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Which Sonic CD soundtrack do you prefer?


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A topic like this is better-suited for a poll, but apparently, they've been disabled on this forum for some reason. I can't say that I'm sure why, but...whatever. I guess this'll do.

To answer the topic question myself, I happen to prefer the US track, but unfortunately, in a lot of places I've been to, it doesn't seem to be very well-liked. Whenever the subject of Sonic CD's music is brought up, many people seem to prefer the Japanese/European soundtrack, and are quick to label the US one as garbage for being different from it. Let's take this for example. Seventy-three people voted in the poll, and the US track didn't even have half the amount of votes that the Jap/Eur track had, and I honestly don't understand why. In my opinion, the US soundtrack has the Japanese one outclassed in almost every way.

My reasons for preferring the US track, aside from nostalgia, is because of the songs being more atmospheric, and fitting the stage environments and the general mood a lot better. It's especially apparent with the Bad Future songs, with many of them sounding a lot darker and sinister, and generally doing a better job at conveying the feeling of a ruined, apocalyptic future. Plus, I love the type of musical variety that many of the songs had, ranging from rock, jazz, and others. I also happen to think that the soundtrack was very unique for its time, and really showed what the Sega CD was truly capable of.

Now, don't get me wrong... I'm not saying that the Jap/Eur soundtrack is terrible by any means. I like that one, as well, and I often find myself alternating between the two soundtracks in the Sonic CD remake. Lots of the songs are catchy and conveyed the stages' mood in its own way, but at the same time, I can't help but feel that it's just a tad overrated, but maybe that's just me. What are your thoughts?

Edited by Scorch
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My views today are basically the same as they were when I made mine: NTSC-U soundtrack is more technically impressive and I generally prefer it, but for some levels the NTSC-J soundtrack is much better.

Edited by Tornado
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Generally speaking I love both soundtracks equally, though of course for very different reasons. There are a few exceptions though:

PalmTree Panic

The US music is by no means bad, works pretty well in all, but just COMPARED to the JP/EU one, it's so bland. The JP/EU music is totally pumpin' and awesome for a opener stage, whereas the US music is just kinda "there".

All of Tidal Tempest's Music

I prefer the US themes for this. I just love how sort of melancholy the Present theme is, despite the slightly chirpy vocals, and I think the calm, atmospheric Bad Future works far better for the dilapidated, quiet factory appearence the graphics give. Good Future, both are good. I will say I do also REALLY love JP/EU Present, I just slightly prefer the US one. It's a close call.

Wacky Workbench

Just prefer US slightly for this one. It has more of a tune to it than the JP/EU one does, though I can admit the tone of the JP/EU one is probably better for the actual rage-inducing constant movement involved.

Metallic Madness

I quite like the tenseness of the US music, but considering the fact that the final boss doesn't have an absoloutely blasting song in the US soundtrack, it all feels like a build-up to nothing. The ENTIRE finale is just really tense and quiet. Instead, the JP/EU soundtrack is way more epic and "oh yeah Sawnic's comin' to getchoo Eggyman" finale-ish.

Special Stage

I just prefer the US soundtrack here. I think it fits the surreal vibe and open-ness of the special stages more. The JP/EU track would be more fitting for a "narrow" special stage like Sonic 2 with simple visuals. Actually ironically thanks to the remake it now feels more like "Menu" music to me than Special Stage music. I also love the slightly eiree/melancholy vibe to the US one.

Boss Music

Yeah the boss music in the US version is just urgh. It's not terrible, and it always surprises me how well it does actually work during gameplay - but the JP/EU one just fits Eggman's character so much more.

So, overall my opinion on the soundtrack would be:

Vocal Songs - Both good for different reasons

P.Panic - Prefer JP/EU

C.Chaos - Both good for different reasons

T.Tempest - Prefer US

Q.Quadrant - Both work very nicely

W.Workbench - Prefer US

S.Speedway - Both work very nicely

M.Madness - Prefer JP/EU

Boss Themes - Prefer JP/EU

Special Stage - Prefer US

Edited by JezMM
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The Japanese/European soundtrack by a light-year.

