Regardless, it's another Monday, so let's dig out the VGMs for a special edition. Instead of the traditional five videos, I have ten in store for you this week. There's five for Mario, and five for Sonic the Hedgehog-- Hence the title of this edition. Get your ears locked and loaded, and let's begin!
v26. Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii) - Melty Monster Galaxy
One of the later levels in Super Mario Galaxy 2, named number two on my Games of All Time ~ 2012 Edition list, Melty Monster Galaxy has one sensational theme to accompany the hot and heated action that takes place in the world. It begins with a bombardment of brass which is then followed by several strings. The theme gets louder and louder before playing the main theme of Super Mario Galaxy 2. By itself the game is already an impressive beast, but the soundtrack only solidifies Super Mario Galaxy 2 as one of my favorite titles of all time.
v27. Super Mario Sunshine (GCN) - Ending Theme of Super Mario Sunshine
Some people believe Super Mario Sunshine to be the weakest 3D Mario or even not a good game at all. While I can't agree with the latter statement, the former pretty much succinctly summarizes my thoughts on the game. Don't get me wrong-- I loved this GameCube classic and everything it brought to the Mario universe-- F.L.U.D.D., Isle Delfino, Piantas, Nokis, Toadsworth, etc., but it also had some scathing issues like a poor camera in some places. Nonetheless, this live version of the game's ending theme is performed like a party by the Big Band of Rogues at the Mario & Zelda Big Band Live concert that took place September 14th, 2003.
v28. Mario Superstar Baseball (GCN) - Let's Play Baseball (Staff Roll)
Catchy but admittedly corny, Mario Superstar Baseball's Let's Play Baseball, the credits song of the game, is what players who have successfully vanquished Bowser's baseball team get to enjoy for their victory. Packed with guitars, drums, and an electric piano, we truly do love baseball. While Mario Superstar Baseball wasn't perfect, it was yet another interesting entry into Mario's catalog of sports games. Boy, does that plumber ever get around.
v29. Mario Hoops 3-on-3 (DS) - Sherbet Land
Way back on volume 20 on the VGMs, I mentioned that Tatsunoko VS. Capcom's Orbital Ring Systems Cargo Bay was a great workout song. Here's another one that puts me back to the nineties with its beat, female vocals, and instrument selection. Mario Hoops 3-on-3 was one of the more worse sports efforts of Mario. Developed by Square Enix, your teammate AI was brain-dead and did little if anything to assist you. You were pretty much on your own for every game you played. I did, however, very much enjoy the immense variety of courts from Luigi's Mansion to Marlboro Garden to this stage, Sherbet Land.
v30. Mario Party (N64) - Rainbow Castle
A gentle, mellow melody is what one hears as they play Mario's Rainbow Castle board in the original Mario Party. The board is pretty straightforward. You follow a path to reach the tower where you can purchase a star. However, every time a star is bought, the tower rotates 180 degrees where Bowser then sells fake stars for twenty coins. Then the tower rotates back to Toad and the process continues. I liked Mario Party save for the impossible to win rotate the stick mini-games. As for the song, Yasunori Mitsuda of Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, and Xenogears fame composed the music for this game, making Mario Party 1's soundtrack the best score of the series.
v31. Sonic Generations (PS3, 360) - Crisis City
We move on from Mario to Sonic the Hedgehog. One of my favorite themes from the recently enough released Sonic Generations just happens to be Crisis City Act 1. While many Sonic fans know of Jun Senoue since he is pretty much the man behind most of the music from Sonic Adventure on, Tomoya Ohtani is also a very talented composer, maybe more so. His work on Sonic Unleashed, Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), and now Sonic Generations is unmatched in my book as evident by this rocking theme.
v32. Sonic and the Secret Rings (Wii) - High and Broken
A grungy Sonic theme with a Middle Eastern flair, High and Broken is the music heard during Sonic's race through the Levitated Ruins in Sonic and the Secret Rings, Sonic Team's first attempt to create a decent 3D game on the Wii. The fact that one had to buy skills to even get Sonic to control anywhere near decently says a lot about how this game was. Regardless, the music of the game is as good as ever. The band Runblebee lent their talents to the soundtrack as well. It's just a shame that soundtracks alone do not a great game make or Sonic Team would be golden.
v33. Sonic Rush (DS) - Ethno Circus
Hideki Naganuma is a name Sega fans should know as he penned the soundtracks of such games from the series of Jet Grind Radio, Super Monkey Ball, and yes, Sonic the Hedgehog. His specialty is generally in the genres of hip-hop, big beat, breakbeat, funk, and electronic music. His work on Sonic Rush is stellar. Ethno Circus is but one of the many themes that are not just catchy but they are infectious, getting into one's head and not wanting to get out. This theme plays on Mirage Road. Sonic Rush is an okay game, but its many bottomless pits make for an annoying time.
v34. Sonic 3D Blast (SAT) - Green Grove
Acts 1 and 2
Richard Jacques composed the music for the superior Sonic 3D Blast soundtrack. The Saturn version, having CDs instead of cartridges, obviously allowed composers to have a much richer and realer-sounding compositional voice. This is a mash-up of both Green Grove acts, the first zone of the game. The first act is pleasant enough, but the real joy and pleasure comes from listening to the kick-butt second act. Full of prominent trumpets, piano, and perfect percussion, Green Grove Act 2 is truly a terrific treat to listen to.
v35. Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) (PS3, 360) - [Boss] Solaris Phase 2
Listed number two on my favorite final boss themes list of all time, Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) had an incredible and adrenaline-pumping song for its final boss, Solaris. Sure, listening to this song within the game meant you had to suffer through the endless glitches, bugs, uncontrollable mach speed sections, boring missions, and other problems which plagued this rushed out game, but would it be worth it just to hear this fabulous theme? ...Well, no. Not really. Instead, why not forget the headaches of playing the game and just listen to the extended version of the song?
This week's fun-filled festival of VGMs is now complete. Next week another (yes, ANOTHER) ten VGMs will be posted. This time we'll be looking at efforts from Nintendo and Sega. Their best all-stars will be represented, so please look forward to that. Until next time, have a great start to your work week.