Video Game Music of the Week - 290


Metal Slug 4 (Arcade)

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Tracks:
Let's Run Through!, Secret Place, The Scene Of A Hard Battle, Furiously

Composer(s):
Toshikazu Tanaka


Metal Slug 4 features much of the same general gameplay as its predecessors, but with the inclusion of new vehicles, weapons and a bonus combo system. The game released in 2002, two years after the previous entry.



Let's Run Through!
This is the first stage theme in Metal Slug 4. The 'Rock' style remains a very major part of the series' music, with the games soundtrack maintaining this sound. The track also features some minor electronic sounds.




Secret Place
This is the final stage theme track. The song itself is a very intense theme, that feels like it's constantly building up to something important.




The Scene Of A Hard Battle
This is the games standard Boss Theme. It's another rock theme, with a funky bass line and a very notable guitar riff. It also features a violin melody near the middle of the track and some creative percussions.




Furiously
This is another of the games Boss Themes. This version is slightly more intense and darker. The track features a both a chilling and funky piano melody that helps to define the songs character.





Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

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Video Game Music of the Week - 289


Metal Slug 3 (Arcade)

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Tracks:
Marine Diver, Hard Water, Desert, Into The Cosmos

Composer(s):
Takushi Hiyamuta
Yoshihiko Wada
Rich Horiuchi
Q_Jirou
Maitaro


Metal Slug 3 released in 2000 and follows the same general traditions introduced in the previous two games. It introduced branching paths to the series.



Marine Diver
This track plays when the player makes it to the secret submarine path of the first mission. The bass introduces the heavy, yet slow theme, but its the tracks guitar riffs that make it stand out.




Hard Water
This track is yet another theme that plays during a secret submarine area, this time for the third mission. It also had a very heavy, yet slow style to it.




Desert
This track is the main theme to mission four. It has a very heavy metal opening guitar rhythm that remains throughout most of the song. It also features Arabian style elements in combination with the heavy sound.




Into The Cosmos
Of all the games heavy themes, this one has an immediate sense of raw power with its rapid power chords and overall intense speed.





Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

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Video Game Music of the Week - 286


Thunder Blade (Arcade)

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Tracks:
Thunder Blade, Burning Point, Type II

Composer(s):
Koichi Namiki


Thunder Blade is a third-person rail shooter that was released for arcade systems in 1987. The game received numerous ports for various systems, with a 3D version releasing on the Nintendo 3DS in Japan.



Thunder Blade
The
Thunder Blade soundtrack features a very unique selection of music. The titular track, Thunder Blade, is one of the two main background music tracks. The theme contains many different melodies and sounds that only loop rarely.




Burning Point
This track is the games Boss Theme. Boss Themes in games are often fast, heavy and/or frantic. However, what this theme lacks in raw power, it makes up for in pure funk bass lines, clever-free flowing melodies and diverse percussions.




Type II
This is the games second of two main background themes. This theme in particular is quite different to the previous two and features a more slow and methodical delivery. The bass guitar is yet another stand out instrument in the theme, offering one of the songs most interesting elements.






Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

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Video Game Music of the Week - 285


Galaxy Force II (Arcade, Sega Mega-Drive/Genesis)

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Tracks:
Beyond The Galaxy, Defeat, Take Back, Alone Fighter

Composer(s):
Koichi Namiki
Katsuhiro Hayashi


Galaxy Force II is a Sega arcade game that originally released in 1988 under the name of Galaxy Force. Galaxy Force II is more so an updated version of the original game, as opposed to a sequel.



Beyond The Galaxy
The
Galaxy Force II soundtrack features five true stage themes, and this is the first of those, making it the games most well-known theme. While this theme is relatively slow in comparison to the action style of the game, it is the songs intricate progression of it's theming that allows it to stand out.




Defeat
The slap bass that plays throughout Defeat is the songs greatest asset. It delivers the funk sound that many 80's and 90's Sega games produced during the important era of the medium.




Take Back
Take Back is yet another stage theme in Galaxy Force II. The song features more wilder and sporadic elements than some of the other tracks found in the game.




Alone Fighter
This song plays towards the end of the game, showing a more intense side to the soundtrack. It is more of a melody focused theme that feels a bit more meaningful in its delivery.





Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

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Video Game Music of the Week - 282


Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair (Arcade, Sega Mega-Drive, PC Engine, TurboGrafx-CD)

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Tracks:
Islands, The Jungle, Name Entry, Shooter Stage

Composer(s):
Shinichi Sakamoto


Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair was released in Japan as an Arcade game and PC Engine game, Europe and Australia as Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair on the Sega Mega-Drive and in North America on the TurboGrafx-CD simply as Monster Lair. These are the PC Engine and TurboGrafx-CD versions of the tracks, which feature a superior audio sound.



