Video Game Music

January 9, 2009

It’s no secret, at least to those who know me personally, that I love listening to the music from video games. Now, I have my limits. If the game has terrible music then I simply don’t care to listen at all. Recently there has been some stunning work on video game sound tracks. The sound track to Mario Galaxy and Super Smash Brothers Brawl were absolutely breathtaking. The industry has come a long way in terms of audio. I still have a soft spot in my heart for those classic NES tunes, but I sure do like the way things have been improving.

There are even some games for the SNES that had rather amazing sound tracks. The obvious games there are Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy III (Well VI actually, but released as III in America), and Secret of Mana. That is not to say there weren’t other SNES games with good sound tracks. In fact, there is an entire community of people who take video game tunes and remix them. The big place for that happens to be OCRemix.org and I have spent hours upon hours on that site. They truely have some talented remixers there. Here are a few good mixes, but certainly there are hundreds more that are quite amazing:

Beyond the realm of OCRemix we have video game cover bands (as if things couldn’t get any better) ! Some of these include: The Megas, Armcannon, The OneUps, Powerglove, and The Black Mages. All of the bands mentioned even have CDs you can purchase, or most of them have options where you can download the music (for a small price). For those of us that love the video game tunes it is truely a great time. Back when I was much younger there were none of these things and the closest thing I had to listening to video game music (other than playing the games) was a Mario Kart 64 Soundtrack that I found somewhere.

Whether it’s an OCRemix or a video game cover band these guys are taking the old 8-bit tunes and turning them into musical glory. This gamer in particular finds himself frequently amazed at what they can do.

In the future I plan to blog a little more about video game music as its one of my interests. I just haven’t had the time lately 🙂 .

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Mega Man 9 Review

December 16, 2008

About a month ago I purchased Mega Man 9 off the Wii Virtual Console. At the time I was still in the middle of a tough college semester so I played it little by little. I finally finished the game a week ago, and got around to writing up my thoughts on the game.

Game Play:

The game play in Mega Man 9 is spot on with what I remember from the old NES classics. For those who don’t know, Mega Man 9 was made in the same style as the NES Mega Man games of old. In Mega Man 9 we find that our hero has the usual abilities such as… jumping and shooting. No other abilities are given to him. However, you do have the option of using the Rush Jet or Rush Coil and, of course, when you defeat a boss you get to use their power afterward. Capcom did a perfect job of recreating the feel of the NES Mega Man, which is 100% ok by me 🙂 .

Story Line:

Mega Man games of yore have never been much for a story line so there’s not much to say here. I wasn’t expecting all that much from Mega Man 9 in the way of a storyline and I got what I expected. They attempt to explain everything but the bottom line is: Dr. Wily did something bad and you have to go around destroying robots to make things right.

Old School Boss Selection Screen

Old School Boss Selection Screen

Music:

I absolutely love the music in Mega Man 9. Now, I should mention that it is the classic 8-bit style music. I have met people who find this absolutely annoying, but for me it brings about a certain nostalgia. If you liked the NES Mega Man music chances are you will like this as well. Likewise, if you hated the old 8-bit music you probably won’t like the music in Mega Man 9.

Controls:

I found that the controls for this game worked just fine. You hold the Wiimote sideways: ‘1’ is shoot, ‘2’ is jump, and the D-pad moves you left and right. To pause and switch weapons you simply use ‘+’ .

Extras:

Mega Man 9 features a store where you use the bolts you collect throughout the levels to buy items such as energy tanks and extra lives. They also added a few more items such as the shock guard, which allows you to jump on spikes once without exploding instantly.

Challenges:

Mega Man 9 features different challenges, which the game notifies you of after you have completed them. Some of them include:  Jitterbug (beat game in under 60 minutes), Quick Draw (defeat a boss in 10 seconds or less), and Heavy Metal (reach a boss room without firing a weapon). These are turned on by default and can be fun to try and achieve. Either way it does not hurt the game to have these features around and can add a bit more play time to the game if you are into that sort of thing.

Galaxy Man Opening Screen

Galaxy Man Opening Screen

Time Trails:

Another interesting mode of play is the “Time Trial” mode where you are given all power-ups and are placed in a level of your choosing. Then, you try and get through the level as fast as possible. Furthermore, you can compete against the top times that people have accomplished and uploaded via the Wi-Fi network.

Difficultly:

Since it has been a while since I played any of the NES Mega Man games I’m not sure how to rate its difficulty in comparison to the others. I certainly wouldn’t call it easy, but I don’t know if it is as hard as the others. I would say that it probably took me around 9 or 10 hours to complete the game, but now that I have beaten it I would probably make it through in just under an hour. The difficulty comes in figuring out the “tricks” to each level for the first time. Once you do that it is fairly easy to finish a level in around 2 to 3 minutes. It is a different style of gaming from the modern sense. A lot of games these days are long and of easy to medium level difficulty. Mega Man 9 sports short, very difficult levels. You need to understand that you might not complete a level on your first, second, or even third attempt in this game.

Bonus Content:

Mega Man 9 features downloadable content that you must pay for with Wii points. As I am a poor college student, I have not yet purchased any of these features. Some of them include: being about to play as Proto Man or purchasing an additional level.

Conclusion:

All in all, Mega Man 9 has a lot of great content, and it is good to see a big player such as Capcom making awesome games for the virtual console, especially for a reasonable $10. If you were a fan of the old school Mega Man, or if you are looking for a fresh and challenging Wiiware title Mega Man 9 will not disappoint!