A month ago I began counting down the best music tracks from games across this generation of consoles. Today we have one more to add to that list.
In case you missed last couple of entries click: HERE
If you are just joining me in the countdown then click: HERE
5. Street Fighter 3: Third Strike Online Edition – “Theme of Remy”
Listen: Theme of Remy
Without question, Street Fighter 3: Third Strike is a brilliant fighting game. The meticulous and illusive nature of its jab mechanics alone is one of hundreds of systems in place within the game, with each one of its multiple branches measured, tiered and rated through some perfectionist, critical red-eye. Success is calculated in the frame-by-frame, and not through obligatory, slack-jawed execution. Movement to either side of the screen is pass/fail, Silver or Gold, and sacrificing precious strikes in favor of form and temperance is the doctrine by which it grades. This isn’t slam poetry nor inebriated karaoke. Watch yourself.
The question then becomes: could the game have achieved its balance, wit and flavor without the score from composer Hideki Okugawa? Absolutely not. Okugawa provides the only outlet of creative expression allowed by Street Fighter 3: Third Strike’s wizened, embittered high council. Okugawa was given no formal restraints and thus crafted a boldly layered, hallucinogenic death disco. Outlandish, capitalized, and furious; Okugawa’s themes are the work of an unfiltered, burgeoning genius.
When Capcom optioned Third Strike for an all gloss HD remodel back in 2011, complete with all new musical accompaniments, I had reservations… that is until Simon Viklund (Bionic Commando Rearmed) was attached to fill the slot left vacant by Okugawa. Viklund effortlessly manipulates the spirit of the titles strict adherence to both time signature and ticking metronome with a much-needed dose of post Y2K acid-house thump. What once belonged to Okugawa found new permanent residence in the hands of Viklund. Simon Viklund could have filled all of his contractual objectives through re-enactment and tracing, by simply gliding over Okugawa’s old hits note for note. This would have been fine, if not spectacularly sterile, and Viklund would never have been content with such a limiting exercise. Instead he set fire to the idols of his own youth, turning dials on a whim, and accelerating the already frantic pace of the originals. Viklund saw no need to reupholster, and his all-new additions re-stylize and reinvigorate the troubled murmur of heart found in Okugawa’s near-obsolete, sputtering battleship. Viklund’s forte with these old classics seems to hinge on lengthy, pointed observation, but then wisely, he ignores his own notes, as he opts instead to tear apart the foundation with his bare hands. A successful renovation requires the signature mark of its creator and here on “Theme of Remy”, Viklund showcases the deafening sound of a night out with his shiny shoes, proving there’s no party like the after-party.
Stay tuned now through November 22nd for the remaining 4 entries in my list of the best musical tracks from this generation of consoles.