Can you survive An Unholy Return: The 31 Games of Halloween?
34 Theme Songs of Christmas
Theme - Rolling Thunder 3 (Genesis)
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 22, 2012   |   Episode 31 (Show Archive)  

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 weeks straight, 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!
Rolling Thunder 3
[ Company: Namco | Year: 1993 | Console: Genesis ]
Synopsis: Rolling Thunder 3 is the third in Namco's popular spy vs. robot series. Unlike the first two games, this sequel bypassed the arcade completely and became a Genesis exclusive. Fans of the series will tell you that there's a big dip in quality from Rolling Thunder 2 to 3, which may explain why this 1993 release was the final game in the series. Let's see if this song had anything to do with hammering the last nail into the coffin.

With its funky bass line and sweet melody, you might think that Rolling Thunder 3 is actually a spy dating simulator. Sadly, it's not. What we're given is a long, meandering theme song with no fewer than four completely different sections. While most of these different parts work fine, there is at least one clunker in the mix. Sometimes the 16-bit saxophone sounds out of tune and the drumming is all over the place. Instead of successfully transitioning from one part to the next, they ram together in the most jarring way possible. Even if the composer could somehow make these wildly disparate parts to work together, it still wouldn't convey the tone of Rolling Thunder. There's no mystery to this theme. It lacks intrigue and the sexiness you normally associate with spy fiction. The individual parts may be well constructed, but the assembly of this theme is a mess.

You know, I feel like I've heard this theme somewhere before. Not here, I'm not actually familiar with Rolling Thunder 3, but this sounds so familiar. It's like ... the music from a Sonic the Hedgehog level! That's what it reminds me of. I wish I could point out the exact stage, but unfortunately I was never good at pairing stages with their themes. In any case, despite the similarity, it's not a bad theme song. There are some notes bordering on shrill, but generally speaking it's a pretty basic smooth jazz number. The different parts seem fairly varied at first, but then they just keep going. There are some changes here and there, but there's a lot of repetition and this theme is pretty long. If there were lyrics to it, I could understand the length better, but I would definitely hit the start button way before this theme ends.

What's Next? He works at night, fighting crime and keeping the streets safe. He has a belt of wonderful toys. He drives expensive vehicles and does battle with over-the-top villains. Tomorrow we'll figure out who this dark character is once and for all!



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