Sunday, November 11, 2018

Great Game Music You've (Maybe) Never Heard Before

There's a ton of really great video game music out there, but a lot of it is hidden away in the least likely of places. Today I have compiled a list of 50 (!) songs from various games that you've maybe never heard before. Here you'll find no Castlevania, no Final Fantasy, and certainly no Streets of Rage. Instead, what you'll find are some deep cuts and surprising jams from games you've potentially never even played before.

To begin, I want to apologize for embedding 50 YouTube links into this article. I know it's a bit excessive, but I wanted to have all 50 in one place. The list is broken up into five tabs which you'll find at the bottom of the page.

And remember, this list is not about whether you've heard of these games. I have no doubt several of the following games are known by the kind of people who would visit this site. Rather, it's about whether you've heard the songs chosen from these games. Maybe you'll hear something new! Or maybe you've heard them all before, I don't know.

So here we go!

1) Alien 3 - Main Title Part 2
Composer(s): Matt Furniss
Platform: Sega Genesis

The Sega Genesis version of Alien 3 has a completely different soundtrack than its Super Nintendo counterpart. While the Super Nintendo one goes for a more moody tone, the Genesis one is more rockin'. If you like this track, I highly suggest listening to more music from this soundtrack.

2) The Amazing Spider-Man vs the Kingpin - Track 10
Composer(s): Spencer Nilsen
Platform: Sega CD

Track 10 might be a misnomer if you're counting track 1 as part of the soundtrack (track 1 is always the game data on these discs), so don't get confused. If you're not listening to this entire soundtrack you're missing out. My friend Brett Elston actually had the composer on his podcast VGMpire, and you should definitely check that out, too.

3) Bandai Golf: Challenge Pebble Beach - Title Screen
Composer(s): Akihito Hayashi
Platform: Nintendo Entertainment System

Here's one you probably haven't heard before. NES era sports games are ripe with excellent soundtracks, especially at the title screen. The title screen here is a pretty peppy tune that I think is pretty good. There's not a lot of music to be found in this game, but what is here is a treat for the ears. It's not a bad golf game if that's your thing, too.

4) Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg - World Select Theme
Composer(s): Mariko Nanba, Tomoya Ohtani
Platform: Nintendo GameCube

Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg has a nice, cheerful soundtrack. This music right here exemplifies the type of jams you'll be hearing as you roll around your Katamari egg. Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg has a real PlayStation One era vibe to it, and not in a bad way. It's definitely worth checking out. Since this game, the character Billy Hatcher has been seen in a few games, most prominently in the Sonic racing series. Unfortunately this was his last (and only) solo game. G-I-A-N-T-E-G-G!

5) Bomberman 64 - Blue Resort
Composer(s): Akifumi Tada
Platform: Nintendo 64

Bomberman 64 doesn't play like other Bomberman games, but that doesn't make it bad. It doesn't even make it a black sheep entry in the series, because Bomberman has been in many different types of games. The Blue Resort is the second area you go to. The music here is very chill and one of my favorite Nintendo 64 songs ever. I think it's actually the only Nintendo 64 track on this entire list.

6) Capcom's Gold Medal Challenge '92 - Event Preparation
Composer(s): Sachiko Oita
Platform: Nintendo Entertainment System

Remember what I said about Bandai Golf: Challenge Pebble Beach and NES era sports games? Here's another one. I really can't think of much to say about this one. It's a pretty serviceable game based around the Olympics. If that sounds like something you'd enjoy, then you'd better get on it.

7) Captain America and the Avengers - Scene 4 - The Giant Laser Cannon
Composer(s): Tatsuya Kiuchi, Tomoyoshi Sato, Shogo Sakai, Hitoshi Sakimoto
Platform: Sega Genesis

I feel the Sega Genesis version of this game is a lot better than the Super Nintendo one for a variety of reasons. The Genesis one seems so much faster and frantic, and the soundtrack hits a lot harder than the SNES one. It's not a stellar beat 'em up game, but it's definitely fun.

8) Cel Damage - Wild Wooly West
Composer(s): Egg Plant Productions
Platform: Microsoft Xbox, Nintendo GameCube, Sony PlayStation 2

Cel Damage is a cel shaded (hence the name) car combat game that, well, nobody really played. The music is pretty good, though. I can't figure out who is responsible for the soundtrack other than "Egg Plant Productions." Not sure who they are, so that's all I can tell you. I can tell you that this is one of the first GameCube games I ever bought that had dropped to $20, so there's the barometer for its quality, if you were curious.

9) Combat Cars - Harbor Track
Composer(s): John Carehag
Platform: Sega Genesis

The soundtrack to Combat Cars was created by a man who sold his soul to the devil to make the most perfect video game soundtrack ever made. The devil granted his request, but the music was put in a game no one ever played or heard of before. The devil is a master of deceit and lies. None of that is true, but it could be!

10) Combat Cars - Suburbia Track
Composer(s): John Carehag
Platform: Sega Genesis

This soundtrack is so good I couldn't only have one song from it listed here. Combat Cars is actually the game that inspired this article.

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