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Angela May 15, 2008

Well, now this is a most intriguing development.  Konami's made an announcement regarding the North America 40GB Limited Edition PS3, which essentially includes the Gun Metal Grey colored model, a Dual Shock 3, and the limited edition version of MGS4.  Besides learning about the exclusive bonus Blu-ray disc (two hours worth of behind-the-scenes content), they also reveal that the other additional bonus, the soundtrack CD, will include 16 never-before-released tracks by Harry Gregson-Williams, Nobuko Toda, and....... Ennio Morricone??

http://www.konami-data.com/GamersDay/2008/

Of course, the prospect of sixteen additional tracks not already included in the official Original Soundtracks release is exciting, assuming this isn't marketing hyperbole from Konami....... but news of Morricone's involvement comes straight outta left field.  If it's true, I'm calling it right now: Ocelot's Theme 2008! ;)

XLord007 May 18, 2008

Angela wrote:

Konami's made an announcement regarding the North America 40GB Limited Edition PS3

Sorry, I gotta call balls on this.  No way I'm paying $600 just to get a gray system if it's only 40 GB.  The $500 MGS4 bundle has the 80 GB.

the_miker May 18, 2008

Angela wrote:

Ennio Morricone

Now that's an interesting twist.  The only things I really know him for are The Thing and some classic Lucio Fulci films.  Maybe they hired him to create a new MGS Main Theme since the one we know and love is all scandalous now.

-Mike

Fei May 26, 2008

Are there any differences in the non-first press releases? I noticed CDJ is sold out of first press. I'm not sure if Amazon is or not, does anyone know if Amazon is still selling the first press?

Angela May 27, 2008

Fei wrote:

Are there any differences in the non-first press releases? I noticed CDJ is sold out of first press. I'm not sure if Amazon is or not, does anyone know if Amazon is still selling the first press?

Dunno if future press releases will be housed in the super jewel case format or not.  They seemed to be marketing the first press as an exclusive for such.

The Japanese iTunes Store has the entire official soundtrack up for download and sampling.  Or, you can check out the twenty-five minute mp3 sample that was cobbled together from said source:

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=K816XBZU

Awful hisses and pops aside, the samples offer a pretty good feel of the score's overall sound.  It's definitely harder and edgier than MGS3, more akin to the techno-orchestration flavor of MGS2.   Many of the tracks are very staccato-driven, and I think the addition of the choir shouts gives the soundtrack a very interesting identity.

To speak of the "Metal Gear Solid Main Theme" - the bad news is, at least from what the samples reveal, there doesn't appear to be a shred of the original melody left at all.  At this point, it can probably be safe to assume that the theme is really and truly a thing of the past.  May it rest in peace, ashes to ashes, dust to dust -- and a small part of me died inside.  -_-; 

On the other hand, the track labeled "Metal Gear Saga" features a fully extended variation of the introduction part of the MGS3 Version - which was an incredible cue in its own right.  Not a bad consolation, actually; you can check out the full track featured on Youtube.

Youtube - Metal Gear Saga:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=ZWY7E2KVMTI

I'll have a more detailed write-up once I've received and listened through the entire score.  So far, though, it sounds appetizingly promising. :)

Angela May 27, 2008

Right, and one more tidbit.  This one is regarding the soundtrack bonus disc included with the Limited Edition of the game.  Someone handed this track listing to me, claiming that these are the sixteen featured songs:   

01 Haven Troopers
02 Drebin 893
03 Call Me Hal
04 Confrontation
05 Sin
06 War Economy
07 Front Line
08 Nano Machines
09 Cutscene 1
10 Cutscene 2
11 SP Mission 01 - Start
12 SP Mission 01 - BGM
13 SP Mission 01 - Victory 1
14 SP Mission 01 - Victory 2
15 SP Mission 01 - Game Over
16 Love Theme (Brawl Meets Suicidal Snake Mix)

It's not all "never-before-released", but eleven out of sixteen ain't bad either.  The SP Mission 01 tracks appear to be culled from the online mini-game that you can play on Konami's official site, but the new "Love Theme" mix is the most curious.  Could it be some new arrangement of the Super Smash Bros. Brawl version?

Chris May 28, 2008 (edited May 28, 2008)

This is just an already released and very short unofficial compilation of trailer music compiled by Video Games Scrapbook. They try to pass it off as more than it is -- it's not the Limited Edition music. You can download it and read a review at SEMO, but you've probably heard the tracks already.

Angela May 29, 2008 (edited Jun 15, 2008)

As I anxiously wait for my copy to arrive, the iTunes version has at least slaked my thirst for the latest MGS sound.  I've listened through the score twice, and while I can't say it has the instant appeal of MGS3 (still the very best Metal Gear soundtrack, in my opinion), MGS4 has grown on me very quickly.