Islands
The music found in the
Wonder Boy series always gears towards the more cheery side of video game music. The track Islands is the games first stage theme and towards the end of the track, a very clear recorded guitar solo is played, showcasing the advantages of a CD medium in terms of a games soundtrack.




The Jungle
In this track, the diverse instrumentation helps to show the funky side of the games music. The slightly warped opening helps in creating this specific funk-feel, and the entire track as a whole has a very 80's pop sound to it




Name Entry
There's an almost soothing sound in this theme with its serene backing and echo-like string melody. The varied percussion and faint guitar riffs also help in delivering the soundtracks most versatile theme, that also requires multiple listens to truly appreciate.




Shooter Stage
This track is yet another lively tune. There are some unique sounds in the song, including pitchy strings, a bubble-popping percussion sound and frantic, almost distorted clapping.





Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

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Video Game Music of the Week - 278


Street Fighter IV (Arcade, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

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Tracks:
Beautiful Bay Stage, Inland Jungle Stage, Volcanic Rim Stage, Street Fighter IV (Orchestra)

Composer(s):
Hideyuki Fukasawa


Street Fighter IV released in 2008 in Japan, and 2009 elsewhere around the world. It was responsible for an important revitalisation of the series and this momentum was carried throughout the games following updated releases, until yet another successful sequel was released years after.



Beautiful Bay Stage
This is the theme track to the stage Vietnam. It blends a tribal style percussion with a melodic techno sound. In fact, the soundtrack itself gears more towards this electric/techno theming, showing that there is yet again an obvious shift in the style of music found in the
Street Fighter series.




Inland Jungle Stage
The track Inland Jungle Stage is another stage theme, this time for the level Brazil. The song features various synthesised sounds and extremely heavy bass notes. The bass pulses at a constant frequency as the melody dances around this prominent sound.




Volcanic Rim Stage
This theme is a very energetic and fast track that provides an intensity to its partnered stage. It's melody is the charging force that is empowered by the songs hectic rhythm and bass sounds.




Street Fighter IV (Orchestra)
Apart from the opening theme that features vocals, this track is the standard main theme to the game. However, this orchestral version, specifically, is the most unique and unexpected sound found in the Street Fighter IV soundtrack. It's a great cinematic theme for a game that is fairly light on story.






Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

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Video Game Music of the Week - 277


Street Fighter III: New Generation (Arcade)

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Tracks:
Jazzy NYC, Crowded Street, Good Fighter, Beginning Of The Next

Composer(s):
Hideki Okugawa
Yuki Iwai


Street Fighter III: New Generation released on Arcade in 1997 and featured a whole new cast of fighters, apart from both Ryu and Ken. The game was later updated through two seperate releases with Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact, released in 1997, and Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, released in 1999.



Jazzy NYC
This track immediately shows the stark differences between the
Street Fighter II soundtrack and the Street Fighter III soundtrack. The musical style of the series featured a complete overhaul with this release. This style and sound was later featured in other Street Fighter games and spin-offs in the series such as Marvel vs. Capcom and X-Men vs. Street Fighter.




Crowded Street
This track is the theme song to the stage Hong Kong. It's pacing is swift and its melody is sporadic, making it a very noticeable stage theme.




Good Fighter
The soundtrack features a more Funk style as opposed to Rock, which was definitely one of the more noticeable genres of music found in the previous Street Fighter II. This theme in particular shows the composer really diversifying the series musically with the tracks Funk vibe.




Beginning To The Next
This song is the games final Staff Roll/Credits theme. It's wildly different from the other tunes found in the game in terms of its more calm approach. This concept of featuring a different style song for a Credits Theme is something that is so consistently present in Video Game Music.





Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

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Video Game Music of the Week - 270


Vendetta (Arcade)

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Tracks:
The Theme Of The Cobras, Power In The Darkness, After The Battle

Composer(s):
Michiru Yamane


Vendetta is an action 'Beat 'em up' that released exclusively on arcade systems in 1991. Known as Crime Fighters 2 in Japan, It is the sequel to the Japan-only game Crime Fighters but was relabelled for its Western release. The games composer Michiru Yamane went on to compose songs for the Castlevania and Suikoden series'.



The Theme Of The Cobras
This theme track is the initial player select screen music in Vendetta. The track itself has a relatively short melody that reveals some of the games atmospheric goals.




Power In The Darkness
This track is the background music to Stage 3. The theme has a great opening riff that then features an electric-guitar-like sequence to bring the song into its main melody.




After The Battle
This short ending track is the counterpart theme to the games 'good ending.' It has a light opening intro before heading into the themes relatively dense melody.






Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

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Video Game Music of the Week - 269


Sunset Riders (Arcade, SNES, Sega Mega-Drive)

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Tracks:
The Magnificent Four, Gunfight At The Sunset Corral, Butch Cassidy And Sunset Riders, Adios, Amigo!

Composer(s):
Motoaki Furukawa


Sunset Riders, developed by Konami, released in 1991 for Arcade systems. The 'Run and gun' game later came to Sega Mega-Drive/Genesis and Super Nintendo Entertainment Systems in the following years. These tracks are from the Arcade version of Sunset Riders.



The Magnificent Four
The
Sunset Riders soundtrack is littered with 'Wild West' themes and ideas. The opening track, The Magnificent Four features what is the most classic 'Western' style theme in the game.




Gunfight At The Sunder Corral
This track is the first stage theme in the game and also plays during stages 5 and 8. The theme has an immediate start, thrusting players into the Wild West setting of Sunset Riders. The powerful, almost unpredictable flashes of sound are a great touch to the theme.



Butch Cassidy And Sunset Riders
Another stage theme track, Butch Cassidy and Sunset Riders begins with a more light-hearted melody than the previous theme. It's a very upbeat song, that succeeds in maintaining an action style.




Adios, Amigo!
This extremely wild and frantic track takes a musical slice from the opening theme to the game but delivers a ferocious theme to suit the on-screen boss battle.






Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

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Video Game Music of the Week - 266


Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age Of Heroes (Arcade, Various)

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Tracks:
Mode Menu, Airship Stage, Swamp Stage, Training Mode

Composer(s):
Tetsuya Shibata
Mitsuhiko Takano


Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age Of Heroes released in 2000, just two years after the previous game in the series. The game continues to be one of the most talked about collaboration games in modern gaming and is still loved today by many fighting-game enthusiasts.



Mode Menu
This track is all about the electric guitar and its infectious riff. It's a fairly neutral song with a short melody, but positions itself perfectly as a mellow Menu theme.




Airship Stage
The Airship Stage theme has a very mild sound that intertwines with some funk and jazz elements. This track, and many of the other themes in the game feel quite different to any previous fighting game soundtrack.




Swamp Stage
This song is very much a Funk-themed track with its bubbly opening and remarkably memorable horns and distorted vocals. The theme has many unique elements that define what the Marvel vs. Capcom 2 soundtrack is all about.




Training Mode
The Training Mode track features a plethora of Funk instruments and sounds. It has a wild structure and its melody and sounds vary mildly throughout.





Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

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Video Game Music of the Week - 265


Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash Of Super Heroes (Arcade, Various)

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Tracks:
Captain America, Spider-Man, Morrigan, Captain Commando

Composer(s):
Masato Kouda
Yuko Takehara


Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash Of Super Heroes released in 1998 and is the third entry in the Marvel vs. Capcom series, following X-Men vs. Street Fighter and Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter.



Captain America
Captain America's theme in Marvel vs. Capcom is one of the most noble tracks in the game, fitting for a character such as this. The games soundtrack features a very characteristic Capcom sound throughout.




Spider-Man
The theme song to Spider-Man is expectingly up-beat and mildly quirky. The unique Marvel vs. Capcom sound can be heard extremely well in this theme, with it's notable Jazz and Lounge sounds.




Morrigan
Morrigan's theme is very much dialled down compared to many of the other songs in the game. It features some minor Jazz elements and remains relatively smooth throughout.




Captain Commando
The theme track to Captain Commando possesses one of the games greatest melody focused themes. It begins with a very rock-centric beat and further along, features almost metal-rock elements.






Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

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Video Game Music of the Week - 253


Golden Axe (Sega Mega-Drive)

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Tracks:
Wilderness, Fiend’s Path, Battle Field, Death Adder

Composer(s):
Tohru Nakabayashi


Golden Axe released on Arcade systems in early 1989, and later came to home consoles with a Sega Genesis/Mega-Drive release. The game spawned many sequels and spin-offs and is one of the most well-known side-scrolling beat em up’s of the 80’s.



Wilderness
The track Wilderness is a very melody focused theme. It plays during the first stage in the game, being the major musical introduction to the series.




Fiend’s Path
This track is a very intense theme with a clear sense of forward momentum, matching the overall style of the game and its gameplay objective.




Battle Field
This track begins with a simple bass line. The songs beat is played with an emphasis on the first, fourth and seventh notes, which can be easily heard in the opening moments.




Death Adder
Death Adder begins with a very menacing opening, but it’s not until just after the 35-second mark that the theme truly comes into its own. It’s a fairly progressive theme that jolts from moment to moment, always leaving a sense of unpredictability.






Written by - Michael Villalon for ‘The VG Island’.

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