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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Favorite Tunes #9: Tutorial Themes

It's important to know how to play a game so we have tutorials. Though not featured in every game, they are far more common in today's mainstream gaming industry. Sometimes these training sessions are quick and to the point. Other times they are drawn out, making us wish we could just start the game already. Tutorial music tends to be overlooked in the world of video game music and that's a real shame because some of my favorite gaming tunes have come from learning how to play a game.

                                   Time to Learn - Kirby Super Star (SNES, DS)

One of the best Kirby games, Kirby Super Star's Time to Learn reminds me of children sitting in a classroom, eager to be taught. Oh, the harsh reality of school. If this tune played in classrooms, I'm positive most kids wouldn't mind being stuck in a desk for hours. For some odd reason, you would be sent to the tutorial in Kirby Super Star whenever you started a new game, regardless of whether you selected yes or no. So there was no way you could miss hearing this delightful tune.

                                            Training - Luigi's Mansion (GCN)

Launching right alongside the GameCube, Luigi's Mansion was an incredibly fun ghost catching game that was unfairly slammed by critics for not being a Mario game. This was the first time a Nintendo system launched and Mario was absent. Luigi's Mansion may not have featured the same platforming exploits that Mario showed off with new Nintendo hardware in the past, but it was not a bad game in the slightest. Most of the music in Luigi's Mansion are creepy horror themes, but there are a few funky tunes thrown in there like the excellent Training theme. You learn everything you need to know about catching ghosts and moving around as this sweet club-like tune plays.

                          chatterbox - Radirgy (Arcade, Dreamcast, GCN, Wii)

When the North American GameCube release of this title was canceled in 2005, it seemed like gamers in the west would never get to experience this shooter. But 2009, saw the release of Ultimate Shooting Collection for the Wii, collecting three of Milestone's shooters, Karous, Chaos Field, and Radirgy (a compilation I need to pick up.) Radigry features some of the most cartoony visuals ever seen in a shoot 'em up and a standout soundtrack by Daisuke Nagata and Kou Hayashi. If I were ever got to introduce myself in front of an audience on camera or in person, this is the music that I would have playing. Not because I'm overly happy and optimistic (because I'm certainly not) but because I think it makes a great intro tune as well as a one for teaching.

                                   Tutorial - Final Fantasy Tactics (PSX, PSP)

What can be said about Final Fantasy Tactics that has not already been said? It has an incredibly deep combat system, memorable characters and a wonderful soundtrack. Composed by Masaharu Iwata and Hitoshi Sakimoto, Final Fantasy Tactics has one of my favorite scores from a video game. The excellent tutorial theme tends to get overlooked in favor of the exceptional battle tracks and more moving themes. It's a very upbeat theme in a game that has a story that can be quite melancholy at times.

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