The newest Beatmania IIDX arcade game – beatmania IIDX 11 “RED” – has hit arcades in Japan, and thanks to inside sources, I’ve had a chance to run through extremely good quality “game soundtrack” (created by players playing songs and recording the line out to an audio recorder).
So let’s do some ratings. 0-100 scale as always. Corresponding rating levels and percentile of songs that are rated at or above these levels are below; 50 should be considered average.
60 = “B” (2267 / 6424 = 35.3%)
61-79 = “B+” (1071 / 6424 = 16.7%)
80 = “A” (454 / 6424 = 7.1%)
81-100 = “A+” (156 / 6424 = 2.4%)
Ratings could change on OST release based on mis-hits while the players were recording these. Tackling these alphabetically.
DJ Amuro / AA
For being in the same genre as A, this doesn’t really evoke the same feeling as the predecesor did. There’s the sort of snare roll in the middle I bitched about during one of my Dancemania Ex reviews. This is decent but sounds like a mutant child of A and something Sota would do, with the trance instrument jiggling all around. 60/100.
Sota Fujimori / Andromeda
Speak of the devil. This actually doesn’t sound like Sota; it’s darker to start with. Doesn’t really seem to be going anywhere though; no progression or even really a melody. It’s not annoying me, however, so we’ll put this right at the middle of the road with a 50/100.
Akira Yamaoka / Awakening
Evoking a lot of i feel… memories here, more of the same snare rolls from AA. Japanese lyrics, with a nice melodic trance refrain. Not memorable by any stretch, though. 52/100.
DJ Simon / Back To The Dance Floor
The return of DJ Simon! And luckily, it has no trance elements unlike the last three songs. Sort of reminding me of Sweet Lab with a bit more kick to it, since it’s got a small latin vibe. I would imagine the notes would be fun. 60/100.
Ryu / Be Quiet
The genre of “Hard Dance” is appropriate here; it’s definitely not the happy hardcore we’ve come to expect from Ryu. It’s heavy, it’s frantic, and it’s gooood. 75/100.
Nao Nakamura / Believe…?
The beginning freaked me out, I thought this was going to be JS-16. It’s more melodic than the stuffprevious to this, and it’s almost good enough to make my typical playlist, but there’s just something missing. 59/100.
Sparker / Breath
More Rococo Tek is fine by me! A bit more majestic than Brightness Darkness was, it bounces along well. 70/100, largely because I’m a sucker for Sparker.
Dave & Nuage / Car Of Your Dreams
I’m not sure what the difference between “Eurobeat” and “Super Eurobeat” is, but this feels less eurobeat-y than other things I’ve seen labeled as Super Eurobeat. Different enough from the typical eurobeat formula (note: I’m not a fan of most eurobeat) to make me want to hear it again. 61/100.
DJ Remo-con / Click Again
Oh my god. Cut’n’paste style beats like this are rapidly gaining respect from me, and this is unbelievably fantastic. Think Macho Gang, with more dancability. Bonus points for the old scratch sounds. 84/100.
DJ Yoshitaka feat.星野�?�? / D.A.N.C.E.!!
I’m nicking this one from Reo; if you’ve heard The Love Bug by m-flo and BoA, this is remarkably similar. Male and female back and forth vocals, female refrain, pop groove…it’s a formula that stole my ear before, and it’s doing it again here. 80/100.
platoniX (Eurance Style) / Don’t Be Afraid My Self
It’s the fastest J-Pop song Naoki has ever done. I’m digging the hook, and the piano runs are neat too. Probably one of the least annoying Naoki-with-female-vocals songs to date. 65/100.
Wall5 / EVO66
Wait, this sounds nothing like North! It’s actually techno with some acid touches. This is amazingly cool and some what expected. 80/100.
Baby Weapon feat. Kajil / Fly Away To India
There’s some other pop song that they’ve nicked part of the melody here from, but I can’t recall what it is right now. The vocals are way too high for this to be an enjoyable Bolly-style track for me. I’ll stick to Dr. Love and Nasty!, thanks. 40/100.
DJ Killer / Genocide
Extra stage! I think calling this Drum’n’bass is a bit inaccurate, as this is way too dark for your typical DNB track. It’s a decent bit of darkness, with some orchestral-ish melody (is that the trend in all the trance tracks on IIDX now?). Good enough for 60/100.
Teranoid feat. MC Natsack / Gigadelic
Oooh, darkcore (“nustyle gabba” my ass). It’s an enjoyable track – and probably hell to play – but I’m not sure what I would do with this if it came on in a club or on my iPod. As such, I have to bump it off my playlists at 59/100.
Regina / Harmony
Yeeeup. It’s eurobeat. Don’t know what else to say, other than that maybe I want to throw up a fake para to it. For some reason it’s feeling reminiscent of Fantasy (the 4th Style version), but maybe it’s because I’m just not digging it. 44/100.
Lia / Horizon
Anthem-style happy trance. It’s a little dream-like, and works for me a lot better than the other trance we’ve seen. 66/100.
新谷�?��??ら / Injection Of Love
Sana gets all DIRTY, commanding us to touch her, lick her, and fuck her – who thought our poor Beatmania could become such a dirty game? (And who are we to deny her?) A infectuous bouncing melody and good instrumentation makes this one hot injection. 80/100.
John Robinson / Kecak
More trance, with a slight tribal feel. Good rhythm, good feeling, good enough. 60/100.
BeForU / Ki-Se-Ki (IIDX RED Edit)
I’m sorry, folks, I’m over Naoki’s traditional euro/j-pop stuff, and by extension, I’m over BeForU. I don’t care how many trance elements he throws in, or para-style offbeat notes, the thing stinks. It ends abruptly and I don’t want to hear it again. 35/100.
