Game: Grandia II
Composer: Noriyuki Iwadare
Above: Fight!! from Grandia II
It's 9-9-10. That makes 11 years since the Dreamcast was brought into this cruel world and doomed to die at the hands of the PlayStation 2 and Sega's own repeated follies. Last year we trumpeted the system's 10 year anniversary with a week of Dreamcast remembrance, so this year I'll celebrate simply by calling out my favorite Dreamcast soundtrack of them all - Grandia II.
Several aspects of Grandia II were dated within a few years of its release. The visuals, dialog and general feel of the game could be seen as archaic, but the battle system remains one of the most intense and demanding I've ever played. The battle tune above plays alongside these nail-biting battles, setting a heart-pounding pace for even the most trivial monster encounter. I particularly love how it changes things up instead of directly looping the first half. The guitar slightly shifts and other instruments come and go, making it an honest four minute piece of music.
Above: Fight! ver 3 is special bos music, but every bit as GO GO GO GO!
Above: Commercial Town Liligue, on the other hand, is toe-tapping deliciousness
Grandia II's story is strangely similar to the Dreamcast's tale of woe. It launched to reasonable success and acclaim, earned a strong fan base, then suffered a series of misfortunes that would eventually end the series altogether. First there was the shoddy PS2 port, followed by the awfully named Grandia Xtreme, then a fairly-OK Grandia III that failed to make a splash in the vast JRPG ocean of the PS2. So here we are, merely remembering instead of playing something new. Sigh, better load that town music back up...
Game music of the day: Super Mario Kart
Rainbow Road by Kondo, Oka and Bando
Game music of the day: Spider Man & The X-Men
Badassss funk from Tim and Geoff Follin
Game music of the day: Prince of Persia
Healing Ground by Inon Zur and Stuart Chatwood