Soundtrack
Mega Man X5 OST


4.5
superb

Review

by Brendan Schroer USER (179 Reviews)
April 12th, 2014 | 61 replies | 2,946 views


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A wonderful soundtrack, whether you're a fan of Mega Man or not.

The early Mega Man games have garnered a reputation over the years as some of the most beloved and most addicting 2D action games of their eras, particularly the first five or so games in the original series and (arguably) the first five or so X games. While developer Capcom have been ridiculed time and time again for milking their franchises for a quick buck, the sales prove that many gamers wanted more of the same from each series and subseries. Now between Battle Network, Zero, Star Force, and a whole slew of other spin-offs, the Mega Man franchise has gone out of control in terms of products; however, let's remember where the series came from: fun, side-scrolling action. It should be no wonder that the music certainly played a big role in these games as well, not just from a "heart-pumping battle theme" standpoint, but even an emotional standpoint as well. The fortress theme from Mega Man 2 is still a highly melodic and reflective listen as you're heading to Dr. Wily's HQ, despite the high tempo and power metal-esque vibe. Then there's the Frost Walrus theme in Mega Man X4 which sounds as icy and cold as the name of the aforementioned boss.

Basically, the charm of the Mega Man soundtracks is that they effectively combine high-speed intensity with a real sense of atmosphere. Particularly once the PS1 era of the series came into effect and the sound quality was improved, games like Mega Man X4 and X5 utilized the new technology to create more vivid atmospheres and more detailed compositions. However, X5 has to be a candidate for having the best soundtrack out of any Mega Man game. Why? Because it's a perfectly balanced piece of work for a game that was originally meant to close out the series. You get a mix of high-energy power metal instrumentals, piano and synth-based ballads, and even some progressive rock moments here and there. Composers Naoto Tanaka, Naoya Kamisaka, and Takuya Miyawaki created a more moody experience than in previous games in the series (with the possible exception of X4), befitting of the more emotionally resonant turn the X games had taken by this point. However, those moments of fury and heaviness still come out in full force; the themes for the both the Sigma and Dynamo boss fights are some of the fastest and most guitar-driven songs in the franchise, made even more memorable by the bold synthesizers on top of the tracks. There are also new experiments this time around such as the theme to the last Sigma battle, an epic string-driven number filled with trumpets and thunderous drumming. There are also shorter songs placed to break up these moments, such as both X and Zero's thrashy-yet-melodic "Stage Clear" themes.

But indeed, the best aspect of this soundtrack is its ability to balance aggression and introspection into a near-perfect whole. The reason it works so perfectly is the fact that it mirrors the game's tone and feel so well; the moment that X's companion Zero dies, the funeral-like theme that plays during the touching moment is absolutely gut-wrenching, despite being a simplistic display of melancholy. Some songs, such as the "Zero Theme 1" and the Shadow Devil theme are pretty bizarre when compared to the rest of the soundtrack, but the former works because of the fascinating sense of wonder in its unusual synth arrangement while the latter works because its high-pitched organ playing heightens the tension of the battle it's featured in.

Honestly, when you get down to it, the power of these songs comes from the moods they create, whether in-game or not. This soundtrack's sense of atmosphere is killer, and the way these songs are composed assure you that there's something for any mood you're in. And when you hear the theme of the end credits at the very end, or see them after defeating Sigma at 5 in the morning, there's a sense of reflection not normally found in games or games' soundtracks in the side-scrolling action genre. The somber and haunting piano theme eases its way in, and you remember all those memories you shared with some of the most thrilling and emotional games... some of them may have lost their popularity or relevance along the way, but they still make their way to the heart nonetheless. And that's like this soundtrack... it may be to a slightly dated PS1 game that has lost its popularity to a degree, but its charm will stick with you and last for ages.



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user ratings (6)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
FiveLeavesLeft
April 12th 2014



9838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm in a sentimental and reflective mood tonight, so I thought I'd close today with a game and soundtrack that practically defined my childhood. I loved them back then and I still love them today. :]

XingKing
April 12th 2014



10561 Comments


I've never played this game, so I have no idea what the OST is like, but I fucking love Mega Man and have played like 20 of the games. I love you just for writing this

FiveLeavesLeft
April 12th 2014



9838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hellyeah, I'm a huge Mega Man fan as well. Thanks man :]

SharkTooth
April 12th 2014



4267 Comments


"I've never played this game, so I have no idea what the OST is like, but I fucking love Mega Man and have played like 20 of the games. I love you just for writing this"[2]

FiveLeavesLeft
April 12th 2014



9838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5



SharkTooth
April 12th 2014



4267 Comments


your comment is not showing up

FiveLeavesLeft
April 12th 2014



9838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It's just a smiley face haha

Krow147
April 12th 2014



16 Comments


I love Mega Man music! I may have to get this

drewkar
April 12th 2014



98 Comments


X vs. Zero and Burn Dinorex themes are pretty cool

Digging: Nothing More - Nothing More

WashboardSuds
April 12th 2014



5005 Comments


still one of my fav series

Digging: Gas - Nah und Fern

Funeralopolis
April 12th 2014



11313 Comments


sweet megaman x and zero are some of my favourite games ever.

Digging: Sugary Sweet Machines - Controlled Breathing

Krigo
April 13th 2014



19 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The boss theme in X5 is just too good.

The game itself is probably my favorite in the series along with X4 too. Shame that X6 is pretty terrible.

Sousa
April 13th 2014



44 Comments


I love X1, X2, and X4. I tried the first two levels of this and lost interest. The girl interrupting you constantly with text dialogue to read in rage inducing.

I like my games more on the linear side too. But it really kills momentum.

I'll probably buy and play through it one day. I know Duff McWhalen's theme is Bubble Crab's theme from X2 redone. That's cool.

It surprised me to see this on sputnik's front page. Cool to see.

FiveLeavesLeft
April 13th 2014



9838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks guys. Yeah, I've noticed that Alia's annoyed some gamers in the past for said interruptions, but I never got too bothered by that. It's just a shame that Capcom had to go make X6-X8 and fuck up the initial series continuity.

I have the same feelings of X6 that The Angry Video Game Nerd does of Castlevania: Simon's Quest. I played it a bunch as a kid and so have a lot of nostalgia with it, but I see a lot more of the flaws today and realize it's the bastard child of the series (along with X7)

LordePots
April 13th 2014



6577 Comments


The early Mega Man games have garnered a reputation over the years as some of the most beloved and most **frustrating** 2D action games of their eras


fixed

Digging: Alt-J - This Is All Yours

Irving
Staff Reviewer
April 14th 2014



7261 Comments


Wait what

Digging: U2 - Songs of Innocence

Ecnalzen
April 14th 2014



6530 Comments


The X series kind of crapped out after the SNES ones. Still love me some Mega Man, tho.

XingKing
April 14th 2014



10561 Comments


The Zero series is fantastic though

Ecnalzen
April 14th 2014



6530 Comments


I havent played any of Zero's solo games.

That sounds like fun, tho.

XingKing
April 14th 2014



10561 Comments


They take place after X6 and are absolutely ball breakingly hard and are just beautiful



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