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Saturday, May 11, 2013

F-Zero X-Style Arrangements

I do enjoy a good dose of rock, metal and some heavy metal tunes in my video games. The F-Zero franchise has excelled in game music since the SNES days back in the early 1990s. 1998 saw the release of a second installment in the series, F-Zero X. The game dished out insane 3D racing speed, 30 racers on the track at once in single player and a smooth 60 FPS frame rate. There was also some four player action thrown in for good measure. As if all that wasn't good enough, the soundtrack also took a giant leap forward. The Nintendo 64 often gets accused of having inferior sound capabilities when compared to the Saturn or PlayStation, but there were plenty of games that had standout soundtracks with F-Zero X's rock/metal score ranking high among them. There were a few arrangements of classic F-Zero themes like Mute City and Big Blue, but most of the music consisted of original compositions. The sound font used for F-Zero X's soundtrack gives it a truly unique feel. Tony Thai took it upon himself to arrange most of the original SNES F-Zero's music using FLStudio 7 to produce a sound font that's dead-on to that of F-Zero X. The results is F-Zero X-Style Arrangements, and it the words of Mortal Kombat Annihilation's Shao Khan, it is GLORIOUS!

The music was this baby was recorded in 2007 but the album wasn't released until 2009. I really should have talked about this baby eons ago. There really aren't that many F-Zero arranged albums and the few that exist are not easy to come by. F-Zero X-Style Arrangements is not only easily accessible since it's free, but it's also got high production values. This is easily one of my favorite game soundtracks to listen to.

As stated above, the music in F-Zero X-Style Arrangements are mostly tracks from the SNES F-Zero score made to sound like F-Zero X music. This is what the F-Zero SNES Silence sounds like and this is Tony Thai's X-Style arrangement of Silence. The woefully under-appreciated Sand Ocean. Now check the X-Style Sand Ocean. Port Town is a huge fan favorite and the X-Style Port Town is pretty sick, so sick that a Live Guitar version of it was even included. Even though Mute City and Big Blue were already given the rock treatment in F-Zero X, Tony Thai still went through the trouble of arranging them in X-Style. The X-Style Mute City even uses the SNES Mute City start up. I actually think the X-Style Fire Field is better than the original Fire Field. The only track that doesn't come from the original F-Zero is Illusion, a theme that was used in F-Zero Climax on the Game Boy Advance, the third GBA F-Zero that sadly, didn't get a release outside of Japan. Hearing the X-Style Illusion makes me wish more GBA F-Zero songs were given the X-Style treatment. I can only dream of what Lightning, Empyrean Colony, and Mist Flow would have been like in F-Zero X sound font.

As you've probably gathered, I LOVE this album. It feels like a companion album to the original F-Zero SNES and F-Zero X's music. And it's free! I cannot think of any reason why anyone wouldn't want to have this album on their computer or iPod. At the risk of sounding terribly cliche and predictable, F-Zero X-Style Arrangements rocks. On a related note, where was our F-Zero Wii or F-Zero DS?! Better yet, how about F-Zero U or F-Zero 3D? Come on, Nintendo!

F-Zero X-Style Arrangements

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