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Friday, May 31, 2013

Favorite Tunes #59: Take to the Sky

It's time to fly the friendly skies. Though as often is the case in the realm of video games, skies are seldom friendly. Sky themes take center stage in the 59th edition of Favorite Tunes. Rather than listen to that annoying infant next to you whale or the mindless chatter of the person in front of you, why not enjoy some of these tracks on your next flight?

Blockade - Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies (PS2)

The Ace Combat series has always favored arcade style flying over simulation. When Ace Combat 3 came stateside, for whatever reason, Namco removed all of the game's cut scenes and stripped down the number of missions from 52 to 36. Thankfully, Ace Combat 04 made it stateside with it's story well intact as well as all of the missions. Blockade is another one of those pieces that has a slow build up, but it's a powerful track that makes edge of your seat dog fighting seem like the best thing in the world. If you don't have goosebumps by the 3 minute mark, there's something wrong with you.

Sky Chase Zone - Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (GEN)

By SkyBrush-ViFFeX

After the nightmare that was three acts of Metropolis Zone, Sonic Team cut us some much needed slack with Sky Chase Zone, a super easy level that pits Sonic atop of his very own plane, the Tornado. The soothing background music only adds to the relaxed feel of this stage.

Sky - Kirby Air Ride (GCN)

A super simple game to play, but one that offers endless hours of replay value and plethora of unlockables. Many players flock to City Trial mode to get their game on, but I love all of Air Ride's modes, including Top Ride, which is a nice throw back to the Off Road games, but with a distinct Kirby flair. Sky is a track that (obviously) takes place high in the sky. A nice touch is you can see the Earth below you. Air Ride has an amazing soundtrack and some of the best themes come from Top Ride mode.

Front Line Base - U.N. Squadron (SNES)

One of the first games released for Nintendo's 16-bit baby, U.N. Squadron is a port of the arcade game of the same name, which is actually called Area 88 in Japan. The arcade version was no walk in the park, but the SNES version was a lot harder due to limited continues. If you want to see those credits roll, you've got to be really good at this shooter. I like the arcade version's music, but in a lot of ways the SNES version sounds a lot better. The way the electric guitar and bass guitar are used in Front Line Base is just pure audio bliss.

Giddy Sky 1 - Super Princess Peach (DS)

The tables, they have turned! Instead of kidnapping Princess Peach, Bowser has kidnapped Mario and Luigi. Gotta say, that's one of his better plans. This time Peach plays the role of the rescuer. Many have criticized Super Princess Peach for being too easy, but just because a game is too easy, that doesn't mean it's bad or can't be fun.

Airship - Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES)

It's kind of hard to believe it took me 59 posts to get to this song. It's been one of my favorite pieces of video game music ever since I was a child. Though some of my enjoyment was marred by the constant canon fire and Bullet Bills. If you're playing an airship stage, everything in these levels want you dead.

Cloud Man Stage - Mega Man 7 (SNES)

One of the strangest complaints I've heard as to why Mega Man 7 isn't a good game is that the music is "too happy." That's strange. Magnet Man's level theme from Mega Man 3 screams "Happy, happy, joy, joy" and everyone loves that theme, myself included. Cloud Man's theme is another one of those happy music tracks and it's quite good, along with the rest of Mega Man 7's soundtrack.

1000 Clouds (Stage 1) Karous (ARC, DC)

Never had the chance to play this shooter? The Ultimate Shooting Collection on the Wii has Karous along with Chaos Field and Radirgy (or Radio Allergy). Karous has some excellent music but it can be hard to really appreciate it during gameplay. This game throws A LOT of bullets your way so I hope your shooting kills are up to stuff.

Hang Glider - Pilotwings 64 (N64)

Sometimes you gotta take a break from saving the world, the girl, or whatever and just relax. Pilotwings 64 is one of those games to do just that. OK, yeah, it can be pretty frustrating to achieve a gold medal but you have to admit, it does feel quite exhilarating to fly through the sky. Many a player that has experienced Pilotwings 64 has gushed over the game's music time and time again. Composer Dan Hess has expressed his gratitude on this because for some strange reason, the music went over the heads of the video game journalists that reviewed it.

Nina Flies - Breath of Fire (SNES)

You spend most of the game hoofing it in the world of Breath of Fire. Near the end of the gamne, Nina gets the ability to transform into a lovely bird and transport the party anywhere on the world map. Said mode of transportation comes with this beautiful theme.

Favorite Tunes Database

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