Praising SEGA arcade games for their spectacular music is kind of like applauding a cat for being furry: it’s just something you come to expect. So really, the superb quality of Fantasy Zone’s soundtrack should not shock anybody. It’s happy, laid back and a joy to listen to.
The definitive Fantasy Zone soundtrack is probably the music from Super Fantasy Zone, the obscure Genesis-only sequel to the series. A lot of people tend to insult the Mega Drive’s sound capabilities, but there’s no doubt in my mind that the machine was capable of some sick tunes, SFZ being a prime example. Though not technically an arcade game, SFZ’s soundtrack has all the trappings of a classic SEGA arcade OST, making it worth a listen to any SEGA music connoisseur.
It’s not every day we get to feature a Mario track on Tuesday Tunes. But given the love affair between Sonic and the Big N lately, it seems only fitting to celebrate the recent release of multiple Sonic and Mario titles with a soundtrack that combines the musical stylings of both.
Though this is a remix of a Mario song, it currently feels like something SEGA would produce. The structure of the song is more complicated then what you would typically find in a Mario track, which tend to be more simplistic, though no less fine to the ear, as the Mario Galaxy OST can surely attest to. This is an excellent remix of a track I could barely remember before hand. If this is indicative of Mario & Sonic 2014′s overall soundtrack, I will certainly be seeking out the rest of the OST in the future.
Those who follow us on our social networks have likely seen our seasonal spooky posts and know full well that the Sonic the Hedgehog series and Halloween-inspired creatures and settings have crossed paths numerous times. Thanks to the common platforming trope of a scary setting, we’ve seen ghosts in Sonic & Knuckles Sandopolis Zone, referred to as Hyudoro. We’ve also seen ghosts in Sonic Adventure 2, though this time the ghosts were called Boo and they had a leader named King Boom Boo. These Boo ghosts were Knuckles’ worst nightmare as he ventured into Pumpkin Hill, a stage which featured fantastic music accompanied by some pretty funny lyrics including “I’m walkin’ through valleys cryin’ pumpkin in the alley”. Most recently, Sonic Lost World saw the return of Sonic Adventure 2‘s Boo ghosts.
Despite all of these spooky stages and enemies, no Sonic stage came closer to Halloween than 2004′s Sonic Heroes which featured a full haunted house stage called Hang Castle. Featuring invisible walkways, levitating platforms, pumpkin-headed ghosts, and changing gravity, Hang Castle was truly bizarre. To this day, it is the only Sonic stage that scared me thanks to a creepy skeleton that peeked around a corner. Run towards where the skeleton should be and… he’s gone! Silent Hill has nothing on Hang Castle. Accompanying Hang Castle is a great soundtrack that fuses hip-hop samples and instruments that wouldn’t be out of place in a 1930′s cartoon featuring a haunted house and dancing skeletons. Give the track above a listen, and after the break… Pumpkin Hill. Because we can’t do a Halloween themed Tuesday Tunes without it!
It’s impossible to talk about the Dreamcast without eventually talking about Soul Calibur. Still arguably one of the best 3D fighting games ever made, the original Soul Calibur was absolutely groundbreaking in its day both in its spectacular next generation visuals and its supremely fluid and accessible game play. On top of all of this, the game had a presentation that was surprisingly grandiose for its time. While many of its contemporaries either tried to play themselves off as silly, over-the-top, or ridiculous, Soul Calibur presented itself with dignity. It was not just a fighter, it was “the stage of history!” You will not find a kick boxing kangaroos, bouncy boob physics, or gory fatalities here: only fighters battling their way toward their ultimate destiny.
This attitude is reflected in the game’s spectacular soundtrack. The game is filled to the brim with beautiful orchestrated themes meant to compliment the diverse characters and locations in the game. Back in its day, this soundtrack helped give the game a special epic quality that other fighters lacked. I confess, I do find the soundtrack to be a little dated by modern standards: these tracks were clearly produced on a budget with a limited orchestra, but that doesn’t mean they don’t still sound damn good. For your benefit, I’ve decided to feature the far superior “Soul Mix” version of the game’s epic theme song. You can check out the original track below.
