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Driving Emotion Type-S / Bushido Blade Soundtrack :: Review by Z-Freak

Driving Emotion Type-S / Bushido Blade Original Soundtrack Album Title: Driving Emotion Type-S / Bushido Blade Original Soundtrack
Record Label: Super Sweep Records
Catalog No.: SRIN-1003/4
Release Date: December 29, 2001
Purchase: Buy at VGM World


Ever since Square started to publish their soundtracks under their new label DigiCube in 1996, all or almost all of their games' respective soundtracks were released under said label. They've even released a few non-Square soundtracks such as Baroque (by Sting) and Tales of Symphonia (by Namco). The Kingdom Hearts Original Soundtrack was granted a release on the Toshiba EMI Label. The only Square Enix soundtracks to have been mysteriously 'forgotten' until recently were the soundtracks for Bushido Blade and Driving Emotion Type-S. I always wondered why DigiCube didn't print those like most of the other soundtracks...

The answer lies with several copyright problems, as the music for those games were the property of Shinji Hosoe, a legendary composer at Namco and Arika. He has composed for well over 100 titles in his 17-year career. While most of his soundtracks were short, quality was never lacking in his compositions. Hosoe often relies on pre-recorded electronic samples which he mixes with his music, which gives it a unique flair. In 2000, Shinji Hosoe created an organization known as Super Sweep, which comprises of several former Namco and Zuntata composers such as Ayako Saso and Yasuhisa Watanabe respectively. Super Sweep's motives are to compose high-quality soundtracks for any developer worthy of their talent.

Driving Emotion Type-S

One of the first projects Super Sweep worked on was Square's Driving Simulation title, known as Driving Emotion Type-S. The composers for this title were Shinji Hosoe as head composer, as well as Ayako Saso and Takayuki Aihara as contributing composers. While the game itself literally flopped everywhere due to awful gameplay physics (since when are roads supposed to be smooth like an ice rink?), the music was definitely one of its saving graces. A quick look at the first disc introduces the listener to the unique musical stylings of Super Sweep. Most of the music is techno-based, but there's also some rock and junk thrown in for good measure. One of the more varied tracks is "Rush About," which was composed by Hosoe. A flurry of electronic beats start the track up, quickly followed by a duet of saxophone and electric guitar, and a touch of piano here and there. While it may sound messy, it's actually a strong opener, and is sure to please everyone.

Ayako Saso's biggest contribution here is "Best Tone," a wonderful electric drum and bass venture, with a bit of synth at points. At one point, we are treated to a delightful bass solo, which escalates the overall enjoyment of the track to perfection. Takayuki Aihara's most interesting contribution is "F-Beat," an 80's rock tune sure to get the listener pumped up as he or she is driving across the highway. The melody is simply too catchy to possibly ignore and it is among the better tracks of the soundtrack. Shinji Hosoe brings us the calmest track, being "Recollections of Sepia." Its light piano start simply gets the listener to 'chill out' and relax a good deal. A bit of synth work is also in order, but this doesn't detract from the melody at all. Overall, the Driving Emotion Type-S is a marvel of its own. Those enjoying techno, rock and jazz will enjoy it a fair amount.

Bushido Blade

Bushido Blade's music, composed by the same trio as Driving Emotion Type-S, is quite different. It features features 'meditative' music, so to speak. The main instrument is the shamisen, a type of Japanese lute. "Bushido Theater" gets the feel of the soundtrack nicely, starting up with an asian flute solo, then the shamisen joins in along with tribal drums. It depicts the sacred art of Bushido quite nicely. One of the more interesting tracks is "Kannuki's Final Performance" — its slow pace and use of shamisen and violin creates an interesting aura which defines the mysticism of ancient Japan perfectly. It is a bit too calm for a battle theme, but it works surprisingly well.

"Hiding in Shadow" is the longest track here — over 4 minutes — and has amazing transitions. Starting off in a mysterious flute solo, it quickly gives way to quick bursts of violin samples, then voice samples keep on being heard in the background while electronic beats and the shamisen plays every now and then as the track gets more furious. At about 2:40, we are treated to a quick but delicious violin solo, which quickly disappears to make way for another wave of electronic beats and a bit of flute and shamisen, and ends in another wave of quick violin bursts. It really gives the sense that a desperate battle is taking place between two warriors. Overall, the score of Bushido Blade is fairly light in tone and feel, as opposed to the score of Driving Emotion Type-S.


With two different spectrums from Super Sweep, it's one of the better ways to discover Shinji Hosoe and collaborators' musical talents. If you enjoy most forms of electronica, rock, jazz, and oriental music, chances are you'll be glad to discover this treasure. Until recently, getting a copy of this soundtrack was near-impossible unless you live in Japan. However, thanks to the efforts of Kahori Ezaki, founder of CocoeBiz L.L.C., it's now possible to buy it and have shipped quickly and efficiently to your home. Being released back in 2001, it's already past its two-year print run. Chances are once CocoeBiz's stock of this CD set dries up, it's gone for good. I recommend any fan of Square Enix to pick up this exclusive title while you still can.

Overall Score: 9/10