EDIT: I am really bad at using the schedule function on WordPress.
EDIT2: Essentially finished polishing up my impressions. It does end a bit abruptly so I’ll probably come into edit in a more satisfying conclusion. But I’m about done with my commentary on individual tracks.
EDIT3: I was able to find the portraits I wanted so another update! Arcade Quarter Master’s FH pages had all of the portraits.
An OST that I was originally not fond of, I’ve actually warmed up to this game’s soundtrack to the point that I wish I had put it at Honorable Mention for neoGAF’s 4th Generation OST Thread. While it isn’t on the level of Street Fighter 2’s soundtrack, I admit, that’s a pretty high bar to beat; not everything has to be as good as SF2 and not every soundtrack I like is better than it. So why does this need to beat it? Anyway, if there is one thing I do prefer in this soundtrack over Street Fighter 2’s many different renditions, it is the Hurry Up! (or sped up versions) of all the themes. They’re not just sped up here, and some tracks have bloody fantastic Hurry Up! mixes (like Mizoguchi in particular). Anyway here are my tracks, listed from favorite to least favorite.
My favorite theme of the bunch. The progression is nice and the loop never feels like it goes too long. It’s great as a theme for Ryoko; the melody works for her as a female character, the constant beat and the shouting interjections still remind us that she is a tomboyish fighter and there’s a nice positive build up to the track that is perfect (it’s satisfying, but it’s not so bombastic that it gets tiring after several listens). I really, really like this theme, though I’m not sure many people would feel the same.
Maybe it’s just the version of the track I’m listening to, but there has been some weird fuzziness that always bothers me when listening. Besides that nitpick, I do really like this theme. It’s a very different track from Ryoko’s theme which is very much why the track appeals to me. It’s a bit longer, it’s more complex and maybe it doesn’t loop as well as Ryoko, but the track feels just as satisfying regardless (even if the quality still bugs me).
A track that easily appeals to my tastes. Marstorius’ theme may not be as overly threatening as his original theme, but the main melody is just so fun to listen to. Rather than playful, I’ll say the track really gives off the vibe of a rock and rolling showman (which from our perspective, is what he is) and that works. It is a bit more simple in parts but I do like this theme and his first theme equally.
A surprisingly good theme. It’s a bit hard to describe, but basically it feels like a middle ground between Marstorius and Lee’s themes. And unsurprisingly, I really like that because I do like Mars and Lee’s themes greatly. I do feel like Feilin should have had this theme instead of her cacophonic tracks with their terrible sounding traditional instruments, but eh, what can you do.
A great final boss theme. It’s an interesting contrast; his theme from 1 was extremely understated and low key for a boss theme. However this theme is just really bombastic and triumphant in parts (and apparently it’s a remix of a theme from Karnov’s original game too, though I’ve personally never heard the original so no further comment). Anyway, I really like the progression of the regular song, and the Hurry Up! version is absolutely splendid as both the climax for the game (as Karnov is the final boss, unless you’re really good) and the climax for individual rounds.
I’m so torn on this theme. On their own, I think the tracks are way, way too short to really judge. I like the progression, but goodness, there’s not all that much meat to the track at all! (and less so for the sped up version) That said, when taken together, I actually really like the tracks. The Hurry Up! mix feels like a perfect continuation of the regular theme, and it doesn’t feel as great to listen to without that build up. While I don’t think much of these on their own, it’s hard to separate the two tracks. They’re certainly more than the sum of their parts.
This one is severely disappointing, especially compared to the first game. It’s admittedly nice to listen to, but it doesn’t feel like it should be Matlok’s theme whasoever. Well, maybe the Hurry Up! variation does, but the regular theme just feels very mysterious and lowkey in a way that Matlok himself is not (I mean just look at him! There’s nothing lowkey about fighting with a mohawk, shades and headphones). I dislike this theme mostly on that principle, which I admit is a bit unfair. It’s still a good theme, but as a “character theme” it doesn’t do it’s job particularly well (in my opinion of course).
After comparing this track with his Fighter’s History 1 theme, I’ve come to the opinion that this is a better track. But it’s still like picking the lesser of two evils; sorry Samchay but I’d still rather listen to other tracks. But hey, at least you’re not completely forgettable.
He has a memorable Hurry Up! Mix but I ultimately found his regular theme to be pretty forgettable by comparison. Ray, this is why people forget you’re supposed to be the poster boy for the series, you can’t be the main character and have a bland theme like this!
The rest (Jean, Zazie, Clown and Feilin’s themes)
I didn’t like any of these character’s themes, sped up or otherwise. Some of them have appealing portions and lacklustre executions (Jean and Feilin) but the others are just incredibly bland (Zazie and Clown). All of them are just completely forgettable though.
This works as a fairly off the wall extra boss. That’s all I have to say.
Continue (INDOMITABLE SPIRIT)
I was surprised by this. It’s pretty good, but it’s also bad as it’s supposed to be a game over screen (and if I were in an arcade, I’d probably let the continue screen run just to listen to this). Still, it’s a decent track if misused in the context of the game.
Character Select Screen
This was a downgrade. It feels like it went for a more SF2 feel, which is bad because the blood pumping rock theme from the first game’s character select screen was far superior to this.