Monday, 18 November 2013

Yoshi's Island: A Lost in the Music OST Review

I often lambaste Koji Kondo and his work on the 16 and 8 Bit Super Mario games for being bland and uninspiring. Sure the music is colourful and cheery and memorable, but that doesn't necessarily mean its good. His work on the Legend of Zelda series has stood the test of time and the main world map theme is still one of the most beloved tracks in gaming.

However, I do have to give credit to Kondo on his work with Yoshi's Island. I was replaying the game recently and I came to realize just how much I enjoyed the game's soundtrack.

I have a difficult time trying to pinpoint my favourite track. There are only a fwew of them, but each one brings something special to the game. The World Boss Battle theme makes the boss fight seem more exciting while the Cave Theme's have a more mysterious and adventurous atmosphere. There is much variety in the game that you would be surprised that this is a Super Mario World sequel.

That is correct. Yoshi's Island official title is Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, but instead of being seen as a Super Mario sequel, Nintendo put more emphasis on this being a Yoshi game, which up until this point had been puzzle games. Much like how the first Wario Land game was the third Super Mario Land game on the Gameboy.

There is however one song that does elevate itself above the rest and that would be the final boss theme against a magically empowered baby Bowser. Unlike its predecessor which was a slow plodding affair, the aptly titled Bowser track is a frantic soundtrack designed to keep you on your toes. I enjoy this song because this is how a fight against the king of the Koopa's should be. You make one misjump and your life is over and you have to restart. If you are going for 100%, then it is even more hectic as you cannot get hit or else all your hard work of making it a perfect run is forfeit.

The entire soundtrack for the original Yoshi's Island is something special. Instead of the colourful and cheery, if a bit boring music, the players were given a rather whimsical soundtrack. With the crayon style graphics and coupled with the music, the game seems to emulate a child's storybook. There is still very little story to the game, but I do prefer how it is presented to the player compared to Super Mario World where there is no ingame story save for one screen. Yes I do remember that much of the story was told in the instruction manual, but I personally never liked that. I honestly preferred having my story told to me in the game.

Sadly, there is no way to purchase the album so the only way to get the music is to either to listen to it on YouTube or to play the game again. I would suggest the latter as you can experience the game in its entire glory.

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

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