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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Favorite Tunes #77: You Got Boost Power!

You know, I could have titled this one "Show me your moves!" or "Falcon Punch!" but I've always liked "You got boost power!" So for the uninitiated (all six of you) this Favorite Tunes is about one of the greatest racing franchises of all-time that has lain dormant for nearly a decade now, F-Zero. Will there ever be another game in the series and if so, will it see an international release? I can't say for certain, but someday, I hope I can race on crazy tracks suspended high above cities with the likes of Captain Falcon, Pico and yes, even you, Dr. Stewart.

Decide in the Eyes - F-Zero X (N64)

The original F-Zero showed off one of the SNES' many features: the mode-7 scaling. The sense of speed this game gave off was mindblowing and was proof that SEGA's blue hedgehog wasn't the only fastest thing alive. It would be a painful seven year wait before we saw a sequel to the SNES classic in the form of F-Zero X. Like Super Mario 64 did for Mario, F-Zero X brought the series into the third dimension with an incredible 60 FPS. The trade off for the speed was some rather blandish visuals. Totally worth it. In addition to the crazy new track designs was a rock inspired soundtrack, which ranks among the best audio on the N64.

Red Canyon - F-Zero (SNES)

Mode-7 heaven! True, this is easily the most bare bones of the F-Zero games, it's still a very playable game with superb sense of speed and track designs that will test gamers of all skill levels. Red Canyon is where Samurai Goroh hails from and I've always felt that this was one of the more under-appreciated F-Zero themes.

Empyrean Colony - F-Zero: Maximum Velocity (GBA)

The first F-Zero game on a portable device. Since the GBA didn't have the power of the N64, Maximum Velocity took the series back to it's mode-7 roots. By no means did this make the game any easier. On the contrary. It may have lacked many of the more three dimensional track designs of F-Zero X, but this game still boasted a difficulty that could make you toss your GBA out the window. Maxmimum Velocity also introduced an entirely new cast. Taking place eons after the original F-Zero, Captain Falcon and company were long gone.

Dr. Stewart - F-Zero GX (GCN)

I've made mention earlier that I am not a fan of Dr. Stewart. He has a nice looking machine but his shield is the worst. What good is a A boost if your shield goes down faster than a brick? But I must give honor when honor is due and Dr. Stewart easily has one of the best character themes in F-Zero GX.

Sand Ocean (Arrange ver.)

And now for something different. Way back in 1992 there was an album released in Japan that simply went under the title F-Zero. It was a jazz arrange of the SNES F-Zero music. The arrangements are quite impressive and even today. It's so rare to see gaming albums get fully jazzed arranged albums so this is something I'd love to see more of.

Lightning - F-Zero: GP Legend (GBA)

The second of three portable F-Zero entries. GP Legend was based off off the anime series, which brought in some fresh faces. The audio was a step up from Maximum Velocity (which wasn't terrible, mind you) and despite using MIDI instruments, the rock music game through loud and clear. There's a handful of arranged music from F-Zero X and the original F-Zero but Lightning is one of GP Legend's original compositions.

Port Town (X-Style Arrange)

SNES F-Zero music is classic, but the music to F-Zero X was a rock/metal fan's dream. Tony Thai combined both with F-Zero X-Style Arrangements, taking the music from the SNES game and arranging it with the sound of F-Zero X. It's every bit as awesome as you'd imagine and it makes me wish Nintendo had arranged more classic F-Zero songs the way they were done in F-Zero X.

Dream Chaser (Guitar Arrange ver.)

I've gushed about how awesome F-Zero X's soundtrack is, and well, I'm gonna gush some more. In 1999, F-Zero X Guitar Arranged released in Japan. Obviously it was a guitar arranged album of what was already a heavily infused rock/metal soundtrack. If you loved the N64 version of Dream Chaser, then there's very little chance of you disliking this arrangement.

Shotgun Kiss (Casino Palace) - F-Zero GX (GCN)

Being co-developed by Amusement Vision, at the time, one of SEGA's second parties, the soundtrack to F-Zero GX was given a lot of TLC. There was plenty of rock to be heard but also some techno thrown in for good measure and in the case of this track, there's a dash of jazz.

Cover for Mute City (Item Song 1) - F-Zero GX (GCN)

Come now, you really didn't think I'd finish things up and not mention the most iconic F-Zero theme of all, did you? There have been a ton of arrangements for Mute City over the years, but this special remix found in GX is the cream of the crop in my book. Super Smash Bros. Brawl took a few songs from X and GX but this version of Mute City remains exclusive to GX.

Favorite Tunes Database

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