Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Biweekly Music Wednesday! No. 51 ~Main Theme~ (Star Fox)




Origin: Star Fox
Plays In: Credits
Status: Original Composition
Composed By: Hajime Hirasawa

The SNES Classic Edition -- it's been two weeks since its announcement, and it's all I've been able to think about. It's the first time Star Fox and Yoshi's Island will be officially available via emulated form. I've been checking the listings on Amazon and Best Buy every day in scant hopes I'll be able to pre-order. Thoughts and prayers are sent out to the universe every day that we'll see these games unfiltered, just like the glorious NES Classic Mini before it. (My kingdom to have a bright, unglitched Kirby Super Star!) An equal amount of thoughts and prayers sent out in hopes I'll secure one.

Most of all, I think about how we will witness the very first release, to my memory of a cancelled game in Nintendo history: Star Fox 2.


Needless to say, I'm psyched. I mentioned this in the above article, but while prototype ROMs have leaked online since way back, it's been confirmed by Dylan Cuthbert himself that it's not the final game. Finally, after twenty-two years, the completed vision he, Katsuya Eguchi, Takaya Imamura and the rest of the staff will be shared with the world, be it the never-before-seen planet Eladard or the first real appearance of Star Wolf and the Arwing Walker mech.

What's most exciting about this is that Star Fox 2 is a Super Nintendo game. Think about that: we're going to see an unseen, completed title from Nintendo's Golden Era all these years later! What better era for a game lost to time to hail from! Too cool.

Some may say the original Star Fox hasn't aged well, but I personally can't disagree more. Sure, I agree Star Fox 64's score-attack design lends to more depth, but look past the original's dated look and you'll discover an incredibly competent shoot-'em-up; in fact, maybe you'll realize the basic polygonal design lends it a unique immersion all on its own.

And that's not even getting into the soundtrack, which is basically my main point for this article: Hajime Hirasawa created one of the SNES's greatest soundtracks in Star Fox, with the likes of Corneria, Sector Y and the Main Theme --the song featured in this installment-- impeccably blending rock and orchestral together into aural gold. Sadly, however, he didn't return for Star Fox 2, and instead Kozue Imakawa (The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening) and Yumiko Kanki (F-Zero) picked up where he left off.

Thanks to the leaked ROM, songs have been uploaded on YouTube and such, and taking a quick look reveals they're solid efforts. However, I can't help but shake the feeling they won't surpass Hirasawa's efforts. Such is the power of nostalgia, you may see, but to my mind Star Fox hosts one of the very best SNES soundtracks, and on a console as amazing as Super Nintendo, that's already a very hard distinction to make.

Therefore, the only logical answer to is to approach Star Fox 2 on its own merits; naturally, we'll all end up deciding which game is better, but there's surely strengths to it that the original cannot measure to. In the end, not only will Star Fox 2 likely bring some quality to what's an infamously imbalanced franchise, but it is confirmation Nintendo is still interested in continuing the series. I'm looking forward to it!

Final Thoughts: By the way, I really do wonder if Faye and Miyu, the two lost female characters, will make their way into future Star Fox entries now that Star Fox 2 is coming? I'd rather see them than Krystal, that's for sure.

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