My very first experience with the Dreamcast took place at a crowded Toys R Us demo kiosk, the system launch being mere weeks away and with a poster for Sonic Adventure having caught my eye.
I picked up the controller to find myself in some sort of futuristic bumper car hall. Momentarily confused as to what to do, I did what all little kids do when they’re stuck in a video game; I had Sonic jump around aimlessly until he hijacked one of the bumper cars and drove it out onto an outer space race track.
Simply put, my mind was blown, and the Twinkle Park stage became one of my favorites in the series, a place that it still holds to this day.
I was in for another surprise in the final product, when I got to play the Twinkle Park stage on my own TV with the sound up. The music, an epic remix of Panic Puppet Zone Act 1 from Sonic 3D Blast, was incredible. Crazily enough though, despite being a remix, the Sonic Adventure version unquestionably takes on a life of its own and fits the game just as well as an original track would have, if not better.
Sonic Adventure made several major changes to the series, there’s no doubt about it. But the game also had many nods to the character’s past, all integrated seamlessly into Sonic Adventure’s next generation shell.
To hear the original Sonic 3D Blast version of the song, hit the jump.
In Samba de Amigo, every day is a dance party, with and endless parade of singing, shaking and Latin music. Few songs in the game embody the spirit of Samba’s visuals as well as Samba de Janeiro does. This is what a wild party sounds like and it’s always a joy to shake maracas to. This carefree party atmosphere also makes Samba de Amigo one of SEGA’s quintessential summer games.
Nothing screams summer fun like driving a Ferrari along the coast of some random tropical paradise, with a pretty girl at your side and rocking guitar music filling the air. Outrun 2, having all of these things, is pretty much SEGA’s definitive summer game. Splash Wave is one of my favorite tunes in the game because it perfectly matches the atmosphere Outrun 2. It starts out fast and frantic but quickly slows down with a lazier, more relaxing beat. As fast and frantic as Outrun 2’s game play can be, you are still a dude driving a Ferrari through some of the most picturesque scenery in gaming and Splash Wave aides that feeling beautifully by alternating between the exciting synth and the slower, lazier guitar.
I’ve always thought of SEGA as the video game company of the summer. Many of their most memorable games start off in bright and sunny tropical paradises with endless blue skies. Stuff like Daytona USA, After Burner, Out Run, NiGHTS into Dreams, Sonic the Hedgehog and Ristar invoke the spirit of summer like few other games do.
I’ll be featuring a few of “songs of the summer” over the next month or so. Hope you enjoy them! Figured I’d start with something I’ve wanted to put up for a little while: Knuckles Chaotix’s “Door into Summer”. It not only has an appropriate name, but also has a nice, memorable tune.
AJ Rosa decided to take a look at two of his favorite songs from Flashback’s CD soundtrack. Take a look!
It’s kind of funny looking back on all those advertisements for Flashback on Sega Genesis that graced several gaming magazines in 1993. “It’s a CD-ROM game on a cartridge.”
That was a bold statement for sure, but once my brother and I laid eyes on those fluid cinematic cut-scenes, rotoscoped animation and hand-drawn backgrounds, our minds were totally blown. The music was something else. Synth-based minimalism that brought to mind images of a future where space travel is effortless, civilization is prospering, all while something dark and sinister builds underneath its glossy exterior. It gave me that very same feeling as when I watched Escape from New York or Blade Runner. Those scores may be simplistic in instrumentation, but there’s no denying their power to engage and affect an audience….
Screw the people who criticized the Genesis’s sound capabilities: they’ve clearly never heard Outrun 2019. This is the sort of soundtrack you want to listen to when your cruising down a road at 500 miles per hour! 2019 is one of the better examples of Genesis music I’ve heard, but I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. Outrun has a heck of a legacy when it comes to video game music, especially since the original game probably has one of the best SEGA arcade soundtracks out there.
Hope you enjoyed Victorious! Please go below the fold for another awesome track, Feel the Beat.