Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sound Test 5 - Grab Bag

Well, darn it all, I almost wish I had made this blog solely about video game music. I could write forever about the subject, but alas, Christmas comes but once a month.

This month, I'm going to explore some tunes from various games. First on the docket is Magic of the Scheherazade (by Culture Brain, 1989). This is obscure NES game is just as difficult to play as it is to spell; anyone who tells you otherwise is blinded by the brilliant sheen of rosy nostalgia. However, the music is excellent and like most games of the time only lasts a few minutes altogether.

Next up is a game that easily sits somewhere in my top ten list of favorite games (perhaps I'll compile some sort of ranking sometime). Of course I'm talking about Final Fantasy Tactics [developed by Squaresoft and released in Japan in June 1997 and in the United States in January 1998 (thanks, wiggerpedia!)]. Featuring a tactical grid-based battle system and a masculine protagonist, Final Fantasy Tactics is a fundamentally different sort of game from the other games in the Final Fantasy series. Most noteworthy, the legendary Nobuo Uematsu did not compose the music for the game. Don't let that influence your perception of the soundtrack because that would be a mistake. (this link goes to a youtube channel that has the entire game soundtrack in one easy package, in case that track tickles your fancy you can listen to some other ones)

Alright, we've gone through a few nice tunes now, now for one that doesn't always bring up nice memories. It's just what we need to see! Star Wolf!

I'll refrain from posting more Star Fox music (and quotes: I may need medical help) for the sake of finishing this post. Last off is a little bit different from any of these other tracks. Some video games feature sound tracks that don't include any original tracks. Popular (or unpopular) music is used to supplement the gameplay aurally rather than new compositions. The Tony Hawk Pro Skater series is one such example. I used to play Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 on the Playstation with my brothers all the time. To me, Guerrilla Radio by Rage Against the Machine is the de facto theme of the game. Man, that song is sick. (disclaimer: that link sends you to an actual video which also happens not to play through the entire song, but is cut to highlight the awesome tricks.)

It's been a nice ride, but now it's time to get back into some games. Keep playing, and more importantly: keep listening for cool tunes!

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