Forever With Me continues the long standing series "Parodius". This one has a noticeably different type of sound than the other games. While it does retain the tradition of classical and Gradius action arrangements, this one also focuses on a number of Konami's other games. Expanding the aspect of parodying to wider level, Konami has chosen from titles such as "Combat Puzzle Ball", "Goemon/Mystical Ninja", "Twinbee" and even "Lethal Enforcers". Doesn't this sound a tad cheap? Mixing a lot of older title songs, as well as repeating several returning Parodius tracks certainly sounds like a lot of compensation. The entire soundtrack, in fact, sounds like a complete rehash. However, Konami does manage to pull it off fairly well.
As I've mentioned, Konami uses several music tracks from their other games. One very familiar one is "Let's Go, Goemon's On His Way", which combines Japanese quirkiness with a Ventures-style back drop beat. Anyone who's played the Goemon series of games will surely remember "It's Goemon Impact!" which is the battle taking place in the huge Goemon robot. There's also "I Am Dracula" from the Demon Castle series, a jazzy, upbeat song that's most reminiscent to the Kid Dracula series of games. Of course, there are still Gradius tracks, now with several more, such as "Let's Go To The Last Air Combat!", "It's Fiesta Time!", and the ever-familiar Las Vegas-style melody of "Dance, For We Are All Stupid!". There's also that well-known last boss melody that's in both "Super Service!" and "Over The Octopus".
Parodius has always been about classical music remixes, and, really, that's the primary reason why I buy these soundtracks. At first, I wasn't really pleased with the selections in this one. There is "Cherish The Blue Skies Given To Us", which is probably the most familiar and coolest sounding of all of them. Based on Bach's ever famous "Boxcar Minuet No. 40", this song was certainly my favorite at first. After that, there's "The Biscuit Waltz" taken from Debussey and "Dinner's Next Door...Charge!" taken from Beethoven. And of course, there is the frequently used "Flight of The Bumblebee Theme" from Korsakov. Seemingly always tucked away somewhere in every Parodius game, this time it's in a futuristic, techno-like form. Yow!
Original songs are few and far between, but the ones that are there are quite good. "A Small Rest" has a catchy meringue type melody. "Adolescent Parodius" sounds just perfect for a staff roll theme, with strong, march-like overtones. "Mirror Ball Forever" has a very cool techno-pop'ish feel to it.
You really have to play the game to fully appreciate the concept of this soundtrack. I honestly think that this Parodius has strayed somewhat from its extreme, wacky theme. There is now a more versatile, almost serious atmosphere, and I can certainly appreciate that. There's only so much you can do with the idea, anyway. It's a new experience, and it's also good to see that the flavor of Parodius is in there. Still, I think it lacks a lot of the charisma and energy of the older titles. If you're a newcomer, I'd recommend Gokujou Parodius or Sexy Parodius first. At the end, you'll see that "Forever With Me" is more or less of a rehash of those, and I'm not so sure it's really worth purchasing.