The US soundtrack is the second worst (only beaten by Generations) in Sonic history.

Just what the hell were SEGA US thinking in choosing Spencer Nielsen to right the soundtrack. He wouldn't know how to right music if it came up and bit his face.

EVERY track on the US version of CD stinks worse than a skunk with BO. Nielsen TOTALLY DESTROYED the game with his trully horrendous soundtrack.

Any day over Nielsen's crap.

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For me it'll always have to be the Funky beats of the EU/Japan OST since it's what I grew up with, it just seems to fit the alien world that is the little planet and all the science fiction bizaro that goes on in the game.

But that said I don't dislike all the American OST... just most of it =p

I really like "Sonic Boom" now, but I think Sonic CD's opening just wasn't the game for it, CD's opening is supposed to be this fast thing which builds up with lots of action. Sonic Boom is a much slower paced track, it makes the opening feel so much slower and bogged down than it shoud be, combine this with the performance of the original Mega CD, it doesn't look that great.

Also, I think the Japanese OST is better because of a more cultural reason, CD's at the time of Sonic CD's release were a new strange thing, almost seemed magical in a strange way, the bizzare nature of the Japanese OST seems to fit it, this might just be me but it seemed to go more with a new type of technology than what the US OST had to offer.

I don't really listen to any of the American OST, mainly because Gems collection more or less made me hate the majority of it, so I can't really remember too much of it. But that said, I have grown to really like Sonic Boom... just not on CD's intro.

I think theres two types of Sonic CD fans in the world... theres those which said. "Yes, the level is defeated, yes, here is the jingle, I am happy". And there are those who said "Hmmm... no... What this jingle needs is... A J.POP BAND! Teleportation YEAH!"

I belong to the J.Pop band group =p.

The US soundtrack is the second worst (only beaten by Generations) in Sonic history.

Edited by Hogfather
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I will say that the US soundtrack does a great job evoking a late 80's/early 90's vibe that I absolutely love in movies like Terminator, Trancers and just about any techno noir form of media (such as Konami's Snatcher). It has some great chilling tracks that mix unearthly techno sounds with ancient chants and robotic sounds. It's hard to put into words, but you know it when you hear it.

The Japanese version, meanwhile, has much more of a "I'm playing a crazy import title" vibe, with all the broken english and kid's cheering. It's great fun, and a bit more timeless than the US version.

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I think both soundtracks are great, but I prefer the JP/EU one a little more. I just love that crazy, funky-fresh energy that the songs have. Plus overall, it just seems to work better as music to play a Sonic game to.

Although I'd be lying if I said that I didn't consistently jam out to Sonic Boom and Stardust Speedway Bad Future US while driving my car.

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Both soundtracks are great, but my heart goes to the North American version. Despite not being as funky as the Japanese tracks, the US version carry so much weight and atmosphere. Sonic CD's graphics are hugely back-and-forth in atmosphere, from calm to relieving to happy to sad. The North American versions have that impact while not attempting to be that jumpy.

Tidal Tempest I highly regard as the best NA Bad Future track. Tidal Tempest has the tranquil waters inside a ruin. The Bad Future track sounds sad and dead. As if there was life, and then its beauty got destroyed. It's a very beautiful, sad track.


Easily my most favorite Good Future NA track. Quartz Quadrant had that field that twinkles, especially in the Past version. The melody in the Good Future version feels relaxing and happy. The cymbals, woman vocalizing, and happy whirring of the tunes before each loop are relaxing, relieving, and tension-free. It's such an awesome piece of music.

And the Present…I can't decide because I love them all, but my choice will have to go with the Tidal Tempest Present theme. It's got that soothing pop. The woman vocalizing in the background makes the song feel alive. It's a great piece of music.

