Thus begins the first round of region 1 for the Video Game Music bracket. Below are our internal rankings for the seeding for this thing, and the following is our personal feelings and reasons that possibly influenced our choices.
1 – Duck Tales – Life is like a hurricane….. of happiness listening to this soundtrack
2 – Fester’s Quest – Who doesn’t want to jam as a bald hunchback looking for keys?
3 – Mappy – Delightful and yes high pitched. I seem to like this kind of music. Maybe that’s why I had a thing for Fran Drescher as a kid.
4 – Punch Out – Gives you that rocky feel. So how can’t you get into this?
5 – Sonic – Somehow music that is 10 times slower than the action on the screen is still very compelling.
6 – Castle of Illusion – Seeing a pattern here for my kind of music.
7 – Super Mario Bros. 3 – A tune that you will have stuck in your head for decades. As the kids would say. Catchy AF
8 – Maniac Mansion – Hamsters……….
9 – Blaster Master – SunSoft had some great music in their games. Up beat solid music that gives you a false sense of security.
10 – Little Nemo – If I heard music like this while asleep I would go see a doctor.
11 – Trip World – Possibly one of the best soundtracks for a Gameboy game. Does anyone really read these? I really enjoy the beats.
12 – Zelda: Link’s Awakening –
13 – Pokémon – Only played red but can recognize a lot of the songs. Free virtual high five if you do read these. What does that tell you?
14 – Crystalis – Your every-day adventure game music
15 – Super C – While I enjoy it….. there is nothing super about it.
16 – Mach Rider – I don’t know why but listening to this makes me think about the Munsters.
Ninja Gaiden – Sure as shit not better than Festers Quest. What the fuck is with this Festers Quest hate?
Kirby Adventures – Happy Adventures……………………. Fucking Festers Quest……. assholes.
1 – Maniac Mansion – I absolutely love this game! The soundtrack is amazing and includes very unique themes for each of the games playable characters. I would rant about the composers… but there are too many to put in a short blurb.
2 – Duck Tales – Hiroshige Tonomura composed all of the music for this game. The moon theme tends to be the most popular of his works on this game and I absolutely love it. Ben, on the other hand…
3 – Punch Out- I can honestly say I have no clue why I ranked this so high. It likely just goes back to my childhood and if I am being honest, I likely I will not vote for it in the matchup.
4 – Fester’s Quest – Ahhhh yes, another one that I ranked high purely on my childhood experiences. Naoki Kodaka was the game’s composer and this is probably one of his lesser-known compositions.
5 – Mappy – This game has such a simple soundtrack but it is also one of those fantastically simple and fun Namco arcade games that still gets released in various collections. My reasoning for ranking it this high is mostly because it is a small yet effective soundtrack.
6 – Sonic – I honestly started with this much higher on the list and had to drop it down because I felt I was over ranking it. I have yet to play one of the classic Sonic games and get sick of the music.
7 – Super Mario Bros. 3 – Koji Kondo did a great job with this soundtrack. Even after multiple playthroughs of this game the songs never got old and would typically get stuck in my head for the rest of the day after playing the game. Kondo is one of Nintendo’s treasures when it comes to his work as a composer so it should come as no surprise he has works all over these brackets.
8 – Zelda: Link’s Awakening – Another Zelda game! But you know what? This one has one of the more unique soundtracks and that is likely because it only borrows from Kondo’s previous works and instead was composed by a team of composers who had more experience with working on Gameboy games. This is by far my favorite Gameboy game and Gameboy soundtrack.
9 – Castle of Illusion – I feel like this soundtrack actually got a lot out of the ole Genesis and is one of the game’s most endearing qualities.
10 – Crystalis – Yoko Osaka did an excellent job with the composition of this classic soundtrack. The music for this game set the tone to the very end. You may recognize some of Osaka’s other work in Fatal Fury and Fatal Fury 2
11 – Little Nemo – I am going to be frank… I should have ranked this much higher on the list. Justin, please forgive me 😂. This soundtrack is hard not to like.
