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Voltech avatar 11:44 AM on 03.26.2012  (server time)
The Most Dangerous Song

I have a habit of compulsively checking fighting game site EventHubs. While it’s got the expected guides and combo videos, it’s also a repository for funny, cool, and informative content. (Have you SEEN some of Desk’s videos? He recreated Evo Moment #37 with one hand! He’s obviously a warlock!) But as of late, I’ve been going to the site to see if anybody posts music from the new kid on the block, Street Fighter X Tekken.

Some of the songs, I’ll admit, don’t do it for me. They’re not awful, but they just leave me feeling kind of “meh.” I do like the Blast Furnace and Pandora’s Box stage themes, though. And there are others, like the Tekken Tag remix and a metal version of Akuma’s theme, that have been bookmarked in my browser (and my heart). But as I loaded up the site and caught wind of Mega Man’s uploaded theme, it sparked an unusual reaction.

“Oh, hey, it’s a remix of Cut Man’s theme,” I said to myself. It wasn’t until the song ended that I asked myself: “Wait. How the hell did I know that?”

I was a Sega kid growing up. I never got to play the original Mega Man games. Or any Mega Man game, for that matter; it wasn’t until Mega Man X: Command Mission came out on the GameCube about seven years ago that I owned my first Mega-game. I hadn’t blown countless hours trying to memorize a stage or clear a tricky jump; the only way I’d heard the music was on YouTube. And yet, almost instantaneously, I picked out the song even in remixed form. How? Why?

I guess it’s just a really memorable song.

Lots of video game songs are. If they weren’t, why would a site like OverClocked Remix exist? They’re a part of the package, of course; nothing like a sweet song to shape your emotions. Fear, sadness, or just plain getting hyped -- there’s a lot out there. I’m no stranger to the works of Daisuke Ishiwatari, the metal-pandering composer behind Guilty Gear and BlazBlue. So many of his songs are memorable and awe-inspiring, you’d think he could channel the spirits of all the world’s late, greatest composers (and give them a crash course on rockin’ out).

Which brings me here to the Destructoid community blogs. See, while I like and appreciate video game music, my knowledge of terrific tracks is a little…well, one-sided. I know a lot of songs, but the problem is that they’re songs from Japanese games; hardly befitting of a market with a western bent. Call me an old man if you will, but that’s where my proficiency lies. But I want to take steps to try and move past that.

Originally, this post was going to be about how western-developed games have no good music, but that would be a stupid post. I know there’s some good stuff out there; Halo’s “Unforgotten” is utterly amazing, and there are a few songs from Gears of War and Assassin’s Creed that I’ve come to like. The problem is that I don’t really know them by name, or can distinguish them as easily as I could, say, Hugo’s Street Fighter III theme (The Circuit) and the Hell Mountain theme from Fighter’s Destiny (oh JAM! Old-school reference!). I was about to make a blanket statement that “lol all western games have orchestral music straight outta Hollywood, therefore they must suck,” but at the risk of igniting a flame war I’ll hold off. Consider this a way to branch out.

So I ask you, noble Dtoiders: what music do you find memorable? Eastern, western, trans-dimensional, what have you; if it had an impact on you, talk away. I’m willing to learn, and I’d like to see what the rest of you have to say on the subject. Your thoughts on game music? Your defense of your favorite composer/camp? Comments on the preponderance of remixes from eastern games and a dearth in western ones? I want to hear it -- and I’m ready to put YouTube through its paces.

Well technically, I already am. I’m listening to music from Fighter’s Destiny right now. KNOCKDOWN! THREE POINTS WON!

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