Board 8 > deo listens to Classic Sonic level themes for the first time and ranks them

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banshiryuu
10/21/19 9:49:08 PM
#1:


Hello, and welcome to this silly little ranking that I'll be doing over the next few weeks or so! I am in no way, shape, or form a Sonic fan, but I do like VGM a lot... and if you know me well, that might be an understatement. Thanks to the Best OST Contest I hosted that just wrapped up, I've been devoting a lot of my time recently to actually listening to entire OSTs, which is something I haven't normally done ever before. I wanted to go through a series' complete discography, preferably a series I had little familiarity with beforehand, and Sonic was the perfect fit for that.

Well, Sonic has a lot of games... and a lot of music. So we're cutting it down a bit here.

For this ranking, I listened to every single zone level theme from every "Classic Sonic" 2D platformer for the very first time and ranked them. Yes, the very first time. I can tell you exactly three songs I had heard before this ranking and could tell you what they sound like from memory: Green Hill Zone, Star Light Zone, and Chemical Plant Zone. That's it... Yeah. But now that I've done this, I'm familiar with a good amount of what the series has to offer, and I thought it'd be interesting to show other people who have known these songs for years what someone who is just coming into the series thinks of these classics! Below I'll list the games and number of tracks that are included in this ranking. Note that only 2D platformer games that utilize the "classic pre-Sonic Adventure" character designs will be included so as to keep this project to a manageable size.

Sonic the Hedgehog (Genesis; 7 tracks)
Sonic the Hedgehog (Master System; 6 tracks)
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Genesis; 14 tracks)
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Master System; 7 tracks)
Sonic CD (JPN/PAL) (Mega CD; 28 tracks)
Sonic CD (USA) (Sega CD; 21 tracks)
Sonic Chaos (Master System*; 8 tracks) *Plus Gigapolis Game Gear
Sonic the Hedgehog: Triple Trouble (Game Gear; 7 tracks)
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (Genesis; 17 tracks)
Sonic & Knuckles (Genesis; 12 tracks)
Sonic & Knuckles Collection (PC*; 6 tracks) *Using FM versions
Knuckles' Chaotix (32X; 8 tracks)
Sonic Blast (Game Gear; 5 tracks)
Sonic Mania (Switch/PS4/XONE*; 28 tracks) *Plus Angel Island
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Total Tracks: 174

For a complete listing on what will appear, check this pastebin:
https://pastebin.com/2vLcfxnr
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banshiryuu
10/21/19 9:49:39 PM
#2:


So that means we should also go over what is not included that might not be so obvious:
Special/Bonus Stages in general.
Sonic & Knuckles Collection music that is not original to the game. Every song would just get a straight downgrade pretty much so it's not worth it.
Sonic Chaos Game Gear tracks that are slightly different. (Turquoise Hill, Sleeping Egg, etc.) Gigapolis is a completely different song, so it is still included.
Tails Adventure is skipped over as it felt weird for me to have "area themes" in a ranking of "level themes" because of the Metroidvania-like nature of the game. Spoiler alert: it won't be missed that much. Sorry.
Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure, Sonic Advance, Sonic Rush, Sonic 4, etc. are not included as they use the "modern Sonic" design.
Tails' Skypatrol, SegaSonic the Hedgehog, Sonic 3D Blast, Sonic Drift, Sonic R, etc. are not included as they are not 2D platformers in any way.
Sonic Generations and Sonic Forces are not included despite having "Classic 2D platforming sections with Classic Sonic" because using only a piece of a soundtrack is dumb.

Scoring was based on a normal 10-point scale while actually judging tracks, but the score presented in the list will be on a 100-point scale, with a weighted average of the lowest scoring score receiving a 0, and the highest receiving a 100. To give a rough idea of how this list originally stacked up, my lowest song got a 3.7 and the highest an 8.8.

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This is just a silly little thing I'm doing for the heck of it so feel free to just swing by whenever and tell me your thoughts on some things I had posted, or even just cheer on your own favorite songs! It'll be cool to see if some of my highest ended up being hidden gems with a cult following.... or if I end up blowing out some fan favorites. We'll see!!
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LeonhartFour
10/21/19 9:57:25 PM
#3:


I am hyped

Classic Sonic music doesn't get enough love around here
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dowolf
10/21/19 10:14:37 PM
#4:


Tag
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Grand Kirby
10/21/19 10:33:37 PM
#5:


Interesting... I'm looking forward to it.

