings converge. Even still, trying to determine what skin or scales used to decorate those bones is difficult. An overall impression is impossible to ascertain, and so it is with this collection.

The soundtrack is certainly worth owning to the more intense Pokémon fans as well as fans of these particular iterations. Some of the music is entertaining, cute, and fun, but some is too heavily layered with brass and orchestral stabs to be enjoyable. Like the Pokémon franchise, the music never really improves, but gets slightly more complicated and better produced with each new edition. Some of the synth sounds are too shrill and obnoxious, but the ambitiousness of this massive collection and its vast mélange of styles and sounds makes it something of a wonder.

Reviewed by: Kyle Miller



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