Thursday, January 07, 2010

My Top Eleven Video Game Soundtracks Part 2

#9. Street Fighter II: The World Warrior

Were this a list based on which scores were the best, of course Maniac Mansion blows this out of the water, and shamefully too since it is an NES score that's superior to an SNES score. However, Street Fighter II wins over only for game play nostalgic value. I mean, it's Street Fighter 2! For most Americans this was the first major fighting game (not to be confused with beat-'em-ups) to use dynamic music within fights to pull you into the action. While not all the tracks are classic, no song has ever made videogame show down sound quite as epic as Ken's theme (3:06 in the above link). Perhaps the most underrated tune being Blanka's theme (5:06) which is fairly rich. All around, it's a classic.

#8. Zombies Ate My Neighbors

Lucas Arts and Konami... what a pairing. When I covered Maniac Mansion I evoked the film Night of the Creeps, and this game also is very much in that vein, but there was a follow up film from director Fred Dekker that is even more fitting for comparison: The Monster Squad. Like that movie you play kids up against an all star cast of monsters and like Maniac Mansion the soundtrack pulls no punches on the nostalgia. Each tune evokes the toy solider melting glee of the first time you saw Howard Hawks' original The Thing at nine, or THEM! or Invasion of the Body Snatchers, or least we forget Night of the Living Dead. It has that goofy Tails From the Crypt quality to it, mixed with Plan 9 From Outer Space and all the other classics. I love how goofy this soundtrack is. And while some of the tunes add a certain mania to the harder levels that can be trying they are nonetheless wonderful and somewhat cruelly appropriate. It's not an easy game and that insanity actually engages you as you run for dear like though deadly weeds while Dracula and three werewolves chase you around a corner to collide with Frankenstein's lightening hurling monster. Classic.

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