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foolm0r0n
10/21/19 10:40:03 PM
#6:


tagbanshiryuu posted...
Sonic Generations and Sonic Forces are not included despite having "Classic 2D platforming sections with Classic Sonic" because using only a piece of a soundtrack is dumb.

Disagree but tag
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banshiryuu
10/21/19 11:21:47 PM
#7:


Alright, let's get 'er started!

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174th: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 - Death Egg Zone (Part1)
Composer: Masato Nakamura
Score: 0/100 (3.7), Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (14/14)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtyMbS_KtIk" data-time="


I'm honestly kind of shocked that this song is actually a Sonic game song and not a Sonic bootleg song. The major on minor stuff certainly helps this song achieve its goal of "insane clown goes on a happy little murder spree" but it is not done in an appealing way to me at all. I'm a big fan of FM in general, even the most ear-piercing of sounds, but that bass is both piercing and boring so it ends up not winning any points for itself at all. The Simon Wai prototype uses the Ring sound effect for the arpeggiating stuff and that's hilarious and unironically better than the final product.

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173rd: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 - Wing Fortress Zone
Composer: Masato Nakamura
Score: 14/100 (4.4), Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (13/14)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBw_mtXrA4g" data-time="


And the song preceding the absolute madness of Death Egg Zone is something just as crazy right? Maybe a little more subdued? Nope, it's a boring march song. Oh. This sounds more like it should be a song for "Raining on Christmas Day Zone" or something, it's a very odd half-triumphant half-defeated feeling and does not work that well at all.

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172nd: Sonic the Hedgehog - Final Zone
Composer: Masato Nakamura
Score: 24/100 (4.9), Sonic the Hedgehog (7/7)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBnxEXsQnpI" data-time="


Wow, Nakamura really just didn't know how to get that endgame feeling down huh? The intro just blares right into existence as the Pokemon Red/Blue unused song and just starts going with... whatever is happening here. It's definitely a step in the right direction over Wing Fortress (or well... I guess rather, he took a step back) cause this song has a consistent "take charge and move forward" drive to it, but instead of moving forward the melodies kinda overtake each other and fight each other and push each other off course until they realize they've gone so off course that they completely stop and restart the loop?? Like seriously that loop is kinda whack. Anyway, still pretty boring, but it's got... something there. I think.
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dowolf
10/21/19 11:28:11 PM
#8:


man, wing fortress is so good in-game.

also poor Final Zone :(
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LeonhartFour
10/21/19 11:29:26 PM
#9:


Yeah, I've always really liked Wing Fortress, but I think that's a minority opinion.
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Grand Kirby
10/21/19 11:29:41 PM
#10:


Those songs were great when I was 5 and on the edge of my seat in the endgame.

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That you're a cheater. This is a 12-sided die. Chan
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banshiryuu
10/22/19 12:22:31 AM
#11:


171st: Sonic & Knuckles - Mushroom Hill Zone Act 1
Composer: Tatsuyuki Maeda, Sachio Ogawa, Masanori Hikichi
Score: 29/100 (5.2), Sonic & Knuckles (12/12)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13qhQBOAQDg" data-time="


Why are these mushrooms farting at me. There's a few things I like about this song, the main thing being that the main melody is actually pretty good! And that's always a good thing to save you from "utter boring" tier, but there's... not much else to this song at all. The drums remind me of Knuckles' Theme from base Sonic 3 but without the punch, and the bass is... there. It exists. Just a very "okay" song. The worms ate through the mushroom and left a ton of holes in it.

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170th: Sonic Blast - Yellow Desert Zone
Composer: Kojiro Mikusa
Score: 31/100 (5.3), Sonic Blast (5/5)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D922gwrtfoc" data-time="


Something that will become somewhat apparent as these rankings go on as far as the Master System and Game Gear stuff goes is that the noise channel on the SN76489 chip they use weighs heavily on how much I like the song. With only 3 squares to work with, it's the most dynamic instrument as far as variation of sound (not variation of composition) that they had to work with so if its underutilized, it leaves a lot to be desired most of the time. This is a good example; the melody is just kinda alright, but well over half the loop is this same melody part so it grows old fast. The one time this song shines through (the cool trill at 0:30) its gone in a flash. It's fine, but I wish there was a lot more to offer here.

