Favorite & Least Favorite Soundtracks from Some of my Favorite Franchises
Last time I did a list of favorite and least favorite games from favorite soundtracks. NOW let's try something different! This time I will cover SOUNDTRACKS!!
Now again, it's a PERSONAL list, and I'll only cover games I've played, and soundtracks I fondly (or cringingly) remember. If you have a favorite and/or least favorite soundtrack from the following franchises that you'd like to show me that I never touched on, please feel free to leave a link in the comments and I'll take a look into them when I can.
With all that said, here they are!
Favorite - Super Mario Galaxy 2
No . . . f*cking . . . . contest! Super Mario Galaxy 2 has hands down the best soundtrack in ANY of the Mario games!
The Soundtrack to this game has everything you want to hear in a Mario game, and more. You want catchy music? You got catchy music! You want creepy music? You got creepy music! You want nostalgic music? You got nostalgic music! You want epicly epicsauce music? BY GOD YOU'RE GONNA GET EPICLY EPICSAUCE MUSIC!! And if you wanna hear some of your favorite tracks from the previous game, then thankfully you'll get that too! This soundtrack, HAS, IT, ALLLLLLLL!!!!!! 8|
For me my favorite tracks from this game are as followed. The 2nd Theme to Sky Station Galaxy, The 1st Theme to Starship Mario, Fluffybuff Galaxy, Cosmic Cove Galaxy, Honeybloom Galaxy (an updated version of the 1st game's Honeyhive Galaxy), Space Storm Galaxy, Melty Monster Galaxy, Throwback Galaxy (a remix of SM64's Main Theme), The Theme to the Timed Prankster Comet Challenges, and finally Bowser's Galaxy Generator. If I had to choose one song of this lot though, I would have to give the point to Bowser's Galaxy Generator, simply because it's one of those songs you REALLY have to listen to for awhile to actually realize how deep and epic it sounds. The Song itself pretty much says "Hey, Bowser! We're-a gonna finish this! Right-a here, RIGHT-A NOW!!" >8)
An epic soundtrack for an overall epic game, it's just something you shouldn't miss out on!
Least Favorite - Mario VS. Donkey Kong
Ohhhhh lordy, I may love this game with a passion, but the soundtrack to this game is just . . . ugh! =w=
Whoever was managing the music for this game really didn't know any better because, this has to be the most painfully generic soundtrack in the entire Mario franchise. First off, the quality of the instruments are bland and unappealing. It's like some guy just decided to make the songs off of his electric keyboard and slapped it onto the game without touching it up with anything pleasing to the ears. Second, most of the songs in the game are painfully average. Every world in the game has a total of 3 different songs, and they move on to the next song inbetween sections (there are two sections in every stage). A good 85/90% of the songs in the game feel like they were meant to be on some Low Budget Children's Computer Program, not a retro revival of a once famous rivalry between 2 gaming giants. =/
I only recall of at least a couple of songs that stood out in the game. One of them was the theme tune to the Mini-Mario stages (which has since become a staple in the MvsDK franchise), another being the Title Theme Song which cleverly mixes the theme tunes to Super Mario Bros. and the Donkey Kong Arcade game. The Hurry Up song isn't too bad as it does give you the urgency to clear the stage before time is up, and some of the Death Jingles are kinda funny too. But sadly, those don't make up for how bland the soundtrack as a whole is, and unfortunately they didn't get too much better with later releases such as March of the Minis. If I were NST, I would've asked Konami to help with the soundtrack cuz they're one of the only Companies out there that actually knew how to handle music on the GBA (if you want proof, look up music for Konami Krazy Racers and TMNT2: Battle Nexus). But yeah, the music here is a pretty bad blemish to an otherwise stellar revival of an old classic.
