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Friday, October 14, 2011

Melody Time - Overlooked Gems of the Sonic Franchise

From now on, if I have something music-related to talk about, I'm going to call it Melody Time...because I use this blog enough for you to have to search for titles to posts.

So, today while playing Sonic Advance 2 (short review - way worse than I remember it and the worst bosses in the series: the 1st game is better), I was thinking of songs that I really like but people don't really seem to talk about much. Seeing as how I've been on a bit of a Sonic kick recently, I decided to list 5 of these songs here for you. I'll probably end up doings these for other series as well. These are not my top 5 or in any order, they are just 5 songs I like that people seem to overlook.

Sonic Advance 2 - Ice Paradise Act 1

Might as well start with the song that inspired this article. While I know people like the song a lot, it just seems to more or less only come up if people mention the Advance series, and from my experience, people don't really mention the Advance series often. What I love about this piece is how it bucks the more low-key tone of most ice stage songs in video games and goes for something fun and lively. For an example of what I mean, look up Ice Mountain Zone Act 1's song from Sonic Advance for the usual ice tone and then back to here.

Sonic Advance - Secret Base Zone Act 2

Speaking of Sonic Advance, here's a lovely tune from the first in the series! If the song for the 1st act gives the perfect vibe for a sneaky entry into a secret base, the 2nd act goes for the Hell that breaks loose after the intruder alert sounds. It's an easy song on the ears for a game with a lot of really forgettable tracks, and I love the frequent pauses just before the end of a phrase (see 0:22 for an example of what I'm talking about).

Sonic 3D Blast - Boss 2

Sonic 3D Blast is a pretty...ok game. I don't hate it like a lot of people do, but it sure isn't the first place I'd go for Sonic fun. This song, however, is outstanding. I dare say out of the regular boss themes, it may just be my 2nd favorite Genesis one (or maybe overall) right after Sonic 2's classic Robotnik March. I think most people forget it exists due to the game it's buried in but this is a song that deserves to be talked about! The only problem is that it's regular boss music. The final boss music is such a let-down in comparison.

Sonic Adventure 2 - Mission Street

Mission Street is most likely my favorite Tails level in Sonic Adventure 2, and it's almost exclusively for the music. Even if it's horrendously inappropriate for having seen half of the moon blown up and the military having a bounty on your head, it's so calming and happy. I just love the opening moments of the stage: the loading screen flies away, Tails drops into view on a quiet neighborhood street, and the drums kick up like "here we go."

Sonic Unleashed - Eggmanland Day

This one is probably less overlooked than the rest, but I'm still surprised it doesn't come up as often with people talking about Sonic music. Then again, that's probably because the people who played the 360/PS3 version of the stage are suffering from PTSD. However, to be quite honest, I actually really enjoyed this stage. It's like Eggman is throwing everything he's got at you all at once and you'd better be ready for it every single second. My first time through took me 57 minutes of game time, which seems about average from what I've seen. I've gotten it down to about 27 minutes but it's still one nasty son of a gun even when you know its traps. Still, even if it's a bit overkill, it was great to see a series with stages that seem to get shorter and shorter suddenly throw an absolute marathon at you. Anyways, the song perfectly balances the Hellish nature of the stage's obstacles with a lovely melancholic piano.

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