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169th: Sonic the Hedgehog: Triple Trouble - Tidal Plant Zone
Composer: Yayoi Wachi
Score: 35/100 (5.5), Sonic the Hedgehog: Triple Trouble (7/7)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BBzOirmLx4" data-time="


Not sure how to actually feel about this one, or for that matter what to really say about it. The melody is radically more boring than the arpeggios going on in the background, so when they both move together for like four notes I get pretty hyped and then it's back to what it was before. A bunch of in-and-out with the quality and it's just not something I particularly think is worth thinking too much about.
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banshiryuu
10/22/19 1:00:58 AM
#12:


168th: Sonic the Hedgehog - Labyrinth Zone
Composer: Masato Nakamura
Score: 37/100 (5.6), Sonic the Hedgehog (6/7)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CErBJJX00M" data-time="


A slightly more refined version of Mushroom Hill Zone's theme, but actually becomes more fleshed out at 0:21. Well, I guess "becomes more full sounding" is a better way to put it, cause what it adds in still is boring to me, and it's gone just after it comes in anyway. Another one for the pile of "could be much better if it were longer with more going on."

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167th: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 - Sky Chase Zone
Composer: Masato Nakamura
Score: 41/100 (5.8), Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (12/14)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlMWQxSkAkw" data-time="


Continues the trend of songs with not much meat on the bone at all, but the sound to this one is actually really pleasant to me! So that bumps it up quite a bit compared to the likes of Mushroom Hill 1 and Labyrinth. I could see times where this song might actually even be soothing to listen to, but normally I'd listen to it, think "oh right this one sounds kinda cool" and then stop thinking about it as soon as its gone. Could do a lot more to be more memorable, but it could be a lot worse too.
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Leonhart4
10/22/19 1:06:57 AM
#13:


Sky Chase is pretty chill which is a nice change of pace from a lot of Sonic music
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banshiryuu
10/22/19 1:37:12 AM
#14:


166th: Sonic & Knuckles - Mushroom Hill Zone Act 2
Composer: Tatsuyuki Maeda, Sachio Ogawa, Masanori Hikichi
Score: 43/100 (5.9), Sonic & Knuckles (11/12)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dio-I096_74" data-time="


The mushrooms were given more shroom juice and now fart at me more angrily. Unlike some other songs that will come up later where the differences between Act 1 and Act 2 (or other versions in the case of originals/Mania Act 1s) are not enough for me to think about the songs as seperate entities that much, I think this Act 2 is significantly improved over the Act 1. All it takes is the busier percussion and small added flourishes here to make it much more fun to listen to. I still... don't particularly care for what the whole composition has to offer anyway... but I actually wouldn't mind listening to this version.

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165th: Sonic Chaos - Electric Egg Zone
Composer: Kojiro Mikusa, Masayuki Nagao
Score: 43/100 (5.9), Sonic Chaos (8/8)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62z1fIXiNB0" data-time="


This one starts off with this cool kinda jazzy vibe, but the melody quickly turns into something I don't really care about at all. The backing is just kinda there but when it returns to more of the flourish-y quips and stuff it's cool again. Especially 0:59 until the loop. Even the parts I do kinda like just repeat and make the song lose its flair pretty fast though, which is unfortunate.

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164th: Knuckles' Chaotix - Take A Nap (Introduction Zone)
Composer: Mariko Nanba
Score: 43/100 (5.9), Knuckles' Chaotix (8/8)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOLs2diRUtQ" data-time="


Cool little reggae-esque tune that does indeed fit a very small introduction area in a tropical setting. It's just that though; an introduction. It doesn't go anywhere or do anything, so its worth is just from be cool FM reggae. Yup.

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163rd: Sonic the Hedgehog - Spring Yard Zone
Composer: Masato Nakamura
Score: 44/100 (5.9), Sonic the Hedgehog (5/7)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vq40xcLyyjQ" data-time="


Another short tune with a pretty cool, rather unique vibe. A number of problem set this back pretty far for me though unfortunately... the first half has that really annoying droning held synth that is way, way too loud, and the back half is just kinda boring. The cool sounds are brought down a bit too much by being assigned to a composition I don't care for.
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Leonhart4
10/22/19 1:42:04 AM
#15:


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banshiryuu
10/22/19 1:45:53 AM
#16:


Spring Yard's definitely the lowest one in the list where I thought "wow I can tell this is going to be one most people like" and then it ended up way lower than I thought it would after the list expanded from just 1/2/3...
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McMoogle
10/22/19 2:00:36 AM
#17:


