Thursday, September 22, 2016

First Things First: Best Openings in Gaming - Part Two

It's the first day of autumn here in Central City. Soon, the temperatures will drop, as will the leaves from the trees. Speaking of firsts, how about a return at looking at some of the best scenes that are the first thing you see when you either boot up a game or start a new save data? That's exactly the point of First Things First: Best Openings in Gaming. Toward the end of last year saw the very first installment, and now, nearly a year later, we're revisiting this segment. New openings from games like Sonic CD, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and even some Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD are included in this second edition!

Sonic CD (SCD)

I must admit that I am a huge fan of the US soundtrack for the Sega CD's Sonic CD, and part of that is the way '90s theme song for that version, Sonic Boom. Spinning in a world of motion, this anime-inspired opening sees a well animated Sonic the Hedgehog speed through the land, spinning around and vaulting off of rocks in an impressively acrobatic display. It all concludes with Sonic knowing that Robotnik is up to no good (but this ain't his neighborhood) when he sees the colossal Death Egg high in the sky. Hooked to a rock by a massive chain, Sonic dashes across it to start his CD-based adventure. The stare-down with the Death Egg is such an epic moment, and Sonic Boom punctuates the action far better than You Can Do Anything, at least in this writer's opinion.

Mega Man 8 (PS1, SAT)

One of my favorite series character design-wise is the Mega Man series. Whether it's Classic, X, Zero, Battle Network, Legends, or anything else, the series has consistently great designs for its characters. Seeing numerous old haunts of Mega Man throughout the opening CG for Mega Man 8 is an absolutely delight for a Mega Man fan such as myself. The first Mega Man game on the PlayStation used the disc technology well, showing off a sophisticated anime opening with tons of action, familiar foes like Robot Masters such as Guts Man, Snake Man, and Shade Man, as well as giant bosses like Yellow Devil and Mecha Dragon. It's an awesome way for Mega Man to enter the 32-bit era on the original PlayStation and Sega Saturn.

Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX - Final Mix (PS3)

Kingdom Hearts is a series that combines the worlds of Disney and Final Fantasy. While the focus on the latter over the series has decreased, the feel of Final Fantasy still surrounds Kingdom Hearts. This opening cinematic for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX, the Final Mix portion of that remastering, briefly goes through as small sample of the events of Kingdom Hearts, leading up to Kingdom Hearts II. Utadu Hikaru's Sanctuary plays, perfectly syncing up with the action and various scenes. It's a really well put together opening that should have Kingdom Hearts fans in high spirits.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii)

The all-star brawl might not have been to every Smash fans' liking, but it's hard to deny that Super Smash Bros. Brawl's opening is not mighty impressive. When you have one of the greatest lineup of characters in video games in various settings backed by an orchestral and choral piece by one of the greatest composers of video game music, Nobuo Uematsu, the sheer epic nature of this opening can hardly be contained. Okay, okay. I might be overdoing it there and being a bit too overzealous. Regardless, it's an exciting opening that gets you ready for a brawl like nothing else at all. (Oh, and don't worry, Melee fans. We'll be seeing Super Smash Bros. Melee on a future installment of Best Openings in Gaming!)

Mario Superstar Baseball (GCN)

Let's wrap up this second part of Best Openings in Gaming with a theme. Major League Baseball is closing in on the playoffs, and what a perfect opportunity to end this segment for now on a baseball note! In this opening for the Namco-developed Mario Superstar Baseball, Mario and friends get challenged by Bowser to an epic baseball showdown. Four teams, each led by a character (Mario, Wario, Yoshi, and Donkey Kong), face off to see who will face the King of the Koopas on the diamond. Through multiple humorous bits like Wario doing his best to get a bunted ball called foul by blowing on it for all he's worth and Donkey Kong getting up-close and personal with a Chain Chomp, Mario Superstar Baseball's opening is chock full of amusement. Batter up!

Mario Super Sluggers (Wii)

A double dose of Mario baseball game openings! Much healthier than a double dose of the tobaccy! Better for your teeth and gums, too! This opening for the Wii sequel to Mario Superstar Baseball introduced Mario and friends to an isle of baseball goodness. Like the GameCube game's opening, Mario Super Sluggers sports humor, and this time some explosive action-- literally! It all culminates with a heroic moment by Luigi of all characters, being charged into by the powerful Donkey Kong, yet still holding on to the baseball! That'll teach anyone to call you a second banana, Luigi! Colorful, cute, and exciting, Mario Super Sluggers has an incredibly entertaining opening, a nice way to round out this edition of Best Openings in Gaming - Part Two!


What video game openings do you remember fondly? Let the SuperPhillip Central community know in the comments section! I always try to reply to every comment!

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