Wednesday, March 16, 2011

SPC Showdown - 3/16/2011

We've had three SPC Showdowns in the past, and it's grown to be a popular feature here on SuperPhillip Central. This time around we're taking a musical approach to the Showdowns with some very tumultuous tossups. We're pitting soundtrack against soundtrack in this our fourth SPC Showdown segment, so sit back, enjoy the ride, and let's get it on.

Kumi Tanioka's magnum opus takes on Hidenori Iwasaki's musical powerhouse in our first SPC Showdown. Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles featured music played with old time instruments from celtic flutes to majestic lutes. Here's a sampling of just some of the magical tunes heard in the very first Crystal Chronicle-monikered title of the Final Fantasy series:

Magic is Everything
Shudder, Monster
When the Northern Sky is Clear

Meanwhile, the Crystal Bearers is the most recent entry in the Crystal Chronicles series, and it was released at the tale end of 2009, after X-mas. It used more traditional instruments but retained the caliber and quality the Final Fantasy series is known for. Even a few original Crystal Chronicles tracks were remixed for this game's ballroom sequence.

Lett Highlands
Selkie Guild
Neighborhood Tinkerer

Winner: Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles

Next up is a pair of soundtracks composed by the same composers, Mahito Yakota and Koji Kondo. Mahito Yakota composed the majority of tracks while Koji Kondo penned just a few on each soundtrack. Which soundtrack reigns supreme? While Super Mario Galaxy 2 has more music, does that make it the better soundtrack? Let's compare samples.

Super Mario Galaxy 1:
Egg Planet
Wind Garden
Floater Land

Super Mario Galaxy 2:
Throwback Galaxy
Melty Monster Galaxy
Bowser Jr.'s Fiery Flotilla

Winner: Super Mario Galaxy 2

Two soundtracks for the latest mainline Final Fantasy games is what we have here in this showdown. One is composed by Hitoshi Sakamoto who co-wrote one of my favorite video game soundtracks of all time in Final Fantasy Tactics. It makes sense that this composer writes another soundtrack for a game based in the world of Ivalice.

The other is by Masashi Hamazu, a relative unknown in the video game music composition world. The game itself was touted as being too linear and simple. The compositions heard in the following samples are anything but. Can Mr. Hamazu's Final Fantasy XIII soundtrack pull off the upset?

Blinded by Light
Pulse de Chocobo
Desperate Struggle

Winner: Final Fantasy XIII

Next up we have two soundtracks from the same series by the same composer in Motoi Sakuraba's Star Ocean: The Second Story and Star Ocean: Till the End of Time soundtracks. Which has the most memorable music?

Star Ocean: The Second Story:
Shower of Blossoms
Theme of RENA
We Form in Crystals

Star Ocean: Till the End of Time:
Cutting Edge of Notion
Mission to the Deep Space

Winner: Star Ocean: The Second Story

The final battle on this installment of the SPC Showdown pits two golf game soundtracks against one another. Both were composed by the same composer in Motoi Sakuraba. Which will come out on top and under par?

Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour:
Lakitu Valley
Cheep Cheep Falls
Peach's Castle Grounds

We Love Golf!:
Camelot Links G.C.
Tournament 2
Skull Island Short Course

Winner: Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour


That concludes this beatdown of video games. This SPC Showdown is complete. What would be your outcomes in these various matches? Let me know in the comments section. They're always appreciated.

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