I'm digging this all a lot so far. Christ 90's Sonic was great
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XIII_rocks
10/22/19 2:20:54 AM
#18:


This is good stuff

Shame you aren't ranking 3d blast (though I totally get why not) - imo it has some of the best music

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banshiryuu
10/22/19 2:47:47 AM
#19:


I definitely intend on getting to listening to both 3D Blasts sometime soon - I've sampled both versions a little bit and they both already have some real standouts! Sonic R is the one and only Sonic soundtracks I was already familiar with so I definitely trust that Richard Jacques put some hot tunes in the Saturn one, and the Genesis Rusty Ruin Act 2 actually blew me away when I listened to it just a few days ago. I would've loved to add it but in the interest of keeping this as much a "fun little project" as possible I decided not to. Who knows though, if this goes well I could always keep it going with more of the series!
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Grand Kirby
10/22/19 3:10:40 AM
#20:


I'm kind of interested to see how Knuckles Chaotix ends up doing. It has such a forgettable soundtrack overall, but some of the songs are the best in the Sonic series.

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Okay, I rolled a 14. What's that mean? Hsu
That you're a cheater. This is a 12-sided die. Chan
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Cybat
10/22/19 10:46:41 AM
#21:


Awesome topic. Definitely tagging this.

Does all this music make you want to go back and play the games? <_<
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banshiryuu
10/22/19 11:39:02 AM
#22:


It does, actually! I'm really bad at actually playing games for some reason so it'll probably be quite a while before I actually play all of em, let alone just a few, but it's definitely on the table now.
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banshiryuu
10/22/19 11:42:41 AM
#23:


162nd: Sonic Mania - Wildstyle Pistolero - Mirage Saloon Zone Act 1 K Mix
Composer: Tee Lopes
Score: 45 (6.0), Sonic Mania (28/28)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IF-YoPMPAlU" data-time="


A lot of conflicting feelings on this one! It does a lot of things I like, namely the heavy vocal and scratch sampling. But it's so bizzare against the slow and somber western composition on top of it, which I usually find very hard to care about and this is not an exception. I definitely appreciate the experimentation here but it ends up not being something for me, despite the seeds to make it so being there.

Also sidenote but Wildstyle Pistolero is an amazing name for a song, very cool looking and sounding.

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161st: Sonic CD (USA) - Quartz Quadrant
Composer: Spencer Nilsen, David Young
Score: 46 (6.0), Sonic CD (USA) (21/21)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GR0a3OsG_Og" data-time="


Another case of "a genre I don't really care about" we have this rather straightforward rock-style piece. The guitar goes pretty much nowhere and does pretty much nothing, the most interesting part of the song is the pretty cool clanking thats panned to the left, I wish that was a little louder! There's also the one part where this girl says "Bad", so obviously this is Michael Jackson's first descent on the ranking! She's also lying though cause it's not necessarily a bad song, just not for me and has added problems of being too simple and too long.

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160th: Knuckles' Chaotix - Labyrinth (Amazing Arena Zone (Lights Off))
Composer: Junko Shiratsu
Score: 46 (6.0), Knuckles' Chaotix (7/8)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMXWxPqkzOk" data-time="


Very short little loop here, again fitting for being used for a short time but not very suitable to listen to outside of the game. It's pretty cool for what it is though, it definitely sounds like what the title advertises! Of all the songs so far, this is the one I wish had a lot more to it the most cause there's so much potential... but it is what it is.
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SeabassDebeste
10/22/19 1:19:57 PM
#24:


cool topic!
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Gatarix
10/22/19 1:30:02 PM
#25:


banshiryuu posted...
Continues the trend of songs with not much meat on the bone at all, but the sound to this one is actually really pleasant to me!

I'm impressed that 167/174 is already "really pleasant"
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LeonhartFour
10/22/19 1:57:18 PM
#26:


Gatarix posted...
banshiryuu posted...
Continues the trend of songs with not much meat on the bone at all, but the sound to this one is actually really pleasant to me!

I'm impressed that 167/174 is already "really pleasant"


it's certainly a change from the average VGMC crowd...!
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banshiryuu
10/22/19 7:46:08 PM
#27:


159th: Sonic Blast - Green Hill Zone
Composer: Kojiro Mikusa
Score: 47 (6.1), Sonic Blast (4/5)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkUFpS8USAg" data-time="


Intro starts this one off really well, but then when we get to the actual song it kinda falls apart for me. The melody isn't that interesting, and somehow the moving background part annoys me quite a lot... which is odd cause usually stuff like that is cool to me! It just doesn't flow well at all with the melody that I already have a hard time remembering at all, so the song ends up sounding kinda jumbled. With some compositional changes I think I would like it quite fine, especially since the overall sound is still good! Besides the aforementioned backing instrument I don't have any problems at all so I'm kinda sad I feel like its potential is not realized.

