Jam of the Day: Rockman X Opening Stage by ROCK-MEN (We are ROCK-MEN!)
You can’t swing a bat without hitting a thousand remixes from the original Mega Man series. Strangely enough, that isn’t the case with the offshoots. That’s a real shame since (for the most part) they have music that’s often just as good and occasionally better.
The first Mega Man X in particular is one of my all-time favorite soundtracks. It’s pretty rare that it gets any love in the remix scene, and when it does it’s almost exclusively Storm Eagle.
Fortunately, the ROCK-MEN gave Mega Man X the proper treatment with a couple tracks on their recently released We are ROCK-MEN album. Their take on the game’s opening stage is exactly what I wanted to hear. It takes the high energy of the source and adds some original flair without abandoning what made the song great in the first place. The entire album is great, so much so that I’d argue it might just be the best Mega Man album out there (and there are lot).
Jam of the Day: Conflict~Escape Stage by Capcom Sound Team (Rockman X7 Original Soundtrack)
Mega Man X7 is a terrible game and you should not play it. HOWEVER… it has some really sweet music. The production values were really a step up from previous games resulting in higher quality drum tracks, some really great synthesizer work, and even a handful of rock tracks. Then X8 came along and brought the sound quality back down several notches.
The composition isn’t always typical X fare, but what’s there is really enjoyable. Far more enjoyable than the game it belongs to. It’s a shame this soundtrack doesn’t belong to a better game.
There are a lot of composers listed on the OST. The ones most likely to have worked on this particular song based on my research are Yuko Komiyama, Seiko Kobuchi, Akemi Kimura, Makoto Asai, Teruo Konishi, Shuichi Mizohata, and Takuya Miyawaki.
Jam of the Day: RELOADED by Soy-SOUTH (ROCKMAN Kai Arrange shitemita!!)
The Rockman Kai album is certainly a strange one. A lot of different artists and styles are featured on here and it’s almost exclusively a vocal album. I don’t normally like vocal arrangements of instrumental game songs, but this is a special case. Soy-SOUTH’s rendition of Napalm Man (Mega Man 5) rocks too hard to ignore.
Napalm Man’s theme is one I’ve had on the brain quite a lot lately as I recently participated in a remix battle using it. I had to combine it with various other classic Mega Man themes and I ended up with 3 remixes before finally getting knocked out of the competition. You can hear them on my bandcamp.
Jam of the Day: THEME OF ROCKMAN EXE ~TGS2002 mix~ by Akari Kaida (Rockman EXE Game Music Complete Works: Rockman EXE 1~3)
The only video on YouTube I could find of this was somebody’s music video. Deal with it!
There really aren’t enough remixes of the Mega Man Battle Network soundtrack. That is to say, there seem to be barely any at all (though I plan to change that). Akari Kaida (Breath of Fire III, Okami) did an awesome job on the music for the first Battle Network game. It had a very effective blend of electronica and chiptune sounds.
One of the few (and luckily great) remixes that exist is actually the promotional mix of the main theme from the 2002 Tokyo Game Show. The lead feels a little buried and the video seems to have a volume glitch or two, but it’s still a great mix.
Jam of the Day: Close to the End by Masato Koda (Rockman 10 Image Soundtrack)
The arrange albums for Mega Man 9 & 10 have some very mixed reception. I personally enjoy both quite a bit. While there are definitely some odd instrumentation choices in the albums, “Close to the End” is a track that’s hard not to love.
Masato Koda’s take on the theme utilizes a wide variety of sounds, combining electronic and acoustic instruments brilliantly. The track seamlessly goes back and forth between electronica, industrial, and jazz to name a few of the genres represented. It’s really a fantastic arrangement.
Oh, and for the super nerdy: there are several accepted spelling variations of Masato Koda’s name, so sorry if I didn’t pick the one you use.
Jam of the Day: Teisel Bonne of the Gesellschaft by Makoto Tomozawa (Rockman DASH Original Sound Track)
There’s been a lot of buzz about Mega Man Legends 3 again lately. This sort of thing happens pretty regularly and I will get my hopes up every time. First off, if you haven’t played Mega Man Legends or its sequel yet, go do that now. I’ll wait.
Done? Ok, good. Like everything else about the Legends series, the soundtrack doesn’t sound like what you’d expect from a Mega Man game. There’s a lot of really wacky themes to go along with the colorful cast of memorable characters, some pretty non-intrusive dungeon music, and Bach. If Bach in a Mega Man game wasn’t strange enough for you, the sequel has Vivaldi.
Jam of the Day: Absolute Chill (Chill Man’s Stage) by Shusaku Uchiyama (Rockman 10: Threat from Outer Space!! Original Soundtrack)
When I first heard a glimpse of the Mega Man 10 soundtrack, it just did not click with me. I almost always like Mega Man OSTs and 10 in particular had a star-studded cast of legendary composers, so this took me by surprise. Luckily, after hearing the full soundtrack a few times, I started to really love it.
Mega Man 10’s soundtrack feels a bit all over the place, probably due to having so many contributors. But while it’s not exactly what I expected to hear, the individual songs really started to shine after awhile.
Chill Man’s stage in particular stands out as my favorite. It definitely has a strange feel to it, but it’s actually an excellent track as are many of the others on the OST.
Jam of the Day: Armored Armadillo Stage by Makoto Tomozawa, Yuki Iwai, Yuko Takehara, Toshihiko Horiyama and/or Setsuo Yamamoto (Mega Man X Soundtrack)
When people think of Mega Man soundtracks, their first thought is commonly Mega Man 2. Don’t get me wrong, the Mega Man 2 soundtrack is great. But when it comes to Mega Man soundtracks, none of them rock my face off as much as the first Mega Man X.
Armored Armadillo is a high energy track. Like many of the songs in the early X games, it has a guitar solo that, while limited by the SNES hardware, still has face melting powers.
Jam of the Day: Ogre Claw by III (ZX Tunes - Rockman Zero Soundtrack)
An interesting thing about Inti Creates is that for every Mega Man game they develop, they make an arrange album featuring every song from the soundtrack. It’s quite a big undertaking and it’s both surprising and awesome that they’re so consistent with it.
I was a big fan of the Mega Man ZX series. Opinions seem to be mixed on the 2 games, but I thought their blending of X Series controls, Metroid “light” map structure, and sweet transformation powers were a winning combination. Of course, I won’t deny the games had their faults, especially the first.
One interesting aspect were the missions with objectives other than the normal “get to the end and fight a boss.” One in particular had you dashing your way through burning buildings as you searched for survivors to save. “Ogre Claw”, originally composed by Masaki Suzuki, was the song that played during this section. The high energy rock/electronica hybrid really fit with the urgency of the situation. While I like sequel’s soundtrack better overall, it doesn’t have “Ogre Claw”.