VG Music Spotlight: Konami SNES Shumps Edition

VG Music Spotlight showcases soundtracks from some lesser known video games. Everyone knows that Castlevania, Final Fantasy, or Streets of Rage are excellent. What more could be said about how great the Chrono Trigger music is? What about other games that are not obscure, but hardly mentioned in the lists of great video game soundtracks?

Today the VG Music spotlight falls on three excellent SNES shumps published by Konami. 

Axelay - Developer: Konami

When I think of a SNES shump the first game that comes to mind is the unbelievable and original Axelay developed by Konami. With the requisite nonsensical title, Axelay features stages with both a head-on and side-scrolling perspective. At the time, the graphical detail and fidelity were incredible. The soundtrack wears its early 90s Japanese heart on its sleeve with synth-laced driving beats that fully complement this difficult, yet short masterpiece.

 

Cybernator - Developer: NCS Corp (later known as Masaya)

Cybernator (aka Assault Suits Valken) is probably one of my most favorite video games from the SNES era. Cybernator tells a large complicated story about war, betrayal, and revenge. The storyline is at home with Macross-levels of melodrama. The player controls a large mech capable of dealing out massive amounts of punishment with a wide variety of weapons (that could be upgraded!). While the underlying synth beats may seem familiar to Axelay, the slower, jazzier pace matches well with this methodical and deliberate shump.

 

Metal Warriors - Developer: Lucasarts

It is quite strange that Lucasarts made a shump about mechs, published by Konami, and released exclusively in North America. Metal Warriors is the spiritual successor to Cybernator in many ways. It retains some of the style and the side-scrolling, mech combat with multiple weapons. However, Metal Warriors adds the ability to exit your robot and play as a diverse roster of mechs. From wall-climbing spider mechs to the large beefy, but jump-inept Prometheus, the variety here is awesome, especially with an added bonus of a fun multiplayer mode. Where Cybernator was methodical and ponderous, Metal Warrior is fast and dynamic (and extremely difficult). The soundtrack matches that fast pace with driving beats that wouldn't be out of place in another Lucasarts game.