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158th: Sonic & Knuckles - Sandopolis Zone Act 1
Composer: Tatsuyuki Maeda, Sachio Ogawa, Masanori Hikichi
Score: 48 (6.1), Sonic & Knuckles (10/12)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNJVqALvWms" data-time="


Much like Mushroom Hill Zone Act 1, this song feels super empty when it doesn't really need to. Drum section is boring, and while the Arabic-styled melodies are pretty cool at some points, when they're the only thing to be focused on at all it gets really tiring. I hate beating the "I wish there was more to this song to make it sound fuller" message into almost all of these songs at the bottom of this list but this one needs it pretty bad. I wonder if they fix it...

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157th: Sonic the Hedgehog: Triple Trouble - Meta Junglira Zone
Composer: Yayoi Wachi
Score: 49 (6.2), Sonic the Hedgehog: Triple Trouble (6/7)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dE91lBWne_4" data-time="


I have no idea what Meta Junglira is supposed to mean, but it kinda looks like Jungle and this song kinda feels like it would play in a Jungle so I'm going to assume that's what this level is like. A few spots in this song sounds really, really cool for a few seconds, but then keep going back to the main melody that I don't care for particularly. For example during 0:47 to 1:02, it's kinda whatever overall but when it does the trills that start soft and crescendo in, THAT'S super cool. Definitely look forward to that part the most when I listen to this song.
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LeonhartFour
10/22/19 7:47:27 PM
#28:


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ninkendo
10/22/19 7:55:06 PM
#30:


Im just going to assume one of the variations of flying battery is #1
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Grand Kirby
10/22/19 8:18:53 PM
#31:


Sandopolis is even worse when you're hearing it for 10 minutes because you got stuck on that one puzzle

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Okay, I rolled a 14. What's that mean? Hsu
That you're a cheater. This is a 12-sided die. Chan
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LeonhartFour
10/22/19 8:19:31 PM
#32:


Grand Kirby posted...
Sandopolis is even worse when you're hearing it for 10 minutes because you got stuck on that one puzzle


well that's Act 2 so that's technically a different song...!
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banshiryuu
10/23/19 1:20:00 AM
#33:


156th: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 - Casino Night Zone
Composer: Masato Nakamura
Score: 51 (6.3), Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (11/14)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gw7A3Ao7Y8" data-time="


Theme of Sonic if it were made in the 30s or something. It's alright, but is super generic "old-timey casino music", which I guess is exactly what they're going for so they didn't fail in that regard. Starts off pretty good and falters the more it goes on. The repetition at the end of the loop is totally unnecessary and predictable as hell. Still, gotta hand it to them for nailing the atmosphere.

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155th: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (SMS) - Crystal Egg Zone
Composer: Tomonori Sawada
Score: 51 (6.3), Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (SMS) (7/7)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFB-xMGlrV8" data-time="


The intro is really cool and like it, but then it goes away and I get really sad cause the song itself is pretty average and not that interesting. It's almost a minute before it changes up at all, and while the back half of the song does get a bit better and the cool part comes back it doesn't save it from being an overall pretty whatever song.

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154th: Sonic CD (USA) - Collision Chaos "G" mix
Composer: Mark Crew
Score: 52 (6.3), Sonic CD (USA) (20/21)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzlnVhMbVZk" data-time="


Unlike the JP version's stage themes which all use a loose motif, the US version's stages are a lot more similar to each other. And yet, some of them do things that drastically change my opinion of them as we will soon find out! Can't say whether this specific stage theme will be such a case, but we shall see. Compared to other versions on Collision Chaos US, this one is a lot more subdued and has less going on in it over other themes. I don't really like the filtered guitar being such a focus, being louder than the other parts that come in occasionally. Definitely like it more when there's more going on in it, and that's all I can really say for now without talking about the other versions as well.
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banshiryuu
10/23/19 1:51:01 AM
#34:


153rd: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 - Hill Top Zone
Composer: Masato Nakamura
Score: 53 (6.4), Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (10/14)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Eg7ZWnYKHE" data-time="


Funny song. I like the pitch bends on the lead, especially in the intro, that really give it a harmonica-like feel. Otherwise its a pretty plain song, not much to say about it honestly.

