New CPS2 boards arrived :)

Just a quick update – I recently took hold of two Phoenixed CPS2 boards: Street Fighter Zero 2 Alpha and Marvel Super Heroes 🙂

And because it’s fun to share, here’s a shot of Marvel Super Heroes in the cab:

Sega Astro City playing MSH


And yes, if you’ve been following the blog for a while, that’s a shot of the game running on my recently-completed Astro City overhaul cabinet. I just haven’t gotten around to finish blogging about the whole process yet, but that’ll start happening again in a few weeks I promise!

Unofficial piano nocturne – themes from Streets of Rage or Street Fighter on the piano

A while ago I grabbed the piece of awesome that is Sega Piano Nocturne – as the world’s worst piano player despite loving the instrument dearly, I absolutely loved hearing a lot of my favourite Sega tracks rolled into the piano and bring out some really interesting melodies from some great tunes. I think there should be more piano renditions of classic chiptunes and game themes, I absolute love a good arranged version of a classic song from a game. Because I’m a tragic nerd 😀

Anywho, after checking out some footage of Yuzo Koshiro doing his thing in a Tokyo night club, I did the usual click-click-click-click YouTube thing you normally do to see what other Streets of Rage stuff was on there, and I stumbled across the following – it’s from the third stage in Streets of Rage 2:

Awesome, huh? The same user (Yuzoboy) has an upload playing the ending theme to Streets of Rage 2 which was really cool… but again, YouTube/Web2.0 strikes again, and I found the following interpretation of the ending theme from Streets of Rage 2:

This one’s from mymorningjackets, and is an amazing, bittersweet piece of awesome, lead by piano with a bit of classical guitar thrown in for good measure. There are also a couple of other great interpretations in his list, so might have to come back to him in a later post after I’ve had a chance to check out his blog.

So, with all things “street” on my mind, I started seeing results for Street Fighter 2 gear on the piano! Here are a handful of videos I found that I thought were worth a look into!

First up we have Ken’s theme from SF2 – this one’s a pretty “standard” interpretation of the song without too much embellishment, but you know what? It’s still played beautifully and with more skill than I can ever dream of having when I sit down at my piano 😀 Plus, given how awesome Ken is (yes, I’m a Ken scrub!), it’s all good 🙂

The day my mate McAdam and I accidentally unlocked the vocal theme of Sakura’s song (in Japanese at that!) on the PAL version of Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo on the Saturn was a glorious day, because she has such an amazing theme song (I got goosebumps playing through Sakura’s story in SF4 with her theme recurring throughout!), and this one’s a great version of her theme. Nothing’s embellished, but there’s nothing wrong with that. Remember, Sakura is awesome. Very important fact.

If Ryu’s theme doesn’t go down in the history of awesome of chiptunage, there’s something wrong with the world. If need be we can get rid of Sephiroth’s theme, as that’s starting to annoy me, but that’s because I’m an irrational fan of Phantasy Star and have yet to play through a Final Fantasy game based purely on principle. The exception to this is Final Fantasy III on the DS, which I really enjoyed (thanks Hamez!), and Final Fantasy IX always looked fun, as did FFVI. Anywho, enough of that – Rastapulse is responsible for the above, and I’ll be referencing him again too, as his interpretation of Ryu’s theme is brilliant. There’s a deliberate slowing of the tempo and some great phrasing in there – very expressive, and the little intro/outro he’s added is cool!

Fun fact – I used the melody of Cammy’s theme in an early megamix I made when I was first learning how to program stuff in a MIDI-sequencer. It was actually completely rubbish, but good fun at the time. MIDI sequencing programs confuse me now, I was quite happy with Evolution MIDI back in the day, it was choice. Now, if I was able to program something akin to the above on the aforementioned program, I would have been much more proud of myself. Akin to the Ryu theme that Rastapulse was responsible for above, this one’s slowed the tempo and emphasised the melody really nicely – again, great phrasing and execution. I haven’t checked out the rest of the material in his YouTube channel yet, so might have to get onto that later.

Last one – Guile’s theme, and I left this until last as it has elements from each of the styles I’ve linked to, with some of it emphasising 1:1 phrasing compared to the original with lotsa piano-passion, and then there are other moments where the melody’s been played around with a bit of artistic license and takes on the languishing character of the themes Rastapulse did above with just the right amount of melodrama to make things interesting.