Back before Criterion was developing the critically-acclaimed Burnout series along with, more recently, their successful Need for Speed reboots, they released a little-known Dreamcast launch title called TrickStyle. It was a racer featuring hoveboards in futuristic versions of New York, London, and Tokyo, and though the racing physics engine and trick systems felt rough, what was unquestionable was Criterion’s artistry. The game’s art still sticks out as vibrant and incredibly detailed even to this day, and its soundtrack set the scene and gave the game a very cool feel.
This tune played on a racetrack inspired by New York City’s Central Park. It’s both ambient and also fairly melodic. Other music in the game is a bit more intense, but this one fit perfectly for a quieter race as you hovered through Central Park under the moon’s glow.
For another (very different) tune from TrickStyle, hit the jump.
You know what had an awesome soundtrack? Sonic Adventure. Even if you hate the cheesy rock tunes of Crush40, it is hard to deny that Adventure’s soundtrack was by and large pretty awesome. Some of the game’s best tracks were those that went well with the blistering pace of Sonic’s levels. Case in point, “Run Through the Speed Highway”, the first theme of Speed Highway. Enjoy!
You know what’s more awesome then classic SEGA arcade music? Obscure SEGA arcade music! I’ve never played Power Drift, but its soundtrack is still pretty damn awesome. This is just the sort of incredibly catchy, upbeat tune that I would expect from a classic SEGA title. Hope you enjoy it!
Power Drift’s soundtrack was composed by Hiroshi Kawaguchi. He is one of the oldest SEGA composers still active and working within the company. You can find his website here.
This week we’re bringing you a special Tuesday Tunes, as we’re featuring the music of a SEGAbits community member! Ungibbed, aka Brian Corey, put together this cover of the NiGHTS into Dreams tune Splash Garden from memory. Pretty impressive if you ask us! Of course, we don’t blame him for getting the tune stuck in his head, as Splash Garden is a stage that Saturn fans have surely played again and again.
In this month’s Tuesday Tune, we’re going to upload some familiar Sega racing tunes to our readers as Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed will be hitting our local game stores in two weeks. To fill your racing mood for November, the first Sega tune will be the remix “Let’s Go Away -H. version” sung by none other than Takenobu Mitsuyoshi, composer for Sega Corporation who is known for his awesome musical scores on several Sega titles since 1990 such as Virtua Fighter & Shenmue. Mitsuyoshi-san uploaded this video to promote the rerelease of Daytona USA for digital platforms. One thing that has been bugging me for a while, why hasn’t Sumo have this awesome man to sing a theme song for Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed? That would fill the mood for me to race players online. How about you guys?
Halloween is kickin’ tomorrow with a bang. Just for this special occasion for this eerie holiday, The SEGABits staff and I decided to give you to classic tunes from our beloved Sega franchises. A Ghost’s Pumpkin Soup from Sonic Adventure 2 composed by Tomoya Ohtani and lyrics sung by Hunnid-P. I’m not a huge fan of rap but with Knuckles stages in Sonic Adventure 2, I can groove to. The song describes Knuckles going through the haunted hills fighting off Boos (ugly looking creeps that really like to scare the **** out of you). The song gives out that eerie feeling to it mixed with rap and I believe it gave out a memorable feel to Sonic fans during the time. I still remember playing this stage on the Sega Dreamcast for the first time. The first time I heard this song, I nod my head going through the Church only to be chased away by a ghost. After the break, we go within the hallways of The House of the Dead.
I’ve been struggling to figure out just what tune to feature this week. Panzer Dragoon’s Flight seemed so fitting! After all, it was used in the All Stars Racing demo Jason and I got to try out. Unfortunately, Flight had already been featured during Panzer Dragoon month. In the end there could only be one choice, another classic SEGA song from Saturn era.
Ladies and gentleman, Richard Jacques’ Super Sonic Racing! Sonic R is known for its cheesy lyrics and energetic singer, so much so that the PC version actually had an option that allowed players to turn them off. Frankly, I can’t imagine playing Sonic R without this music. It turned what was otherwise a mediocre racer with poor controls into one of the most memorable spin-offs in the mascot’s history. Fans don’t remember this game for the tracks or the characters, they remember it for its over the top soundtrack!