Favorite - Every Sonic Game from the Genesis Era (CD & 32X also count)
Okay I'll admit this one's a bit of a cop-out, but to be honest, I just . . . I JUST COULDN'T DO IT!! T^T
Outside of Portables, Sonic has NEVER had a bad soundtrack during the Genesis Era, EVER!! Every step of the way it's been genius, genius and more genius! The closest Sonic has had to an average soundtrack is the US version of Sonic CD, but even that soundtrack had a couple of genius songs as well like Palmtree Panic, Tidal Tempest, and Wacky Workbench. Seriously, back when Sonic was full of chilli in the belly and had black eyes to boot, he could do no wrong to whatever he touched (again, outside of portables). It's like he had the Midas Touch of Music, whatever he touched, BOOM, it's soundtrack was gleeming with Gold!
Now for the hardest part, which songs from each game during this era were the best. Well it'll be tricky but, here we go. With Sonic 1, there's Green Hill Zone. With Sonic 2, fffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff-2P Casino Night Zone. With Sonic CD (JP-EU), Collision Chaos Zone. With Sonic CD (USA), Wacky Workbench Zone. With Sonic Spinball, Toxic Caves. With Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine, Exercise Mode. With Sonic 3, ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff-Angel Island Zone Act 1. With Sonic & Knuckles, Death Egg Zone. With Knuckles Chaotix, Isolated Island/Door into Summer. And with Sonic 3D Blast (Genesis), fffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff-Panic Puppet Zone Act 2.
Again, it was a hard choice so, don't kill me if I didn't mention your fav from those games please. TwT
Least Favorite - Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood
Again, I like this game, but . . . . . yeah, it's soundtrack sucks royal. |D
Anyone who has played this game knows exactly what I'm talking about. The Soundtrack to Sonic Chronicles suffers a very similar problem to that of Mario VS. Donkey Kong's soundtrack, it's painfully generic and boring!! Quite literally from the moment you first step foot into the first Map of the game (Green Hill Zone), you are treated to a melody that again, should've been left for a Low Budget Children's Computer Program. Though to Sonic Chronicle's credit, it mostly comprises of remixes rather than original tunes (I think the only Map I've played with an original tune was, again, Green Hill Zone). Funny thing is, a good portion of the remixes in this game are from both the Saturn & Genesis versions of Sonic 3D Blast. For example, Central City's theme tune is Diamond Dust Zone from the Genesis Version, Mystic Ruins' theme tune is The Final Fight from the Genesis Version, and Blue Ridge Zone's theme tune is, and I'm not kidding, Diamond Dust Zone from the Saturn Version. xD
Y'know, to think this is coming from a company who's made incredibly praised schmucks like Knights of the Old Republic and the Mass Effect series, you'd probably think the developers would put just as much passion into the soundtrack as they did with the overall gameplay, graphical style, or hell even the stellar Concept Art. Then again that's also like asking how this game was hyped to be dark and serious but then turned out to be colorful and light-hearted. Boy, Bioware must be one hell of a company huh? xD
But yeah, not much else to say about this one. I don't have any real preferences in this one (the Battle themes are decent but, nothing that satisfies my tastes), so let's just leave it at, this soundtrack just plain out sucks. |D
Favorite - Zelda: The Minish Cap/Spirit Tracks
While many consider Ocarina of Time to have the best soundtrack in the entire franchise (let alone the game itself), I personally don't think it aged that well so, let's go with the next best thing!
For Zelda, it was kind of a tough choice. While a good chunk of the franchise has stellar soundtracks, I think I'll give hats off to some of the more relatively modern entries, Minish Cap and Spirit Tracks. I'll start with Minish Cap first. For one thing you know you're expecting good things when one of the major developers for this title is Capcom (y'know, before they started treating their customers like crap =V), and second, this has to be one of the more passionate soundtracks in the entire franchise (eat your heart out Ocarina >D)! From the nicely composed remix of Zelda's Song, to the surprisingly tear-jerking Temple of Droplets, to the downright epic Cloud Tops, Minish Cap's soundtrack really does have it all! Nice work Capcom, ya did good.
