ART OF FIGHTING Ryuuko no Ken Gaiden Arrange Sound Trax

ART OF FIGHTING Ryuuko no Ken Gaiden Arrange Sound Trax. Front. Click to zoom.
ART OF FIGHTING Ryuuko no Ken Gaiden Arrange Sound Trax
Front
Composed by Shinsekai Gakkyoku Zatsugidan
Arranged by Ken Morimura / Shinsekai Gakkyoku Zatsugidan
Published by Pony Canyon
Catalog number PCCB-00213
Release type Game Soundtrack - Official Release
Format 1 CD - 19 tracks
Release date May 2, 1996
Duration 00:55:51
Genres
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Overview

Art of Fighting 3 featured a very sparse soundtrack for a fighting game. It mostly comprised theme and variations of just three character themes, though there were a few other tracks worth listening to. As a result, SNK's decision to make an arranged album for the game was met with limited applause. Just how did the company manage to make a full-length album out of such limited material?

Body

The Art of Fighting 3 Arrange Sound Trax actually combines arranged tracks with drama performances. Seven drama performances are interspersed between the arrangements and set the scene for the album. The seiyuus for Ryo Sakazaki (Masaki Usui), Robert Garcia (Mantaroh Koichi), and Yuri Sakazaki (Kaori Horie) were asked to return to the production, giving some continuity. However, the brief nature of the performances means that these tend to be unwanted interruptions rather than worthwhile fan services. Their appeal will also be limited to Japanese speakers.

The majority of the arrangements featured on the album were created by jazz pro Ken Morimura and performed by famed instrumentalists, among them two ex-Casiopea members. Morimura gives many of the character theme arrangements more stand-alone appeal by refining and expanding upon their free jazz stylings. The free-spirited melodies of "Mojo" and "Get High" sound particularly alluring in their upbeat big band arrangements here. Solo trumpeter Eric Miyashiro brings plenty of the life to the melodies, while showing off his talents with challenging solos. The latter also features some soothing jazz fusion interludes.

That said, Morimura offers some far less successful variations on the same themes. "Get High (Rare Groove Mix)" combines sleazy saxophone solos, trashy R'n'B beats, and ridiculous voiceovers (e.g. "This is serious music we're dealing with here") into an unbearable mix. While he captures the Latin essence of "Mojo (Ramble)", the solo sections leaves much to be desired; the saxophone solo at 2:10 sounds extreme and showy for the sake of it, while the flute solo endures a rambling quality. It's clear that he felt hindered by the need to interpret the same theme multiple times.

SNK's sound team bring some variety to the album by offering a few arrangements of their own. The brief arrangement of the title theme — bookended by drama performances — contributes to the clumsy start of the album. However, "Get High (B-Mix)" is an excellently arranged and performed rock track; electric guitarist Jun Kajiwara, in particular, the most of the original melodies and offers some standout solos. The last entry into the album, "Liberation Hallucination", combines the sensual tones of the ending theme with drama performances. While it ties together the concept of the album well, it's too incohesive to be a highlight.

Summary

There is some excellent musicianship behind the Art of Fighting 3 Arrange Sound Trax. Many of the arrangements are vibrant and authentic, with their big band jazz and hard rock stylings, while the performances demonstrate the long experience of the instrumentalists. But ultimately, the arranged album is limited by the lack of the original material and the variations are therefore hit-and-miss. The album also has a problematic structure, with repetitive arrangements and interruptive drama tracks. In the end, not recommended.



Album
5/10

Music in game
0/10

Game
0/10

Chris Greening

Tracks 1, 3, 5, 8, 12, 14, and 18 are drama tracks.
The rest are instrumental arranges.

Produced by Yoshihiro Ohno
All Songs Composed by Shinsekai Gakkyoku Zatsugidan
Arranged by Ken Morimura (4, 6, 9-11, 15-17), Shinsekai Gakkyoku Zatsugidan (2, 7, 13, 19)

Musicians
Drums: Akira Jinbo (4, 6, 9-11, 15-17)
Bass: Tetsuo Sakurai (4, 6, 9-11, 15-17)
Guitar: Jun Kajiwara (4, 6, 9-11, 15-17)
Keyboards, Piano: Ken Morimura (4, 6, 9-11, 15-17)
Percussions: Calros Kanno (15-17), Michiaki Tanaka (6, 9-11)
Sax: Osamu Koike (6, 9-11, 15, 17)
Trumpet: Eric Miyashiro (6, 10, 16, 17)
Guitar: Natsuki Kido (19)
Sax: Yasuhiro Matsuda (7)

Directed by Sadakichi. A, Kazuhiko Endoh
Recorded at Sonata Club Studio
Engineered by Hirofumi Sako
2nd Engineered by Masahiko Konno, Hideyuki Hanaki, Yoshiaki Ohnishi

Mastering Engineered by Kazuya Satoh
Graphic Designer Koyko Komuro
Inner Script Writer: Koji Ishiaki (WAVE co. Ltd)

Drama Part
Script by Ema Sue (SNK)
Directed by Yoshihisa Shirakawa
Edited by Hironari Tatsumi
Cast: Masaki Usui, Mantaroh Koichi, Kaori Horie
Special Thanks To Takashi Kaga (SNK), Akio Nakamura (SNK), Toshiyuki Nakai (SNK), Jun Takagi, Kenji Sakai, Naoki Yamanaka, Ken Oikawa, Eisuke Kodama, Neo Geo Freak

Executive Producer: Kazusuke Obi

This game is known outside Japan as "Art of Fighting 3: Path of the Warrior". In Japan, the name Ryuuko no Ken Gaiden was given to the game because it has a story that doesn't relate directly to the original AOF series. "Gai" means outside; and "den" means tale, legend.
Album was composed by Shinsekai Gakkyoku Zatsugidan and was released on May 2, 1996. Soundtrack consists of 19 tracks tracks with duration over about 55 minutes. Album was released by Pony Canyon.

CD 1

1
Opening Scene 1-1
01:03
2
Back Fight Again (Theme Of Art of Fighting)
00:21
3
Opening Scene 1-2
00:56
4
Get High (Rare Groove Mix) - Ryo's Theme 2-2
04:39
5
Scene 2
01:34
6
MOJO (Boogie) - Robert's Theme 2
04:28
7
Get High (B-Mix) - Ryo's Theme 2-1
03:24
8
Scene 3
01:22
9
MOJO (Ramble) - Robert's Theme 3
03:39
10
MOJO - Robert's Theme 1
04:02
11
Get High - Ryo's Theme 1
03:47
12
Scene 4
01:22
13
Get High (Goa Trance) - Ryo's Theme 3
03:39
14
Scene 5
01:34
15
Stone In SANTANA - Bar
04:36
16
MUZIKA JUNGLE (edition2) - Wyler's Theme 2
04:40
17
MUZIKA JUNGLE (edition1) - Wyler's Theme 2
03:57
18
Scene 6
01:48
19
ENDING (LIBERATION HALLUCINATION) - Ending
05:00
24.02.13
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