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Manuever Cepter Granada :: Review by Don

Manuever Cepter Granada Album Title: Manuever Cepter Granada
Record Label: Toshiba EMI (1st Edition); Engine Inc. (Reprint)
Catalog No.: TOCT-5933; ENCG-0001
Release Date: December 12, 1990; November 27, 2003
Purchase: Buy at VGM World


Maneuver Cepter Granada was another shooter title developed in 1990 for Telenet by Wolfteam for the X68000 and Sega Mega Drive. Featuring Motoi Sakuraba in another of his earliest gaming works, as well as a small contribution by Masaaki Uno, this album features both the original sound version as well as a few arranged pieces by Motoi Sakuraba.


Masaaki Uno only contributed three pieces to this album, two of which are extremely short and aren't worth mentioning. The other contribution, "Nature Trail," is a bubbly theme with a gripping melody. The percussion helps plod it along, but it doesn't really stand out too much. Unfortunately, many of Sakuraba's pieces fall into the same trap. There is a lot of militaristic percussion featured on this soundtrack, with progressive rock elements, but very few pieces actually distinguish themselves from one another aside from melody.

The two exceptions among Sakuraba's tracks are the "Advance Granada" and "Goodbye Granada" pieces. The former opens up the game with an intense, heroic, and futuristic sounding piece with a gripping melody. Throw in some sound effects and you have a bonafide 'taken straight from the game' kind of piece. Fortunately, the melody is easily my favorite on the soundtrack. It's memorable and has a few contrasting sections. The latter is a slower ending theme with another memorable melody, but there are fewer contrasting sections. The progressive rock element is nice, and there are a few sections where the pace is quickened, but for the most part, it might feel like it drags on for some.

The arrangements by Sakuraba feature what he does best. Taking the originals, he transforms them into updated progressive rock pieces, with him on keyboards of course. For the most part, many of these arrangements are fairly straightforward and the differences are minimal. For example, the "Advance Granada" and "Goodbye Granada" arrangements mimic the originals, but Sakuraba throws in some flashy improvisation on the keyboard as well as some acoustic instrumentation on occasion. The other two arrangements mainly just fuse a few pieces from the soundtrack together and add a couple improvisational sessions as well. They are very entertaining, but don't really feel arranged.


Overall, this album is merely passable. There are a lot of energetic tracks, but aside from the opening and closing Granada themes, there really isn't too much to look forward to. The arrangements are nice, but at the same time, they hardly feel fleshed out aside from a couple of flashy keyboard solos. Ultimately, I wouldn't worry about getting this album, but it does have a few things to offer should you feel inclined to seek it out.

Overall Score: 4/10