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Monday, March 10, 2014

Favorite Tunes #84: Mario World of Sports

Even if you have less than a passing interests in some sports, you're more than likely to check them out in video game form when they have arcade style play. It gets even better when you throw Mario in the mix.

Character Select - Mario 3-on-3 Basketball (DS)

Selection themes. You really don't get much time to listen to them due to a clock ticking down, forcing you to hurry up and make your pick. And even if there isn't a limit to how much time you have to make a selection, most players just choose a character and move on. Of course if you have a really good piece of music to go with the decision making, you just might make the player hold off on hitting that confirmation button. This one is way beyond good.

Toad Tournament - Mario Golf (N64)

Motoi Sakuraba had been composing music for Namco's Tales series long before he began writing compositions for Mario's sports titles. The first entry in Mario Golf has arrangements of familiar Mario tunes like the famous Ground Theme and Underground from Super Mario Bros., but there's also a bevy of original music. Tour Tournament really captures the overall peacefulness of a golf course.

Exhibition - Mario Tennis (N64)

Mario and and gang played an excellent round of golf in Mario Golf. Tennis seemed like a good sport to tackle next. An arcade tennis game in every sense of the word, hitting the ball is as easy as blinking and there are a ton of different characters to choose from, each with his and her own unique play style. Exhibition is the them you get during multiplayer matches on regular courts.

Tournament Finals - Mario Tennis (N64)

When playing in Tournament mode, you'll hear a few different themes as you advance up the ladder, including the previously mentioned excellent Exhibition theme. During the finals, you get this rousing piece of music. I wish it were available during multiplayer when things come down to the wire.

Lakitu Valley 2 - Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour (GCN)

Naming a golf course after my most hated mook in all of Super Mario? That's gutsy, Camelot. Like Mario Golf on the N64, Motoi Sakuraba once again scored the music for Toadstool Tour. I don't think the music is as good as the previous game despite the power of the GameCube hardware, but it's still got some good tunes in there. This is the primary musical piece that comes to my mind whenever I think of Toadstool Tour.

Mario Stadium - Mario Superstar Baseball (GCN)

It seems like it took Mario and company and forever to get to America's favorite pastime.  When they did arrive on the baseball diamond, they brought with them their own set play styles like the previous sports games. Rivalaries, souped up power hits and all other kinds of craziness was the order of the day in a game of Mario Superstar Baseball. Why hasn't this theme been used in actually baseball games?!

Toad Park - Mario Sports Mix (Wii)

A successor of sorts to Mario 3-on-3, this game combined various sports to make up one game. Results have been mixed and Mario Sports Mix is often viewed as the low point of the Mario sports titles. Even so, the game did have an exceptional soundtrack. Toad Park sounds like it was an unused track from Super Mario Galaxy.

Bowser Jr. Boulevard - Mario Sports Mix (Wii)

As much as I hate the saw doff little runt, I have to admit that Bowser Jr. usually gets some pretty good musical themes. Where as Bowser has a lot of rock themes, Bowser Jr. gets a lot of jazz themes, at least in the sports titles.

Staff Roll - Mario Superstar Baseball (GCN)

If Mario Stadium should be played during games, this staff roll theme should be played at the ending of each game. I think even the losing team would buck up with this playing.

Sherbet Land - Mario 3-on-3 Basketball (DS)

First those voice samples in Character Select and now this? They really outdid themselves with this game's soundtrack. If I had to pick a favorite track from the whole thing, Sherbet Land would be it. I'm sure pro basketball players would rather have We Will Rock You playing in the background during a game (a great song) but for Mario and pals, Sherbet Land is more than a worthwhile pick.

Favorite Tunes Database

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