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Overall, I prefer the U.S. version. But there are some stages I definitely prefer the Japanese music. Especially good future metallic madness.

I will be very strongly disagreed here, but here goes. I'll take the U.S. theme for the boss music over 'working suckers to death' every time.

The Japanese music for the boss theme is the most obnoxious video game music I have ever heard. I really do not like that song.

Before I realized that I could switch soundtracks on the x360 version, (I didn't read about that option on the forums; I just started playing the game. It didn't take me long to realize.), I would be in a rush to finish the boss as soon as possible, or press the mute button.

Maybe the U.S. version dosen't completly fit, but I find it far more tolerable than the alternative.

Now having said that, I do prefer the Japanese final boss theme. The US final boss theme is only slight more grand than the regular theme; the difference is far too subtle.

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I love both soundtracks, though the US one has more nostalgia for me. It's hard for me to choose between the two and pick a favorite though. That said, I might give the nod to the US soundtrack if only for that insanely awesome guitarist who pops up in a few of the tracks.

Also, the japanese boss theme is horrendous in my opinion. It's almost embarressing.

Edited by Legendary Emerald
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See, it's weird. I know I say this every time the soundtrack divide is brought up, but;

I grew up with the US soundtrack (for ages I didn't even know there were two), and I still think the Japanese/ EU one is miles better.

It's not so much that the US soundtrack is 'bad' in that it's unpleasant or horrible to listen to, but instead I just find the entire thing agonisingly forgettable and uninspired, so I suppose that's a different, indirect kind of bad to me. Even as a kid, when I thought that the US soundtrack was the only soundtrack, I still thought something didn't sound quite right- it just sounded off to me. It just didn't sound like Sonic music to me. I guess that's the biggest issue I have with it, even today.

Also, I do prefer how the JP/ EU soundtrack has consistency between the time zones- each tune is a remix of a central melody. In the US at all just feels a bit disjointed since none of the tunes really sound alike.

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Um, hi US soundtrack. I have a question. Where's your charisma? I tried to look hard for it but I couldn't find anything that was positively vibrant in the least.

All I found was a boss theme that absolutely reeked of thoroughly unwelcome SatAM Robotnik influence, therefore dripping with a very bland take on 'Villainy', a Tidal Tempest theme so frikking awkward and awfully suggestive with it's female 'vocals' that I daren't play it at high volume when there's someone in a different room for concern that they'd think I was playing some kind of Hentai game from the music alone and a greater lack of distinction due to the main theme being used for Little Planet's theme/DA Garden and the Final Boss theme being hardly different at all from the normal boss theme.

Did I mention the way you strip each stages' identity through the music via it's variations on one distinct tune with surgical precision, something that gave the stages more of a character in the original Sonic CD? You also don't have much variability instrument-wise. Did your themes ever have Piano like JP/US Quartz Quadrant Present? All I really heard was a fixation with the electric guitar, pepetuating sameyness as a result.

I will admit though that your Stardust Speedway Good Future theme was brill but overall to me, you're just plain average and unremarkable and absolutely nothing about you screams of fun or originality to me when compared to the JP/EU soundtrack.

Edited by Verte
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I'll also throw in how samey the US soundtrack seems. Not only that, but a great deal of it doesn't even sound like music as much as it does random ambience and background noise. It just sounds really dull, more often than not.

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Quartz Quadrant's Good Future theme and Bad Future theme are probably the best examples of sameyness in the US soundtrack. Compare;

^ Good Future theme of Quartz Quadrant. Sounds hopeful and pretty but the repetitive nonsense female vocals are irritating to say the least.

^ Bad Future theme of Quartz Quadrant. Extreme similarity as the Good Future theme with the exception of sounding downbeat.