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152nd: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (SMS) - Aqua Lake Zone
Composer: Masafumi Ogata, Naofumi Hataya
Score: 53 (6.4), Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (SMS) (6/7)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGde4z9FVoU" data-time="


Intro is pretty cool, and then it starts doing the funny boring repetition thing for a while... but when the melody comes in at 0:20 it actually interacts with the repetition pretty well. I really like the one channel that adds a little bit of depth in anticipation of the melody coming in at 0:18 as well, makes that lead in really cool. 0:58 is where the song really shines though; the melody line here is really cool. Still, overall the song is too much of the bad kind of repetition for me to like it much more than I do.

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151st: Sonic CD (JPN/PAL) - Tidal Tempest "P" mix
Composer: Masafumi Ogata
Score: 54 (6.4), Sonic CD (JPN/PAL) (28/28)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eRAz_AhOx0" data-time="


Oh cool now that we've hit a Past song I can talk about the RF5C164 chip! While my favorite sound chips are mostly the wavetable synth ones, (using preset waveforms programmed into the chip, stuff like the Famicom Disk System 2C33, the Namco 163, or the TruboGrafx-16's HuC6280) I am also a huge fan of PCM synth chips (using sample clips, basically like trackers use) and that includes what Sonic CD uses for the past themes. Lots of really cool samples used here to really give it a prehistoric feeling that only a few of the past themes actually really go for, but I feel like this song is kinda underdeveloped, even for a "prehistoric water area" feel. More of the slow kind of repetition that I don't like, though some of the kind I do like appears as well like the arps around 0:48.
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XIII_rocks
10/23/19 2:03:58 AM
#35:


Gatarix posted...
I'm impressed that 167/174 is already "really pleasant"


I noticed this too actually

Refreshingly positive

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banshiryuu
10/23/19 3:10:17 AM
#36:


150th: Sonic the Hedgehog (SMS) - Jungle Zone
Composer: Yuzo Koshiro
Score: 55 (6.5), Sonic the Hedgehog (SMS) (6/6)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7iTDInENvE" data-time="


A happy little upbeat tune. Unlike Meta Junglira Zone, this song doesn't really feel like a "jungle song" despite being the one literally named Jungle Zone! It's short and sweet, albeit nothing much to write home about. The lead at 0:19 is pretty darn cool though, I like the arps on it there.

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149th: Sonic Chaos - Gigalopolis Zone
Composer: Kojiro Mikusa, Masayuki Nagao
Score: 55 (6.5), Sonic Chaos (7/8)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRimMyvBnwc" data-time="


Another song with a lot of repetition without much to back it up, but I do like the overall feel of the song in general so it's more listenable than those before it.

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148th: Sonic Blast - Red Volcano Zone
Composer: Kojiro Mikusa
Score: 55 (6.5), Sonic Blast (3/5)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIRCSRK2Md4" data-time="


Slower sound that I overall don't care for, but has a kinda dark vibe that really does remind me of a volcano. In contrast, however, I like the melody of this one quite a bit! So it ends up being another weird balance sort of deal as far as my feelings towards it goes.
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banshiryuu
10/23/19 3:40:43 AM
#37:


147th: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 - Oil Ocean Zone
Composer: Masato Nakamura
Score: 56 (6.5), Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (9/14)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhCB-xYzI_U" data-time="


LOVE the intro a lot, gives a very cool Arabic flair to it... and then it turns into just another upbeat hokey level theme with the melody almost taking a backseat to the bass and other things which pop out more. I wanna hear the cool stuff more! Then 0:38 comes along and this other melody comes in and NO I WANNA hear... the cool arabian stuff.... If I pay attention really hard I like the song a lot but I shouldn't have to be looking at the song with a magnifying glass (pretend that makes sense) to see the cool stuff!

