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Virtua Fighter Kids Soundtrack :: Review by Charles

Virtua Fighter Kids Soundtrack Album Title: Virtua Fighter Kids Soundtrack
Record Label: Toshiba EMI
Catalog No.: TYCY-5520
Release Date: September 26, 1996
Purchase: Buy at eBay


Virtua Fighter Kids is a spinoff of Sega's Virtua Fighter series for the Arcade and Saturn. As the game's name implies, this title is aimed towards younger players and features super-deformed versions of the characters from Virtua Fighter 2. The soundtrack, led by Takenobu Mitsuyoshi, also captures the youthful spirit with a mixture of original compositions and Virtua Fighter 2 arrangements.


The majority of the character themes are light-hearted arrangements of those from Virtua Fighter 2. "Jeffry", for instance, retains the same melody from the original, but is otherwise completely unrecognisable. Whereas Virtua Fighter 2's "Fisherman of the Seven Seas" featured quite impacting rock music, its Virtua Fighter Kids counterpart is laidback and tropical. The melody isn't as central in the arrangement, but nevertheless adds a catchy hook to the composition, while the eventual solos ensure it isn't too repetitive.

Despite the youthful approach, there is still a decent amount of stylistic diversity in the soundtrack. There are still tracks inspired by traditional Asian music such as "Pai" and "Shun", as well as more rock-influenced tracks such as "Jacky" and "Lion". However, everything is greatly toned down to fit the game despite the core elements being there. This approach can often be refreshing, resulting in colours and emotions that wouldn't normally be found in a fighting game soundtrack. A particular favourite of mine is "Dural", a mellow and organic theme that reminds me of days of youth.

There are some extras featured on the soundtrack. "We Are Virtua Fighter Kids", used in an advertising movie, prepares listeners for the light, pop-influenced sound for the game. There are also a range of ending themes used for each character. The majority of these are one minute jingles, so aren't particularly fulfilling for stand-alone listening; they nevertheless round off the individual stories and a few like Pai's are especially charming. The album is rounded off by two short but sweet arrangements of Virtua Fighter 2's "Moment of Eternity" and "Afterimage".


It is astonishing that Virtua Fighter Kids and Virtua Fighter 2 largely share the same thematic material. Though the melodies are clearly conserved in both, they're used to create completely different tones and styles. The transformations here are quite impressive, since they flawlessly match the scenario of the game while still making effective use of the melody. That said, the music isn't the most interesting or deep in terms of stand-alone listening, despite its charming moments. While good for a few spins on the CD Player, it is debatable whether it is worth the considerable pricetag.

Overall Score: 6/10