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The Top 10 Videogame Songs, #8

#8 of our Top 10 Videogame Songs brings us to a genre of game that very likely should have a larger presence on this list, yet due to my personal taste in games; doesn’t.

Said genre is of course that of the ever popular rhythm/dance game.

As with many genres of games that don’t involve the words “fighting” or “scrolling,” rhythm games have never really appealed to me.

Dance Dance Revolution was kind of popular among my friends way back in middle school, and indeed I must confess to having hopped around on the dance pad a few times at a birthday party or 2; but for the most part dance games have never been my thing.

No surprise, given that real dancing is not exactly something I’d consider all that fun.

While I generally loathe dance rhythm games, I’ve had my fair share of fun with musical games that make use of a standard controller.

In case you’re wondering why I’d take the time to make mention of the “standard controller,” let me just say this:

Videogame peripherals like guitars, drums, or turntables have no business in my home.

The only game peripherals I’ve ever owned were light guns, and even then I kind of regret buying those.

Well, except maybe my GunCon. GunCon was the shit...

That ugliness aside, Amplitude and the Beatmania series were rhythm games that I remember enjoying alongside my friends back in the day.

On that note, I’d like to present to you a song from 1 of 2 musical rhythm games I’ve owned over the years, and the 8th best song on our Top 10 Videogame Songs list:

#8. Bust A Groove – Bust A Groove


I’m a believer that pop for pop-ness sake isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Going by that logic, songs like “Bust A Groove,” while hardly original or anything beyond cheap knock-offs of Madonna’s old shit; can be a lot of fun if you’re in the mood for them.

That being said, I must have been in the mood for cheesy translated Jpop music back in 1998, ’cause I ate up the tracks from Bust A Groove like they were fuckin’ Willy Wonka Gobstoppers.

Pictured: CRACK COCAINE.

For those who might be unaware, Bust A Groove was of course the American version of the Japanese original, Bust A Move.

Like many Japanese imports of the 90’s, much of the content of Bust A Groove was altered, resulting in many of the songs being re-written and performed in English.

Unlike many other examples such as this however, many of the English songs of Bust A Groove ended up being just as good as, if not better than the Japanese originals.

Take for example Shorty’s song:

Japanese

English


The Japanese version sounds like it’s sung by a bored 11 year old with no talent, and truth be told; I’m pretty sure that’s exactly the case.

I realize this was likely the intent of the producers, given the relative age of the character that’s supposed to be singing it, as well as the undeniable fact that Japan is a nation of pedos; but even so, I just can’t stand the sound of a singer that doesn’t seem like they’re enjoying themselves.

The English version, while still not all that great, at least has some degree of feigned enthusiasm to it; making it at least somewhat bearable.

Shitty examples aside, I feel confident in saying that “Bust A Groove” is indeed a better song than it’s original Japanese iteration.

The original Japanese version, “Blue Knife” is pretty good, however at the end of the day it just sounds like a wimpy Jpop song among a sea of similar, but far better produced songs.

The lyrics of the English version are stronger, and the overall sound of the song is made stronger and more unique by the fact that American pop songs of it’s style are less common than in Japan.

That being said, while nearly every song in Bust A Groove is remarkably entertaining, (unlike most the shit from Bust A Groove 2…) I’ve always felt that “Bust A Groove” was the cream of the crop.

Anyway, thus concludes #8 on our list, check back tomorrow for more!

Filed under: Games, Top 10 Videogame Songs, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Best Boss Music #2: Bust-A-Groove

Someday, I'll become that guy on the right. Fuckin' pimptastic...

I know what you’re thinking, “I thought Bust-A-Groove was a dance game?  How does it have boss theme, let alone a good one?”

Well, nearly every video game has a final challenge, or a final stage, and in Bust-A-Groove’s case, I count that as it’s boss music.

JAPANESE DENIM. MONEY STUFFED IN 'EM. COOLEST OF THE CARS AND THE BADDEST OF THE WOMEN.

Beginning in 1997, the GMD (Bemani) divsion of Konami began blitzing the arcades and home consoles with dance and rhythm games.

The first of these was Beatmania, which utilized a vertical scrolling, timing based button input mechanic to simulate a DJ-ing experience.

Don't ask me. All I did was Google "Beatmania" and this was what I got. Fuckin' pedo-Japanese...

