Foolish videogame writers the world over have been using the term Ďthe Citizen Kane of videogamesí for what feels like decades now. This is madness, because clearly our beloved medium should be moving towards what I believe to be the greatest film of all time: Space Jam. But since I am alone on this hilarious cartoon basketball-themed island of Space Jam appreciation, it appears I must be the educator for once. How will I convince you all that gaming needs to move closer and closer to a Bugs Bunny/Michael Jordan vehicle?
By listing the best Space Jam theme/videogame music mashups and rating the puns in their names and attached photoshops, of course! I mean, that is literally all I know how to do.
#5 Slam Trigger
Chrono Triggerís delightful soundtrack is an indisputable classic. The gameís composer, Yasunori Mitsuda, took great advantage of the SNESí sound card. After playing Chrono Trigger for the first time, I couldnít get the battle music out of my head. I doubt any of you could either. Of course, picking one favorite song from that soundtrack is literally impossible: Gatoís Song, Frogís Theme, and the gameís main title theme are other great tunes. But since Battle 1 is the most remixable, weíll be looking at that first.
Itís the opening bit that really earned this song a place on this list. The all-too-familiar bass line mixed with Space Jamís opening beats works surprisingly well, even if the relatively low-key nature of Battle 1 and the rest of Space Jam occasionally clash. When I look for a great Space Jam mashup, cool drum & bass doesnít always lead to the best combination. Still, this is a quality song in any form, and a worth number five.
Photoshop Quality: 6/10
This image is a little disappointing, except for Chrono. The face matches up perfectly, and the basketball is a very nice touch. Not too bad overall.
Pun Quality: 7/10
Mixing the recurring words in Space Jam (Slam, Jam, Space, various basketball terms) with the name of the original song is key to putting together a great Space Jam mashup name. In fairness, itís difficult to make a pun out of Chrono Trigger, so I can appreciate what they did here.
#4 Must Keep on Slamminí Ahead
Not counting Green Hill Zone and maybe Sonic Boom, the City Escape theme is probably the most well known Sonic tune. Is this due to nostalgia goggles, or is this song just too catchy to resist? Since I never owned a Dreamcast or bothered purchasing the GameCube updates, and I love me some City Escape, Iím willing to bet thereís probably some merit here.
Guess what? A Space Jam/City Escape mashup turned out great. Even though this is the Classic Generations version of City Escape, blending Quad City DJs with any Sonic the Hedgehog tune works almost too well. The result is a song that is emblematic of what adults think the 90s were like. Objectively, thereís not as much mashup skill on display here. Sure, the song is really good. But like I said, Space Jam and Sonic? Itís just too perfect. Almost calculated, really. The person behind this must have some background in marketing, because a person with an intimate knowledge of demographic overlap is clearly behind this.
Or someone who just likes Sonic the Hedgehog.
Photoshop Quality: 7/10
A blue Barkley? Not too creative, but itís a fun visual, especially on Classic Sonicís body.
Pun Quality: 7.5/10
Using a lyric from the original song as opposed to the original song title is a brave move (even if it doesnít entirely work) but then again, it would be hard to make a pun out of City Escape. City E-slam-cape? Live and Jam?
#3 Battle for Everyoneís Slams
Whether youíre among Personaís many fans or detractors, you have to admit one thing: Persona has some damn fine music. And since we all know the Space Jam theme is better than all of Beethovenís works combined, a combination of the two has got to be fantastic.
I put this song on this list over the other Persona 3 mashup (Mass Destdunktion) for two reasons. One, the original song is amazing. Two, Space Jam synchronizes with the beat of Battle for Everyoneís Souls very well, resulting in a generally excellent mashup that still works in the original context. Imagine a super long Persona boss battle with this music playing. Now you canít stop imagining it! Go play Persona 3 FES and put this on in the background!
Photoshop Quality: 8/10
Again, the correct use of the basketball is necessary. Giving Thanatos some basketballs to hold and putting Charles Barkleyís cranium in his (its?) mouth is just brilliant.
Pun Quality 8/10
Like I said earlier, good Space Jam remix names involve words from the song or general B-Ball terms. But fantastic Space Jam remix names should also make sense as a real sentence you could say in conversations if you were a madman. This one does come kind of close, but not close enough. I do love the fact that ĎSoulsí and ĎSlamsí begin with the same letter, though.
#2 Slam in a Rail
I listen to the Bastion soundtrack daily. Thereís no doubt in my mind that itís one of the best videogame soundtracks of the generation, if not all time. Not even the indie scene has managed to produce a blend of genres that mesh as well as Darren Korbís magnum opus. Were you overcome with emotions during Setting Sail, Coming Home? No? Go and find a heart surgeon, buddy. It looks like yours is missing. Possibly stolen.
The upbeat tempo of Spike in a Rail seems almost tailor-made for Space Jam, as if Korb had the filmís soundtrack playing on repeat when he composed this piece. Yeah, I probably put this on the list because of my deep, almost romantic love for the Bastion soundtrack. But thatís because itís amazing, this mashup equally so. Maybe the volume levels should have been adjusted just a little more, but whatever.
Photoshop Quality 9/10
Face replacement cannot be escaped when you are looking at a Space Jam Remix Photoshopô. This one is not only clean, but also kind of brilliant in its simplicity. Barkleyís cranium hasnít just been slapped on The Kidís head. Instead, their respective faces have overlapped in kind of an unsettling way. Was Barkleyís face always there? The world may never know.
Pun Quality: 9/10
Thatís some good word replacement there. But now I have this visual of a team of basketball players dribbling to push in rail spikes.
You know, that could be a good modern day John Henry movie.
#1 Reach Out to the Hoop
Persona 4ís music really matched the gameís various emotions. Between sitcom-esque hijinks, attempted child murder, and lazy school days, every tone on display was represented well. But since I talked about the generals of Persona music earlier, I wonít dwell on it too much here.
So letís just get started oh my god that opening. That is perfect. We should probably just stop making Space Jam remixes, because there will never be a more perfect mix of that famous opening verse and the original song de jourís opening bars. Hell, everything about this mashup works, thanks to the creatorís excellent use of both vanilla Reach Out to the Truth and the instrumental version. Thereís very little lyric overlap. Instead, the original chorus is used quite a lot. You donít hear much of the verses (thatís where the overlap comes in), but that incredibly catchy song RPG lovers grew to adore is totally here. Except now itís better, as is always the case when you add Space Jam to anything. My only criticism is that it cuts out before a real ending, but itís a battle theme in game with a lot of grinding. Thatís kind of understandable.
Photoshop Quality: 9.5/10
The only reason this Ďshop didnít get a perfect score is Barkley/Souji Seta/Charlie Tunoku. Barkleyís face is just slightly off, which is a disappointing oversight in an otherwise flawless piece. Adding the Spaulding logo to Soujiís bowl cut and the modest use of basketballs? Sheer genius.
Pun Quality: 11/10
It rhymes. ThatÖdo I need anything else? It. Rhymes.
And thatís my list! Hope you enjoyed it! I spent frankly too much time putting this all together. Do you guys have any favorite Space Jam remixes, videogame related or otherwise? Then write your own list, because Iím certainly not going to write it for you.