Thursday, February 7, 2013

Tribute to Mega Man 2 (sorta)

As some of you may know, today Mega Man 2 was released on Nintendo 3DS virtual console. How could I pass the chance to do a little blog about that game? This game is probably one of the most important games in gaming history. As far as NES games go, it was a perfect mixture of gameplay, graphics, sound and music. The game was tough but not as unforgiving as it's predecessor. It featured varied stages, enemies and music all the way through. It may not seem to be such a deal nowadays but back then, variety wasn't so common in games. Mega Man 2 definitely stood out as a video game. It was an experience like no other.

Now.. since that is a blog post by me, I'm gonna talk about the music of this game. The soundtrack of this game was, and still is, one of the most memorable soundtracks in video game history. It's a soundtrack that stuck in the minds of the people who played that game over and over again to overcome it's numerous challenges. Obviously, this spawned a lot of covers/remixes over the years and here are a couple of the best ones I can think of right now.

First of all, mister Mega Beardo (@megabeardo on twitter) did an amazing tribute album to Mega Man 2. You can look up this great album on bandcamp here. For those of you who simply don't feel like clicking the link and experience all the awesomeness of this album, here's a shining example of why you should:

This my friends, is what I'm talking about. This isn't the only example of great tributes artists have done to Mega Man 2's insanely good soundtrack over the years. Numerous rock covers were done by bands like The Advantage, NESkimos, Arm Cannon, Minibosses and more. Some bands also made live covers of the game's soundtrack. Bit Brigade did just that and you just HAVE to check that one out:

Chiptune remixes were also done by numerous artists (like A_Rival, djpretzel, Project X.. just to name a few). A number of theme can be found on OCRemix. I could go on about the OCRemix stuff but I'll leave that for other blog posts.

As much as I love the covers and remixes that were done for this game, the original music remains the main attraction for me. I find myself listening to it time and time again! Can't get bored of this! Anyway, just wanted to write a little something in honor of this great game which, no doubt, helped shaped gaming as it is today. Here's Bubble Man's theme and Dr. Wily's Castle theme from the game. Just cause you know.. You have to end a blog post in style right? Here you go then:

The huge, heartwarming world of video game music remixes

Video games used to be all about colored pixels and miniature sounds here and there. Then there were those old 8-bit systems which added much needed music in games. Music I love even today, 25 years later. The music of these games.. I always thought they had personality. Real personality! Then there were the 16-bit systems.. and oh my god did these sound good to my ears!! That's when the fire started to spread inside me. The fascination for the work of all those composers who managed to put so much personality in music tracks that were meant to play on admittedly very limited sound hardware.

When I was in college, I marveled at that new thing I could access through my computer which I believe was called.. the internet or something like that. Oh the possibilities!! And yet, most of what I did with the said internet at that time was to search for music.. video game music to be precise! A couple of years later, I stumbled into that new site, OCRemix. There I could download free MP3 remixes of games I loved in the past, old (mostly) but also new. Oh the great music I got to listen to at that site over the years! That's why I wanted to post a couple of OCRemix tracks that had a lot of impact on me over the years. Some of these I actually listen to since late 1999, early 2000.

Here goes!! The first track I want to share is one made by AmIEvil in 2000. This track made me fall off my chair when I first listened to it really.. I thought it perfectly captured the spirit of the source material, which is the variation of Terra's Theme in FFVI that was played at the beginning of the game in that scene with the Magitek Armors marching towards the city of Narshe.

The second track I want to share is actually still one of my favorite remixes even today. This one is a remix of music from Earthbound. Yeah THAT game which we're never gonna play again except if 1) you already own it or 2) you're ready to drop an insane amount of money for the game on Ebay. Rellik did that remix back in 2004 actually. For some reason, this track sends me in a strange state of mind.. It's like it's imprisoning me inside my mind for a couple of minutes. A very nice remix that is!

Last one for now, I wanted to share that track from Dj Redlight. A remix of music from Final Doom made in 2004 as well. Talk about a really moody remix! I listened to this one a lot at work and enjoyed it more and more every time. Enjoy!

Hope you enjoyed those few tracks! I plan on posting more of these in the coming days/months/years/who knows. I also plan on sharing original game music from old times to today. See you next time!