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Wii

A Night at the Symphonii

Smashing Soundtracks 

by Andrew Brown - December 22, 2012, 8:25 am PST

Smash some Bros and steal some gold as you jam to these tunes.

What better way to showcase the best of Nintendo music on a console than to point directly towards that generation's Smash Bros. game? All of Nintendo's best franchises come together to duke it out and strut their stuff, and we get to explore a great amalgamation of their collective and combined worlds. What does this mean? Remixes, of course!

Also on show here is the incredible Wario Land: Shake It!, the game that captured the greedy adventuring essence of the Wario series and beautified it with stunning animation. It's not much of a surprise to say the music was stunning, too.

The soundtrack to Super Smash Bros. Brawl was a game music enthusiast's dream come true. Not only was almost the entire soundtrack comprised of exciting, updated remixes of classic Nintendo themes, but many musicians within the industry collaborated to create additional tracks beyond the default selection, and players could actually choose which songs would play in each stage.

Besides the expected remakes of classic music, the game also featured a great original score for the menus and mini-games. Who could forget that Latin theme song sung during the opening sequence? In all, the game contained 258 songs! Among my favorite tracks from the game, I've included the Mushroomy Kingdom Underground theme (possibly the coolest rendition of the classic Super Mario Bros cave music), and the exciting remix of King Dedede's timeless theme to make up for the lack of a Kirby soundtrack on my top 10 list. And to be clear, I like both versions of Ashley's theme from WarioWare; I just included the Japanese version here because I appreciate the inclusion of both versions in the game, and it's likely to be less familiar to our Western readers.

SSBB Main Theme
Mushroomy Kingdom Underground
King Dedede's Theme
Ashley's Theme (Japanese)

The entirety of this game was animated beautifully, with some of the smoothest movement I've ever seen on a video game sprite. The experience was like playing a cartoon, and thus the soundtrack of course needed to match the on-screen action. Each level has two main themes: a main tune that would play during the exploration and adventuring, and an enhanced version that would kick in when you trigger an alarm sequence and have to race back to the starting point before the gate closed and trapped you there.

The soundtrack has plenty of styles incorporated into the composition—jazz, swing, Latin fusion; you never quite know what to expect until you dive on into the level. My favorite track by far is Mt. Lava Lava, which is one of my favorite pieces of game music ever. I can and often do set this track on a loop while writing or drawing and idly hum along to the point where I almost forget that it's playing, until I suddenly notice I'm loudly singing out the tune a-capella style several hours later. So mesmerizingly catchy!! Also below is a cool remix of the GameCube Wario World theme music, glitzed out for the Glittertown level.

Glittertown
Mt. Lava Lava
Stonecarving City Escape
Foulwater Falls

Talkback

FreudianLemurDecember 20, 2012

You must have, at some point in this list, the soundtrack from FF Chrystal Chronicles (only the first one, on the GC).

Disco StuDecember 20, 2012

Oh man, the Puzzle Plank Galaxy music from SMG2 is the perfect, quintessential Mario music to me.

joshnickersonDecember 20, 2012

I'd love to hear the original Galaxy soundtrack someday, if only just to hear what could have been.

RazorkidDecember 20, 2012

I absolutely feel the same way about videogame music. It's a huge detriment to me if the music doesn't pop or add significantly to the experience. I haven't gone through your list Andrew, but I look forward to it. I'm always super curious about the tastes of other fellow videogame music lovers and whether mine overlaps at all.

Pixelated PixiesDecember 20, 2012

Some of my stand out soundtracks on Wii are Xenoblade (so good it hurts), the Galaxy games, Epic Yarn, Twilight Princess, House of the Dead: Overkill, the No More Heroes games, Metroid Prime 3, Muramasa, and of course Beat the Beat (Rhythm Heaven Fever).

On the digital front there's also the Bit.Trip games, Light Trax, the Lost Winds games, World of Goo, Cave Story, Mega Man 9 & 10, and Max & the Magic Marker (way underrated as a soundtrack).

I have to share this again. It's just too good. Too good I say!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPCDGVy9SS8&list=PLA6AC2E758E22B09B

Evan_BDecember 21, 2012

Hey, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: the Crystal Bearers has fantastic music, too. The game is the Skyward Sword before Skyward Sword and jam-packed with minigames, but the themes hit just the right balance of that laid-back adventuresome idea and more classy, jazzy material.

joshnickersonDecember 21, 2012

All these articles are doing in making me wish Nintendo would make these soundtracks available to us in the states in one form or another! Y'know, instead of making me track down some rather shady online sources... :-X

I had no problem with Fi; I actually found her quite amusing, once I noticed similarities between her and Vulcans (constantly talking about percentages and logic). I was actually rather touched with her final scene towards the end of the game.

(I did think she looked a tad goofy singing, though ;) )

FreudianLemurDecember 24, 2012

When I listened to the Xenoblade title music, suddenly all my feelings of awe and wonder for the game came rushing back, and I realised how long it is since I last played it. I've not even finished it! Why do I do this with great games? I play a decent way in, and then for some reason I won't play it for ages, to the point where I almost forget about it. *facepalm*

azekeDecember 25, 2012

Judging from the list author hasn't played Rhythm Heaven Fever.

Because it would be #1 if he did.

LittleIrvesDecember 28, 2012

Great stuff, Andrew! Love the sepia-toned logos, too....  I'd add Kirby'd Epic Yarn to the list, and my own personal take on "Ode to Joy" from Wii Music, but I understand how you might have missed that one, ha.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQsxThVKdmo&feature=player_embedded

I totally forgot to add Other M's Ridley theme in the Honorables too. Oh well, next time :D

EasyCureJanuary 04, 2013

I can't get the DKCR sound track on my mp3 player :( stupid formats...

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