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Monday, July 8, 2013

Favorite Tunes #64: Random Waltz

Much as I love music, especially of the video game variety, I know very little about dancing, nor do I know even know how to actually dance. But thanks to the internet, even a scrub like me can do a quick search to find out that a waltz is something of a ballroom dance. Anyone that really knows their video game music can probably guess which game the title for this Favorite Tunes comes from before scrolling down.

8 AM - Animal Crossing: New Leaf (3DS)

Did you kick the Animal Crossing habit when you cast aside the City Folk for the Wii? Well Nintendo's got gamers across the world hooked once again with the latest edition to the hit life sim series. New Leaf treads familiar territory but brings new features to the table like being the mayor and more customization options than ever before, making it the best Animal Crossing game yet. Like past installments, a different tune plays every hour. It's rare that I'm playing the game at 8 AM but when I first started playing, I happened to be up at that hour so it was nice to be able to hear this song during gameplay.

Random Waltz - Final Fantasy Tactics (PS, PSP)

Have I mentioned how much I adore this game's soundtrack? It truly is a masterpiece and represents some of Hitoshi Sakimoto and Masaharu Iwata's best compositions. Since you spend so much time fighting in RPGs, it was a very wise choice to toss in a plethora of battle themes and yes, Random Waltz is battle music. It may not be what comes to mind when you picture strategic combat, but I find it refreshing when battle themes stray from the norm.

Say Hello to Bogey - Custom Robo (GCN)

The number of Custom Robo titles released in the West can be counted on one hand. There's Custom Robo Arena on the DS and then there's Custom Robo for the GameCube, which marked the first time the series ever saw a release outside of Japan. True to the name, in Custom Robo, you customize your robot and then duke it out with other machines. It may sound simplistic, but it's actually quite fun. If you missed out on this one when it was originally released, I definitely recommend tracking down a copy.

Exothermic - Mighty Switch Force! 2 (3DSW)

The original Mighty Switch Force, released in December of 2011 was hailed as one of the best original eShop games. It combined solid action platforming with puzzle solving for a terrific old-school gaming experience. The soundtrack was also the bees knee. A year and half later, WayForward brought Patricia Wagon back into action but swapped out her police pistol for a fire hose. Mighty Switch Force! 2 plays very much like it's predecessor and while some may view that as a negative, in this case, more of the same is certainly not a bad thing. The game's music is pure, unbridled awesomesauce.

Burn My Dread - Shin Megami Tensai: Persona 3 (PS2, PSP)

The Persona titles have gained a reputation of being Atlus' best series. The PS2 had a ton of different RPGs, but if you were fortune enough to pick up Persona 3, you were treated to an experience unlike anything else in the genre. Speaking of unusual, Burn My Dread, the final boss battle theme is just that, but it's an excellent kind of unusual.

Slow on the Uptake - Gran Turismo 5 (PS3)

The licensed music is all fine and dandy and I certainly don't have any problem with hearing stuff from underground bands. But some of greatest sounds in the Gran Turismo games will always be the original music. I'm pretty sure I mentioned how much I enjoy some good jazz in video games and this song is about as good as it gets.

Innocent Girl - Snatcher (NEC PC-88)

Hey, Konami. I have an idea. Much as I enjoy the series, how about you lay off the Metal Gear collections for a while and give us Snatcher, SD Snatcher and Policenauts in one nice little package with some bonus content? Even in it's original sound format, Snatcher's music is a phenomenal score. The music has been arranged for music albums and on the Sega CD version, but the original version of Innocent Girl cannot be beat.

Desperate Fight - Knights of the Round (SNES)

I usually champion Final Fight as my favorite Capcom beat 'em up but the company has made a dozen of them and some of the other greats actually slip my mind some times. Knights of the Round was a three player arcade game originally released in 1991. When it was ported over to the SNES, three player mode was scaled back to two players. Like many ports, the music also rings different from the arcade version, but given the SNES' amazing audio capabilities, that isn't a strike against the game.

Feldschlacht III - SaGa Frontier 2 (PS)

He may be well known today in the video game music circles thanks to Final Fantasy XIII, but even in the late 1990s, Masahi Hamauzu was still making waves. SaGa Frontier 2 has a copious amount of battle themes, all of which are extraordinary. As I mentioned with Final Fantasy Tactics above, a great deal of your time in RPGS is spent in battle. To keep things from growing stale, SaGa 2 has numerous battle tracks and not just various boss themes. The normal battle music changes over time with a total of four different battle themes, each containing an arrangement of SaGa 2's main theme. The above track name is Field Battle III for those that don't speak German.

The Boy's Got Wings - Ys III: Wanders from Ys (PCE)

Falcom makes some of the very best music in video games. I honestly cannot believe I've gone this long without mentioning a single Falcom game here in Favorite Tunes because even their early games have unfathomably high production values. The PC Engine version of Ys III brought with it CD quality sound, making what was already some of Falcom's greatest works even better.

Favorite Tunes Database


Voltech said...

Ah, Burn my Dread. That takes me back to the good old days of summoning Thor and using my Lightning Spear to thunder-zap any fool that got in my way...assuming that they didn't repel or absorb electric attacks.

Man that game was hard.

Also, I need to listen to more music from Ys. Guess it's off to YouTube for me.

Reggie White Jr. said...

Sounds like your poured quite a bit of hours into Persona 3. I just make fork over the 50 bones for the 3DS Persona that's about to release. Being an Atlus game, you either pick those up or pays stupidly high prices later on.