Obviously I simply couldn’t do only one list of 10 songs. So I’ve made a second one with a little more variety. Fewer RPGs and more action-oriented game tunes! Going by the same rules as the last – one tune per franchise and no specific order, let’s get straight to the music.
Area 1 (Blaster Master)
This one’s an interesting story. Many years back, I watched a video on YouTube about underrated NES titles and Blaster Master was one of said titles mentioned in it. I had never played nor heard of the game before then, but once I heard this tune, I knew I had to have it. I even managed to snag a copy of the game for $2 at a flea market the following day. Needless to say, this song gets you pumped up for one hell of an action/exploration game.
Fury Sparks (Tales of Vesperia)
Tales of Vesperia has a lot of good music. It’s honestly among my favorites of the Tales series. However, hearing this song brings back a rush of memories from having played the game, including the very moment it’s used where Yuri and Flynn finally have their own battle to test their strengths. It has a high surge of energy and really gets me to wanting to play ToV again.
Tal Tal Heights (The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening)
Link’s Awakening was among my first Game Boy games and, ho boy, was this ever an awesome game. Prior to Pokémon Red, this was the game that was always in my Game Boy until I completely finished it. This particular tune not only has high energy, but gives you a sense that you’re slowly but surely getting closer to your goal. Hell, when I heard it redone in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, I had to play the game again.
Go Straight (Streets of Rage 2)
Do yourself a favor, hm? Plug in some headphones, then listen to this song. This is what you call music on the Sega Genesis done right. Yuzo Koshiro is an absolute genius when it comes to game music and his music in Streets of Rage 2 is no slouch, either. This is a song that gets you pumped and wanting to travel the streets, beating down gang members while kicking trash cans to eat apples and roasted turkeys from the floor.
Pop Star (Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards)
Kirby music is always so cheerful and memorable, but I’d have to say Pop Star is what makes me want to play Kirby 64 over and over again. While the game isn’t as fast paced as the song would lead you to believe, it combined with the incredibly fun concept of mixing enemy abilities together make Kirby 64 really fun to come back to to play every now and then.
Crossing Those Hills (Final Fantasy IX)
How many world map themes can you name that are as relaxing as this theme? Crossing the Hills is not only something worth listening to when you want to relax, but it gives you a good idea of what to expect in FFIX’s world. It’s not in total chaos (not until much later on in the game, anyway) and you aren’t in too much of a rush. FFIX’s music in general always reminds me of how it’s my absolute favorite in the series and always gets me in the mood to pop it into my PS2/PS3.
Shenmue (Shenmue Chapter 1: Yokosuka)
Shenmue was…ambitious, to say the least. The opening gives you a sense of sadness, with a bit of hope as Ryo Hazuki begins his quest as he vows to take revenge for Lan Di murdering his father. You get the feeling that a grand journey awaits you, and for the most part, it does. …Until you realize that the story continues in the second title, which ends in a cliffhanger and no further titles have been made to continue or conclude the story. Even so, I can’t help but want to travel around Yokosuka and wanting to search for sailors while playing Space Harrier in the local arcade from time to time after hearing this song.
Banjo Land (Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts)
Okay, stop. I know what you’re thinking. “WHY THE HELL WOULD YOU WANT TO PLAY NUTS & BOLTS?!” Hear me out for a second. Just because the song makes me want to play it, doesn’t necessarily mean I will. Banjo Land is a helluva throwback to Banjo-Kazooie’s world themes orchestrated. It’s always great to hear orchestrated versions of older game music. The song, along with a few other tracks, get me hyped to want to play the game…except my brain then reminds me that Nuts & Bolts wasn’t really a traditional BK game, nor was it really good. Instead, it then makes me want to play the original two Nintendo 64 titles. A shame the way how N&B turned out.
Overworld (Super Mario Bros. 2)
What? What’s that? “Super Mario Bros. 2 isn’t really a Mario game and is a giant lie?” Fuck you. I don’t care. The game was still fun and this is a helluva memorable song that always gets me wanting to play it either on the NES or SNES via Super Mario All-Stars.
Finishing off with another Yuzo Koshiro track. This was actually sort of the same case with Blaster Master where this was mentioned as a sorely underrated SNES title, one that I had not heard of or played. Then it came to the Virtual Console. My lord. This is EARLY SNES music right here and it sounds absolutely amazing and like that of something you might find from something in the middle of the system’s life. On top of that, this is FIRST STAGE MUSIC! This sets the tone on what you should expect from the rest of the game.