Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Favourite Video Game Music #3 - Street Fighter II

Being such a big follower of the fighting game scene (as you're probably bored of realising by now!), it would be absolutely criminal of me to not recognise the brilliance of Street Fighter II and recognise it I do. In complete honesty, I don't play SFII anywhere near as much as my other favourites but I usually have one of the excellent sequels on the go and the characters are never far from the gaming portion of my mind. The gameplay is of course near perfect (as evidenced by the fact that most modern fighters are still in debt to the standard move inputs and character archtypes that SFII popularised) but the music is also  a very special part of the game for me. There are of course a hell of a lot of Street Fighter II revisions and ports with different editions of the soundtrack from the CPS1 or CPS2 sounds to the arranged OST first appearing on the 3DO and beyond. What follows is my top 5 tracks from across the SFII spectrum. Naturally, there are a ridiculous number of omissions but a 'Top 5' is bound to have casualties!

Note: All featured music is property of its copyright holders. Featured videos are the work of the applicable uploaders and not my own work.

5. Intro Sequence (Super Street Fighter II Turbo - CPS-II)

This is such an awesome, gritty intro track, that grittiness being the trademark CPS-II sound. Much better than the 'classic' opening theme used for earlier SFII versions in my opinion. It does need to be viewed with the actual intro though just to see Akuma slowly appearing, Ryu launching his fireball and the crackling electrical sound effects.

4. Dhalsim's Stage (Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix)

Generally, I don't like Dhalsim and I don't use him in Street Fighter games. His SFII theme is memorable but not one of my favourites but then I heard this amazing new version in HD Remix and it quickly became one of my favourites. It's still clearly Dhalsim's theme but now more chilled-out and serene, a nice contrast to some of the more high energy tracks on the OST. Oddly, it reminds me of the obscure Talvin Singh remix for Blondie's 'Maria'! I'd like to link to it but unfortunately nobody has uploaded it on Youtube and I only have it as a bonus track on the CD Single...

3. Sagat's Stage (Super Street Fighter II Turbo - 3DO Arranged Version)

The 'arranged' version of Super Turbo's soundtrack first appeared on the 3DO home edition of the game, taking advantage of the CD storage medium to enable much more sophisticated music in-game. This particular version of the OST is now much more widely available thanks to it also featuring in Hyper Street Fighter II but before that, I was a big supporter of this mix of the which was relatively unknown amongst those who had never played SSFIIT on the 3DO (which was probably a lot of people!). Sagat's theme from this arranged OST is one of my favourites by far so I'm not too fussed to be stuck on his stage for a long time if it means hearing this.

2. Ken's Stage (Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix)

It was a tough choice between the brilliant CPS-II version and this newer, remixed version but this one won...just. High-energy and pumping, this is a great example of a remix that stays true enough to the original while being worth listening to in its own right.

1. Cammy's Stage (Super Street Fighter II Turbo - 3DO Arranged Version)

Again, the original CPS-II version is incredible but I've always enjoyed this arranged mix of Cammy's theme a little bit more for some reason. It has an extremely vague jazzy feel in parts but other than that I don't really know how to describe it so you'll just have to listen to it yourself! 

Feel like disagreeing or sharing your own Top 5? Then please comment below...

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