With the exception of some of the more obscure games in the franchise, namely that of Wily and Light’s Rock Board: That’s Paradise and the EXE and Star Force series; I’ve played and enjoyed the vast majority of Mega Man’s games.
A funny thing about Mega Man, is the fact that many of the spin-offs to the linear series are actually some of the better games in the entire franchise.
In example, the Mega Man X series is probably my favorite in the entire Mega Man continuity.
In terms of both art design and gameplay mechanics, I’ve always felt that the X series was a logical and welcome progression to the Mega Man games of old; such that I’ve actually found it somewhat difficult to go back to the basic “run and jump” style of the older games.
On that note, today our list of the Top 10 Videogame Songs takes us to a Mega Man series that represents a rare instance in videogames, that of the spin-off of a spin-off.
Said series is of course the uber-difficult but oh so rewarding Mega Man Zero series:
#7. Mega Man Zero 2 – Clover
Mega Man Zero 2 is probably my favorite entry in the Zero series, largely on the grounds that it’s gameplay, story, and features seemed the most cohesive and streamlined out of all of the games.
Taking place far in the future beyond the one depicted in the X series, Zero casts the player as the titular character of the same name that was introduced in the prior series.
The core gameplay between these 2 series wasn’t all that different, however Zero went the extra step of granting the player a number of new weapons and abilities, as well as a complex and customizable upgrade system.
As mentioned previously, the Zero series also went out of it’s way to significantly up the difficulty level, occasionally to obscene levels; but largely for the better.
The real star of the show of the Zero series, at least in my book; was the artistic design:
In terms of outstanding art design, there are few game series that can measure up to the Zero series in terms of creativity and colorfulness, as well as outright beauty.
I bought the Mega Man Zero art collection pretty much as soon as it became available, and to date it’s probably the most flipped through art book on my shelf.
While the visuals of Mega Man Zero were indeed a key selling point for me, I was surprised to find that, upon first picking up the series; the music was also quite good despite being played through a Gameboy Advance speaker.
On that note, “Clover” is kind of unique on this list, as it represents a song that actually is only featured in-game in an instrumental form, yet is included on the Mega Man Zero 2 soundtrack as an actual song.
While some would argue that this should disqualify the song for inclusion on this list, I stand by my decision on the grounds that it’s a awesome fucking song, and probably shouldn’t have been in the game given that it was featured in a Gameboy Advance game and likely would have sounded like shit being played through it’s tinny-ass speakers.
That being said, as was the case with “God Hand,” part of the overall appeal of “Clover” spawns not just from it’s quality as a song; but from the fact that it took some serious time and effort to gain access to.
The instrumental version of “Clover,” titled “Awakening Will,” serves as the ending theme of Mega Man Zero 2, and for my money; I think it was worth the effort:
As I made my way through the Mega Man Zero series, I made it a point to sit down and listen to the official soundtracks of each game in sequence, and I’ll never forget the time when I first had “Clover” play through my headphones.
Sure, there’s better pop songs out there, but much like “God Hand,” part of the appeal of “Clover” to me is the fact that I actually remember most of the lyrics.
As someone who still slips up on lyrics from “Eye of the Tiger,” despite having heard it 6 BILLION TIMES, I think it goes without saying that learning songs is not one of my strong suits.
I haven’t heard “Clover” all that many times, and yet for some reason the lyrics come quite naturally to me… Despite being sung in Japanese.
If that’s not an indication of a well written/catchy song, I don’t know what is.
Anyway, that was #7 on our list of the Top 10 Videogame Songs, check back tomorrow for more!