Other Game Series That Deserve The Theatrhythm Treatment
Final Fantasy is a huge series with lots of memorable tracks – enough tracks to fill up two rhythm games, as it turns out. It’s not the only series (and nether is Dragon Quest), however, full of enough fantastic music to merit its own dedicated rhythm game release.
Much like Final Fantasy, Castlevania has been releasing with a fair amount of consistency since the Nintendo era, and they all have great music. Even the Lords of Shadows games, which are noteworthy for reasons other than their soundtracks, could comfortably have a few songs in the game. Since most of Castlevania’s tunes are upbeat and fast, it would make especially good rhythm game fodder.
Best conceivable track: Bloody Tears from Castlevania II: Simon's Quest, basically because it’s a classic.
Mega Man and Mega Man X
The Mega Man series is a no-brainer for good music. Mega Man II is consistently presented as the apex of NES chiptune music, and Mega Man X is my personal favorite soundtrack ever, period. With 10 core Mega Man games and eight core Mega Man X games, plus multiple spin-offs in each, Mega Man and Mega Man X each have enough quality tracks to fill out their own rhythm games, but it would be nice to gather it all into one ultimate package.
Best conceivable track: The Intro Stage Music from Mega Man X, because playing the song’s commanding and frequently changing lead riff would be a challenging joy.
Indie Game Musical Round-up
This is kind of a cheat as these games don’t fall under one series, but they do fall under one “indie” umbrella. No one would cry foul at a rhythm game featuring music music from an assortment of independent games. Some stand-out contributors that come to mind are Cave Story, Fez, Super Meat Boy, and this year’s Shovel Knight, but there are many, many more that could fit.
Best conceivable track: C.H.A.D.’s Lullaby from Super Meat Boy, because it has a number of leading melodies that I would love to participate in.
Street Fighter has found success in genres outside of fighting with games like Puzzle Fighter, so to craft a rhythm game wouldn’t be too far out of the realm of possibility. This is going to be a very strange reference, but it could be structured a bit like Snoop Dogg’s Way of the Dogg, but with Street Fighter characters and music.
Best conceivable track: Guile’s Theme from Street Fighter II, because it goes with everything, so it could certainly go with a rhythm game.
These are titles that came to mind when writing this feature that would have fit perfectly – had they not already sort of already released rhythm games to varying success.
Persona – This serves more as a reminder that Persona 4: Dancing all Night is on the way. Persona music is poppy, fun, very Japanese, and seems well suited to rhythm mechanics. As long as the rhythm mechanics are fun, this game has some potential.
Donkey Kong Country – This was on my list until I remembered Donkey Konga. Those games are a lot of fun, but they were surprisingly light on tracks from the Donkey Kong Country series. I would love a rhythm game with just Donkey Kong Country tunes and if I could play it without using a peripheral (which I admit, is fun) that would be nice.
Super Mario Bros. – Another series I considered imagining playing the underrated Super Mario 3D Land theme, but then I remembered Dance Dance Revolution Mario Mix. That game is strange, but it does feature Waluigi as the main villain which makes it special. Similar to Donkey Konga, it is light on straightforward traditional Mario themes, but it does have some Mario music. It’s another example of a series, much like Donkey Kong Country, that I would like to see a dedicated rhythm game for.