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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Favorite Tunes #94: Do the Mario

Favorite Tunes has been MIA for a little too long for my liking so I've decided to bring it back. As the subtitle suggests, this is a Mario-centric edition, specifically, the Super Mario series.

Slider - Super Mario 64 (N64, DS)

Super Mario 64 may feel a bit aged in the control department when compared to Super Mario Sunshine and the Super Mario Galaxy titles, but it's still a fine game and did a exceptional job of propelling the plumber into the third dimension. Slider, is usually a theme heard during racing segments such as the one with that huge, annoying Penguin in Cool, Cool Mountain. It's actually an arranged version of the game's Main Theme.

Clock Tower - Super Mario 3D Land (3DS)

One of the most anticipated 3DS games in 2011, Super Mario 3D Land was a much needed title for Nintendo's then fresh 3D handheld that was lacking in killer apps for the unit's launch. 3D Land took many inspirations from Super Mario Bros. 3. Not only did it feature the return of one of my favorite power-ups, the Tanooki Suit, but the levels were also on the short side. The last time I did a clock tower stage in a Mario game (Tick-Tock Clock in Super Mario 64) the frustration I felt was almost on par with that of Castlevania III's Clock Tower level. Thankfully, the Clock Tower stage in 3D Land is far more tolerable.

Special World - Super Mario World (SNES)

Mario's first 16-bit title on the SNES and a launch title, Super Mario World unfortunately had fewer power-ups than it's predecessor, but this didn't prevent it from being another benchmark Super Mario title. The familiar Super Mario Bros. Theme seemed to become more and more hidden with each successive game. In Super Mario Bros. 3, if you wanted to hear the tune, you had to use the Music Box to put enemies on the world map to sleep. Make it to the Special World in Super Mario World, a world which houses the most brutal levels in the game, wait a few minutes and that music we all know and love kicks in.

Comet Observatory 3 - Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)

Releasing in 2007, just one year after the Wii was on store shelves, gamers were treated to the next 3D adventure. After the somewhat disappointing Super Mario Sunshine, Super Mario Galaxy had a lot to make up for. It did that and a thousand times more. The planetary gameplay mechanics of Super Mario Galaxy, coupled with some awesome level design, rivals that of Mario's best 2D exploits. It was the first Mario game to use a fully orchestrated musical score. It also gave us Rosalina, my favorite female character in the Mario universe. The third version of the Comet Observatory theme uses more instruments than the previous two, making it sound as if the theme has been fully fleshed out.

Athletic - New Super Mario Bros. U (Wii U)

New Super Mario Bros. U's soundtrack can certainly be accused of being lazy. Most of the tracks are ripped straight from New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Much of the new music came from the world map themes but the game did give us Acorn Plains and the pretty head bobbing Athletic theme, which of course, is an arrangement of Acorn Plains. I actually prefer this over the original theme.

Bowser's Highway Showdown - Super Mario 3D World (Wii U)

A sequel to 3D Land, Super Mario 3D World greatly expanded upon 3D Land in a plethora of ways. It added multiplayer, Rosalina as an unlockable character, gave each character their own style of play a la Super Mario Bros. 2, introduced the Cat Suit and featured some of the best level design not just in the Super Mario series but in video games as a whole. 3D World deserves each and every ounce of praise that it gets. Bowser has always had a history of being associated with rock music. As great as his orchestral themes in the Galaxy games were, it was great to hear Bowser rocking out once again, and with an awesome set of wheels, no less!

Favorite Tunes Database

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