Chrono Trigger: The Brink of Time
Quite possibly one of the more unique interpretations of a soundtrack genre-wise, but it is one hell of a good one. Have you ever heard acid jazz? I can’t say I have before listening to this. However, every single song on this record is crafted differently, retaining the familiar melodies that made the original Chrono Trigger music so amazing. You might describe this album as schizophrenic, with each song having its own personality, yet representing the tone of album as one arrangement. Some are chaotic, others are relaxing. You might not even like any of the renditions on this album, but it is hard to deny the creativity that Yasunori Mitsuda composed himself.
Smooth McGroove VGM a cappella: Volume 2
Really any compilation of Smooth’s versions of popular video games tunes is a great listen, however volume two contains some really standout choices like the Moon Theme from DuckTales and Dr Wily’s Castle from Mega Man 2. As the title of the album reads, each is an a cappella version of a popular chiptune, which might seem weird at first, but it actually works out quite well and is not hurtful to the ears at all. In fact, it’s quite pleasing. Smooth McGroove is talented, creative and a lot of these selections can be found on his YouTube channel.
Final Fantasy VI: Grand Finale
While piano collections exist for a lot of the Final Fantasy game soundtracks, it’s good see that the best Final Fantasy and the best Final Fantasy soundtrack got even more love here. From Nobuo Uematsu, you’re treated to 11 orchestrations from the FFVI lineup. Some of them turn out differently than you may imagine, but that does not detract from their quality. If you like the melodies from any Uematsu composition, this is for you.
Super Smash Bros. Melee: Smashing… Live!
The entirety of this recording was performed by the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra … live! The themes from most of your favorite Nintendo franchises are performed with mastery and embodied with plenty of character. What you thought were tunes actually become accurate, full length instrumentations that are very enjoyable to listen to. Most of the pieces are about three minutes long, but there is a 14 minute medley that will please any Nintendo fan instantly.
Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix OST
Back when SF2THDR was released, everything about it was sharpened; this also included the soundtrack which was left up to OverClocked ReMix. Just starting up the game to the main menu, hairs raised on the back of my neck. The feeling of nostalgia went to straight awesomeness. All of the music from the original Street Fighter II have been remixed and remastered for the game. Sure, you can toggle back to the original music and many would probably prefer it that way. But I’m telling you this is excellent work and it shouldn’t be ignored.