Number 20: Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War
Sometimes music is meant to be epic and emotional, like the Ace Combat 6 soundtrack that appeared on this list last week. And quite honestly, since this soundtrack is from the exact same series, you would be pretty spot on if you expected it to sound similar.
Except that it doesn't. Well, at least, not entirely. Where Ace Combat 6 reminded me of an epic war movie, Ace Combat Zero reminds me more of a spy movie. A little less serious, a bit more corny action than serious action, and a very audible reminder through music that you are the unstoppable hero of the day.
This isn't to say that the soundtracks don't sound similar, in fact if you listened to Number 22 last week you'll recognize here some of the same motifs and melodies. But Ace Combat Zero uses different instrumentation and sound stage for it's soundtrack, leaving it feeling like something from the 60s or 70s instead of the modern, crisp sound of its sibling title.
Use of this retro sound continues throughout the soundtrack, with use of older style instruments alongside the basic melodies. It still carries a similar overall feel from the other title, so if last Thursday's winner wasn't exactly your particular favorite, Ace Combat Zero may not be up your alley either.
On the other hand, I found much to enjoy about Ace Combat Zero, and accordingly the soundtracks highest score was in the Emotional Involvement category. It's hard not to feel emotionally influenced by this soundtracks offerings, albeit in a different way than 6. Either way, Ace Combat Zero scored quite well across the board, and even managed to pick up a bonus point from Non-Gamers.
Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War
Stand Alone Quality: 4
Emotional Reaction: 4.5
Game Representation: 4.25
Non-Gamer Enjoyment: 1
Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War is a rousing soundtrack, and its emotional flare and quasi-retro style give it the staying power it needs to be the tip of the iceberg for the top 20.
Number 20--Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War by Tetsukazu Nakanishi, Keiki Kobayashi, Hiroshi Okubo and Junichi Nakatsuru (Various hereafter)