Sunday, January 10, 2010

My Top Eleven Video Game Soundtracks Part 7

With the top eleven finished in parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, this part is about some honorable mentions. They aren't in any real order but the first few were omitted do largely to technicalities that should make clear why a few other choices didn't even make this list despite possibly seeming likely.

Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers (NES)

I love Disney's old school cartoon line up, and like many of their movies, found the game adaptations quite good. I have to agree with The Game Heroes that Chip 'N Dale is the best, but as that NES version of the theme song is, it's not an original score. That was a big issue for me throughout this and the reason there are no movie-based games on the list, I wanted the scores to have been composed for the games, not adapted.

The Legend of Zelda (NES)

The only song likely to be more recognizable than the Super Mario Bros. 'exterior theme' is of course the the main theme of Legend of Zelda. It's wonderful. I love it, both the opening title and in game renditions of it, but the rest of the score from the classic original doesn't quite have any weight for me. The dungeon them isn't bad, but I don't love it, and the other jingles though out are really just short jingles, so thats two versions of a song I love and a few other tracks that are ok. Super Mario didn't have many tunes either, but they are ALL classics. Again, one of if not the greatest Nintendo tunes, hands down, but for me one great tune does not a great score make.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (Play Station)

I never owned a Play Station, and more than any other, this game made that a painful fact. For years I heard how great the score was, that's sorta the point when you give a game a name like Symphony of the Night. But I have to admit, it's a little hit and miss for me, despite it's epicness, this was not an uncommon phenomenon with (SNES) games for me. For all of the grander and potential, the arrangements for so many games just came off weird. (I hate the Link to the Past version of the Zelda adventure theme.) It's all a little too sweeping and bombastic, sorta like Gothic opera pop. They're trying to be too 'enchanted' sounding. Thus for every track I really like there is two I don't, and not having the in-game experience, I'm just not really able to say how well they flow for the game. A great score in scale, but overall not quite my thing.

Sonic The Hedgehog & the original sequels (Sega Genesis)

I forgot! I suppose that says something about them, but while I didn't have a Sega of my own, I took up every opportunity and my cousins' and friends' houses. Great games, and the opening music is as classic as any of the iconic greats, but a few of the other tunes are me personally hit and miss. More hits than miss, but again this one just didn't have enough something to make it. Much like Legend of Zelda it's loved for a couple tunes passionately, and disregarded for the rest. Still, had I remembered it at the time, it would have been a tough call.

River City Ransom (NES)

When it comes to Beat 'em Ups, Double Dragon was fun, but the music actually got on my nerves. River City Ransom was, for me, so much better on all levels to Double Dragon, including music. I'm much more into these rock 'en roll-surfer-disco influenced hyper-frenetic score. It just worked better for this kind of game for me, even if it was a little more repetitious.

Donkey Kong Country (SNES)

Near the end of the SNES's life they pulled out all the stops with a handful of games that were able to hold their own with the next generation of consoles. Few achieved this quite as well as Donkey Kong Country. Along with its graphics was a wonderful score which fits perfectly with the environment and attitude of the game. I can never really remember the tunes from it, but I always found myself bobbing along to them as I played. They fit perfectly, at the price of sometimes being invisible, which is hardly a detractor.

LinkSuper Metroid (SNES)

Now we are talking! Consider this where the excuses stop and I start fully praising games as really tough-call runners up.

I wasn't a big Metroid guy, but more than one fan have argued this as the best SNES game without losing my respect, and goddamn that score. It's like they took everything that was great about the scores to Alien, Aliens, The Terminator, T2 and Blade Runner and combined them with about a dozen other wonderful things. At times really rich and evocative of more fun-going space adventures (a wee hint of Wing Commander I do detect) and at others the score is totally unnerving, laying down all the cues for future sci-fi survival horror games to take note of. It only just barely didn't make the list on account of low nostalgic value for me having not played it much (didn't own it) but I must confess I'm inclined to boot Street Fighter 2 in its place. It's the better, but not precisely the more memorable.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64)

You know how I said the problem with the original was it had one great tune and a few eh numbers? Well, here's the answer to that! A wonderful game, with a vast and rich score filled with numerous tunes That I love. In many ways I can't help but compare it to King's Quest 4, and were this a more fantasy exclusive list... oh yeah, it would have made it. It's epic, but also solid. A really marvelous game. Again, a really hard one to leave out.

Tomb Raider (PC)

Lara Croft became such a ridiculous sex symbol during the major wave of 'pixel tits' heroins in games that it's easy to forget how absolutely wonderful the first game was (well other than the whole running around shooting endangered species part... that was a bit ethically iffy). The sequels I don't think were terrible as far along as I bothered (2 and then a bit of 3) but the formula was something of a case of lightening in a bottle. It was a slow game about exploration, and as the sequels became less about looking at the sublime spaces your played in and more about action... they just lost touch. The first game's score stresses this sense of exploration, of looking off in wonder at the sublime. I love the opening theme and the orchestral accents throughout the game. It was a wonderful score, perhaps loved more for its nostalgia than quality but still a great score of high quality.


I could go on and on and on... Mega Man, Kirby, Star Tropics... there are tons of them! Again, I really recommend checking out Garudoh's massive channel on The Music of Games as well as those from the others I've linked to.

Well, that's it. Feel free to leave comments and opinions. I'd love to hear some suggestions people feel I've left out as this is a personal list more than a best of. What are your favorites, and if not the same, which do you feel are the best?

5 Comments:

Anonymous mario free online games said...

I love the sonic and zelda soundtracks but really old school sountrack = manic miner

loved that as a kid ;)

10:28 PM  
Blogger 昏睡 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:11 AM  
Blogger Cory Capron said...

Manic Miner is good, though again with one song it didn't make sense for this list.

If you haven't and can find them, I highly recommend giving the Apogee trilogy a go, Monuments of Mars (my favorite), Arctic Adventure and Pharaoh's Tomb. They have a similar feel and design to Manic Miner.

1:19 PM  
Blogger Cory Capron said...

昏睡: Don't spam my blog.

1:21 PM  
Anonymous viagra online said...

brother you also make me cry, all this list is so amazing, and you hit my nerve with one recall Castlevania symphony of the night with the song titled "I'm the wind".

10:19 AM  

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