Imagine yourself in the 16th century as a spectator in a medieval tournament. Imagine the spirited music welcoming the throngs, trumpets blaring as you make your way to your seat in preparation of the spectacular battle ahead. Now imagine that music with more of an orchestral flair. The music that you're imagining is probably typical of what you'd hear in Soul Calibur.
When I first purchased the game, I was simply amazed by its sheer beauty and fighting technical perfection. But what I also noticed was the game's orchestral score epitomizing musical excellence in videogames. Just the simple fact that I could notice the music alongside the other aspects of this incredible game says something in itself.
The majority of the music consists of loud, uptempo tracks that capture the thrill of pure battle. There are, however, some tracks that seem to evolve into quieter, moodier pieces. While as a whole the soundtrack does have a distinct sound, there is never the feeling that all the tracks sound too similar to one another. Of course, there are a few exceptions to the soundtrack's overall sound. "Bloom And Harvest" has a uniquely Chinese melody, "Unblessed Soul" makes use of a harpsichord, and "Cursed Image" has a Japanese sound.
My favorite track is "Going To Where The Wind Blows" ("A Feather In The Wind" in the US). This is the song that plays during the art gallery's slideshow. The reprise of the song that plays during the regular art gallery menus is nice enough, a light, soothing musical piece. But the original track is a truly wonderful composition that evokes emotions of a journey long traveled, finally at an end.
The bonus 3-inch disc that comes with the first pressing of the soundtrack includes four songs and, while not absolutely essential, it is a very nice addition. If you liked Soul Calibur's music, you should purchase the soundtrack immediately to ensure yourself a copy of the bonus disc before the first pressing is sold out. "Light & Darkness (Soul Mix)" is an exceptional piece and is better than the original. The piano version of Going To Where The Wind Blows is yet another great rendition of the composition.
Soul Calibur is considered by many to be amongst the greatest fighting games of all time. The music definitely does its part to justify that position. The Soul Calibur sound team has created a soundtrack of epic proportions that perfectly fits the videogame and is yet capable of shining on its own. Play this soundtrack and close your eyes, imagining yourself as an ancient warrior searching the world for the elusive legend of Soul Edge. You'll find out just how well this soundtrack realizes the experience. "Sing, my sword!"