Note from racketboy: This new tri-weekly feature is written by racketboy.com contributer, Mozgus. If you would like to know more about our plans for this series, please join in on this forum thread.
Video game music has traditionally been thought of as nothing but clusters of nonsensical beeps and bloops. While this statement no longer holds merit in today’s gaming world, the general public still avoids or remains oblivious to this genre, often assuming that there lies nothing worth hearing within. I truly believe that there are countless gaming tracks out there that deserve a place amongst your more mainstream “normal” MP3s. With that being said, each installment of this series will sample just three inconspicuous songs which, in my opinion, are worth your time. They may be retro or modern, official or produced by fans. Regardless, please give them a listen.
- This weeks theme is techno, trance, electronica, or whatever it’s called now. I don’t know anymore. Ready the binkies.
|What a little gem of a game. Of course, virtually no one thought so at the time. What happened when all the anime geeks popped this game into their Playstations? They quickly discovered that they would not be directly controlling their lovely Major Motoko Kusanagi, but instead, her spider-tank, the Fuchikoma. And you know what? It was brilliant, because we got one of the best anime-licensed games of the generation. In short, a spider-tank does what a spider-man can. To accompany the carnage, you were treated with an interesting selection of progressive/house tunes. While the style of music is extremely common in the mainstream, how common is it in gaming? Aside from some homebrew titles and some quirky Japanese exclusives, I’m drawing a blank. Well the catch is that they imported licensed music after all. This particular track, by Hardfloor, has a grove I can’t get enough of, and certainly stands out from the rest.|
|I will never give up the claim that X-Men 2 for the Genesis was one of the best 2D Beat ‘Em Ups ever. It’s all too often ignored as just another crappy licensed title, but it’s so much more. It had very large, detailed, smoothly animated sprites for the system, great level design, 2-player coop, featured some under-appreciated characters, and let you play as Magneto. Oh, and the music rocked hard. The only thing holding the game back was the lack of a throwing mechanic. Being a surprising move in 1996, Sega decided to produce a 5-disc set of music aptly known as Sega Tunes. Each disc focused on arranging one game (or many, in Sonic’s case) in much higher quality than the system was capable of. The game’s music and this arranged release were composed by Kurt Harland, another well known name.|
|Ridge Racer. It’s RIIIIIDGE RAAAAah forget about it. This was the only racing game I even mildly enjoyed in the mid 90’s, aside from the “extreme” titles like Road Rash and 2 Xtreme. It’s some of the weirdest “hardcore” electronica I’ve ever heard, and even weirder being in a racing game. I was quite efficient at powerslides, but could never master the concept in any other game that brought the technique back. This was probably the first CD-based game I ever ripped music from. I don’t know what compelled me to do so, nor do I know why I keep this set. It’s really not good in any particular way, in fact it’s borderline annoying, but I just can’t part with it. It was embarrassing just knowing I had this recorded to a cassette tape at one time K, I’m done.|
|For the few tracks that Kevin “Lorenzo” Sisk put out back in the day, he quickly became one of my favorite mixers. He doesn’t go crazy with the effects, or try inserting drastically different tones. Instead, he excels at taking 8-bit and 16-bit tunes and sprucing them up without removing the retro vibe. Lorenzo hasn’t been mixing as of late, due to his upcoming voice role in the mega-hyped Source engine mod, Black Mesa, which will remake the original Half-Life experience. I owned this game since my childhood until recently, and I am certainly not suggesting anyone play it. It was garbage then and it is garbage now. This will torture you enough. Except for the music of course, which was composed by Tim Follin, who’s made quite a track record. Lorenzo has given me permission to share more, so here’s two other tracks I love, which most likely came from VGMix before its downfall.|