As said, the overall sound is harder and edgier than MGS3 - and any Metal Gear soundtrack to date, really.  Stylistically, it's more like AC!D and Portable Ops, as Toda and gang rely heavily on suspenseful rhythmic percussion, sharp staccato punctuation and a rawer, more relentless industrial-techno sound.  Long-time series listeners will come to the conclusion that MGS4 is much less melody-friendly than past entries, but that doesn't make the listening experience any less visceral and adrenaline pumping. 

There are some really incredible action cues, such as the new Alert/Caution themes.  It looks like they've designated said themes to the last few tracks on disc 2 (tracks 18 through 27); I know that "War Zone" and "A Rebellion Rests" are the alert and caution for the opening Middle East location, so it stands to reason that the remaining eight tracks follow the rest of the four areas that Snake will visit throughout the game.  I'm really digging "The Hunter/The Hunted" and "For Liberty/Surrounded."   Following the insanely creepy voice-induced "BB Corps" introductory track are the rest of the Beauty and the Beast unit's battle themes.  They unfortunately don't come anywhere near the greatness of past battles like Yell Dead Cell! or any of the Cobra unit fights, but they certainly have their moments.  "Raging Raven" is actually really, really good.  (Have I mentioned how much I love those choir shouts and chants?  They add such a cool element to the score - almost a primal feel, a juxtaposition to the mostly modern, futuristic sound palette.)

Gregson-Williams' contributions prove to be an especially invaluable component.  They are really good this time around, bringing the bulk of the orchestral element to the table, along with his usual panache for militaristic-industrial.  For those wondering, every piece featured in the various trailers are featured on the soundtrack, and it's awesome to finally hear them in unabridged form.  They're all excellent, but "Desperate Chase" in particular just might be one of the greatest action pieces featured in a MGS score yet.  The final few tracks leading up to the ending are a blend of sorrow and inspiration, almost on par to MGS3's Debriefing.  It's interesting to note, however, that there isn't an underlying main theme to be heard throughout the score.  As prominent as "Old Snake" and "Love Theme" are by opening up the soundtrack with, there's nary a trace of their melodies heard ever again.

And then there's the ending vocal itself.  Kuja had it right with "Here's To You" - it is indeed based off the Sacco and Vanzetti Morricone original, rearranged by Gregson-Williams and sung by Lisbeth Scott.  It's an interesting and seemingly appropriate choice for Snake's swan song - the single featured verse is repeated throughout the course of its near-six minute length, soothingly resonating with the audience of Snake's intended fate.  I think the song - no, more like the tribute - could go over really well.

Two asides: Now that the OST is officially out, I'm taking down any previous sample tracks from the Briefcase.  The other thing is that the track "Vamp" didn't look to be a part of MGS4 after all.  It's too bad, as I've grown to really like the piece, whatever it was.

Chris May 29, 2008

I still haven't fully assimilated the Konami Sound Team tracks, but I'm delighted like Angela with Harry Gregson-Williams' contributions here. After my quite publicised disappointment about his music on MGS2, I feel he's improved greatly with time. I loved his work on MGS3 and this is probably even better. I'm also really pleased with GEM Impact's contributions and what appears to be a Hibino co-composition. I'm missing the symphonic jazz with the greater electronica focus, but this album definitely lives up to the hype.

Adam Corn May 30, 2008

I've posted a number of samples from the CD release.  You can find them under the CD link in this thread's sidebar or by clicking here.

I also plan to post a preview on the CD page in the near future.  After a first listen through both discs I'm impressed.  It's understated yet sweetly cinematic, and the production values are generally of high caliber, particularly some of the synth work.  I can see how some parts might get repetitive but in most cases once monotony does threaten to set in, along comes an dramatic synth segment or an unexpected choral passage to liven things up.

The MGS main theme is missed but other than that things are looking good.

Cedille May 30, 2008

Adam Corn wrote:

The MGS main theme is missed but other than that things are looking good.

So, this is the second case a gaming company pleads guilty to stealing music? Or Konami just avoids to use a piece of music under suspicion? A shame.

RinoaDestiny May 30, 2008

Adam Corn wrote:

The MGS main theme is missed but other than that things are looking good.

My brother just called his friend, who got the soundtrack. According to his friend, the main theme is in the soundtrack and intact, so I'm not sure who's correct. He thinks perhaps you guys missed it, somehow? Could it have been renamed or remixed to hide it?