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146th: Sonic & Knuckles Collection - Carnival Night Zone Act 1
Composer: Jun Senoue, Shigeaki Irie, Masaaki Nishizawa, Goro Takahashi
Score: 56 (6.5), Sonic & Knuckles Collection (6/6)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTwSSeCH4NQ" data-time="


Fun song, I really appreciate how this game went more for the upbeat neon light-laden city feeling that isn't found in the other casino/carnival songs in the series. The intro using like flourishes that sound like slot machines jingles is pretty cool. The melody as the song goes along is kinda all over the place and doesn't make the song very engaging to listen to for me, which is kind of a shame! Can definitely see myself enjoying this a bit more in context.
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Leonhart4
10/23/19 7:03:35 AM
#38:


Yeah, I'd agree these are all lower tier songs.
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XIII_rocks
10/23/19 10:36:31 AM
#39:


Wait, what is that Carnival Night theme? I didn't think the collection versions were different

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Grand Kirby
10/23/19 11:52:35 AM
#40:


Yeah, the PC version had different music for certain songs because of licensing issues (probably something to do with the fact that it was re-arranged into MIDI.) Anything song Michael Jackson worked on was replaced.

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banshiryuu
10/23/19 1:58:59 PM
#41:


145th: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 - Casino Night Zone (2P)
Composer: Masato Nakamura
Score: 57/100 (6.6), Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8/14)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NyVZF0HW_U" data-time="


Pretty simple and kinda empty feeling as well, but the melody is good so that saves it quite a bit. By far the best utilization of the stereotypical casino sound that has appeared, this song manages to still be pretty fun to listen to.

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144th: Sonic CD (JPN/PAL) - Tidal Tempest "G" mix
Composer: Masafumi Ogata
Score: 57/100 (6.6), Sonic CD (JPN/PAL) (27/28)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jrb6leen4vc" data-time="


This song almost feels like the beat for an R&B song or something with the lower-quality drums, and honestly if those arps were lower in volume I could see myself rather enjoying this more with lyrics on top or something. Kinda plain otherwise, the flute stuff seems kinda thrown in there to give it at least something else to work with but it doesn't add much to the song. Overall a pretty chill song.

Also, I should mention that when I listened through and ranked stuff, I used a gamerip of the 2012 version of Sonic CD with the looping music using the unused links from Prototype 712. While I do have thoughts on the utilization of these, I didn't let them influence my placements at all since most people probably don't regularly listen to these versions (I couldn't even find them on YT at all.) Tidal Tempest "G"s links is just the drum loop continued, but for some reason the song fades back into the song when it loops and it sounds kinda nasty. Like I said, didn't influence my placement at all, but it is kinda whack. The YT upload provided just start up again instead of fading in and it's still jank but it's not bizarre.
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MycroProcessor
10/23/19 3:52:48 PM
#42:


Grand Kirby posted...
Yeah, the PC version had different music for certain songs because of licensing issues (probably something to do with the fact that it was re-arranged into MIDI.) Anything song Michael Jackson worked on was replaced.

This isn't actually quite confirmed to be the case, though used to be widely theorized to be the reason for them being replaced. We now know that some stuff that was replaced was definitely /not/ really MJ's work and also now know that some stuff that wasn't replaced is almost definitely MJ's work.

We have much more knowledge on who composed what for this game than 10 years ago but the idea that "these are the specific michael jackson and/or mj sound team ones" is more broken than ever. The only 100% confirmed MJ-as-composer known one is the Credits theme (Michael Jackson + Brad Buxer) which was one of the replaced ones though

Most likely it just came down to not wanting the PC version to have to use songs that heavily focused on using unique sounds from the PCM sample channel (ie vocal samples...which means it coincidentally lined up with MJ's tracks or suspected tracks often of course), which plain unmodified MIDI as a format couldn't conveniently play back. It likely had little to do with MJ's influence or licensing because otherwise the replaced set of tracks would be much different.
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Haste_2
10/23/19 4:01:22 PM
#43:


Casino Zone is bleh. Tidal Tempest is cool.... 0:19 sounds so ethereal.
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Cavedweller2000
10/23/19 4:12:39 PM
#44:


I'm gonna say Chemical Plant Zone from the second game is in the top 10.

That's my guess anyway
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banshiryuu
10/23/19 8:11:42 PM
#45:


143rd: Knuckles' Chaotix - Seascape (Marina Madness Zone)
Composer: Junko Shiratsu
Score: 57/100 (6.6), Knuckles' Chaotix (6/8)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvRKIxTUbf4" data-time="


A very suave little tune, almost like background music you'd expect to hear while sipping on some fruity drink on a yacht or something. I dunno what kind of madness they thought this song would convey, it's pretty much all chill! The melody is alright but the instrument that plays it is a bit underwhelming; you've got this beefy bass and pretty busy percussion but then this melody is this soft lil' thing, so the balance of the song is kinda off-kilter. Rather nice tune all things considered.

