I thought I'd do things a bit differently with this installment of Favorite Tunes. Instead of focusing on a particular music label, I'm picking a little bit of everything. There's music from fighting games, platformers, run 'n gun shooters, RPGs and racing games just to name a few.
Staff Roll - Marvel vs. Capcom (ARC, DC, PSone)
Your reward for finishing a game is hopefully a satisfying ending. Failing that, you should at least be treated to some spiffy end credits beats. I love the break in this song, where the horns come in. For my money, the original Marvel vs. Capcom has one of the best Staff Roll themes I've ever heard. We're talking top 10 easily.
Digital Terror - Tempest 2000 (Jaguar, PC, SAT, PSone)
Back in the days of GamingFM, one of the best songs I would frequently hear on the modern game station was a lively techo beat from Tempest 2000. The game is an excellent remake of what was already an excellent Atari game. You could play Digital Terror at a rave and I'm willing to bet that only a few people would know of the song's origin.
Battle 1 - Romancing SaGa (SNES)
I've never played the original Romancing SaGa as it was never released outside of Japan. Well, the Super Famicom version wasn't anyway. In 2005 an updated version was released in America for the PlayStation 2. Alas, I didn't play that version either. But I've always been a big fan of Kenji Ito's work and his scores on the Romancing SaGa trilogy are phenomenal. The first battle theme of the original Romancing SaGa is a highly engaging music piece. I honestly think it's one of the best battle themes to come out of a Square Enix game.
Splash Hill Zone Act 1 - Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I (WW, PSN, XBLA)
For all of it's fault, I honestly didn't think Sonic 4 Ep I was a bad game. In order to further make the game feel like a return to form, the audio sounds like it was made with Genesis instruments. Sure, the music wasn't Jun Senoue's best effort, but I wouldn't call it terrible. I feel in love with Act 1 of Splash Hill Zone's theme when I heard it.
Are You Descent? - Descent II (PC)
The original Descent has the dubious honor of being the first game to give me motion sickness. That's one of the things I'll always remember it for. The other thing is the 3D maze gameplay and the other is of course, the music. As good as the original Descent's music was, Descent 2 cranked it up a couple of notches.
No Turning Back - Mega Man 10 (WW, PSN, XBLA)
I'll go ahead and say it; I liked Mega Man 10 more than Mega Man 9. It felt like it was trying to be more of it's own game than another Mega Man 2. Proto Man actually being included in the story, Bass being playable and the Mega Man Killers made for some incredible bonus content. No Turning Back plays on the third Dr. Wily Stage. Against the Pressure (which plays in Dr. Wily Stage 2) is alright, but I personally feel No Turning Back is a much better song.
Who Are You - Turbo OutRun (ARC ver.)
The original OutRun is one of my favorite old-school arcade racing games. Turbo OutRun is yet another game I've never played. But thanks to OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast's extensive music selection, I was able to hear it's glorious music. Even today, the complexity of Who Are You still amazes me. Being a track composed by the legendary Hiroshi Kawaguchi (often going by the name Hiro), it's quite lengthy.
Violent Breathing - Streets of Rage (GEN)
Many would argument that the first Streets of Rage isn't as good as the sequel that followed it. And it's an argument I really can't find fault with. This isn't to say the first Streets of Rage is a bad game because it certainly isn't. What no one will dispute is that the original Streets of Rage has some of the best music on the Genesis, nay, the 16-bit era, no scratch that, some of the best music in gaming. Yuzo Koshiro has shown us that with Violent Breathing, elevator music doesn't have to be dull in the slightest.
Livin' on the Deck -X- - Metal Slug X (ARC, NG, PSone)
Despite it's cartoonish looks, the Metal Slug games are notoriously difficult. Even for the seasoned gamer, making it through a stage without losing a life is no easy task. Metal Slug X is a modified version of Metal Slug 2. Among the differences from Metal Slug 2 are less slowdown, an increased difficulty and slightly altered music.
Haluci - The New Tetris (N64)
While four player Tetris may be common place these days in 1999, it was brand spanking new. The New Tetris on the N64 allowed you and three pals to play a unique version of what is arguably the world's most addictive puzzle game. Unlockable wonders of the world such as the Sphinx and Mayan temple gave you something to shoot for other than a high score. The score by Neil D. Voss is even better than his work on Tetrisphere and that soundtrack was nothing to scoff at.