Friday, January 08, 2010

My Top Eleven Video Game Soundtracks Part 5

#4. Super Mario Brothers

It was inevitable. I don't even feel I need to explain it. Probably the most recognizable jingles in gaming history. Constantly covered and parodied. We all know the tunes. I love them. Let's just move on.

#3. The Last Ninja Trilogy (C64)

If there was only one reason I wish I owned a Commodore 64, it's to play The Last Ninja games. Actually, not really play them so much as make it through each insanely difficult level just to hear the score for the next. Like Maniac Mansion, this is a music driven game first and foremost. Unlike Maniac Mansion, there are NO SOUNDS. All three sound channels of the C64 were devoted to music, resulting in a score that made its NES counterparts look like a joke. The first game's score is the greatest chopsocky score ever. The second is a love letter to 80s and early 90s 'in the city' action movies, as well as over the top cheese like Commando and in some respects Lethal Weapon. It's epic and bombastic, at times rather funky. It's like the score to the NES Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game you always wanted in place of the one you got. The third game had a lot to live up to and one can feel the style of the series starting to get tired, but the music's change in direction is one I've grown to appreciate quite a bit. Instead of another heavy score of building intensity that pumps you up, it is more somber and subtle. It's a more eloquent score, mixing elements of the first two while going very much in its own direction, creating a more atmospheric experience. I find it is often the easiest to listen to as a stand alone work.

Overall the three scores are amazing, with the first being yet another break through and essential in the history of game scores.


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