Game music of the day: Bump 'n' Jump

Game: Bump 'n' Jump
Song: Stage 2
Composer: Unknown

Above: I even included the timeless level level intro music... dum-Dum-DUM

Okay, this is gonna piss old schoolers off. Recently I and several other members of GR were at California Extreme (the Bay Area’s premier showcase for refurbished classic arcade cabinets, all set to FREE PLAY!) on Top Secret Business. Just the long lost sound of hundreds of arcade cabinets bleep-blooping simultaneously is a life-affirming shotgun blast of raw nostalgia, but I can’t even begin to convey the sense of joy gamers will feel while walking the floor and rediscovering games they haven’t seen - let alone played! - for two decades. “Whoa, Moon Patrol! Oh shit, Dragon’s Lair?! Oh my good holy Christ, BABY PAC-MAN!!” Kinda like that.

Above: "No Mom, the car isn't getting enlarging, it's jumping."

So imagine my personal elation when I see Bump n’ Jump, a game I’ve loved for years, yet never had the pleasure of encountering face-to-face during the waning days of the arcade. Your girl is kidnapped and you drive, not race (important distinction!) through a handful of challenging levels, jumping over gaps, on top of other cars and pinballing aggressors into walls. Oh goodness… I waited my turn in the substantial line, jumped over and even played like half of Point Blank while keeping a careful eye out for a B’n’J vacancy. Finally I got my turn to play… horror.

Above: This is not the game you're looking for

This was most certainly not the game I played! Dusty, slow, and almost unrecognizable compared the version I suck hours into. Vic Tokai’s NES port of Data East’s arcade game (also known in international circles as Buggy Popper and Burnin’ Rubber) is ridiculously superior in the visual department and the crucial mechanic of bird’s eye car wreckage. And the arcade music is absolutely atrocious when compared to the glorious cruise muzak on the Nintendo version. Every track maintained a delicate balance of a soothing weekend drive as well as the severity of the situation (remember, a death race to save your abducted lady.) Plus, each track also conveys the theme of the stage. Tropical, City, and Mountain music is something I’ll probably have to describe to my children one day. And the C64 version just rips f***ing Bach cantata for its soundtrack? Blasphemy!

And I should also state that this was mere days after I spent hours trying to find the Bump ‘N’ Jump NES soundtrack to play inTalkRadar, only to fail and eventually forced to rip the tunes and convert them from the ROM myself. And did anyone even notice? I doubt it, but if you ever wondered whereTalkRadar Episode 110got its title from, no you know!

Aug 4, 2010

Title ThemebyUnkown