In 1998, Konami followed up the success of Beatmania with the creation of the iconic, and wildly popular, Dance Dance Revolution.

Pictured: An Otaku/Narutard in it's natural state.

From this period on, Konami began cranking out dozens of expansions on their dance and rhythm gameplay concept which, effectively giving birth to a new genre, as well as making way for a host of imitators.

Bust-A-Groove is one these imitators.

...Also an imitation.

Developed by the wildly prolific Enix Co. and published by the now defunct 989 Studios, Bust-A-Groove (Bust-A-Move outside of the U.S.) was an interesting experiment in dance/rhythm game mechanics that was released on the Sony Playstation.

Not so much a pure imitator of Konami’s rhythm game formula, as it was an innovation of it, Bust-A-Groove combined the timed button input format of Beatmania, with the head-to-head style gameplay of a two-player puzzle or fighting game.

Chess Boxing: Not quite the same as Bust-A-Groove, but awesome nonetheless.

As if to point out to the player the similarities between Bust-A-Groove and fighting games, the developers were kind enough to include an attack command that each player could utilize to offset the rhythm and momentum of their opponent.

Every character in Bust-A-Groove was colorful and unique, each with a dance style and musical theme to call their own.

Standouts among the cast, both in terms of music and character, were Heat, a breakdancer,

Well, he looked cool in the game, anyway.

Hiro, the leisure suit wearing disco dancer from the cover,

Is it just me, or does this guy look like he's about to shank/rape someone HARDCORE.

and Capoeira, a duo of aliens that utilize a dance style that more closely resembles the Brazilian martial art than it does any traditional dance style.

Pictured: The typical result of the average white man's attempt at Capoeira.

It’s worth noting that a fair amount of censorship was involved in the U.S. release of Bust-A-Groove.

Differences include Hiro no longer perpetually smoking his cigar, (as his song ironically declares to be the norm for him) and the hip-hop dancer, Strike, having his bottle of hard liquor being replaced with a cola can.

Yeah, 'cause these are just about the same thing.

In addition to this, many of the songs in the game were translated and re-recorded from the original Japanese.

It’s funny, normally I’m a purist when it comes to “dubbing” or serious localization of media, but in Bust-A-Groove’s case, I honestly feel that the English revisions of some of the songs are in fact superior.

In example, I found Shorty’s English song to be infinitely better than the oh-so-pedo-it-can’t-be-legal-Japanese version.

Give ’em a listen:

Seriously, it sounds like the singer was 10, maybe 11 years old, and worse yet, had no aspirations to be a singer whatsoever.

...Not that that isn't typical in the music industry or anything.

That ugliness aside, let’s get to the “boss music” of Bust-A-Groove.

Bust-A-Groove’s final stage, it’s final boss, is a giant dancing robot named Robo-Z.

Pictured: Tetsujin 28 strikes a pose to ensure bowel regularity.

Robo-Z’s stage consists of a downtown cityscape, wherein your player character stands atop a skyscraper, while Robo-Z does some sort of trance/vogue dance while standing in a busy intersection.

Let be known that Bust-A-Groove is for HARDCORE dance fans only.

It’s pretty epic actually, the idea of someone dance battling a 50 foot robot in the middle of the city while cars careen down the road and slam into the robot’s feet.

As icing on this already surreal-as-fuck situation, Robo-Z’s theme song is an over-the-top, fast paced trance-techno song called “Flyin’ to Your Soul.”

Pretty cool, huh?

When my brother got this game for Christmas in 1998, I really sucked at it.

I’ve always had a good ear for music, but for some reason my fingers just couldn’t keep up with inputting the button commands on the fourth beat.

Nowadays I can play the game with my eyes shut, but back in the day, I usually couldn’t get past Kelly’s stage.

Okay, now there be two stripper bitches... This is not altogether a bad thing.

Kelly’s stage is usually stage 2.

I remember watching my brother beat the game again and again though, and every time, I’d make sure to be in the room for when he played Robo-Z’s stage.

Like I did with Sakura’s song, “I Want You to Know,” I used to listen to “Flyin’ to Your Soul” as much I possibly could from the sound test screen.

“Flyin’ to Your Soul” may not be the most intense, or archetypal boss theme around, but it’s catchy, and it’s just about as epic as music in a dance game can get, and for that reason, it’s ONE OF THE BEST BOSS TRACKS EVER.

Filed under: Best Boss Music, Games, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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