DJ 19 / King Of Groove
Fairly generic and repititious techno, with a bit of tribal. This is one of those songs you’ll be skipping over every time you play – not because it’s bad, just because it doesn’t stand out. 45/100.
Orange Lounge / Les Filles Balancent
Hey, it’s Orange Lounge! And they’re back, with trumpets! A little too cutesy this time around, probably the worst of the five Orange Lounge songs as it just sounds like a hodge podge of the others; still, not horrible. 52/100.
Tetsuya Uchida / Listen To Yourself
Old school organ house crossed with a traditional japanese melody. I’ve been missing Symphonic Defoggers lately so this quasi-throwback doesn’t hurt. 64/100.
good-cool feat. Raj Ramayya / Move Me
Ignoring the beginning, this is a solid, slow good-cool track. It’s been a while since good-cool’s done anything this slow…oh WAIT FAST ENDING. Good stuff, not typical good-cool at all, it’s refreshing. 75/100.
Matt Land / Night Flight To Tokyo
More eurobeat, with some interesting melody tweaks but a meh refrain. By this point, I’m Eurobeaten out. 45/100.
Q’Hey / On The Tube
This got lumped into the Minimal genre; I think Konami needs to learn what “minimal” actually is. Compared to the eurobeat, sure, it’s minimal, I guess. This is making me recall some Pink Pong songs, and like most Beatmania players, I don’t have the fondest Pink Pong memories. 48/100.
N.A.R.D. feat. masayo / Perfectworld
Secret Tale II. That’s all you need to know. 45/100.
jun feat. Paula Terry / Raspberry Heart (English Version)
Am I the only one who thinks Paula Terry at the beginning sounds just a touch like one of the Wario Ware voices? COME ON, LET’S GO! In any case, she’s not adding anything to 40/100.
Tatsh & Naoki / Red Zone
Oh lord. Cross B4U, Dynamite Rave, and Drop The Bomb, and you get Red Zone. Here’s why I hate Naoki, folks: Because we’ve had all these previous songs drilled into our head, the newer songs don’t have anything that really sound distinctive because he can’t come up with anything newer to do. Kiss of death: The vocalist says “Speed Rave” at least twice. 40/100.
Kohta / Resonate 1794
Whoever at Konami keeps putting years in the song titles need to get shot. This is more renaissance-y than AA, but what’s with the plane taking off noises? 60/100.
DJ Tomo / Rok Da World
The guitar riff feels stolen from KMFDM, and the vocal sample feels stolen from Ferry Corsten. But it’s not really a bad thing, it’s just not a great thing. 55/100.
DJ Swan / Secret Of Love
Holy crap DJ Swan is back. This is a little less drum’n’bass than Gentle Stress was, but the melody is reminiscent enough. Not as good as I would hope (I was a huge Gentle Stress fan), but still good. 67/100.
Y&Co. / Speedy Cat
True story: Y&Co wrote this about dj BTNS. He can already AAA it. Anyhow, Y&Co is very hit and miss, and after hitting with Daisuke, unfortunately they miss by a bit here. 44/100.
Tatsh feat. K.Nayuki / Sphere
Another cross between trance-ish stuff and medieval music. If you slapped this, A, Resonate 1794, North, and No.13 in a course, I would not complain. Decent stuff, this. 63/100.
DJ Setup / Spiral Galaxy
Setup is channeling L.E.D. on this one, as I’m being reminded of Hyper Boundary Gate a bit. This is a good, fast moving sort of trance – looming, a little evil (really enjoying the string stabs), and fun to listen to. 70/100.
Slake / Texture
Another song that’s going to divide the Bemani community in two. To those that dig Slake, they’re going to find a funky shuffle-beat sleaze masterpiece. To those that can’t stand him, this will be a choppily sampled mish-mash that they just don’t understand. I find myself again back in the first group. 75/100.
Twin AmadeuS / Wonder Bullfighter
When I saw this on the location test lists, after how nuts I went over Frozen Atmosphere, this became the song I was most curious about. I have not been disappointed; the string melody is still there, but this time there’s scratching – and more pronounced drums. I get the feeling I’ll like this even more on the OST, but for now, 80/100.
大桟橋 / ウッ�?ーズ
The first half is a ballad. I cannot stand the first half. But right at the middle, it picks up, and turns actually pretty good. The bass line is reminiscent of Take On Me, and the vocals become substantially better with this behind it. So I’m torn on how to grade this, but I will cautiously go 60/100.
Naoki feat. 星野�?�? / 太陽～T・A・I・Y・O～
Another Naoki trance-with-female-jpop-vocals. Oh and THERE’S the fucking Naoki trademarked do-Do-do-Do-DOO! Thank god, for a minute I almost didn’t have a problem with this song! Songs like this make me wish DDR games were still being produced so Naoki would stop crapping up IIDX with them. 42/100.
Osamu Kubota / 惑
Osamu, Osamu, Osamu, what the fuck is this? There are portions in here I really dig, but there are also portions in here I’m just not understanding at all. I realize this is supposed to be “Asian Crossover”, but what is it crossing from or to? Lush instruments makes for at least a 50/100.
Injection Of Love
Raspberry Heart (English Version)
Fly Away To India
~T A I Y O~
Pleasantly surprising, and instantly a more likeable collection of songs than 10th had. Based on how the OST turns out, and the hidden songs we haven’t heard yet, this *could* supplant my current favorite IIDX style. But we shall see.