Search This Blog

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Favorite Tunes #19: Racing Themes

There's something oh-so satisfying about driving at high speeds, throwing your car around a sharp turn and leaving your opponents in the dust. Be it cart racing, arcade style racing or simulation, the racing genre offers plenty of fun for gamers seeking high speed thrills. Some excellent tunage to go along with the race certainly doesn't hurt.

Take It! - Auto Modellista (PS2, GCN, XB)

New IPs from Capcom seem to be rare these days but in the PS2 era they were all over the place. One such new franchise was Auto Modellista, a cell-shaded PS2 racing game that was later ported to the GameCube and then Xbox. Despite the game's stylish visuals, it received mixed reviews due to poor handling controls and bombed at retail. The game's soundtrack had some noteworthy songs thanks to Isao Abe and Tetsuya Shibata.

Industria - Rage Racer (PSone)

Rage Racer was much different from Ridge Racer and Ridge Racer Revolution that came before it. The Grand Prix mode was far more in depth, letting you earn money to upgrade your cars and even customize them. It was a pretty ambitiousness game and a major step up for the series. I remember investing a lot of time into Rage Racer in the summer of 2001. Like the first two Ridge Racers, it had some memorable tunes. I think I listened to Industria on more races than anything else.

Splash Wave Euro Remix - OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast (PS2, XB, PSP)

One of my favorite racing games and my favorite OutRun title, this updated version of OutRun 2 has a lot to offer. There's a ton of cars to purchase, lots of different routes to take as you drive through the country, and plethora of different OutRun songs from nearly every game in the series, including original songs and remixes.  This remix of Splash Wave is probably my favorite version of the song, yes, even over the original.

ESCAPE ~Cavern Course~ - Mega Man Battle & Chase (PSone) 

Mega Man Battle & Chase was all set to release in the USA. There were even ads for it in magazines. Yet for reasons, unknown, Sony brought down the axe and the game wouldn't see American shores until the release of the Mega Man X Collection on the PS2 and GCN. The game could be unlocked upon completion of the first three Mega Man X titles. Battle & Chase is a Mario Kart knock off but managed to stand out from the pack by letting you steal car parts from defeated racers to add them to your own ride. The music was also fantastic, featuring completely original themes. This game is also the source of Roll's Theme song Wind, Cary My Words.

King of Island - Sega Rally 2 (ARC, DC)

One of the first games I bought for my Dreacmast. I wasn't very good at it, but I enjoyed playing it, nonetheless. There's a lot of sensational music in Sega Rally 2 like Euro Fight, Night Groovin', Searchin' For My Dreams, and of course, King of Island.

Monkey Race 2 Expert Track - Super Monkey Ball 2 (GCN)

The Super Monkey Ball games may have dipped in quality, but I'll always have fond memories of the first two. OK, so the trials those games put me through made me wanna throw my GameCube out the window at times, but they were still some sweet games. Known for their quick paced arcade style gameplay, the Super Monkey Ball titles are also famous for featuring some of the most entertaining mini games in gaming history. Seriously, many of these games are so good that they can entertain you long after you complete the single player modes, if you ever do, that is. The first two Super Monkey Ball gamers were later released for PS2 and Xbox under Super Monkey Ball Deluxe.

Sky Garden - Mario Kart: Super Circuit (GBA)

When I first purchased my Game Boy Advance in the winter of 2002, Mario Kart Super Circuit was the first game I purchased for the system. Sadly, I no longer have it in my collection but I have a ton of fond memories of this game like shaving seconds off my time in Sky Garden. Not only did I love the design of this track, but the background music it carried quickly became my favorite track from the game. This course was one of the reused tracks for Mario Kart DS.

Strike Breaker - Gran Turismo 3: A-spec (PS2)

The Gran Turismo franchise is often praised for it's simulation racing physics and abundance of real life licensed automobiles. GT3 was a true showcase for what the PS2 could do on a visual level. Even today, the game still looks just as good as it did when it originally released. GT games usually have a lot of licensed music from some well known and underground bands, but there's also some original music crafted specifically for the games, such as the headbanging Strike Breaker.

Eight Guitars - F-Zero GX (GCN)

One of the most stunning-looking games for the GameCube, F-Zero GX is also the hardest game in the series. Few people (very few) have completed Story mode. Grand prix mode isn't as difficult, but unlocking everything without cheats approaches Battletoads levels of frustration. And for all that, I still love this game. There were some remixes and they were great but I really enjoyed the new music that was provided. Eight Guitars plays when you race on Sand Ocean.

Milky Lake - Wave Race 64 (N64)

The realistic water physics in Wave Race 64 still manage to impress. It says something when one of the earliest games for a system is still considered one of the best. Even at a mere four machines to select from, Wave Race 64 still manages to be a superb racing, probably the best water-based racing title in existence. Milky Lake was a more calming race course and so was the music. I absolutely love the flute in this song.

No comments: