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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Favorite Tunes #26: Music From Nintendo Games

One of the biggest companies on the planet, Nintendo doesn't always make the right decisions (the way they handle online is so screwy) but they remain of of the most innovative players in gaming. They also make some of the best games with some of the greatest music.

Main Theme - Wii Sports Resort (Wii)

Need a vacation from saving Hyrule from Ganon or rescuing Princess Peach for the umpteenth time? Take a trip to Wuhu Island. Shoot some hoops, play table tennis, try your hand at archery, or hit the waves on a wake board. That's only a few of the activities you can do in Wii Sports Resort. A follow up game to the massively successful Wii Sports, Wii Sports Resort went on to become another one of the Wii's best selling games. Wuhu Island has become something of a staple in Nintendo games. It was the setting for Pilotwings Resort and two tracks from Mario Kart 7 were set around Wuhu Island, the later game which used an awesome arrangement of Wii Sports Resort's Main Theme.

Impact Site - Pikmin (GCN, Wii)

I don't play a great deal of real time strategy games, but Pikmin really reached out and grabbed me. Set on an unknown planet, Captain Olimar has crashed his ship and lost 30 of its parts. He has only 30 days to gather the pieces because once that much time elapses, the toxic air will take it's toll on his body. Fortunately for Olimar, he as the aid of dozes of creatures called Pikmin. These little guys that he plucks from the ground are more than willing to follow Olimar and obey his every command. The Impact Site is more or less the tutorial area for Pikmin, easing you into the gameplay mechanics and teaching you how to control the Pikmin, which is really quite simple. The musical theme that plays during this area, to me, at least feels like it sums up your first encounter with the Pikmin and their world.

Molgera - The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (GCN)

I picked up this game a year after it had released under Nintendo's Player's Choice label but it would be years later before I sat down and played it. During the first few months of playing Super Smash Bros. Brawl, one of the many songs I unlocked was "Molgera". I went into the menus to hear what the song sounded like and after a few seconds of listening to CHIKA over and over, I cranked this song all way up so the chances of hearing it on Toon Link's stage were extremely high. The Wind Waker ended up staring my favorite version of Link, became one of my favorite Zelda games and has one of my favorite boss themes of all-time. Including this tune in Brawl was a wonderful idea.

Power-Up - Wrecking Crew (NES)

Wrecking Crew is one of the better early NES games that still holds up well. Playing as Mario, this puzzle game has you trying to destroy a certain amount of  blocks with your hammer while avoiding enemies. It received a Japan only sequel in Wrecking Crew '98 on the Super Famicom. The Power-Up or Bonus Theme music is another piece of retro music that was used in Super Smash Bros. Brawl whenever you grab a Golden Hammer. It's quite catchy.

Metal City - Drill Dozer (GBA)

Ah, Game Freak, the company that is heavily associated with Pokemon. I don't despise Pokemon but whenever they make a game that doesn't star everyone's favorite electric rodent, it makes me wish they'd make more of them. Pulseman is such an example and so is the GBA's Drill Dozer, one of the handheld's best games that was not a port, but a completely original title. In this unique take on the platform genre, you played as Jill, a young girl who controls a multi-functional drill. Drill Dozer boasts some of the best visuals the GBA has ever seen and a very upbeat soundtrack. As good a game as Drill Dozer was, it was still failure at retail and Jill hasn't had a leading role since this game. She did, however, appear as an assist trophy in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Drill Dozer is well worth tracking down and shouldn't cost you a lot of bones.

Eternal Star - Mario Party (N64)

Mario Party 9 recently released earlier this year. Kinda hard to believe Mario has been partying hard since 1999. If you want to play the game that started the this shindig, you'll have to track down a physical copy. The original Mario Party was notorious for giving gamers all kinds of blisters with it's crazy mini games, some that required gamers to spin the analog stick incredibly fast. Yasunori Mitsuda is primarily known for his work on RPGs but with Mario Party, he flexed his creative muscles more, giving us some very memorable Mario music. I still argue to this day that the original Mario Party has the best soundtrack of them all.

Love Lab - Custom Robo (GCN)

This wasn't the first game in the Custom Robo series, but it was the first game to get a release outside of Japan. In actuality, this is the fourth Custom Robo game and in Japan, it carries the subtitle, Battle Revolution. Being a huge fan of robots, I was very intrigued by Custom Robo and managed to pick up a copy on the cheap years back. In this game you battle other robots, get parts and customize your robo to your hearts content. The series gained even more exposure outside of Japan with the release of Custom Robo Arena on the DS.

Toxic Landfill - Wario Land 4 (GBA)

Wario's fourth portable adventure is one of the most eye-catching games on the GBA. And it was actually one of the system's earliest games, released four months after the GBA's North American launch. Wario Land 4 is an impressive game on all fronts, especially in the audio department. The game's title theme, Work It, even has a few clearly discernible lyrics. I'm a sucker for a good bass line and Toxic Landfill has one of the sickest bass line intros I've ever heard. I tend to get annoyed at a track that takes to long to get to the main course, but in this case, I really don't mind it. That 40 second build up is mind-blowing. The actual course is quite good, too. I love those GBA guitar riffs.

Rockface Rumble - Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie's Double Trouble (SNES)

Dixie was a very popular character, making a huge splash in Donkey Kong Country 2. As good a character as she was, many fans aren't sure it was the wisest idea to have Diddy get kidnapped and have him replaced with Kiddie Kong as her partner for the final game in the SNES trilogy. While not a terrible game by any means, this is probably one of the reasons DKC3 is regarded as the weakest of the three games. Nonetheless, we did get some more good music from Rare. This particular track was composed by Eveline Novakovic. It's all about the guitar solo at 50 seconds in.

Andy's Theme - Advance Wars (GBA)

War in on the go? Sounds like a money maker to me. Advance Wars is the first game in Nintendo's Wars series to be released outside of Japan. The likes of Famicom Wars and Game Boy Wars may never see releases outside of the Land of the Rising Sun, but the Advance Wars games always seem to get wider recognition. I own the first two GBA games and I haven't finished either one. But I have played long enough to hear Andy's Theme and I can assure you, it's quite good.

1 comment:

Sandman SXi said...

The Toxic Landfill bassline is crazy awesome! It is my favorite videogame song to this day!