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142nd: Sonic CD (JPN/PAL) - Quartz Quadrant "G" mix
Composer: Naofumi Hataya
Score: 57/100 (6.6), Sonic CD (JPN/PAL) (26/28)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCGfbGIQaAc" data-time="


Yet another song that'd be perfect for an outing on a boat and--... wait, it's NOT for the water level this time? Well dang. Much like Seascape, cool sound overall but doesn't stick with me much at all. Actually, the strings kinda get on my nerves towards the end of the loop sometimes, but when that happens it's pretty short-lived so it's not that big a deal.
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Grand Kirby
10/23/19 8:59:06 PM
#46:


You literally put two of my favorite Sonic songs ever in that one post.

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banshiryuu
10/23/19 9:54:22 PM
#47:


Ah dang, despite them being "this low" I can definitely see how those two specifically together would appeal to others more than me! Now that we're out of the bottom 30, which were the ones I either disliked or just didn't really care for at all, the 6.6~6.9 range is all stuff that I would say I at least do like! This range covers for 145th all the way to 71st and only eight values for the adjusted points system (57 to 64) so I wouldn't take it as a totally bad thing if favorites begin to drop already.
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foolm0r0n
10/23/19 9:57:33 PM
#48:


banshiryuu posted...
153rd: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 - Hill Top Zone

this one sounds like bubsy
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banshiryuu
10/23/19 10:16:36 PM
#49:


141st: Sonic CD (USA) - Palmtree Panic "G" mix
Composer: Spencer Nilsen, David Young
Score: 57/100 (6.6), Sonic CD (USA) (19/21)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_yTpIzX1KA" data-time="


Man, this almost feels like it should be a past track! That lead is like the epitome of "safari landscape in prehistoric times" but it's instead for... tropical sunshine island... in the future. Waaaay oohhhhh. If I squint hard enough with my ears maybe I can hear the tropics in there. If only I had some sort of "original song" to compare it to...

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140th: Sonic CD (USA) - Palmtree Panic
Composer: Spencer Nilsen, David Young
Score: 57/100 (6.6), Sonic CD (USA) (18/21)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WIA45pEpp8" data-time="


Oh okay there it is! Now that we go back into a past a bit (to the now from the future hmmmm) now I understand how this is supposed to sound like tropical sunshine island! We've gone from sounding like Land Before Time background music to Surf's Up background music instead. Somehow despite this however, it has the same general energy as the Good Future mix; the way oh vocals in that one pumped more life into the song than I had really realized, a role similarly filled by the lead in this one. Guitar solo at 1:04 is pretty dang cool. Good song(s), just not suited to my tastes very much.
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banshiryuu
10/23/19 11:06:12 PM
#50:


139th & 138th: Sonic & Knuckles Collection - IceCap Zone Act 1 and IceCap Zone Act 2
Composer: Jun Senoue, Shigeaki Irie, Masaaki Nishizawa, Goro Takahashi
Score: 57/100 (6.6), Sonic & Knuckles Collection (5/6) & Sonic & Knuckles Collection (4/6)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KdJ8nArcfU" data-time="

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fhwwJVM868" data-time="


Two in one here because I... literally can't tell what the difference is! From my analysis it seems like Act 2 is very slightly slower and that's about it. One of the YouTube comments somewhere said there is more percussion/the percussion is louder in Act 2 but it doesn't even seem like that to me... maybe in the General MIDI version? Who knows. Anyway, since I can't tell I'll just lump these together anyway.

Very cool take on an ice theme! Rather than something that sounds like its for a frigid ice-laden landscape, this theme is more suited for skiing down a big ol' hill on a bright, sunny day. Or, at least the backing does, cause the melody is kinda slow and brings it down to pizza-french-fry-ing down a mountain instead. I find myself enjoying the song a lot more when the melody isn't there. But still, it's a cool (haha) song.

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137th: Sonic CD (JPN/PAL) - Collision Chaos "P" mix
Composer: Masafumi Ogata
Score: 57/100 (6.6), Sonic CD (JPN/PAL) (25/28)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEfYqmjUhbo" data-time="


Funky little tune here. Some really cool samples, especially in the middle section around 0:34. When it goes into just full on chromatic rave hits I actually find it really, really funny and like it for how ridiculous it is, but the rest of the song feels like its holding back somewhat. It wants to use and do all these funny things but it's slower than it needs to be to maximize on that to me.
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LeonhartFour
10/23/19 11:14:04 PM
#51:


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