MusiCube | Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U Soundtrack (Album Review)

By David Lovato 30.04.2015

There's plenty to get excited about every time a new Super Smash Bros. game gets announced - which veterans will return, who will appear as a newcomer, what new stages and game modes will be added. Certainly not unimportant is the selection of music to accompany each series-crossing battle. Nintendo elected to release a soundtrack CD for the latest entries into the series as a free gift for those who purchased both Super Smash Bros. For Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. When some of gaming's most famous composers come together to recreate classic videogame tracks, this is the result.
Image for MusiCube | Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U Soundtrack (Album Review)
The soundtrack is split into two versions: version RED and version BLUE, not unlike the Pokémon games of old. The RED side consists mostly of tracks from the 3DS version of the game, while the BLUE side represents the Wii U version, although it's worth noting there are some exceptions, including a track not found in either version of the release. Opening the RED side is the game's "Menu" theme, composed by Junichi Nakatsuru of Soulcalibur fame. Most original compositions in these Smash games are based on this theme, played at different tempos and with different instruments to set a mood, from the explosive and exciting main menu to the calm, collected "Online Practice Stage." Others, like "How to Play" are entirely different tunes and melodies.

There are a total of 72 songs taken from the games - not nearly the entire soundtrack to both games, but a good representation of them and the games found within. The selection is as sonically diverse as the games represented in Smash: tunes range from jazzy Mario melodies to the ska-inspired "Kapp'n's Song" from Animal Crossing; the screaming electric guitars recognised worldwide from F-Zero and Metroid tunes, to the Eastern-influenced "The Mysterious Murasame Castle Medley." Beautiful classic guitar playing outlines tracks like "Gerudo Valley" and "Dark Pit's Theme" while some songs, like the instant classic "Gaur Plain" from Xenoblade Chronicles, are genre-defying combinations of classical instrumentation and pure rock and roll.


 
In a lot of ways, the Super Smash Bros. soundtrack is a gamer's dream collection. Maybe nobody wondered what would happen if Kingdom Hearts composer Yoko Shimomura took on "Type A" from Tetris, but it's every bit as beautiful and magical as might be expected. These are the kinds of unexpected, wondrous moments found here. Game director Masahiro Sakurai is known for his playfulness, his odd and quirky choices that nobody saw coming, but everyone loves them (see Wii Fit Trainer as a playable character, for instance). The soundtrack reflects this; the inclusion of light-hearted tracks like "Bathtime Theme" and "Balloon Fight Mix" is a stroke of genius, and no collection of Nintendo-themed videogame tunes is complete without the legendary bass and addictive drumming of "Kongo Jungle." Also very welcome is the mildly creepy but mostly adorable "Ashley's Song."

 
There are even soft, gentle tunes, like "Stickerbush Symphony" and "Ocarina of Time Medley."  Most of these tracks are full of classic videogame themes, sometimes faithfully recreated, other times artistically transposed into other instruments. The soundtrack isn't flawless, though - every song is arranged into a few minutes that seamlessly loop and then fade away, but some tracks would have had more impact if they were allowed to simply end when they end, rather than looping again before fading away. Oddly absent is any representation from Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man, and it's disappointing that Pikmin's "Ai no Uta," the classic theme famous for outselling the game itself, is nowhere to be found either on the soundtrack or in the game. By and large, however, this collection of songs is nearly perfect not just for Nintendo fans, but for fans of videogames in general.

10/10
Rated 10 out of 10

Masterpiece - Platinum Award

Rated 10 out of 10
Super Smash Bros. brings together beloved tunes and newer tracks from the Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, Tomodachi Life, Wii Fit, Tetris games; the list goes on. The series will forever be known as a conglomeration of some of the best franchises gaming has to offer, and its soundtrack is no exception. The highest talent in the industry has come together to select, arrange, and compose music befitting a mash-up this iconic, and the team has come through with flying colours.

Box art for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS
Developer

Bandai Namco

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

Fighting

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (6 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now    Also on Also on Nintendo eShop

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