12 – Trip World – I think if I had played this game I would actually have ranked it higher. The composers did great work getting this music on a Gameboy.
13 – Pokémon Red/Blue – First off, who doesn’t love the classic Pokémon games? The soundtrack is great, but I struggled to rank it higher. I am beginning to think I messed up in my rankings… too late to change it!
14 – Super C – The music is fast-paced and steady, exactly what you would expect from a Contra game.
15 – Mach Rider – I don’t know why I don’t really like this music, but I just don’t. I guess it is good for a racing/driving game?
16 – Blaster Master – I failed you with my rank Blaster Master. I failed you. Please forgive me? This is a far better soundtrack than I gave it credit for. Remember Kodaka and Fester’s Quest? He composed this one and it is probably far better than Fester’s Quest if I remove all emotion from my judgment.
Ninja Gaiden – This game was far superior to many on the list and should have been listed prior to us announcing the initial groupings.
Kirby’s Adventure – I love Kirby music. It is fun, upbeat, and always has a great childlike feel to it.
I was clearly very tired when I wrote these… my apologies.
01 – Super C – Never played it, but the way they were able to make it sound and feel like I was hearing a kick drum… amazing.
02 – Zelda: Link’s Awakening – A classic. Still used in some way in pretty much every Zelda game. Not the best music, but obviously memorable.
03 – Super Mario 3 – Again, a classic. This wasn’t anything supremely powerful, but it obviously cemented its place in our collective memory of playing games as kids. Many an hour were spent listening to the soundtrack of this game.
04 – Trip World – Never played this either, but it is able to create so much more than just the simplistic music that most other games on the GameBoy did at the time, and for that, it gets high marks.
05 – Sonic the Hedgehog – Might have played this at some point, not sure. Either way, it creates a very broad soundscape. Me likey.
06 – Punch Out – I mean come on, you might as well be playing Eye of the Tiger. This almost makes me want to get out and run. But I won’t. Because it’s balls hot outside… and I don’t want to.
07 – Blaster Master – This is one of the ones that has a proper underlying bass run, which lots of others don’t. It also doesn’t make me want to poke my eardrums with a q-tip that had the cotton removed.
08 – Pokémon Red and Blue – OK, so we are getting to the point where the songs start to just chiptune the fuck out of life. If not for the nostalgia of playing this for hours and days on end as a little fucker, this would have gone lower on the list.
09 – Castle of Illusion Starring Micky Mouse – I enjoy that for a little while it isn’t trying to murder my ears, and that it has separated highs, mids, and lows.
10 – Little Nemo: The Dream Master – It has this cool wavering quality to it, which is interesting. However, very chippy, and very tuny. Also begins to use those dreadful high pitch notes.
11 – Duck Tales – This would have scored so much higher, had it gone lower. And by that I mean octaves. It has a great beat, it just also has the downside of causing the local population of canines to begin to plot a takeover.
12 – Maniac Mansion – Here’s the rub, it has a decent beat and in general it isn’t the worst thing in the world. But, it does tend to grate as it plays on with what I can only describe as autotune for MIDI, while also being put through a distortion pedal.
13 – Crystalis – Honestly it’s not bad at all, just very generic and very chiptuney, which cause it to end up low on the list.
14 – Mappy – This is the music that you hear when you happen upon a saloon while playing Oregon Trail. Or at least that’s how I assume this music is meant to be heard. Also high on the chiptune scale.
15 – Mach Rider – All the chips, all the tunes. With a healthy dose of mosquito in the background. Just what I needed in my life. Except not at all.
16 – Festers Quest – I honestly don’t understand the factor that caused anyone else to choose this. It just rubs my ears wrong, like maybe some fast clicking chiptune woman somehow fell in love with an 80s metal hair band bassist, who also had a guilty pleasure of enjoying classical music, and they had a bastard love child. This is that song, and it was orphaned at birth.