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[Destructoid user Ninjaspeed is here to remind you just how fantastic some of the soundtracks for Sega games are and make a case for a rhythm-based Sega All-Stars revival. They definitely sold me on the concept.
I hate karaoke in real life, but if you don’t absolutely adore Yakuza 0’s wonderfully over-the-top karaoke minigame, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that you will probably never truly be capable of experiencing love. It’s amazing, and the absurdity of seeing a dangerous killing machine let loose and bust out the trusty old air guitar after a few drinks is something legitimately special.
If Sega could tighten up the actual gameplay into a full-fledged rhythm game starring Sonic and the cast from the many other delightful games published under its name, while still opting for the fun visual delivery in Yakuza, we could absolutely be looking at a total banger. – Kevin]
In 2012, I was beyond hyped for Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. The tracks, characters, and game mechanics looked amazing. I had a blast playing it, and I wasn’t sure how the developers at Sumo Digital could surpass the quality of this game in a future installment. I suppose Sega felt the same way, since the Sega All-Stars series has been on hiatus ever since.
The Sega All-Stars series has always felt like a celebration of Sega throughout each installment. Whether it’s the mini-game focused Sega Superstars, the sports based Sega Superstars Tennis, or the racing entries of Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing and Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, I love seeing this colorful cast of characters together.
In the wake of returning IP in recent years, such as Streets of Rage and Sakura Wars, it would be fantastic to see the Sega All-Stars series come back as well (among many others). However, I’m not sure if Sega wants to continue the racing titles following the release of 2019’s Team Sonic Racing. Outside of returning to the mini-game or sports format of the past, I thought music would be a great way to bring back the All-Stars games. The announcement of Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Rhythm simply solidified those thoughts.
An aspect of Sega games that is well-known and beloved is their music, right down to the “SEGA!” chant. Sega simply makes magic when it comes to their music. Whether it’s Virtua Tennis, Super Monkey Ball, Comix Zone, Shinobi, or Afterburner, the composers always know how to elicit emotions in the player. In celebration of Sega’s 60th anniversary, I’m going to go through the music of a few Sega series to accentuate the concept (of love).
The Jet Set Radio series oozes with style, and the music is a huge part of its identity. While the games feature licensed music, the original funky beats come courtesy of Hideki Naganuma with additional tracks from Richard Jacques and Tomonori Sawada. They created all kinds of tunes including Jet Set Radio‘s “Let Mom Sleep,” “Funky Radio” and “Electric Toothbrush” as well as Jet Set Radio Future‘s “Concept of Love.”
Streets of Rage has an absolutely fantastic selection of music, thanks in large part to Yuko Koshiro and Motohiro Kawashima. From Streets of Rage‘s “Opening Stage” and “Boss Music” to Streets of Rage 2‘s “Go Straight” and Streets of Rage 4‘s “Call the Cops,” I would love to hear Streets of Rage‘s trademark electronic dance music in a rhythm game.
The Nights series is full of wonderful heartwarming tunes from the composers Naofumi Hataya, Tomoko Sasaki, and Fumie Kumatani. Nights into Dreams‘ “Paternal Horn” and “NIGHTS and Reala” bring the dream and nightmare worlds to life. Nights: Journey of Dreams‘ “Cruising Together” and “Wizeman Theme” easily recapture that magic.
Outrun is one of Sega’s most beloved arcade games and composer Hiroshi Kawaguchi provided the soundtrack for a breezy drive. Some of the jams in the series include Outrun 2‘s “Splash Wave,” “Risky Ride,” “Shiny World,” and “Night Flight.”
Space Channel 5‘s jazzy energetic beats were brought to us by Naofumi Hataya, Kenichi Tokoi, Tomoya Ohtani, and Mariko Namba. Songs include Space Channel 5‘s “Evila: Attack of the Perfect Reporter,” “Coco Tapioka The Huge Dancer,” “Space Ship: Strut,” and “Morolian! Monroe!: Rapid Geminis in the Monitor.” For a series with a heavy focus on rhythm, the composers went above and beyond to deliver a memorable selection of tunes.
The music in each Sonic the Hedgehog game is a significant highlight too. The music in this series is so beloved, there’s no way I can properly showcase it all. Instead, I’ll select a few songs from three eras following Sonic Generations‘ naming convention. These eras will include the Genesis era (1991 – 1997), the Dreamcast era (1998 – 2005), and the Modern era (2006 – present). Please note, I will be excluding some obvious choices like “Green Hill Zone.”
- Sonic the Hedgehog‘s “Spring Yard“
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2‘s “Chemical Plant“
- Sonic CD‘s “Quartz Quadrant“
- Sonic CD‘s “Stardust Speedway (Good Future)“
- Sonic Adventure‘s “Speed Highway“
- Sonic Advance 2‘s “Music Plant“
- Sonic Heroes‘ “Ocean Palace“
- Sonic Rush‘s “Back 2 Back“
- Sonic Unleashed‘s “Arid Sands (Night)“
- Sonic Colors‘ “Sweet Mountain“
- Sonic Lost World‘s “Silent Forest“
- Sonic Mania‘s “Press Garden (Act 2)“
Composers such as Jun Senoue (member of the band Crush 40), Masafumi Ogata, Tomoya Ohtani, and Tee Lopes have been involved in bringing the music of the Sonic series to life. The series’ original iconic soundtrack was brought to us by Masato Nakamura, who composed the first two Genesis games.
I’d also like to mention a few other games. Burning Rangers is beloved for its late 90’s jams like “I Just Smile” and “We Are Burning Rangers.” Golden Axe is full of heroic fantasy music such as “Turtle Village” and “Fiend’s Path.” Skies of Arcadia is a cult classic with sweeping epics and intense songs such as “Vyse’s Theme” and “Boss Theme.” Finally, just imagine Yakuza songs like “Friday Night” and “Fatal Conflict” in a rhythm game!
I would expect the majority of playable characters from the previous entries to return, but in addition to them, I’d like to see other characters from games like Bayonetta, Persona, and Valkyria Chronicles make the cut this time. Heck, throw in Segata Sanshiro as well!
The gameplay could be similar in style to other Sega rhythm games like Samba de Amigo or Atlus’ Persona dancing games. Additional challenges and multiplayer could make this a popular party game as well. While I recognize a game like this could be a licensing nightmare for all the songs from different games, I’d like to think they could pull it off, especially considering all the music in the previous Sega All-Stars games.
It’s hard to imagine it’s been almost a decade since Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed released! That game had compelling replay value, really tight gameplay and (of course) an excellent soundtrack of remixed songs. I really hope the series returns in some form for the next generation of consoles. For now, all I can say is happy 60th anniversary Sega! Thanks for the great gaming memories and amazing soundtracks that went along with them.