Having talked about that, I should also talk about Spirit Tracks, which quite frankily is pretty underrated for a Zelda soundtrack (let alone a Zelda game). Unlike it's predecessor (which I'll get into in a bit), Spirit Tracks' soundtrack did feel like more heart and soul was put into it. Seeing as how this game veered away from Ships and now focuses on Trains, the style the soundtrack goes for . . . I dunno what it's called, Country? Valley? I dunno what exactly it is but, it fits the game so well and has a more lively tone to it than several Zelda games before it, even Wind Waker (yes, I f*cking went there |D). Of the songs in the soundtrack I've been able to hear so far, props be given to the themes of Aboda Village, Hyrule Castle Town, The On-Foot Overworld Sections, and the first few Temples. Even the theme to the Spirit Tower Dungeons, as serious as it sounds, felt like a step in the right direction compared to the previous DS outing.
So yeah, Ocarina may have had a few memorable tunes but, I think these two games had a li'l bit more of 'em. Give 'em a listen if you're ever able.
Least Favorite - Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
Boy, it sure is a good thing Nintendo was alright with making a sequel with a better soundtrack, cuz Phantom Hourglass' Soundtrack just ooooozes boring! >w>
I'll go ahead and state up front that, Wind Waker's soundtrack isn't a favorite of mine, but at least it had a few good melodies here and there that kept it from making the Least Favorite section. Phantom Hourglass pretty much threw the good right out the window and replaced it with more snorefest! Hardly any song from this game felt like a complete song, but more of a repetitive jingle that played over and over until your ears started to droop. Best examples of this are the On-Foot Overworld Sections and the Temples themselves, infact those are the two songs you'll hear the most of in this game (that and the Sea Overworld, which is just an average cousin to the Sea Overworld in Wind Waker).
While the quality of the songs aren't . . . THAT bad, they're anything but passable. It's stuff like this that made me think Nintendo was just being lazy with this soundtrack and cobbled together quick jingles and made them into themes for common levels just to get it over with. I'm just glad that Spirit Tracks redeemed it later on with it's catchy tunes, because much like Mario VS. Donkey Kong, the soundtrack to Phantom Hourglass is a blemish to an otherwise good game. ="(
*even though I talked about this one on the last list, I'm skipping Metroid because I'm not very familiar with most of the franchise's soundtracks aside from maybe the 2D ones. because of this I feel I wouldn't be able to talk fairly about it so, let's move on to the next franchise*
Favorite - Kirby's Return to Dream Land/Adventure Wii
Y'know, is it me, or does Hal Labs keep getting better and better with their music everytime they release a new Kirby game?
Well, I'd say so because Kirby's Return to Dream Land once again impresses with a soundtrack using instruments that NEVER get old. Much like any soundtrack should, it has songs that just about anyone can enjoy! Calm Songs, Happy Songs, Catchy Songs, Brutal Songs, Quirky Songs, Peppy Songs, Manic Songs, Epic Songs, and even Serious Songs (at times~)! There was not one song in this game that felt out of place or were unnecessary, it was very balanced and very enjoyable. Much like the game, it really is a masterpiece for anyone who is a fan of the Pink Puffball. ^3^
Seriously, do I even need to go into much more detail about how much win this Soundtrack is? If you own a Wii and haven't played Kirby's Return to Dream Land yet, do yourself a favor dammit and go play it! . . . . or you could just listen to the soundtrack if you don't have the funds for it. That works too.
