Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Let's Listen: Unreleased Games

at 2:05 PM
A game might go unreleased, but with the power of the internet and dealings of dubious moral standing, we have the power to hear what it would be like to play many unreleased games from yesteryear. Here's three of them.
Sonic Crackers

We start today with a chill track. Sonic Crackers is the beta form of Knuckles Chaotix, or at least, it's an unreleased game strongly resembling Knuckles Chaotix. If this song sounds familiar, it's because Knuckles Chaotix spiffed it up to get Evening Star.

None of the tracks from Sonic Crackers are long--most loop before 30 seconds are up--but they all feature the same main theme. Maybe it's because I've heard it repeated so much, but I find it a particularly memorable one. Not to say that Sonic isn't chock full of memorable melodies, but this one is terse and distinct like few in the series are.

The melody follows a funk-ish beat that's aided by a wistful, echoy high-pitched synth and a simplistic bassline that's there for no reason other than to hear the Genesis slap bass one more time. For the number of things going on at any given time, Evening Star keeps a relaxing tone.

With Sunman, Sunsoft had another superhero game featuring Batman-esque combat. Originally planned for the Superman license, Sunsoft lost the license, turned "per" into "n," and eventually buried the game never to sell it. Sunsoft also lost the Terminator license, but at least that game came out as Journey to Silius. Plus, they got Gremlins 2 and Fester's Quest.

Anyway, most of the Sunman soundtrack keeps an uneasy beat, as you'll notice right away here. While the tune is catchy, it's also not as well produced as most later Sunsoft NES tunes. Bits like the twinkling at 0:17 evidence that someone who knew some NES music tricks was at work here, but that person was unable to finish up the track. As it is, we've got a nice basis for a song. To be fair, this is one of the least released Sunsoft games of all, having never been released.

There's also the Superman version of the soundtrack, which sounds much more complete and ready to go to stores.
Time Trax

Time Trax was an early 90s science fiction TV show. It received a game on Super Nintendo and Genesis, each version with its own soundtrack. The Genesis one never surfaced, however, only showing up last month and bringing with it a Tim Follin soundtrack. Tim Follin, along with his brother Geoff, are known for fantastic OSTs such as Solstice and Plok.

Tim has a track here chock full of swagger. In the opening, two FM guitars shred it out, taking their time to explore the theme at hand. I'm not entirely sure why when it comes to the details of this track in particular, but I find myself focusing on the time spent varying each theme. Tim Follin has a way of going crazy with his songs, and you'll see what I mean here.

1 comment:

  1. As usual, I listened to these songs before reading your breakdowns. 30 seconds into Time Trax, I thought to myself, "what is this, Plok goes to Space?"