Let me just start by saying that this has to be one of the coolest fucking songs on the planet. Relax, savor the smooth bass and let the glorious techno overwhelm all that you know.
Jet Set Radio Future’s free spirit and somewhat darker energy is captured perfectly in Hideki Naganuma’s ode to chaos and all that is groovy. The track kicks off with a bang and never looks back, the simplistic but sensible vocals (“I felt like a bulldozer…trying to catch a butterfly”) telling us all that we need to know as the music forcefully grabs hold and drags us along with it at about 90 miles per hour.
To be sure, the original Jet Set Radio had its share of fast and exciting songs, but little compares to the sheer energy that the fastest songs in its sequel conjured up, this one among them. The funny thing is that, for me anyway, Jet Set Radio Future was by far the slower of the two games as far as its pacing was concerned, probably its biggest flaw, but the music was more than willing to pick up the slack.
To this day I go back and forth about which game had the better soundtrack. Though oftentimes I lean in favor of the original’s, it’s tracks like this one that cause my resolve to waver, just a little.
For another epic track from Jet Set Radio Future, Continue Reading to understand the Concept of Love.
I’m not entirely done with Hideki Naganuma yet, (as you’ll see, I have another one of his songs after the break) but thought I’d give Richard Jacques a little attention this week, as well as shift the focus towards the future….Jet Set Radio Future, that is. One of the lucky IP created during the Dreamcast era to receive not a port, but a sequel, on next gen hardware, the evolution of the Jet Set Radio series was shocking in just how much was changed from one game to the other. Taking more of the form of a reboot than a sequel, Jet Set Radio Future introduced not only a staggaring number of gameplay changes, but its soundtrack too took on a very different form.
I can’t help but grin when I hear tracks like this one nowadays, with electrohouse and dubstep taking a firm hold on mainstream culture; I feel like playing JSRF back in the day exposed me to dubstep before dubstep was dubstep. (Wikipedia states that dubstep as we currently know it first came to be in 1998, with the genre coming into its own in around 2001-2002, so, if that’s true, such an assertion is actually not too far off.)
Either way, regardless of where you fall on the whole electrohouse thing, this is a pretty cool track. I’ve always associated it with SEGA’s bold dive into 3rd party publishing, and the adventure and high hopes that went along with it. Richard Jacques’ track is exciting, it carries with it a cool futuristic vibe, and it sounds different from everything that existed in the original Jet Set Radio; an underrated gem. But speaking of futuristic tracks, here’s one from Hideki Naganuma, also fitting in with JSRF’s futuristic motif. Hit the good ol’ “Continue Reading” button to check that one out.
This week’s Tuesday Tunes will showcase the music of Hideki Naganuma, one of the funkiest composers working in video games today. The song above is from Ollie King, and as you can see, it’s as out there as anything else he’s done. If you really allow yourself to zone into it and appreciate all the craziness that goes on in a typical Naganuma track, you’ll see that there’s very little else like it. His work for the Jet Set Radio series remains some of the industry’s most iconic; his funky, up-beat, and totally unpredictable tracks really set the scene for these games and, arguably, played a major role in making them as great as they were.
Many people remember the song entitled “That’s Enough” (which you can hear after the break) in particular, mostly, I think, for its use of the rather memorable line, “the music just turns me on,” a sentiment that fits the Jet Set Radio games like a glove. Since then Naganuma’s created music for other SEGA games, including the first Sonic Rush game, a track or two from Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz, and much of the music for the cel shaded arcade skateboarding title Ollie King. In my opinion though Jet Set Radio and its sequel remain his crowning achievements, games that made brilliant use of a sound he pretty much defined.
And though his other work may not be quite as well known, his sense of style, his ability to surprise, and, of course, the breakneck speed at which his songs propel themselves forward, all are aspects that carry across his entire body of work, unquestionably demonstrating his style, talent, and invention. Keep reading to hear a very familiar track from, of course, Jet Set Radio.