So, I am very close to completing Megadimension Neptunia VII, and when I say “completing” I mean platinum-ing it and doing nearly everything I can. It is a fantastic game and I’m honestly surprised Compile Heart felt that they needed to remake it in the first place. Of course, given that I have spent close to 130 hours thus far, I’m probably going to hold off on Megadimension Neptunia VIIR for a while, especially since I want to sink my teeth into Super Mario Odyssey at long last when I am done. Not to mention, I should probably finish Re;birth 2 & 3. I have made it known that I am not fond of Re;birth1 but I also think it’s a decent game in its own right and is still fun, something I will expand upon soon enough. And I still have Hyperdevotion Noire, Action Unleashed, and Megatagmention Blanc in my backlog. Anyway this week’s VGM is the standard boss theme of Megadimension Neptunia VII; “Fate.”
I will admit that I don’t like this track as much as I do “Voltage” (which it turns out IS used quite often in the game for bosses that are not part of the main storyline) or “Encounter of Destiny” and that I didn’t notice how good this track was until listening to it more closely outside of in-game.
This is a track that actually wouldn’t sound out of place in a Final Fantasy title of all things. That intro really deserves credit for hooking the listener right in and representing danger and oncoming peril. The recurring vocal hum heard throughout the track provides an ethereal and supernatural quality and those bells signify the mystical nature of the demonic foes fought throughout the main storyline. The violins are also used to great effect (again, especially in the intro).
What I really like about this track is the subtlety of it. The musical tropes are hardly original but none of them are over the top and it is amazing at capturing atmosphere and tension. Most people don’t always have the ear for atmospheric music and just think boss music should be kick ass all the time. While I certainly don’t mind that approach, I feel that more finesse is required to truly enhance the mood of the game in question (and I also tend to appreciate tracks with more emotion involved anyway but a good balance is necessary).
The only downside I have with this track is the game it is used in. That is not to say I have a problem with Megadimension Neptunia VII, in fact that is pretty far from it, but rather that this track does not fit the tone of the series. As I said, this track sounds more like something you’d hear in a Square Enix title that tends to benefit more from tense atmospheric tracks (no S-sha doesn’t count). Neptunia is a series that has never even attempted subtlety outside of the first game (with mixed results). Neptunia is always over the top in its approach to storytelling whether it be its absurd anime comedy skits or the overall Dragon Ball Z esque spectacle of its fights especially considering that every non standard attack has a PS1 era Final Fantasy summon length animation (and thank Nep they are skipable).
Regardless, this is a fantastically well put together track. The instrument choice is spot on, it is tense all the way throughout, and there is a perfect balance between harmony and dissonance. Music was always one of the more underrated aspects of the Neptunia series given that you are lucky to find people who are capable of seeing past the mediocre graphics and anime tiddies. There are definitely going to be more to come in regards to VGM from this series. Hell I’m not even done with this specific soundtrack. “Encounter of Destiny” a no brainer that’s for sure, and I’m not going to have as long of a wait to get to it as I did between “Voltage” and this.
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