Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Biweekly Music Wednesday! No. 17 ~ Menu~ (Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS)

Origin: Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U
Plays In: The Menu and Smash Run.
Status: Arrangement (the main theme for the games)
Arranger: Junichi Nakatsuru

A new Super Smash Bros. game is being held in my hands.

It's unbelievable. I remember once fully believing--at a time where I was undoubtedly too naive--that Brawl was the finale for our beloved Nintendo crossover, and here we are with two versions coming out in the same season. Isn't that crazy? The 3DS version has been released for nearly a week (and, provided you had access to the Japanese release, almost a month), and the Wii U sibling will release first on our shores this November. My dreams of Animal Crossing's Villager, Punch-Out's Little Mac, and Mega Man joining the battle have all come true alongside Sakurai-esque surprises in the form of the freaking dog from Duck Hunt and the entire Koopaling family all stuck into one swiss army-equipped Junior Clown Car. Amazing.

And that theme. Why must every Smash theme be so godly? Truth be told, I wasn't so convinced by it at its E3 2013 debut; granted, that particular version isn't present in the final version (or in the 3DS version, at least), but the instrumentation was so weak and just that it was hard to get excited by it. The closet sense of excitement I could derive from it was listening to this fan-made piano arrangement--which elicited a classic Melee-esque vibe--and I found that more than a little...well, sad. After the stunning glory that was the Brawl orchestra, could this dingy little tune really have what it took to set the pregame atmosphere for the upcoming Smash?

I guess I knew it was only just for the initial trailer, so I held out hope. And it delivered: not only did the arrangements found in this April's Nintendo Direct manage to hype me, but the final version blasting from the E3 footage successfully won me over. Unlike Melee's classicism and Brawl's orchestras, Smash for 3DS and Wii U goes for pregame Monday Night Football, right down to the revving guitar. Every time I hear it, I'm just so pumped to try out everyone in this glorious cast of all-stars.

And just like Brawl, the theme's peppered throughout the game via numerous arrangements. Many fans aren't so happy with this direction, but I don't really mind since this new theme is so goddamn good. Yes, it does mean we miss out on unique themes like Melee's Menu 2 and Trophy theme, yet at the same time every arrangement is such a fresh--even occasionally downright beautiful--take on the song that they lend the game even more character. Katsuro Tajima's Trophy Rush is a wonderful cacophony of fast-paced action, Yoshinori Hirai's Gallery/Hoard is a prestigious little blend of march and techno, Torine's piano rendition of the Classic: Final Results screen is both gorgeous and reflective, and let's not forget Taku Inoue's chiptune StreetSmash!

I'm just so happy, you know? Six years ago, when the toxicity pervaded the fanbase following Brawl's release, I never dreamed another Smash would arrive to placate my sadness...and yet here we are, ready to relish in another era of Smash Bros. The fun's only just begun with the 3DS version, and I know that when the Wii U version launches, this song will be there with me when I'm ready to jump into the floating temples and mountain crags of Battlefield and beyond.

Let's settle it in Smash!


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