Panic Maker is a bizarre game (known as Under The Skin over here in Europe) that I found quite a refreshing piece of fun to play. I was however slightly surprised it had a soundtrack and bought it really to see if I could remember the music more away from the game environment.
“Trick Scan I” opens the soundtrack as the title tune, the sole piece written by Daisuke Asakura. It’s a catchy house piece that’s inoffensive and playful. The song is reprised at the end of the soundtrack too.
The rest of the soundtrack is done by Chamy Ishi. “Are You Serious?” continues the cheesy house vibe before “Groovy Sonic Beans” gives it all a continental jazz feel in a quite funky refreshing feel. However we are then treated to random dance fillers “Yo Homie!” and “Dice A Carrot”. “Pins and Needles” is an ambient darker piece which breaks up the slightly repetitive tempo thus far before a fanfare of “Global Connection” leads us into the more meaty tracks.
“Missing Persons” reminds me of an AWOL track from Final Fantasy X-2’s battle tracks at times. There is some excellent acoustic guitar action here though. “Estado Del Panico” is a shorter more manic track as the name suggests before “Take It As It Comes” gives us an electro-jazz track. Once again the music is nice enough and you can listen to it as background noise (nice brite piano pieces) but it really doesn’t grip me at full pelt. Pleasant to the ear, but never enough to warrant a massive replay factor from within.
“Boundary Layer” is a fun hyper high-pitched organ dance piece but only lasts a minute thus keeping it fresh. “Hazard City” is a more industrial track but has absolutely no real melody in most of the places at all sounding like a dance version of the ambience of Metal Gear Solid! However “Western Jamboree” is a corker of a track. Light, cheerful, a great blend of cultures and doesn’t out stay its welcome, it’s an example of a track brought to its full potential.
“Flippin’ Over” is almost hardcore dance with its snares and podgy synths and urgency while “Relics Stone” continues the whole style of the elctro-jazz into a kind of 1970’s cop car chase song which is good fun to listen to. “Pirates of Bootleg” is another song that’s been done correctly for the majority of it. Its lead synth however sounds like the theme songs to the old Grange Hill theme song! Good or Bad? You Decide! “Inside Out” is another throw away panic minute song but “Horror Geek” is much more substantial with its typical b-movie noises, slower pace and cohesion. The soundtrack ends with a few short fanfare style pieces, “Space in the Space” a trip-hop keyboard fest, cheesy jazz piece “It’s as Easy as Pie”, the out-of-place oriental “Hanafubuki-Dragon” and the chilled out “Cool Down!”.
The problem with Panic Maker OST is that while the sound quality is excellent and there’s plenty of instruments thrown in, there is very little in the way of catchy melodies. As a result you listen but don’t take on board what’s going on and forget all about it about ten minutes later. The music is far from disastrous but it is almost completely forgettable unless the relaxed nature of the music is your genre specifically. To me, it just seems like an entire soundtrack of menu music.