Tag Archives: Video Game Music w/ the James

Video Game Music w/ the James Episode 8 : Super Mario Land

Yeah, I haven’t done one of these in a while… spending a good portion of my day trying to write even a couple of bars of decent music and studying techniques/history via textbooks and audiobooks doesn’t exactly have me wanting to tackle even more music at the end of the day.  I’ll be honest, I haven’t had much motivation.

I’ve also had my hands full with Darksiders which should be finished for review in a couple of days, actually, the only reason I’m not playing right now is because the game froze on me in the middle of a dungeon that I’m not particularly fond of.  Being too lazy to hook up my SNES, Super Gameboy and digging through a bunch of shit for the cartridge, I just settled for my modified wii, classic controller and a digital copy of the game.

Note : The Wired Fish does not support piracy.  Own your games before emulating them.

I am going to have to come out clean and say I fucking suck at Super Mario Land.  Mario’s momentum seems to break too easily and the controls always feel just a little stiff.  I remember never being able to make it past world 3 as a kid and when I tried it out last week, I met the same fate.  Tonight I am proud to say that not only have I finished world 3, but I also managed to beat Super Mario Land, and on one credit!  Admittedly it was a little too close for comfort when I dropped from 18 to 2 lives at one point, but a few lucky bonus games was all I needed.  But we’re not here to celebrate my victory, we’re here to enjoy some music.

While a lot of the later tracks invoke a more exotic feel, this leaves me with no such sentiment.  It’s clear that it wasn’t even the intention which would explain why it plays in the very first level : while it lacks that feel of a faraway land, it’s damn catchy, and the song is one that you’ll be hard pressed to forget once you sing along with a couple of loops. Continue reading

Video Game Music w/ the James Episode 7 : Ys Seven Soundtrack (Part 2)

You can check part 1 out over here, where some of the game’s first great tracks were covered.

Settling down from one of the most badass desert themes in existence, we reach the second dungeon of the game.  It feels like a nice, slow rock ballad, particularly toward the end of the loop after the piano section where the guitar sound comes in.  Appealing to my more sensitive side as a gamer, it’s refreshing to hear softer tracks from a series better known for more hardcore sounding tracks.  Also, there’s a lot of instrumental variety going on, a big plus in my book.

Probably the most festive song in the game.  The first thing I think of doing every time I hear this track is getting up and dancing.  Beginning fast and furious, the mood gradually settles to a quiet section which doesn’t last very long.  There’s a little section that serves buildup purposes, and from there the party begins.  A blissful smooth jazz sounding melody takes over and carries the track to a stopping point that just feels too soon.  That’s what the repeat button’s for I guess.

The rhythm section has some cool stuff going on, there’s a touch of harp and some other stuff, it’s a blast from beginning to end!

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Video Game Music w/ the James Episode 6 : Ys Seven (Part 1)

Well well, looks like I have a couple of minutes to start writing some stuff.  My Review in Progress for Final Fantasy 4 is almost wrapped up (the first publish will be up to the end of -interlude-) and as an added surprise, I’ll also be discussing Mortal Kombat, which was actually not on my to-do list, but, it was addicting enough for me to play through the entire story mode.

For now though, it’s music time.  It’s funny how Ys Seven came to mind for this post.  Far from my favorite Ys game, the story was great and the music is arguably some of the best in the series.  I tend to have vivid dreams this time of year, and a couple of nights ago, actually started dreaming some of my favorite music from this game and putting it on TWF, so I said why not go through with fulfilling my dream.  Brace yourselves, cause this is going to be a large list of tracks, even if I eliminate some.  As a matter of fact, I’ll break this one into two episodes, one for each disc of the soundtrack.

Why not just put up the whole intro for the opening track, right? Right.  It’s actually pretty standard rpg opening music, nice pulse, the melody in the strings is pretty cool.  Not my favorite opening in the series, but that doesn’t make it bad, just alright.  I still get pumped listening to it every now and then.

My first though encountering this track in the game : “This dick does not deserve such a badass theme song”.  It’s one of those slow paced electric guitar themes more suited to a character more mysterious and …silent — he doesn’t know when to stfu!  The guy earns his cool points late in the game, but until then, it doesn’t fit the personality at all.  It’s a perfect listen if you want something slow to jam to though. Continue reading

Video Game Music w/ the James Episode 5 : Jazz Jackrabbit

When I think oldschool Epic Games, the first thing that comes to mind naturally is Unreal Tournament.  Originally I was going to tie the the composer, Alexander Brandon to Jazz Jackrabbit’s music, but I would have been mistaken.  From what I researched, Jazz Jackrabbit 2 is credited to Brandon, but the first is to a guy named Robert A. Allan.  Regardless, the soundtracks to both games kick ass, but I’m here to talk about Jazz Jackrabbit.

I miss the days when they were still called Epic Megagames…

For those of you who don’t know, Jazz Jackrabbit is a PC platformer developed in 1994.  Many elements are borrowed from Sonic the Hedgehog, with the inclusion of a gun and various types of ammo to the mix (long before Shadow would infamously bring guns to the Sonic universe might I add).

The first sign of really good music occurs quite early actually, when you get to the second area, Tubelectric.

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