Review: Bubble Bobble and Bubble Memories Original Soundtracks

Here’s another taste of Taito after the review of Darius II earlier this week.

Bubble Bobble is easily one of my favorite games on the NES. An emphasis on food, secret levels, a drunken last boss, and of course, bubbles make it one of the most memorable NES games in my mind, so the music evokes a certain sense of nostalgia in me.

Taito has released the arcade soundtrack as well as that of Bubble Memories on iTunes Japan, so I thought it would be a good time to jump back into my youth and given them a listen.

Starting with Bubble Bobble, there is all of about eight minutes of music to be heard. This is the arcade version, which initially took me some getting used to, but I’ve come to appreciate the different aural aesthetic.

You have the main stage theme that plays through most of the game, which is as infectious as ever, the frantic boss theme, a couple ominous cues, and the joyous ending theme alongside several jingles. It’s not a lot, but it brings back a lot of memories, and it’s great to see this music properly released. Given the short duration, it would have been nice to have included the NES version alongside the arcade version, but perhaps they’ll release it later.

Bubble Memories is a much more substantial affair at over 25 minutes in length. For those who are unaware, this is another Bubble Bobble-style game for arcade, and not a puzzle game spin-off. There are plenty of bubbly tracks that evoke a carnival-esque atmosphere, including an arrangement of the classic Bubble Bobble stage theme, but I was most pleasantly surprised by a choir and church organ piece and the epic boss theme. Perhaps my lack of familiarity with the game itself is preventing these themes from resonating with me as strongly as does the music from Bubble Bobble, but there’s certainly a familiar vibe weaved throughout.

Both soundtracks are available on iTunes Japan if you’re interested in checking them out. Bubble Bobble is definitely a good time, and Bubble Memories should appeal to Bubble Bobble fans who, perhaps like me, were initially unaware of the title.

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