So I decided to start making some articles that reflect on some of my personal favorite soundtracks from over the years. After all, I love sharing new music with everybody, and this is a great way to do it! I should point out that this topic of articles will be a bit more sporadic, and I plan on putting new installments of this series every so often, rather than weekly. With that being said, I decided to make the first official article with this concept based off of one of my favorite video games of all time, “Pokemon Colosseum“!
For those who haven’t heard of this gem, “Pokemon Colosseum” is an RPG that was developed by Genius Sonority, and published by Nintendo. (Yes, a Pokemon RPG without Game Freak!) An exclusive for the Nintendo Game Cube, “Pokemon Colosseum” was released in Japan on November 21, 2003, and in North America on March 22, 2004. While keeping the general concept of the core gameplay of “Pokemon” in it’s ideals, “Colosseum” certainly tried a different approach, with its removal of random Pokemon encounters, Gym Progression, Pokemon League, etc. To try and put it briefly, the main protagonist, who is named Wes, is a former member of the infamous organization known as Team Snagem’. He is on a quest to stop an evil organization from the creation and use of Shadow Pokemon. He must find and purify all of the Pokemon that were transformed into Shadow Pokemon in order to overthrow the culprits, who seek world domination.
The risk of changing the formula was successful, as the game was well received, and was even called the, “121st best game on a Nintendo console,” by Nintendo power in 2006. If you are curious about the game’s elements and wish to look into it a bit more, try it out! I promise you that it will be worth your time.
Now for the soundtrack. First, I should clarify that this track was by far the most in-depth track for any “Pokemon” game at its time. Yes, the handhelds and spin-off games have used a variety of synth effects, and have created some of the most classic video game tunes to date, but “Colosseum’s” music took it to a whole new level, bringing forth one of the most well put together soundtracks for any “Pokemon” game. The game’s composer, Tsukasa Tawada, created this soundtrack with influences from many different genres of Music. Since Tawada is familiar with the genres of Rock, and Jazz, those two styles are heavily used in the music of this game. Each in-game song uses a variety of different sounds, and scales, that are commonly used in these two genres, and all of these tracks contain their own unique sound. If you come across the in- game location, Pyrite Town, you’ll notice how much Jazz influenced the track. The slow progression, the laid- back tone of every instrument, all the influences are there. However, it does not stop there, as this game’s soundtrack also takes influence from the styles of Bluegrass, Country, and Classical, and in fact, every battle you win in, “Pokemon Colosseum,” will be accompanied by a short, yet powerful, symphonic piece. It truly does make you feel like your hard work has paid off, and allows the player to feel a small sense of pride, and progression. Speaking of which, “Pokemon Colosseum,” as with many other video games, really does a phenomenal job in complimenting each in- game situation with the music presented. For example, every boss battle that you come across, will be accompanied by a powerful symphonic piece, which is meant to give the person playing a sense of urgency and importance. It’s aspects like these that truly bring out the potential in this game, and I can honestly say that this is one of the very few soundtracks that has left a major impact on me.
If you’d like to hear these pieces in action, I have provided several links below, and I really do hope you enjoy these pieces as much as I do. For now, I hope you enjoyed this article, and stay tuned for more of my articles in the future. For now, I’ll see you soon.
To listen to some music from “Pokemon Colosseum“, click on these links!