Top 25 Soundtracks 2011: Number 7

Number 7: Super Mario Galaxy 2

Last year when I first tackled the subject of top gaming soundtracks, readers may remember that when I placed  Super Mario Galaxy in 8th place I mentioned that if the composers kept up their good work on the sequel, the next soundtrack would doubtlessly place even higher. One year later and here we are. Super Mario Galaxy soars into 7th place, barely besting it's rival Sonic's new offering by a total of .06 points on the score.

If you've heard Mario Galaxy before, you know what to expect from the sequel. Galaxy 2 follows the same trend as it's predecessor with a full orchestra functioning at peak performance. If you were one of the few who wasn't as fond of Mario's switch to orchestral music, then turn away now, the sequel is going to do even less for you. But for those with a thirst for an orchestral adventure, Galaxy 2 will blow you away.

As far as variance goes, Galaxy doesn't deviate much from the formula set before. In fact, many melodies from the original Galaxy are brought back for a second time, with the composers expanding and tweaking the original melodies to create new tunes that are still familiar, but improved in every way. What's nice about this is that the first Galaxy was held back by some of its lackluster tunes. This go around, the composers sought to remedy that, and so some of Galaxy's more annoying tunes become a bit more bearable the second time around.

Speaking of the second time around, Galaxy also throws some absolutely wonderful new renditions of classic tunes at us, with some brand new takes on several songs that haven't been heard since Super Mario World for the SNES. Like this one, which was always a favorite back in the day, and has only gotten better with age. In fact, Galaxy 2 has the widest range of prior inspired tunes I've ever heard in a core Mario title.

Of course Galaxy blows the doors off with a whole new slew of tunes to listen to as well. The soundtrack seems a bit more tense this time around with a faster beat and more focus on producing an "epic" sound and as a result feels just slightly more serious, but at the same time, its has a nice range of more laid back tracks as well. In fact, there's such a range that this entry would need to be at least twice as long in order to cover everything, so it will have to suffice when I say that the soundtrack sets a high standard for itself, and then lives up to it all through itself.

Super Mario Galaxy 2 is exactly what we had hoped. It's more finely tuned and holds strong to its own style and melodies. Don't miss out on this one.

Super Mario Galaxy 2
Enjoyment: 4.25
Stand Alone Quality: 4.25
Composition: 4.5
Emotional Reaction: 4.25
Non-Gamer Enjoyment: 1
Nostalgia: 0
TOTAL: 4.56

Number 7--Super Mario Galaxy 2 by Mahito Yokota, Ryo Nagamatsu and Koji Kondo
Number 8--Sonic Colors by Various
Number 10--Final Fantasy: The Crystal Chronicles by Kumi Tanioka

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