Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Underrated Games With Even More Underrated Soundtracks - Part One

I do my best to listen to the suggestions of the sizable (at least more than I thought there would be seven years ago when I started this site) reader base of SuperPhillip Central. Frequent commenter CM30 let me know of an idea for a series of articles that he desired to see on the site. Well, here it is!

Weekly, usually on Mondays, SuperPhillip Central shares five of its favorite video game music tracks. The list is quickly approaching 1,000 songs! Anyway, while I do cover relatively unknown songs and games at times, I've never made a habit out of putting those relatively unknown and/or underrated games with great soundtracks into their own article. Until now. This series of articles is dedicated to those of us who love video game music and to those underrated gems with even more underrated soundtracks. After you've taken a look at the first batch of underrated games and soundtracks, why not suggest your own in the comments?

LEGO City Undercover (Wii U)

What I consider to be the very best LEGO game by far from Tt Games, LEGO City Undercover on the Wii U is essentially a Grand Theft Auto-Lite game. Instead of delving into criminal actions for personal gain, you play as Chase McCain who goes, appropriately enough, undercover into the seamy underbelly of the LEGO City crime world. The sizable city is absolutely packed with things to do-- collectibles to find, ATMs to destroy, objectives to complete, and so much more. The soundtrack fits the game perfectly, offering a score that would fit with any late 1960s and 1970s cop show or film. Then there are epic themes for chases of criminals and tracking down the sinister Rex Fury.

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse (Wii U)

Although inferior to the original Canvas Curse Kirby adventure in the early life of the Nintendo DS, the Wii U's Kirby and the Rainbow Curse is by no means a poor product. Yes, it's a shame that one must keep their eyes glued to the GamePad screen instead of a glorious HD TV screen instead, but the gameplay of Rainbow Curse more than makes up for it. Drawing lines to guide Kirby through a wide number of obstacle-laden courses filled with enemies and secrets is always a good time. The soundtrack by Shogo Sakai and Megumi Ohara is filled with catchy, jaunty, and peppy tunes perfect for playing the game as these examples show.

Viva Pinata series (360)

Grant Kirkhope, a longtime Rare composer, lent his marvelous music composition abilities to the sometimes majestic, sometimes poignant, always wonderful Viva Pinata series of games. Unfortunately, the games didn't overly fit the demographic of the Xbox user base, who more typically seek out more action-oriented games such as shooters and racers, for instance. With the recent release of Rare Replay on the Xbox One, I'm confident that these two games, the original Viva Pinata and its sequel Trouble in Paradise, will find a captive audience after all of this time.

Go Vacation (Wii)

Released near the end of the Wii's life, Go Vacation is more than just a mini-game collection. It is more of an attraction collection with over 30 unique activities to join in on, as well as four unique zones on the island that could be fully explored, searching for well hidden treasure chests, finding new events to participate in, and plenty of NPCs to interact with. This party game brings the single player content well, and the multiplayer is a blast, too. The music is suitably chipper and cheery, great for exploring the island on ATVs, jet skis, or horseback, getting involved in a game of tennis or a water gun fight, or just having a grand old time in general.

We Love Golf! (Wii)

Designed by the same team behind the early Hot Shots Golf and currently the Mario Golf and Tennis games, Camelot Software Planning, We Love Golf! was a Capcom-published arcade golf game that flew under the radar for a lot of Wii owners. The game has a selection of seven 18 championship-length holes and three short par 3 courses. In addition to that, there are multiple mini-games to enhance your short game and approach skills, as well as a host of Capcom-related costumes for the otherwise generic characters within the game. Who wouldn't want to dress up as Apollo Justice, Arthur from Ghost 'n Goblins, or Street Fighter's Ryu and Ken? Motoi Sakuraba delivered a suitably cheerful soundtrack, a perfect companion to score under par with.

Ys I & II Chronicles (PSP, Steam)

Ys I & II Chronicles is a remake of the original duo of Ys games from decades ago. The combat remains the same in the regard that you run up to enemies and your character automatically attacks them. There's a degree of skill in how you approach foes, as to not take damage yourself. While these two games have an aged feeling to them compared to more recent entries of the Ys franchise, one thing that is a fantastic upgrade aside from the graphics is the soundtrack, composed of melodic marvels, heavy metal awesomeness, and orchestral wonders.

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