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Ponkotsu Roman Daikatsugeki Bumpy Trot OST

[back cover]
Catalog Number: KDSD-00075
Released On: August 3, 2005
Composed By: Hiroshi Ebihara, Mitsuru Okoshi (41)
Arranged By: Mitsuru Okoshi (41), Daikoku Azuma (41)
Published By: Team Entertainment
Recorded At: Memory Tech
Format: 1 CD
Tracklist:

01 - Title Loop
02 - Name Entry
03 - Reminiscence Harbor
04 - Morning Fog on the Street Corner
05 - Commotion of the City
06 - Twilight Street
07 - Night Town
08 - Rest
09 - Welcome
10 - Customize It!
11 - Adult Time
12 - Earpick
13 - Solemnity
14 - We're Bandits
15 - Nefuro-Nefuro Arena
16 - Fanfare
17 - Vehicle Battle (Nefuro-Nefuro Arena)
18 - Victory
19 - Vehicle Battle (Suumu-Suumu Arena)
20 - Final Match Fanfare
21 - Vehicle Battle (Garland Arena)
22 - Meadow
23 - Fly! Flap-Flyer
24 - Walking Experiment Studio
25 - Invasion
26 - Fortress Bazaar
27 - Crimson Wind of the Desert
28 - Exotic Atmosphere
29 - Leader of the Port City
30 - Unrest
31 - Clear Lake
32 - Lakeside Village
33 - Secret Society
34 - Duel
35 - Great Battle in the Desert
36 - Victory Song
37 - Take Off
38 - Decisive Battle in the Sky
39 - Chase!
40 - Game Over
41 - Music Revolution
Total Time:
71'22"

Hiroshi Ebihara's original soundtrack to the game developed by irem, "Ponkotsu Roman" can be translated as "Junk Romance," and "Daikatsugeki" is best translated as "Great Riot." The game is being released in the US (by Atlus) as "Steambot Chronicles." If the artwork, screenshots, and game scenario have given you the impression that this game is light-hearted, fun, and filled with simple child-like delights, know that the music stays along this route. The result is music that sounds like a cross between Yasunori Mitsuda's "Hako no Niwa" and Junya Nakano's "Dewprism."

One of the neat things about this soundtrack is that, at certain places, songs will directly transition from one to the other. Tracks 9 through 11 all transition smoothly, as do the first two tracks. This little touch of production to the soundtrack gave me the feeling that someone was going the extra mile to impress me. And, considering the general obscurity of this title, I don't mind being impressed by the little things.

The folky sound is the other thing that really gets you moving. Fiddle, harmonica, banjo, flute, accordion...the fun American sound behind these songs makes for a spectacular soundtrack: not at all epic, but certainly fun and enjoyable.

Some of the best songs on this soundtrack are the battle themes. Samples provided include the Suumu-Suumu Arena Vehicle Battle theme, as well as "Duel." The latter of these songs uses some interesting rhythmic syncopation, something found on about 20% of the songs on this soundtrack ("Invasion" is another one to consider in the realm of rhythm). There are some mid-paced area themes that manage to blend excitement and relaxation almost perfectly. For this, may I point you to track 28, "Exotic Atmosphere"? This particular song may be my favorite of the bunch.

Another important thing to remember is that the sampled tracks, while being my favorites, are not the cream of the crap. Nearly every track on this album fares just as well musically. The one exception, in my opinion, is the ending vocal track "Music Revolution," performed by Ryan Kerwin. Take the opening theme to Kodoma no Omocha, but put on a terrible English vocalist, and use the standard 12 bar blues chord progression, and you have "Music Revolution." When you have lyrics like "my guitar's the best there is, it's an awesome sound!", you know the song is guaranteed to fail. If you want to hear better vocals, pick up the accompanying vocal album featuring five songs by Nadia Gifford.

Team Entertainment rarely releases crap, and Atlus likely chose to localize this game because of its charm (including its musical charm). Let that be a reassurance to you if you're thinking about getting this album. I wasn't disappointed with this purchase; indeed, this was one of the most fitting and acceptable videogame soundtracks published in at least a year. Fun and sand-box-style adventures await you with both the game and the soundtrack, so if you're interested, don't hold back! This soundtrack is not expensive, selling at many sites (such as Play Asia) for a mere $20.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann



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