Least Favorite - Kirby's Epic Yarn
Again, this was a REEEEEALLY tough call, but even though I like this soundtrack, I can't think of any other major contender for least favorite soundtrack. Sorry guys. <="(
I mentioned this in the last list, and I'll say it again, I really do think Epic Yarn's biggest fault is that it felt far too calm and peaceful, and the soundtrack is mostly to blame for that. Unlike pretty much every other soundtrack in the franchise that managed to be just about anything provided the timing was right, Epic Yarn almost grew to the point of being a pleasant snorefest. I guess it kinda fits the tone it was going for, seeing as how the entire game takes place in a world crafted in soft, fluffy YARN, but . . . . ugh, this game could really have used some songs of similar caliber to "The Arena" or "Engine Area" from the later released Return to Dream Land to spice things up. Kinda funny because Wario Land: SHAKE IT!!, Good-Feel's previous Nintendo offering, had a little bit of spice in it's soundtrack too, even if there were times when they could've used a little more of it. xD
I won't harp on this soundtrack much more than that cuz, it's really not that bad of a soundtrack. It's just when you compare them to every other Kirby game, it feels more like a collection of lullabies than video game music. If you like it, then that's alright, all I can really say at this point is, take it for what it's worth.
Star Fox Series
Favorite - Star Fox Assault
Unless you have some unexplained hatred torwards orechstrated music, how could you NOT consider this one of the greatest Star Fox soundtracks of them all?
I mean sure, it more or less copied the music from Star Fox 64 (just like every other SF game since), but let's be rational here, THE ENTIRE SOUNDTRACK WAS PLAYED OFF BY A PROFESSIONAL ORCHESTRA!! That really does take serious balls, and only a handful of games are willing to take that route to the fullest (hell even Super Mario Galaxy isn't entirely orchestrated). Even though most of the soundtrack was taken directly from Star Fox 64, it's original compositions for the game aren't slouches either. Space Battleground, Fortuna, Sauria, even the Aparoid City, HOT DIG-A-TY DAYUM!! 8|
Taking an already stellar soundtrack from the N64 era (according to most), and improving on it the best way possible, it's just that incredible! I think the only reason you could not consider this the best is if there's a track you loved from SF64 that Assault missed, and I do recall they did miss a few (such as Zoness and Area 6). If you still prefer SF64's soundtrack for that, then that's totally alright in my book. Still, with what Assault got in there, they pretty much blew the original tracks to smithereens, especially those like Sector Y, Katina, and Star Wolf's theme! If you haven't listened to this soundtrack yet, PLEASE look it up on Youtube! Your mind shall be greatly blown. 8"3
Least Favorite - Star Fox Adventures
Meh . . . it was really hard to decide on whether to choose Star Fox Adventures, or Star Fox Command for this one. However having listened to Command's music again, I actually found some redeeming value for it (infact if you were a Pokemon fanatic during the GBA era, you might actually like this soundtrack a lot). So with that said, I unfortunately must give the negative point to Adventures.
For those who are unaware, Star Fox Adventures was the last game by Rareware to be made for a Nintendo Console, and is constantly referred to as a Zelda clone. Before it became a Star Fox game, it was going to be an original IP for the N64 involving 2 main characters, one of which would later be the character we know as Krystal, and the original title was to be Dinosaur Planet. After Nintendo suggested it be turned into a game involving Star Fox, most of the elements from the N64 original were carried over to the Gamecube. And if my hunch is correct that also goes for the quality of the soundtrack which . . . . while promising, turned out to be a bit artificial and cheesy as hell. Seriously, Assault would pretty much obliterate this soundtrack a good 2 or so years later. xD
Well, I'll give the soundtrack some credit as Rare probably didn't have enough time and money to hire a professional crew to work on the music (especially as they were already bought by Microsoft not long before), and as cheesy as it all sounds, there are some memorable tunes here and there. But aside from that, I don't think it really holds up compared to the rest of the franchise. And this is coming from a kid who's played Adventures more than any other game in the Star Fox franchise. xD
Not much else to say, Rare was a complete moron for having sold their souls to Microsoft, and now we'll never see their elegancy ever again. Q _____ Q
Favorite - Rayman 1/Rayman Origins
Again, this was kind of a tough call, so I may as well go with the ones that tug on my heart strings the most, those being the Original Rayman, and Rayman Origins.
