Those who know me can see that I love house music. Since high school, I got into the genre in a strange way. Family and friends and a teacher at that time influenced me and since I love to dance, it captures my taste and mood with music. Hearing “ghetto” or “hard house” titles had me at the local DJ store to pick up DJ Puncho or Jammin Gerald. Buying cheap tapes with Apple Traxx or Master Traxx with that brand design had me giddy and laughing but dancing to the good ole drum machine. It was always new to each tape I heard and I never followed any house series.
With all these Chicago DJ’s keeping my body in motion, I never thought it would move to games. In the ’90s, my brother and I shared each other consoles. I was complete Nintendo. He was complete Sega. I would beat mine and his games anytime we got one. I was into music in video games also and there was a wealth of games from both consoles that resonated with me. The weird thing the Genesis had over Nintendo was one particular game.
Streets Of Rage became a classic to me. Streets Of Rage 2 though, took that title and reach the level of all time best game of my livelihood. Nothing would come close to overcome that. I love and continue to love all of the Mario Universe, Secret Of Mana, Chrono Trigger, Mega Man 2, The Last Guardian, HellBlade: Senua Sacrifice, Titanfall 2, Quantum Break, Heavy Rain, DMC: Devil May Cry, Bayonetta 2, Xenoblade Chronicles X, and more. Streets Of Rage 2 is in that line of love for me. Anytime I play it, I get sucked in till I finish it.
With a soundtrack coming from Yuzo Koshiro and Motohiro Kawashima, the compositions from the first stage to the finale just moves the body and soul in a great way while throwing someone across the environment or drop kicking them in the head. Streets Of Rage 2 or for our eastern and importing lovers, Bare Knuckle II: The Requiem Of The Deadly Battle, came out in 1992 and as wonderful and heading knocking the game is, something for me personally has changed.
One game has taken its reign for the moment. Well, soundtrack-wise.
Who would’ve known that a simple indie title could take a 26-year title away for me when it comes to music. Now, it doesn’t tarnish or take away too much for Streets Of Rage 2 but this game is just making me reenergize about house music again.
Berzerk Studio’s Just Shapes And Beats have done it. Don’t get me wrong, that game license music is different than the originality Streets Of Rage 2 has but I can deny the fact that it incorporates so much more. Great production with music and game design. Also, with no knock against or in admission to Tetsuya Mizuguchi, who has made some of the best rhythm games and experiences I have encountered, Just Shapes And Beats would be something that would make him smile and acknowledge.
This doesn’t stop me from loving these games or the music I am drawn too but Just Shapes and beats lock me in and want to dance. Like, choreograph a dance. Where Streets got my head nodding, Just Shapes have me 8 counting dance routines. That says a lot for me personally. Just seeing these tracks on YouTube, I can go back, play them and create the moves. From my head to trying things, Just Shapes has been the only game for me to do that. Streets 2 doesn’t go that far.
Nevertheless, their both titles that I hold dear. Each provides me with a joy when I want or need to feel that mood to groove. Games can go farther just playing them and discussing them. They will always play a different drum to listen too. Mines just happen to be in a hypnotic state.