Monday, December 24, 2012

SuperPhillip's Favorite VGMs - Christmas Eve 2012 Edition

Much like the yearly SuperPhillip Central Best of Awards, selecting songs for the holiday season is a tradition too-- albeit not a tradition that is as long as my awards ceremony. Today on SuperPhillip's Favorite VGMs, I have a special edition to share with you. Think of it as your Christmas bonus from yours truly. It is ten winter-themed video game tracks from games like Donkey Kong Country, Banjo-Kazooie, Kirby's Epic Yarn, and even some Final Fantasy IX for you RPG buffs out there.

While you enjoy the holidays with your friends and family this season, join the SuperPhillip Central family as we celebrate the season with some SuperPhillip-approved video game songs. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year to you and yours! May your season be merry and bright. With that said, let's get to the music!

v271. Donkey Kong Country (SNES) - Ice Cave Chant


The oldest song on this list of ten VGM volumes is from Donkey Kong Country, and it sounds just as good as many of the themes on this list. Although the theme only plays once during Donkey and Diddy Kong's first platforming adventure, the Slipslide Ride level, its impact is astounding. It's an extremely catchy piece full of winter wonder.

v272. Banjo-Kazooie (N64) - Freezeey Peak


A winter wonderland full of angry snowball-chucking snowmen, a family of polar bears in crisis, a bear-hating walrus, cozy cabins, a bright Christmas tree, and a giant snowman with corn cob pipe and yellow and red scarf resting in the center of the level, Freezeey Peak already has that wintry feel to it. The piece that accompanies the level furthers the feeling. Even though a lot of the level wants to see Banjo and Kazooie dead, you can't help but sit back and enjoy Freezeey Peak.

v273. Final Fantasy IX (PS1) - Ice Cavern


Nobuo Uematsu probably composes music in his sleep. That's how much I feel he has mastered his art. Final Fantasy IX features some of my favorite music from the series, and I admire most of the pieces the game uses, despite never having completed the game. Ice Cavern is one of the early dungeons of Final Fantasy IX, and this xylophone-filled piece is what is played during the duration of it.

v274. Tales of Symphonia (GCN) - A Snow Light


The beautiful city of Flanoir is covered in feet of snow. It is a veritable winter wonderland. I cannot help but feel warm and cozy sitting in my room and traversing through the town. With Motoi Sakuraba's A Snow Light playing, the ambiance of Flanoir is only accentuated further. I especially love the piano that plays its descending melodic phrases.

v275. Diddy Kong Racing (N64) - Frosty Village


David Wise should be a familiar fan to Rare fans. He has composed a plethora of soundtracks for the developer such as the Donkey Kong Country trilogy. Frosty Village is a rockin' Christmas-sounding tune, perfect for the wintry village that Diddy and the gang speed through. I have many great memories of Diddy Kong Racing. It's only my favorite kart racer of all time, after all!

v276. Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (GCN) - Sherbet Land


From one kart racer to another, Mario Kart: Double Dash!! is one of my most cherished entries in the Mario Kart franchise. Its dual racer mechanic was fresh and innovative, I loved the track design, and the soundtrack is one of the series's best. Kenta Nagata (who did work on Mario Kart 64 and most recently Mario Kart 7) and Shinobu Tanaka teamed up to compose the cheery music for this game. The end result is tracks like Sherbet Land, that make you hum along and then curse the game for that one blue shell at the final stretch on the final lap.

v277. Kirby's Epic Yarn (Wii) - Snowy Fields


Everything about the Snowy Fields track yells "Christmas." We have sleigh bells, regular bells, and a happy disposition. Kirby's Epic Yarn's soundtrack is a terrific one, and it's one of the Wii's best. If you were a music love this generation, you had plenty of opportunities for fantastic music. Kirby's Epic Yarn was just another example of this statement.

v278. Mega Man 8 (PS1, SAT) - Frost Man Stage


The first thing that you generally associate with a level is its aesthetics-- its music, its background, its visuals, and so forth. With Frost Man's level from Mega Man 8, players who go through the level will probably just associate it with one thing, "Jump. Jump. Slide. Slide." The pace of the snowboard sections only quickens, making the computer voice instructing Mega Man on what to do speak even more swiftly.

v279. Paper Mario (N64) - Cold Reception in Shiver City


Two Mario games on the same Favorite VGMs edition? Craziness! Paper Mario was a departure from Squaresoft's Mario RPG, and many consider the game all the better for it. The Paper Mario series is known for its grand humor and timing-based battles. Cold Reception in Shiver City unsurprisingly plays during Shiver City, a frosty town full of talkative penguins.

v280. Viewtiful Joe 2 (PS2, GCN) - Ice Edge (The Polar Movie Land)


If I had but one video game-related wish for this Christmas season, it would be for Capcom to somehow, someway create a new Viewtiful Joe-- a Viewtiful Joe 3. Sure, there was a third game in the series in the form of Viewtiful Joe: Double Trouble on the Nintendo DS, but that wasn't of the original's quality. Ice Edge has all the makings of a holiday tune-- sleigh bells and a frosty piano to enjoy.

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