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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Favorite Tunes #165: Battle Against a True Hero

Due to my work schedule being switched around and it being the Thanks Giving weekend last week, I decided to take a one week break from the blog. Welp, breaks over and time to head back to work. On the blog, that is. Enjoy the latest Favorite Tunes.

Gau - Final Fantasy VI (SNES)


Despite Gau's feral, beastly appearance lurks a kind, gentle soul, which is pretty amazing when you consider that his father abandon him, leaving Gau to grow up alone and fend for himself out on the Veldt. Even when Gau gets to meet his father years later, he isn't angry or bitter with him even though he has every right to be.

Quiet Storm - Racing Lagoon (PS)


We move from one Square Enix game to another. Racing Lagoon brought in some RPG elements into the racing genre and the game never saw a release outside of Japan. The soundtrack has a lot of techno with some jazz thrown in for good measure.

A Solitude that Asks Nothing in Return - Guilty Gear X (ARC, DC, PS2)


For me, the Guilty Gear games have some of slickest 2D sprites in a fighting game. It also helps that the series has a killer fighting engine and while some of the character designs are pretty out there, I feel they ultimately work to the series' favor. And who doesn't like the plethora of sick rock and metal beats that these games keep feeding us?

Battle Against a True Hero - Undertale (PC)


Well, would you look at that, Undertale shows up again in Favorite Tunes. What can I say, I LOVE this game's soundtrack. For the rock, chiptune and orchestral lover, this game's music has something for everyone and it feels like a love letter to the evolution of game music. Without spoiling anything, this particular battle theme is reserved one one of the game's most memorable clashes.

Multiplayer - Dragon Ball Z: Tenkaichi Tag Team (PSP)


Most fans that watched the Dragon Ball Z in Japanese are quite harsh towards Bruce Faulconer's rock music in place of Shunsuke Kikuchi's classical style. Ironically, music in many DBZ games beyond the 32-bit era are filled with a lot of rock and metal themes. Originally in Tenkaichi Tage Team, this song is also played on Namek in the HD version of DBZ Budokai 3.

Break Out - Mega Man Zero 3 (GBA)


If you're trying to get the best rank after a mission, the Mega Man Zero games just became even harder. Known for not treating the player with kid gloves, the Zero games have a step difficulty that rivals the most brutal Mega Man games. These games were developed Inti Creates, who also developed Mega Man 9 and 10, the former, of which was particularly cruel. Think about that while you listen to this rocking intro stage theme.

Favorite Tunes Database

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Remix of the Week: Riverside (Mighty Final Fight)

Made with Capcom's CPS-I arcade hardware, the original Final Fight is one of my favorite beat 'em ups, top five easily. I quite liked the heavy music the game used, which was quite fitting for the hard, crime filled Metro City. Mighty Final Fight may have been an NES release but still had some killer beats with Riverside being a standout tune. McQueen8601 takes it back to the series roots with the CPS-I remix of Riverside. 


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Games That Should Have Been in the NES Classic Edition But Weren't

There are some fine games on the NES Classic Edition console. But let's be real here: not every game on the thing is a hit and plenty more titles could have been included. I'm sure Nintendo has their reasons for capping the game list at 30 and for excluding games. Whether those reason are good or not is still up in the air, but in the meantime, here's my list of NES games that I think should have been installed into the NES Classic Edition.

Contra


What is Konami's deal with not re-releasing the NES version of Contra? Super C and Castlevania I-III have been re-released numerous times but the game that made the Konami code popular, strangely can't seem to get any love. Perhaps it is yet another way Konami has chosen to give console gamers the shaft. Regardless, the NES version of Contra is a shining example of how a home port should be done. This run and gun title is so famous that it has become more known than the arcade game that it originated from.

DuckTales


A great TV show that had a game that didn't suck? Yes, that actually was a thing back in the day. As Scrooge McDuck, you travel the world searching for treasures and money to increase your already enormous wealth. Taking a page out of Mega Man's book, the stages can be selected in any order of your choosing. The pogocane gameplay mechanic allows you to travel across spiked terrain without being harmed as well as elevate Scrooge's jump. I'm guessing Gyro Gearloose made that cane because it stands up to a lot of abuse. The thing is also great to taking out enemies. DuckTales omission is obviously a licensing issue. Heck, the original NES DuckTales game wasn't even included in DuckTales Remastered due to Capcom owning the game and Disney owning the characters.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles I-III



Please do not listen to the critics. The first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game, while difficult and different from the two titles that would follow, is not the garbage game they say it is. TMNTII is a great port of the TMNT arcade game with two exclusive levels and TMNTIII could definitely use some more recognition. Outside of Double Dragon and River City Ransom, the Turtles couldn't be beat when it came to beat 'em up action on the NES. Licensing issues strike again,

Mega Man 1, 3-6



I wasn't surprised to see Mega Man 2 be included on the NES Classic Edition. What surprised me is that it was the only game out of six to make the cut. Yes, Mega Man 2 is one of the best games of the six, but it is far and away from being the only one worth gamer's time. The first Mega Man game is rough around the edge but still a good start, Mega Man 3 is for a lot of fans, the pinnacle of the series and Mega Man 4-6 are not bad titles in spite of what some critics would have you believe.

Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse



I didn't peek the full list of NES games in the NES Classic Edition when it was revealed  but upon release, I was quite surprised to find that Castlevania III wasn't on the list. Including the Castlevania NES trilogy just seems like a duh thing to me. The trilogy is on the Wii, Wii U and 3DS, so why stop at Castlevania II? Yes, Castlevania III is soul shatteringly difficult but the first game isn't exactly a cake walk and it's included. It just feels odd having two of the three NES Castlevanias on the system.

Life Force



Gradius on the NES is a decent port of the arcade game, but if I'm honest (and you know I am), Life Force is unquestionably the better of the two NES ports. Life Force offers two player support, better music, has side scrolling and top down levels and is just an overall more satisfying experience. You also get way better mileage out of the Konami Code with this game. Yes, the NES Classic Edition comes with built in cheats, but still.

Bionic Commando



This action platforming game is like no other: you cannot jump. And therein lies the brilliance of this NES classic. Using your bionic grappling arm to reach greateer heights and clear gaps, you're forced to go about situations you normaly would easy peasy in a whole new way. Now you aren't helpless. That cool grapling arm is great for getting away and you are packing some heat, which you can upgrade to superior fire power. Bionic Commando is more a of a slower paced action platformer and while it can be pretty difficult, the game is still beatable. The big dad of this game, despite going under a different name is clearly Adolf Hitler and when you meat him, he actually drops a D-bomb. Cussing, in an NES game? Who would have thought. Oh, but that isn't even the gritty part! Upon defeat, Hitler's character portrait actually explodes in quite detailed, gory fashion. I suppose that could those things could be why Bionic Commando didn't make the cut.

Ice Hockey


While Baseball and Tennis on the NES suck, Ice Hockey is one of Nintendo's best early NES sports titles. It isn't like team licenses were an issue because the game has no official teams to speak of. There are six teams but the three player types are what really make the game. The skinny guys are fast, the medium guys are average, and the fat guys are powerful, great for wrestling the puck away from opposing players. The game even has fights! For simple, fun, arcade style hockey, Ice Hockey is king of the rink.

Dragon Quest I-IV


Outside of Final Fantasy, the NES Classic Edition is starving for more RPGs. (The unit's Japanese counterpart not only got Final Fantasy, but Final Fantasy III as well.) Square Enix has been buddy buddy with Nintendo for some time now. Dragon Quest IV-VI were all re-released on the DS in enhanced remake form and Dragon Quest VII saw a re-released on the 3DS. Outside of the first Dragon Quest game, Dragon Quest II-IV are not easy to come by in their original 8-bit forms.

Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos



The first Ninja Gaiden is certainly no walk in the park. Ninja Gaiden II is by no means easy but it is an easier title than than the first one. Sticking to walls in the first game was cool and all but Ninja Gaiden II lets you stick to as well as climb up walls, which makes wall jumping so much better. Ryu is also packing more ninja artillery this time around, with the best move being the Phantom Shadow, an orange clone that follows Ryu, copying his every move. Ninja Gaiden II also packs more of those killer cut scenes, stunning environments and a sick soundtrack.

River City Ransom 



"BARF!" That is enough to send waves of nostalgia rocketing down any retro gamer's spine. Most beat 'em ups in arcades and home consoles were content with having you walk right and pound on anyone dumb enough to walk into your first. Many of the goons you whale on in River City Ransome often have some final words to impart before they get KO'd. It helps give the thugs a bit more personality. But River City Ransom has more than laugh out loud dialog from the bad guys. Everyone to drop like a brick has money on them and you can take your cash into town to spend on numerous things like good, books and snacks to increase your character's stats. River City Ransom's RPG elements along with it's catchy soundtrack and funny baddies made it a cult favorite. Our friends in Japan actually received River City Ransom on the Japanese version of the NES Classic Edition while everyone was left out in the cold.

Monday, November 28, 2016

UNDERTALE: The Untouched Radio


Another Undertale remix album? Why, yes, it is. It even says so on the album cover. Speaking of which, isn't that some badawesome album art? That right there is the kinda stuff that intrigues someone from the get go. Had I never heard of Undertale, I would still be inclined to at least see what this album was about based off the artwork alone. Thankfully, the arrangements in UNDERTALE: The Untouched Radio are just as amazing as the cover art.

Remixed by DM DOKURO, this name your price digital album is a companion album to UNDERTALE: The Underground Radio that released earlier this year. This music in Untouched Radio would have been included with Underground Radio but time constraints ultimately split the album in two. DM DOKURO's remixes sound like they would fit right in with the official Undertale Soundtrack. The man does place his own take on each track, but you can still hear the original theme in these tracks.

At 20 tracks, this UNDERTALE: The Untouched Radio clocks in at over over an hour's worth of music. This baby is available in multiple formates including MP3, FLAC, WAV and numerous others. It is set at a name your price download, so you can get it for free. But if you want to throw some money towards it, DM DOKURO is certainly more than deserving of it.

