Jam of the Day: Super Metroid performed by the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra (Game Music Concert 4 ~ Live Best Collection)

This is probably one of the earliest arrangements of game music I heard. From the fourth Game Music Concert album, this eight minute Super Metroid medley was arranged by Toshihiko Sahash, conducted by Kosuke Onozak, and performed by the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. It’s worth every minute of your time.

Jam of the Day: Magma / Ice Spawn Boss Theme by Lawrence Schwedler and James Phillipsen (Metroid Prime Hunters Soundtrack)

I’m really not crazy about Metroid Prime Hunters. Between the overly FPS feel and the constant boss fights with stationary pillars, I found it a hard game to love. However, some of its music kind of fascinates me.

It isn’t that it’s especially remarkable, but that some of it is so different from what you’d typically hear in a Metroid game. This is mostly found in the drum tracks, which seem to take inspiration from more popular electronica styles. In fact, this theme in particular almost seems like it could be a song by The Prodigy.

Jam of the Day: Full of Life by Protricity (Relics of the Chozo: A Super Metroid Musical Collaboration)

I’ve decided to feature more Metroid music this week since the 25th anniversary just happened.

Relics of the Chozo was the very first full album put out by OverClocked ReMix back in 2003. I was very excited when it came out. Albums covering an entire game’s soundtrack were not common in North America at the time. To make things even better, the tracks flowed into each other giving the album a very cohesive feel.

Full of Life is one of those arrangements that perfectly captures the spirit of the original. You could argue its lack of ambition, but sometimes I enjoy a good “update” style of remix. It would fit along seamlessly in an HD version of Super Metroid. Speaking of which, somebody should make that.

Jam of the Day: Phendrana Drifts performed by Metroid Metal (Varia Suite)

Today marks the 25th anniversary of Metroid. Metroid has always been one of my favorite game series of all time. I still consider Super Metroid to be the greatest game ever made and Metroid Prime isn’t far behind. Other M certainly was a mixed bag, but hopefully the series will continue on strong.

It’s been a great 25 years. Here’s to 25 more!

Buy Varia Suite

Jam of the Day: A Violent Encounter ~Battle With the Colossus~ by Kow Otani (Wander and the Colossus Original Soundtrack: Roar of the Earth)

Though I didn’t know it at the time, I was first introduced to Kow Otani’s music in Gundam Wing and the 90’s Gamera movies. But it wasn’t until a decade later while hearing his Shadow of the Colossus score that I really took notice.

One of the things I love about the SotC soundtrack is that every Colossus has its own unique theme. I had a really hard time picking just one of them to share because they’re all so enjoyable. It was the bits of chorus sprinkled throughout that really sold me on choosing A Violent Encounter. This game could not have a more fitting soundtrack. I can’t wait to play the upcoming HD version.

Jam of the Day: The Night Before the Decisive Battle by ACE+ (Xenoblade Original Soundtrack)

I gave in and imported Xenoblade from Europe. Of course, it isn’t quite out yet. I really look forward to experiencing the game’s music in context. I am a big fan of the Xenoblade soundtrack. I’d go so far as to say it’s one of the best RPG soundtracks I’ve heard in years.

Last time I featured one of the rock tracks. This time, I’d like to highlight one of the more moving themes in the game. It feels weird to highlight 2 songs without getting into any of the Yoko Shimomura pieces, but ACE+ (Tomori Kudo, CHiCO and Kenji Hiramatsu) did such an outstanding job that I felt like highlighting their work again.

Jam of the Day: Heavenly Flight by Koichi Sugiyama (Symphonic Suite Dragon Quest VIII Journey of the Cursed King)

One of the things that really sucked me into Dragon Quest VIII was the live orchestral performances recorded for the soundtrack. It wasn’t until later that I discovered the original Japanese version used sequenced music like the past games. I’m so grateful that they went the extra mile in bringing over an enhanced version for North America.

The orchestral score combined with the 1-to-1 scale world map gave Dragon Quest VIII an incredibly grandiose feeling. This melody appeared in the series before VIII, but flying through the sky with this rendition of the music in-game really left a memorable impression on me. I really hope they do an orchestral score in-game for Dragon Quest X.

Jam of the Day: Untitled Track (Final Fantasy XIII-2)

There’s a lot of uncertainty in today’s post, but after hearing it I just had to share. This track was posted by XIII-2 Synth Programmer Keiji Kawamorion on the Square-Enix Music Blog. While he mentions everybody involved in the performance, I haven’t been able to confirm the composer. Masashi Hamauzu is the game’s main composer, but I didn’t see him referenced in the post. I am told this will be a battle theme for a Bahamut fight, but I haven’t seen that confirmed through official channels either.

If this is an indication of what Final Fantasy XIII-2’s soundtrack will be like, I am on board. I love to see a series branch out to other musical styles when it works. Coincidentally, I was just thinking about that while listening to the Crystal Bearers soundtrack earlier today.

Performance Credits:
Guitar: “Mr. Shigekazu” (I’m assuming Shigekazu Kamaki)
Bass: Kentaro Nakao
Drums: Takashi Kashiwakura
Violin: Mr. Hiroshi Manabe
Piano: Takuro IGA
Engineer: Mr. Seigo Sugai

Jam of the Day: Shotgun Kiss (Vegas Palace) by Hidenori Shoji (F-ZERO GX/AX Original Soundtracks)

The F-Zero GX/AX Soundtrack might not be as melodically driven as the previous games, but Hidenori Shoji (known for the Yakuza series) really excels at what he does. His music has that electronica feel that fits so well into futuristic racers, but he combines it with a variety of other genres to make it really stand out. While most songs have tinges of rock accompanying punchy beats, Shotgun Kiss throws a little jazzy vibe into the mix creating something really memorable.

Jam of the Day: Southern Face Shrine by Kazumi Totaka, Kozue Ishikawa and/or Minako Hamano (The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening)

There are very few video game songs that have managed to creep me out as much as the Southern Face Shrine from Link’s Awakening. It always amazed me that the song could evoke such an incredibly effective eerie feeling with the limited sound capabilities of the Game Boy hardware. Even today, the song is still haunting.