Chris May 30, 2008 (edited May 30, 2008)

He's wrong. The Metal Gear Solid main theme cannot be heard. However, the original melody that Harry Gregson-Williams composed for the Metal Gear Solid 3 'arrangement' is present in "Metal Gear Saga". I suppose it has similar compositional elements, but the melody is original.

So, this is the second case a gaming company pleads guilty to stealing music? Or Konami just avoids to use a piece of music under suspicion? A shame.

What was the first case? (Sorry if it's obvious)

Adam Corn Jun 1, 2008

Preview posted.  More like a review basically... I'd give the soundtrack a solid four stars but want to have a few more listens before I make it official smile

Angela Jun 1, 2008

Excellent p/review, Adam.  A cinematic score that can readily stand on its own is obviously an awesome thing, but one can imagine just how much more affecting it'll be in context.  As if it were possible, my excitement for the game has raised a little higher due to my newfound appreciation of the music.

Also, even if he doesn't, I want to give a shout-out to Chris' Square Enix Music Online preview of the OST.  He covers the factual side of the release, including a clear description of individual composer credits.  Very cool.

Metal Gear Solid 4 Original Soundtrack: The Ultimate Preview:
http://www.squareenixmusic.com/musicnew … m=&ucat=2&

Chris Jun 1, 2008 (edited Jun 1, 2008)

Thanks for that, Angela! I would have been lost without your review for my description of the Konami Sound Team's works.

I really enjoyed your review, Adam. I think it gives a strong taste of the soundtrack's soundscapes.

Cedille Jun 2, 2008

Chris wrote:

What was the first case? (Sorry if it's obvious)

Namco once removed the ring tone of "Waltz for Ariah" (plus some tracks) with the announcement of "a copyright problem going on".

Adam Corn Jun 2, 2008

Angela wrote:

A cinematic score that can readily stand on its own is obviously an awesome thing, but one can imagine just how much more affecting it'll be in context.

Agreed.  Having not played any of the MGS games aside from the original's demo at E3 Atlanta (wow, that really dates me), I haven't really bought into the MGS4 hype, but hearing the score has me genuinely curious to play the game and see how some of these scenes play out.

And thanks for checking out the review smile  I'll be sure to follow you guys' coverage at SEMO, Chris.

Sami Jun 3, 2008 (edited Jun 3, 2008)

It was surprising to see Sota Fujimori pop up here of all places. Unfortunately, the tracks are traditional MGS with only a hint of his style. Fujimori could have done interesting things with MGS music, but that would have required more freedom and much longer tracks than these minute dittys. Well, at least the paycheck should have been good? And he's still available to Konami outside bemani, unless it was precisely the high-profile title that convinced him to lend his half-hearted participation.

Chris Jun 3, 2008 (edited Jun 3, 2008)

Sota Fujimori is a Konami resident employee. I don't think he has that much choice where he is assigned and probably wouldn't have received much of an additional paycheck for this project. Still, I'm sure this title was a nice diversion from his usual Winning Eleven and Bemani projects. I know little about these titles, so I can't say I'm an avid follower of him, though I enjoyed his work on Gungage, Elder Gate, Neo Contra, and Shin Contra.

It would have been interesting to see what he would have offered with an arrangement for Metal Gear's 20th Anniversary Album. The arrangements on there are all pure gold, but too few.

Angela Jun 11, 2008

Looks like we've got a final tracklisting confirmation for the bonus CD soundtrack that comes with the Limited Edition version of the game.  Thanks to dabookerman from NeoGAF for the shot:

http://homepages.nildram.co.uk/~adamesa … 0_3681.JPG

Alas, the sixteen tracks, totaling one hour, really is just a selection from the official Original Soundtracks release.  No new material whatsoever.

I went ahead and updated GMR with the album info:

http://www.gmronline.com/info.asp?CatNumber=none0341

Adam Corn Jun 11, 2008

Angela wrote:

Alas, the sixteen tracks, totaling one hour, really is just a selection from the official Original Soundtracks release.  No new material whatsoever.

They did manage to put a lot of the best tracks on there though.  If I were compiling a single-disc OST from the double-disc set that's pretty close to what I'd come out with.

Except for BB Corps.  Those vocal effects kill the track.

guizhang Jun 12, 2008

does anyone have a clear picture of the case the limited edition version soundtrack came in?

Chris Jun 12, 2008

Thanks for the info Angela. I went and updated. Anyone know of any good CD scans?

I think it's a good compilation overall, though I think the fact it is all Gregson-Williams pieces or vocal themes means it doesn't entirely capture the full richness of the soundtrack. Of course, I'm disappointed that it's nothing more elaborate unlike previous efforts for Sons of Liberty and Snake Eater.

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