UNDERTALE: The Untouched Radio

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Favorite Tunes #164: Racing Monkeys

It has been a busy November. Nintendo revealed the Switch, for better or for worse, we know who our next president will be, the NES Classic Edition launch was a disaster and players that pirated Pokemon Sun/Moon are really feeling the butthurt. Whew. Welp, now that that's all said and done, let's get down to the latest Favorite Tunes. This week's jams including music from Ninja Warriors, Pulseman and Diddy Kong Racing to name half the list.

Character Select - Diddy Kong Racing (N64, DS)



A fan favorite on the N64, Diddy Kong Racing saw Diddy breaking away from his pal DK to race around with a bunch of cute animal critters in what is considered one of the system's best titles. This theme has it all. A killer baseline, a banjo and even a freaking harmonica!

7AM - Animal Crossing (GCN)



Growing trees, pulling weeds, fishing, running errands for your lazy neighbors. On paper, that may sound like a snorefest of a game but Animal Crossing makes it work. Even dealing with the necessary evil that is Tom Nook pays off in the end when your home is nice and sizable with loads of stuff in it. I can still hear the AM themes from this game in my head.


Boss 1 - Ninja Warriors (SNES)



Also known as Ninja Warriors Again in Japan, this SNES beat 'em up is not a port of the arcade game but a new title. Ninjas seem like a natural fit for a beat 'em up and this game well received upon it's 1994 release. The lack of two player support did not hold it down and the music was pretty rad stuff.

Planet Ratis - Life Force 2 (ARC, SAT)



Life Force 2 has one of my favorite arcade soundtracks ever. Upholding Gradius tradition and contrasting other shooter scores, the music in Life Force 2 is peppy and upbeat but isn't afraid to get on the serious side. Complete Life Force 2 and go for a second play through immediately after and you're treated to a wonderful arrangement of the original Life Force tunes. In Japan, Life Force is known as Salamander.

Stonecarving City - Wario Land: Shake It! (Wii)



While I certainly would have loved to see more music from Wario Land: Shake It! in Smash 4, I'm glad that game got any sort of musical recognition at all. I can't argue against the singular choice of this track, even though it does under a different title in Smash (Ruins). If you haven't checked out Shake It! You really should. The Wii is swimming in quality platformers and Shake It was among them.

Blank Structure - Pulseman (GEN)



Before Pokemon become what Game Freak would be primarily known for, they developed a few lesser known hits such as Pulseman. Pulseman really pushed the Genesis to its limits, showing off some of the best visuals the system has ever seen. The music is also on point, scored by Junichi Masuda. Some of his later Pokemon music reflects what you hear in Pulseman.

Favorite Tunes Database

Friday, November 18, 2016

Pokémon Sun/Moon Pirates (Unsurprisingly) Salty Over Being Banned



Hello, Pokemon Sun/Moon players. Are you enjoying the sixth generation of Pokemon? Catching all kinds of new Pokemon, exploring the new region, enjoying those sweet new battle themes. It sure is a great time to be a Pokemon fan. Unless you were one of those players that couldn't wait until the game released. For such impatient thieves, Nintendo used BAN and it was super effective. No, I am not at all sorry for making that joke.

As I'm sure you've heard, someone somehow got a copy of Pokemon Sun/Moon a week or so early and leaked it onto the internet. Rather than wait for the game to release, plenty of people opted for a pirated copy of the game. Nintendo responded to this behavior by bringing down a swift, ultra super mega ban hammer to anyone playing a pirated copy of Sun/Moon. These users cannot go online with the game, nor can they access the eShop.

As you've expected, these pirate Sun/Moon players are suffering one nasty case of butthurt while the rest of us are sitting smug, laughing at their stupidity. Did these people really, really think there would be no consequences for pirating Sun/Moon? This is one of Nintendo's biggest releases this year, arguably the company's biggest release of 2016. And these people honestly thought Nintendo would not issue some form of punishment? That, my fellow gamers, is freaking hilarious. But not as hilarious at all these pirates freaking out over their bans.




These people are furious over Nintendo banning them for pirating a game. How dare Nintendo do such a thing. These whinny, entitled pukebags are all huffy because of the actions that were taken against them because of their illegal activities. They are claiming that they will never buy anything from Nintendo again, which is ironic because not buying Sun/Moon is what got them where they are in the first place.

Now some are speculating that the ban is only temporary, but it is sounding like this ban is permanent, which I think is justice well served. Lifting the ban would send the wrong kind of message. These pirates crapped the bed and now they gotta sleep in it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Remix of the Week: Rainbow Road (Super Mario Kart)

You know what Remix of the Week was in desperate need of? More Rainbow Road Remixes! OK, this is actually the first Rainbow Road Remix to be featured here, but it certainly won't be the last. Back in 2011, King Meteor Studios uploaded this incredibly sick funk style remix of Super Mario Kart's Rainbow Road theme. May the funk be with you.