The Original Rayman probably has the more memorable of the entire franchise, as it's songs really stick to you after awhile of listening to it. I mean at first you're in a happy forest where flowers are dancing, then you get a creepy forest vibe that's infested with Rayman-colored uglies with guns and Green Beaned Poachers Tall and Small. Then you get another happy song in Band Land, followed by a somewhat twisted song filled with sick and sad trumpets. The soundtrack really does go the extra mile, with it's only major flaw being that the songs themselves never loop more than once.
Rayman Origin's soundtrack is also something of a unique marvel, especially when a couple of it's songs are supported by professional . . . . . gibberish Lums. Most of the songs in this game usually convey what needs to be, whether you're just strolling through a forest, flying through a gust of wind in the music-themed desert, sliding icy ramps in the dessert themed levels, or swimming amongst the sea life. It's a very pleasant soundtrack, but at the same time it rarely forgets that it has a sense of humor. The best example of this is easily the Tricky Treasure levels! Whenever I start those levels, the beginning melody instantly puts a smile on my face as I know . . . . I'll happily get my ass whupped royal! ="D
Not much else I can say about these games, but they definitely are some of Ubisoft's finest.
Least Favorite - The GBC Rayman Games
This one's kind of a cop-out too seeing as how these were merely downscaled revisions of the original Rayman game made for the Game Boy Color, but when you compare them to 8-Bit Behemoths like the GBC port to Donkey Kong Country or Wario Land 3, it's easy to see that somethings kind of amiss with these games. 'w'
It became apparent to me that Ubisoft always seems to have a problem with making/porting good soundtracks into their portable games (besides the GBA which they seem to have done pretty good with), and this is very evident in their GBC Rayman games. As for the soundtracks themselves, both games pretty much takes it's cues from Rayman 2: The Great Escape. Only problem is, they're bound to give you a really nasty headache if you listen to them for an extended period of time. They seem to rely heavily on a high-pitched baseline, and their lead instruments tend to usually sound . . . even higher pitched. Not only that, there's not really enough instruments to support the tunes they're trying to recreate (well, either that or they aren't taking advantage of them).
I'm sure a good reason why the soundtracks weren't up to snuff is because most of the memory from the game might have been spent on probably the most unnecessary Title Intro in a GBC game I've ever seen, where a 3D Rayman is fluidly moving around presenting us the title to the game in a similar fashion to those intermissions from the short-lived Rayman Animated series. Honestly guys, you didn't need to push the limits of the GBC just for that lame montage, you should've used that damn memory for what really counts! In-Game Graphics, In-Game Controls, and In-Game MUSIC!! THINK GODDAMMI-
Mega Man Series
*Unfortunately I must also skip Mega Man because, while I could find a favorite, I can't seem to find a least favorite that I can remember. Seeing as how that'd also be unfair, I'm just going to go ahead and skip to the next one*
Favorite - Pac-Man Arrangement
Again, I have to give the point to the '96 re-imagining of the '80s classic.
Adding music in a Pac-Man game is always a plus, and this one by all means gives one hell of an adrenaline rush! From the moment you hear that familiar jingle whenever you start a game, you know that shit's about to get REAL!! All 6 worlds have a tune that encourages you to continue munchin' the pellets and gobble up those mischevious Ghost Monsters in order to reach your designated goal! It truely is an unknown gem. =')
Again, if you haven't had the chance to play this game, see if you can snag a copy of Pac-Man Collection for GBA, or play it on the MAME emulator under a rom titled "Namco Classic Collection Vol. 2". Trust me, it's one of those games that shouldn't be faded by the fabric of time.
Least Favorite - Pac-Man World 3
. . . . . wait, does this game even have a soundtrack?! xD
If it does then I either may have missed it or ignored it altogether. Out of the 3 World games, it's surprising that the supposedly last game in the official World trilogy seems to have the overall weakest soundtrack in the entire franchise as a whole. I mean . . . . ugh, I don't know how to talk about this one, it just continues to slowly leave my mind. =A=
I won't speak much more of it cuz, really, how can I when it's so freak'n forgettable? |D