After two months of laziness and fooling around, Anthony is back with another blogpost.
Following Clare's Top 5 Game Songs, here is some of my top pick from the Gaming industry.
Do note that it's practically impossible for me to create a list of cream of the crop, top 5 game songs since it is loosely affected by my mood.
Sometimes it would be dominated by JAM Project, sometimes a P3/P4-esque typical Japanese music, and sometimes fighting game tracks (notably the metal Guilty Gear and hip hop Street Fighter III) or even DDR music.
This is just a couple of songs that happened to be in my top 5 lists more often than the others.
5. "La Mer" (Suikoden IV opening theme)
Suikoden IV is a -love it or hate it- type of game.
It has a very simplified gameplay unlike its complex predecessors, and comes with the RPG standard of a 4-man battle system, which abandoned the Suikoden trademark 6-man team battle mechanics (with its own cool features).
Playtime wise, you can finish the game swiftly under 24 hours with all 108 stars recruited.
The encounter rate is insanely high for a PS2 game (and a Suikoden installment on top of it) and there are tons of plotholes and character background stories left unexplained (that's why Tactics were made).
Also, the world map is so fucking small it's possible to explore every nook and cranny.
With those simplicity so unrepresenting the typical Suikoden, most Suikoden fans dubbed it as one of the worst (the worst is arguably Tierkries by now) Suikoden game up to date.
However, those very fans couldn't deny the fact that Suikoden IV has one of the best -if not the best- theme in the whole franchise.
"La Mer", or "The Sea" in French, is a theme unlike any other. The soothing harmony of harp and acoustic guitar is flawlessly executed, plattered exquisitely for the players to enjoy along the amazing scenery of the blue sea. It is a fucking masterpiece on its own right.
4. "Brutal Heart" (Way of the Samurai series)
Asakura Noriyuki is famous for composing epic sounding tracks that has a classic Japanese feel to it. Rurouni Kenshin, for one, is the most prolific example of his works. When it comes to games, he is the main composer of "Tenchu" and "Way of the Samurai" game franchises.
"Brutal Heart" is played in the very first installment of "Way of the Samurai" game, as a final battle theme. Long story short, our character the samurai needs to fight against the government army led by a corrupt colonel that is threatening to divide and conquer the village.
There is one problem though, you are breaking through the army camp alone, in the middle of the fucking night.
When this song plays, you would find yourself facing hundreds of army goons, alone. FUCKING EPIC.
The song is then remixed numerous times throughout the future installments, and is best identified as the "Way of the Samurai" theme.
3. "Let's Get it On" (Street Fighter III 3rd Strike character selection)
Probably the best hip-hop soundtrack in the current gaming industry and is undoubtedly the best character selection theme in history. "Let's Get It On" is produced by Okugawa Hideki, featuring Canadian rapper INFINITE
Street Fighter III 3rd Strike is famous in the gaming community for its revolutionary music, and is listed numerous times in various gaming magazines as one of the best games in terms of soundtrack and overall musical ambience. Spearheaded by Okugawa, 3rd Strike features an array of chill music variety, which has a deep root in jazz. It mainly comprises of jazz influenced hip-hop, breakbeats, drum and bass, trance, and oldschool jungle music.
For a game circa 1998-1999, those genre of music seemed so out of place in Japan that no composers would even think about touching them. Almost all of them follows the conventional electronic synth pop-rock "Megaman X / Dead or Alive" style.
There were noticeable innovations though. Uematsu Nobuo presented epic orchestral sounds with Final Fantasy series and Ishiwatari Daisuke brought heavy metal to Japan with Guilty Gear. Okugawa however, dared to be different. He chose club jazz as the basis of his arrangements and worked with different types of chill music to make one hell of a chilling ambient.
Just look at the lyrics. This shit is so real it stays strong 13 years after the game's release.
Some choices to make And mad ruckus to bring
Just hooked on it Da bodies, who want it
I don't know where you got your skills from Jump off it
Bring it on, any opponent or contender
No one can stop this With guns or objects
As far as I'm concerned, yo it's only one topic
Join the Street Fighters from bare hands to toxic
If your an average warrior, I be the master
I could teach you how to fight and move faster
One false move kid, that'd be disaster
I'll beat you endless and continue the day after
Street Fighter 3, that's right, the third chapter
This game's for real, no blond's and no actors
Pick your character, know one to represent your life
We're stompin anybody so make the choice right
You cannot consider yourself a gamer if you have never listened to this theme before. Okay, maybe not exactly this one, perhaps you have heard of other remixes of the original Metal Gear Solid theme. Out of the numerous remixes, I like the MGS2 remix the best.
You can't seriously expect me to run a brief summary of the Metal Gear Solid series here. There are no sane gamers who have never touched the game. If you call yourself a gamer, you are expected to have played one of the installments or at least have heard of the series before and have a general understanding on how the game works.
It's the Final Fantasy equivalent of action games. Well, storywise, it even tops FF Tactics (which have the best storyline in the FF franchise) so yeah. Ah fuck it, the story by itself puts Hollywood films to shame ffs.
1. "SKILL" - JAM Project (Super Robot Wars Alpha 2)
This is it, the magnum opus of Game music. The best of the best, cream of the crop, piece de resistance, chef de oeuvre, whatever the fuck you call it.
"SKILL" is exclusively produced by JAM Project for Super Robot Wars 2nd Alpha, continuing their awesome legacy for the spinoff game Alpha Gaiden.
Super Robot Wars itself is a very successful turn-based strategy game franchise in Japan, featuring hundreds of robots and characters from more than 50 different mecha animes that are united by a single cause in one epic storyline.
It has spawned 32 different titles with 5 different trilogies that can put Star Wars to shame. The latest and most anticipated installment is Super Robot Wars Z2 for PSP, which features Tengen Toppa Gurenn Lagann, Macross 7, Code Geass R2, Turn A Gundam, and Shin Getter Robo Armageddon, all under one title. SRWZ trilogy is also famous for fixing the storyline of Gundam Seed Destiny, which is a major stain in the history of Gundam.
The Alpha trilogy is probably the best in terms of storytelling up to date, ending in SRW 3rd Alpha, in which our heroes are struggling against the unseen force of destiny, and need to travel to a distant galaxy to fight against the embodiment of destiny itself.
In 2nd Alpha, which features the song "SKILL", our heroes are up against numerous evil forces that is threatening mother Earth. However, they must face the guardian goddess of Earth itself in the end, who deemed that it is better for her to destroy Earth by herself before the force of destiny annihilates humankind. The song then blares out loudly, giving goosebumps to the player in all its hotbloodedness. The heroes then proceed to swear that they will protect humanity no matter what it takes.
Honestly, I think the term "EPIC" in dictionaries must be replaced with "SKILL" instead.
"A skill movie"
"Skill meal time"
"Holy shit, this song is so fucking skill yo!"
"This guy is so skill yo!"