Top 25 Soundtracks 2011: Number 15

Number 15: Super Mario Galaxy

Super Mario Galaxy is a pretty solid example of what the top 25 list represents, so if you're looking for a solid score to give to someone, Mario Galaxy is probably a movement in the right direction.

Beyond the Controller is no stranger to this soundtrack, after all it was our Number Eight last year, and while it may have dropped a few spaces this time around, Mario Galaxy is at it's core still a rock solid soundtrack with talented composition.

It also almost never would have been without a few design tweaks. Originally the composer Mahito Yokota wanted a Latin styled soundtrack, and actually had many pieces composed when Koji Kondo, the games sound director, stepped in and asked him to try a few other styles of music. Yokota came back with three different styles, and the decision eventually went to Miyamoto for a final decision. Miyamoto chose to have an Orchestral score, and Yokota moved forward with a full orchestra to compose Super Mario Galaxy.

There's little to say for Mario Galaxy that wasn't said last year. Galaxy is a nearly-perfect score. When it hits everything just right well, its incredible. Not only does it capture the lingering drawn-out feel of space, but it keeps it from being overpowering (think old-timey sci-fi) with strong melodies that leave the space to a support role.

It's also quite good at building on it's own themes, like the themes above. Or even it's own battle themes (which deserve mentions all on their own), which build and build to a crescendo of pulse pounding finales. While the same melody and  motives show up in both, each maintains it's own distinct sound while being similar.

It plays itself straight as well, with strong forward themes that run reflect back constantly throughout the songs and the score. Strong and memorable. It's hard to find a case against music that stays strong even when it goes soft and quiet.

Unfortunately, the same problems that held it back last year hurt it even worse this go around. Super Mario Galaxy has an incredible soundtrack-except for a few, wait make that more then a few lackluster songs that unfortunately mare an otherwise grand experience. You can't trust the soundtrack to say consistent. One minute it's grand and epic...and the next its not, which makes this soundtrack a bit hit or miss.

But despite these flaws it still earns it's place at Number 15. Super Mario Galaxy is, despite some weak areas, one of the most solid soundtracks composed.

Super Mario Galaxy
Enjoyment: 4.25
Stand Alone Quality: 3.75
Composition: 4
Emotional Reaction: 4
Non-Gamer Enjoyment: 1
Nostalgia: 0
Total: 4.19

Number 15--Super Mario Galaxy by Mahito Yokota

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