Ship to Shore Phono Company’s double LP release of the Snatcher soundtrack is the second of a one-two punch of vinyl videogame soundtrack releases that I was super excited about for early 2017 (the other being Data Disc’s Revenge of Shinobi, which came out several weeks ago and was the subject of my last Video Vinyl blog entry). I had pre-ordered both titles late last year and have been looking forward to them ever since. Well, the Snatcher album finally showed up today, and I am VERY impressed!
Being an American, I didn’t get to experience the Metal Gear games as they were originally released on the MSX, so I didn’t really become a huge MG fan until Solid came out. So my first true experience with the genius of Hideo Kojima was really Snatcher on the Sega CD. I loved absolutely everything about it, from the story with its obvious influences from Blade Runner and Terminator (with maybe a little Dune thrown in), to the anime art, the excellent English-language voice acting, and of course, the music. Since then, I have discovered other versions of the game, such as the PC Engine, PC-88, Saturn and PlayStation, and I do find the 16-bit versions to be my favorites.
The soundtrack is taken from the Sega CD/Mega CD version of the game, which was only released in the US and Europe, not in Japan (while the game was released on multiple other platforms only in Japan). This is the version of the soundtrack I actually prefer, partially because it’s the one I played first, and partially because I actually like the way it sounds better than the PC Engine version or some of the earlier computer editions of the game. The dialog has of course been removed from any of the songs that had spoken narrative over them in-game, revealing more detail than is sometimes able to be heard when playing the game.
The mastering is impeccable, with the music sounding absolutely perfect even on an analog format. Bright and deep audio makes it a joy to listen to, instantly transporting a Snatcher fanatic like myself right back to Neo Kobe and into the middle of the mystery.
The release is presented as a double LP, in a gatefold jacket with plain inner sleeves and two double-sided art prints. It was released in three different vinyl colorways, including green/grey (“Snatcher’s eye”), red/white/orange (“Konami classic”), and the version I opted for, which was clear. It’s a nice package making good use of official art, with what I believe is an original piece of artwork used for the cover.
This is the first release I’ve purchased from Ship to Shore (having slept on their Mother 1 LP and missed out on it, which I’m kind of kicking myself for), and it definitely stacks up to the albums that Data Disc is putting out. In fact, as much as I love Data Disc and their product, I must say that with two 33 1/3 RPM records in this release for US$35, there is a lot more music here than on the 45RPM Revenge of Shinobi or OutRun records that I got from Data (which cost me approximately US$30 each). The value is definitely appreciated here on the Snatcher release.
All in all, the Snatcher soundtrack album from Ship to Shore was well worth the wait and absolutely lived up to my expectations. No Snatcher fan should miss it. Get yours at Ship to Shore, and check out some of their other releases as well!