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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Favorite Tunes #150: Stay Determined

Here we are at long last, the 150th installment of Favorite Tunes. The road here was long, sometimes tiring, but without question, it was a road worth traveling on. I'm not the most musically inclined person out there, so describing music in rich detail is very difficult for me. Nevertheless, I love video game music, so I don't let my inability to talk about notes and chords in rich detail stop me from sharing that love.

I tried to be diverse with the tracks for this milestone edition. From the ten tracks presented here, you'll find music from the 16-bit era, the glory days of arcades all the way up to current gen consoles and handhelds. Here's to another 150.

Battle! Raikou  - Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver (DS)

Like Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow, Pokemon Gold/Silver/Crystal was given the remake treatment, but on the fancy DS hardware. That meant beefed up graphics and of course, a considerable upgrade to the game's music. One of Gold/Silver's best battle themes had several variations in HeartGold/SoulSilver, but I gravitated towards Raikou's version as my favorite. Those guitar riffs, those drums, they all sound greatly improved over the excellent GB chiptune.

Crying World (6-1) - Ristar (GEN)

One of the dropped concept ideas for SEGA's new mascot was later revisited in the form of Ristar. Boasting some of the most impressive visuals ever seen on the Mega Drive, Ristar is a fun, challenging platformer that sees the titular character get around and defeat enemies by using his stretchy arms. Developed by Sonic Team and having the same composers that worked on Sonic CD's Japanese soundtrack, Ristar's music is audio bliss with bouncy, upbeat, soothing and funky tunes.

Crateria (Main Theme) - Super Metroid (SNES)

I almost envy gamers that are experiencing Super Metroid for the first time. The game is now more accessible than ever thanks to digital distribution and my mind is still blown that it can be played on the New 3DS. Super Metroid has a very ambient, atmospheric soundtrack and one theme you will never forget is this one. Not only do you hear it as you explore Crateria further, but it plays during the game's climax.

Rasterd Road - Kirby: Planet Robobot (3DS)

Another Kirby game, another vibrant soundtrack. I think it really is impossible to listen to the music in a Kirby game and not smile. Yeah, Dream Land has been overtaken by robotic invanders but there's still plenty to smile about. I mean, who wouldn't be happy about wrecking stuff in a mech? I get extra jolly when I do it to the sound of this music.

Old Ferrum Town (Winter) Pokken Tournament (Wii U)

Pokken Tournament is already shaping up to be one of my favorite games of 2016. This is one of the first fighting games I've really gotten into since Super Street Fighter IV. I came into this game expecting nothing but Pokemon remixes but what I got was a soundtrack that consists of splendid original themes. The standard Old Ferrum Town theme is quite good, but I prefer the little additions to the Winter version.

34 N, 12 E... for Mad Space - Sonic Adventure 2 (DC, GCN)

Sonic Adventure 2 was released as the 10th anniversary Sonic game. It was also the last Sonic title to be released on a SEGA system as the company had jumped out of the console business in 2001. Sonic Adventure 2's soundtrack has a plethora of rock but there are other genres throw in like drum & bass and then you've got this number, which sounds like a jazzy spy theme, fitting for a jewel hunter like Rouge.

No Escape - Super Contra (ARC)

Ported to the NES under the title Super C, the music made the jump the console quite nicely. Still, I have to admit, the arcade score pretty much aces it. The sound font of the arcade score has a more hardcore rock vibe to it and it is especially evident in tracks like No Escape.

Ending - Final Fantasy VI (SNES)

How do you cap off such an amazing RPG that has already dished out so many astounding themes? Why, with a lovely medley of all the character themes that leads into a grand send off that is the staff roll, of course! Dancing Mad, the final boss theme is over 17 minutes in length. This theme surpasses it by being over 21 minutes long. Both are worth every minute of listening.

Sigma 2nd - Mega Man X (SNES)

My second favorite Mega Man game, Mega Man X was a much needed shot in the arm for the overall Mega Man franchise. The formula is the same as the Classic series, but it adds enough to differentiate itself from Mega Man's more light hearted adventures. Survive the first battle with the saber swinging Sigma and you'll face his final form, a boss so large he nearly takes up the entire screen.

SAVE the World - Undertale (PC)

Undertale has already become a regular here in Favorite Tunes. The soundtrack is just that darn great. For me, the game's reoccurring theme is right up there with the Ground Theme of Super Mario Bros. Lots of games and movies arrange a main theme over and over but Toby Fox has done so many different variations of if that it never becomes tiresome. There's a chiptune version, an orchestral version, a dozen others and then you've got this badawesome rock version of it that fills you with boundless determination.

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