Where's the originality? In the Bad Future, you have the same twinkliness as the Good Future except downbeat. Downbeat sound to it? Appropriate. Twinkling kind of sound to it for a time period where the crystals have been gutted out of the mine already? Not appropriate. Downbeat male voices? Appropriate. Identical drum beat to the Good Future? Unoriginal.

It's like the soundtrack was so rushed that the Good Future's theme was taken, notes adjusted slightly and new downbeat male vocals added in with a slightly different electric guitar tune. And it's not different enough to make me think that it's anything more than samey. There's no increased tempo, no different instruments, nada.

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Wow, those tunes just further reaffirm my opinion that the majority of the US soundtrack just sounds like forgettable ambient background noise. It just doesn't sound fitting for a Sonic game at all. It's just random guitar noise over a beat. Barely even a proper tune. =/

Edited by -Mark-
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*Sigh* I wanted to play League of Legends, not debate... oh well.

I enjoy both tracks, though I have to lean towards the NA track for a few reasons. Let me first dive in to how I see Sonic CD.

Sonic CD is probably the first Sonic game where the effects of Robotnik's power was ever shown in full force on the environment, and it was also the first game where one could really get a glimpse of the Doctor, by pitying and fearing him. The environments and his robots speak well enough the effects of his rule. In the Bad Futures we see that everything has fallen to ruin and desolation, but it never seems to be Robotnik's intention for the world to fall apart. Instead, I see him as a man who didn't even know how to handle the power in his fingertips, which culminated in the devastation of the Little Planet and the erosion of Robotnik's machines.

It's for exactly that reason that the NA Bad Future's speak out to me better. They fit Eggman's character better. All the JP bad futures take an active approach of making Robotnik seem more sinister and active in a future when that is clearly not so. I doubt Eggman would ever want conditions to be so miserable that his own machines fall into disrepair.

So the NA wins all the bad futures.

For the Good Futures, it definitely is more sided to the JP side. The NA approach sometimes turns out to be a little too calm when the future is supposed to be good. Maybe calm isn't the right word. They're too atmospheric for futures that are supposed to be good. The JP version fits the idea of good futures for all but two levels. Palmtree Panic's Good Future was ridiculously cute, and so was Metallic Madness. The Good Futures are supposed to signify a happy utopia with animals running around in joy, and the Japanese songs do good with that without going overboard, (sans PTP & MM).

The Present NA songs definitely win me over though. The atmosphere works well with the present actually. The NA songs makes it feel more like a mysterious new world you're traversing on and that technically fits well with Sonic CD as a whole. It's the first song you'll hear when you enter a level and it works in for the overall mystery of The Little Planet.

The Boss themes are both silly to me. The NA ones paint the menacing Robotnik picture again and I just can't see him like that. The JP one is ridiculously silly and not something I'd hear from Eggman when his boss battle isn't in a rave.

So there you have it. That's what I think. The NA tracks are what I prefer.

Edit: I forgot the songs.

Sonic Boom- It's catchy and it's engaging enough to pull one into the experience, but it isn't all that special.

SB Full- It's telling me to try again? It's not a bad song by it's own merits, but it's no ending song.

You Can Do Anything- Really pumping! It's a fast paced theme that really gets you in, but the Engrish just makes me frown. Also, "Toot toot" is one of the silliest lyrics I've ever heard.

Believe in Yourself- It's a hopeful song that is ruined by the Engrish even more than You Can Do anything. Please someone make a fandub of this song with a real English speaker.

I prefer neither for the songs.

Edited by VisionaryBlur
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I prefer the JP OST.

I grew up with US OST, but with the exception of "Sonic Boom", I found it to be forgettable, uninspired, and generic sounding (though I do love Cash Cash and Jun Senoue's remixes of US Stardust Speedway Present and Bad Future). When I heard the JP OST I instantly loved it. Sure, it has some wacky and corny tracks, but I think that just adds to the JP OST's charm, honestly. I just feel that the JP OST suits the game's atmosphere more. Just my opinion.

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