It's the time of the year when the days get shorter, retailers stay open longer, big games are released and there seems to be a holiday every other week. Defunct Games wants to ring in this festive season with a look at the most memorable video game themes of all time. For five weeksstraight, Cyril Lachel and Kevin Bailey will share their thoughts on themes from the last thirty years. Join us every day between November 22 and December 25 for The 34 Game Themes of Christmas!
Street Fighter II: The World Warrior
[ Company: Capcom | Year: 1991 | Console: Arcade ]
Twenty five years ago, Capcom attempted to revolutionize the world of fighting games with Street Fighter. It didn't take. Four years later the Osaka-based publisher tried again with Street Fighter II. This time around Ryu, Ken, Blanka and the rest of the World Warrior were able to break into the mainstream. The 1991 hit went on to influence an entire generation of fighting games, forever changing the arcade landscape. To this day we see Street Fighter sequels and spin-offs, making this the perfect place to start our list of the 34 Game Themes of Christmas.
Capcom knew they didn't have much time to grab your attention, so they went the old fashioned route -- a white guy beating up a minority. Thankfully they also decided to go with this catchy theme song, which is the most enduring thing about the antiquated intro. Not even thirty seconds long, this Street fighter II theme commands your attention and doesn't stick around long enough to become repetitive. Every intrument has something interesting to do, including a fun drum flourish towards the end. This 26 second intro was the gateway drug to even better music, including Guile's theme. Maybe one day we'll get around to reviewing every stage theme from The World Warrior. As a standalone song, this Street Fighter II theme officially has my attention.
This Street Fighter II intro is, oddly enough, not one I was previously familiar with. But my lack of nostalgia for it makes one thing clear: This brief theme is both quite good, and perfect as an introduction. It's upbeat and exciting; the sort of theme that makes you want to play the game it's attached to. It makes you want more. In fact, I do want more; my only complaint here is the length. It feels like it's only just getting started. The drums and bass seem to have just gotten into a wonderful groove and the keys riff at the end feels like it should lead into something. I suppose that something is Street Fighter II itself. The game has a great soundtrack in general, and this short theme works perfectly as an appetizer for it.
Some kid with bad fashion sense goes on an adventure to save the princess. In doing so he inadvertently influences generations of adventure gamers!