Not being one to deny the totally sweet, awesome nature of ninjas, what with the constant flipping out and killing people, it's hard not to love some badass guitar-driven Ninja Gaiden 2 mixin', which is exactly what new submitter Ashane has provided with this arrangement of the classic "Parasprinter" theme. Said theme is probably the most recognizable from the series, and was originally crafted as sort of a rock piece, insofar as the NES could effect one, so it's fulfilling to see the source material's mojo-potential realized. And realize it he does - introing with silky smooth clean arpeggios, a lead is brought in over top that quickly illustrates Ashane's skills, doubling up for some Boston-style harmony before transitioning into full-on rock circa 1'23". After that, you get precisely what the title delivers: a soundscape of pumped ninja action, as realized via a fairly straight arrangement of the original that focuses more on additive elements, replacing the drum track with something that follows a bit closer and makes more sense contextually and adding mucho riffin to the melody. Although there's a good deal of technique on display, it never feels gratuitous, as Ashane always works back to the melody, and also works around it when flying through more elaborate passages. This is important, because the piece was originally an entry into Dwelling of Duels (mirror), a monthly (sometimes bi-monthly) competition for VG cover artists who play live instruments. While the live instruments in question are usually guitars, the extent to which pieces submitted could be called covers, using our definition, varies - sometimes the degree of arrangement is rather substantive, which is a good thing, because it means pieces like Ashane's are "compatible" with OCR standards and can be submitted here. At any rate, competitions can be double-edged swords - on one hand, they can get people involved, enthusiastic, and bring out a sense of community and (hopefully) friendly competition. On the other hand, they can establish heirarchies, imply that certains styles or approaches are quantifiably "better" than others, and reduce the chances that any given artist will take certain risks that might decrease accessibility. The most dangerous pitfall I think would be showmanship - putting the illustration of one's personal abilities above what's right for the arrangement. However, from what I've heard thus far, such potential traps have been avoided - there's some great stuff coming out of DoD, and it's good to see a cross-section of that submitted here, especially when it's comparable to this NG2 piece. Larry wrote tomes on this in his panel decision, so while I suggest reading it, I'm gonna wrap things up with a more manageable quote from Sir Malcos:
"...I thought the intro sounded great. I agree with the comment made about the support guitars, making it more up front or panning them would have given a lot more interest to the section preceding the freestyle bit. Really liked the fadeaway ending. It was the intro that really grabbed me in this mix, good stuff."
Indeed - a great original, arranged skillfully for an instrumentation that fits like a glove.
on 2010-09-30 17:43:52
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Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Primary Game:
Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos (Tecmo, 1990, NES)
Music by Keiji Yamagishi, Mayuko Okamura, Mikio Saito, Ryuichi Nitta
- "The Parasprinter"
- Electric Guitar
- 6,310,308 bytes
- Size: 6,310,308 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: e669d1b828c54086362b85aee59868de
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