There are some games out there that had incredible music, but just missed the mark in some other ways. Here’s a list of games that you definitely want to pick up the amazing soundtracks for, but might want to skip itself.
Awesome NES Rock but…It’s Impossible
Silver Surfer has some excellent NES music. Check out that level one guitar noodling! It’s Epic! However this Gradius-clone fails in almost every other way. The level designs are impossible, often leaving you little space to maneuver your giant silver surfer board. It’s also unclear of what is in the background and what you’re going to crash into. Oh yeah, touch anything and YOU DIE instantly.
It’s hard for me to fathom how the programmers thought this game was ok. It could have been better if they had just given you a life bar. It’s a pretty sub-par side view and overhead shooter but the fact that your board is humongous and you can’t always tell what’s a wall ruins everything. But seriously, get the soundtrack, it’s amazing.
Melodic Mastery but…You Will Be Playing Forever
Legacy of the Wizard is not a “bad’ game per say. It has excellent graphics, great variety in play and some of the most melodic and gorgeous music I’ve ever heard on the NES. It has a heroic yet mellow feeling that helps you stay interested in a game that might take some time to beat. And this is the problem: This game requires an investment of time and energy that is unrivaled. Imagine if Megaman had 5 different selectable characters and 30 stages to select from, if you don’t pick the right character and bring the right items, you’d get stuck half way through that bosses stage, possibly unlikely to return. Oh, and you have to walk through many of the stages just to get to a new one all the while being picked on by hordes of unpredictable enemies. That’s what this game puts in front of you.
Collecting the 4 lost crowns and the Dragon Slayer sword depend on picking the right character, heading to the right section of the insane labyrinth and surviving hordes of enemies along the way. If you ever had to pick one game to be locked in a room with for 10 years, this one would give you plenty to explore, if you didn’t go insane first. The areas are gorgeous and the music is varied and interesting. This game also has more unique different types of enemies than any other game I’ve seen. Legacy of the Wizard makes the original Metroid look as linear as Super Mario Bros. I once made it to the first boss after about 6 hours of solid play, only to be killed instantly. That was it for me on this game.
Epic medieval music but…nothing else.
Lord of the Rings Vol 1 was one of the first console games based on Tolkien’s classic series. This game had a lot of hype around it when it came out. It boasted motion-capture character design and 4-player Multitap support, SNES Mouse support and more. The music is some of the best music you’ll ever hear on the SNES. I love that it doesn’t have any anime influence like the music of almost every SNES RPG of the time. Where the game falls short is, basically in every other aspect. There are over 65 massive confusing caves areas, horrid AI for team members and enemies. It’s a terrible disappointment and waste of a great license opportunity, but man are the tunes good!
The Catchiest Songs on the NES but…It’s super hard
Another Broderbund entry, Guardian Legend is game with amazing music in every area. It’s kind of a combo of Legend of Zelda and Gallaga with a cool sci-fi story and interesting heroine who transforms into a spaceship. The problem: Imagine if every room in Zelda looked the same and was filled with warps that took you to other same-looking rooms. Also, every enemy took hundreds of shots to kill, even in the first areas. Most people have never heard most of these songs actually played in game.