December 9, 2009

Which version of the Metal Gear Solid theme is the best version?

I was going to do a feature relating to game music. What exactly that feature would be I do not know. What I do know is that the MGS theme would be on that list. The problem is, I can't decide which version is the best version that deserves to be on the list. So I gave a listen to the theme song from each Metal Gear Solid game to rank them in order of greatness. Let's start in order by game, analyzing each so we can compile the final list.

Metal Gear Solid
This is the one that really started it all. It should be respected for that, but that doesn't mean it's any good. I mean, it's alright, but it sounds like some cheesy 80's pop music more than tactical espionage action. And then there's the weird "magical" ending. You'll see what I mean.

I could make an argument that it's just because it's an old PlayStation game that the music isn't up to par, except plenty of old music is awesome.

Metal Gear Solid 2
What a difference a change in composer makes! At this point Harry Gregson-Williams takes over and creates what becomes the classic MGS theme. The ending goes from cheesy to epic in no time flat. The one problem I have with this theme, and a lot of them in general, is the random slowdown that seems completely out of place. This particular version, however, keeps that crap to a minimum, though I'm still not a huge fan of the whole electronic vibe.

Metal Gear Solid 3
This version starts off extremely strong. It definitely had the potential to be the best version yet. However, the song begins to slow down and stays that way for quite some time just drifting in random synth ambiance. It's kind of annoying to me how that breaks up the otherwise epicness of the track. It might have been alright had it not turned into what sounds like a track from F-Zero half way through. The ending is absolutely spectacular, though. The best of them all.

Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes
The remake of the original MGS had a very different theme song from the original. This, like the original's was not composed by Gregson-Williams. It's leaps and bounds better than the first game's, but it is a bit slow in general. It looses much of that annoying synth stuff that I dislike so much, making it a pretty strong entry. It's uniquely different from every other version.

Metal Gear Solid 4
Back in the hands of Gregson-Williams once again, this theme is the fastest and most intense of the bunch. It also cuts the bullshit. It's pretty much 4.5 minutes of in-your-face awesome. I only wish the ending was as strong as MGS3's. It's not bad by any means, but I did like the previous game's tune a bit better.

Let's Rank 'em!

5. Metal Gear Solid- bad 80's pop music
4. Metal Gear Solid 3- stage from F-Zero 
3. Metal Gear Sold: The Twin Snakes- good, but a bit too slow
2. Metal Gear Solid 2- keeps the slow synth to a minimum
1. Metal Gear Solid 4- quite simply the best all around

Honorable Mentions:

Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops.
There's nothing wrong with this one at all. In fact, it's quite good. It's just not included on this list because 1) it's not in the main series and 2) the theme is too different from the games in the main series. If it was, it would probably be near the top, though.

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
Or so everyone seems to think. Some say this theme is from Rising, but I don't think that's so. What have we seen of Rising besides a vague teaser trailer? Nothing. Peace Walker? It comes out early next year and there's currently several trailers and a demo floating around. The chances that a piece of music for Rising has released are slim. In any case, this game is also not in the main series (though it apparently is supposed to be like MGS5, it still lacks the number). It's a really good theme, though. Quite different, but good enough to be near the top of some list. It's absolutely epic. Give it a lsiten:

Yeah, so the consensus is that MGS music has generally gotten better over time.

1 comment:

  1. I personally think that twin snakes was better than MGS2 but that is just me. However, i think that the rest of the rating is right on.