Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The 20th Anniversary of the SNES - Part 4

Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest
Despite its groan-inducing pun of a subtitle, this game was a great sequel that is not only better than its predecessor, but stands strong as one of the most well-crafted games of the generation. Not unlike the rest of the game, the music is excellent, and often fits the environments presented quite well. Many tunes also have an interesting dynamic between two main instruments, which is perhaps a metaphor for the game's two friends, Diddy and Dixie. I don't think I could pick a favourite, as there are several from it which stand out.

Mainbrace Mayhem
Although one of the shortest tracks in the game, this one makes me want to be a pirate. I don't even like pirates! The tune starts off with wind and rain sound effects, weather presented in the stage which appears to in fact be a part of the music track, but it still works. The upbeat, jaunty melody almost sounds like words could be sung with it as the grunts clean the deck, and the percussion present sounds as if it's being created by banging on barrels or pieces of wood found on a ship.

Hot Head Hop
Another one with environment noises present, though the bubbling of the lava doesn't prove distracting given the beat and tone of this one. Hop to the beat and bop to the rhythm, drop if you're slow, don't stop till you get across them. Hey, that almost sounded like a rap.

Mining Melancholy
This time, percussion is created using what sounds like tools found in a mine, using the environment in the rhythm rather than as ambiance. Metal banging against metal comprises the beat of this tune, which sets the tone and pace of the mine stages perfectly. A little bit in, it gets melodic for a moment before returning to the beat. The second time it comes around to the melody, the instrument used makes me think of the workers humming along as they continue their daily grind.

Ghostly Grove
Providing a balance of mystery and eerie, this tune uses a flute and tribal drums to set the mood. Moving towards the end, things begin to get a little more upbeat, and a little more melody is added, as if you're close to reaching the edge of this spooky place. But then it loops, and the haunting echos are heard once more...

Bramble Blast
This tune has perhaps become the most famous tune from the game, in part due to a remix present in Super Smash Brothers Brawl, but it is for good reason. The different sounds in this one may first appear as if they don't belong together, but soon mix in a uniquely harmonious way, providing a somewhat calm tone for what is usually a frantic stage. As for the SSBBrawl Remix, I find that its changes to the notes and tempo of the piece destroy its uniqueness and mood.

Only one more game to go! You can probably guess what it is...

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