Monday, 3 June 2013

Super Metroid ~ A Lost in the Music Editorial

As of recently, I started purchasing games on the Nintendo Virtual Console and my first purchase was Super Metroid, a game I have been craving to play for a while now. As I started up the game, I began to remember just how great this game was. In an era where console games were more or less colourful adventures of portly plumbers or speed obsessed hedgehogs, there were a few games that decided to go grim and dark. Super Metroid was one of them and the atmosphere was perfect for the game.

One thing that sets Super Metroid apart from other action adventure games at the time was the level music. Each new area has either one or two different tracks playing, each one filling the player with a sense of awe, yet fear. You as the player are excited and eager to find the latest armour upgrade for The Hunter, yet are afraid of what new creature is going to come out and attack you. The next room you enter could contain the coveted Screw Attack, or it could contain a group of armoured Space Pirates with no discernible weakness.

What I enjoy most about the music from Super Metroid is how perfect the music reflects each new area. Whereas games like Super Mario World, Legend of Zelda or even Final Fantasy have only a couple of overworld themes, they do tend to get boring after a while. Don't get me wrong, I love the music, but there are times I get bored with the same world map theme while going from point A to point B, only for it to start playing again when going to point C.

In my personal opinion, the best track on the album would have to be Crateria – Zebes Planetfall, the first track you hear when you first land on the planet. It sets the mood for the game perfectly and when you land, you feel uneasy. The planet seems to be completely devoid of life as it seems even the natural predators are missing. It gives off an uneasy feeling of total abandonment.

I am not a fan of survival horror games as they creep me out, yet I think Zebes Planetfall is the OST's best track. It draws you into the game and puts you on edge, not knowing what to expect. As much as I enjoy the works of Uematsu, Kondo and Mitsuda, when you compare it to Kenji Yamamoto and Minako Hamano's Super Metroid, it just doesn't hold a candle of how well it immerses the player into the world.

I am aware I make grand proclamations, only for a couple of weeks later to rescind my comment when something new comes around, but with the Super Metroid OST, I do believe it is the best soundtrack on the system, beating out Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VI. I love those games and its music to pieces, but neither of them can get as atmospheric as Super Metroid. The music perfectly reflects the gloomy world of Zebes and through the music you feel drawn into the world, almost as if you are standing beside Samus herself.

Super Metroid is available on the Wii Virtual Console for 800 points.

This is Daimo Mac and I am lost in the music.

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