ReMix: Rad Racer II 'Fire in the Tires'

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Rad Racer II

So yes, as it turns out, our actual 2011 album lineup does NOT include Pong, Oregon Trail, Cho Aniki, or most if not all of the other titles highlighted in the wonderful video by Mr. Bronx Rican & the many talented artists, staff and otherwise, who pitched in. The real lineup DOES include some fantastic games like the first Sonic, NiGHTS, Wild Arms, and more, so don't get too disgruntled.

It's a bit late in coming, but I'd like to give a big congrats & warm welcome to our two new workshop moderators, Stevo "Level99" Bortz & William "WillRock" Harby, who'll be assisting in providing feedback & guidance on works-in-progress! While workshop moderators have already been playing a big part in the feedback process, their role should also be expanding this year to include more responsibilities as we refine integration of unofficial mixes into our database, so it's great to have their considerable talents on board! To celebrate, we've got a mix from each to post, starting with this Rad Racer II arrangement from Stevo.

I was always an OutRun guy myself, viewing Rad Racer as basically a ripoff of Sega by Square, although not as flagrant as the blatant Space Harrier knock-off "3D World Runner". Regardless, tunes were good, and composed by none other than Nobuo Uematsu himself (!!), who ALSO did World Runner. Crazy; I'm definitely glad he went on to work on (far) more original IP, but it's still neat to hear these older pieces. Stevo writes... at length:

"Rad Racer 2 was probably the first GOOD racing game that I experienced in my whole life. The first racing game I had was Race America, and which incidentally was my first experience with both gamer's thumb and a child's uncontrollable impulse to throw a controller through the screen. Good times...wait, I was supposed to be talking about Rad Racer 2!

The game only had two main songs: Gum Ball Crash and Coast to Coast. The music in the game is, weirdly enough, from Nobuo Uematsu. Indeed, there was a time when Square made racing games. After my recent ReMix of the Gran Turismo track, I decided to go back to my racing roots and do this song some rocking justice.

It's driving rock, with some surf and some 50's rock influence thrown in. I really don't have much else to say besides that: This is how I imagined the song in my head updated from 8-bit to live instruments with some fun wankery thrown in. It was more difficult for me to find a balance between source and new material so as to make it a ReMix as opposed to a cover, but I think it ended up alright."

I think so, too. First good racing game I played was probably Pole Position, way back on the 2600, which I guess makes me old. Good energy & a mix of different guitar-based genre influences make for some driving tunage that's upbeat & carefree, like racing around the country in an expensive car SHOULD be. Solid, clean + crunchy production, and there's even a synth solo in there... Spring's just getting started, but Summer will be here before you know it, and this is PERFECT rock-out mixage for fun in the sun!

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 12 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Bahamut
on 2013-01-30 15:01:24
I had this game as a kid! This mix brings back memories...I remember that game being hard.
A little short, but that's alright. I think the mixing could be a little better here, but that's minor.
I think I'm just happy that someone decided to cover songs from my childhood, and Stevo did a good job here.
Crulex
on 2011-12-17 18:05:06
Whoo-hoo, some good classic rock! At least, that's what it feels like to me. Terrific work on the guitars and the killer soloing with the synths. I actually dig the claps in it, but some of the production sounds a little muffled in places. Nothing that detracts from the song, though, and overall, I really liked this.
Rexy
on 2011-12-17 11:33:27
I remember being fond of what Stevo did for Gran Turismo, so I'm game to see what he could do with other games in the genre.
So it's basically theme-theme-original-theme in terms of structure; a safe one, but it works well for radio. The solos over the top at 1:05 were also classy, and both of these managed to give more warmth to the track's substance; we rarely associate Stevo with synth solos for that matter too, and while the one that was incorporated felt more subtle, it did indeed feel poppy and appropriate. Even the original writing starting at the 2 minute mark managed to dive more into Ste's racing desire with some well-attented building before going into the last riff of the theme
I give particular attention towards the drum writing here; the production may still leave a bit to be desired especially with some of the loud claps coming in during the B sections of the themes, but the amount of attention paid to the notation and the fills have shown that he knows how to bring excitement into the fray for these racing type mixes.
All in all, a fun track covering a more obscure game. It may be safe, but we couldn't really expect much more from such an upbeat source, and Stevo managed to handle it with the right appropriate attention. Nice work :)
Martin Penwald
on 2011-06-13 15:30:53
The kickdrum is indeed rather week.
Nice guitar sound (particularly around 2:45). Solos (both synth and guitar) are nice, and the claps are a very cool addition.
Good stuff.
Brandon Strader
on 2011-04-05 16:23:50
Cool song, but the guitars are way too fuzzy, it kinda hurts to listen to after a while... the kickdrum is almost nonexistent but the snare is very audible. Even the cymbals when they're heavily used overpower the guitars, so it can be hard to even hear what's going on sometimes... A lot of really cool ideas though, including nice cleaner strums at 1:59!
luhny
on 2011-04-05 06:51:32
Rad Racer II, eh? I am sitting here with a huge smile on my face. Good memories, good times. And a hell of a remix for Gum Ball Crash - probably one of the most memorable tunes. You did it again, Stevo. Kudos.
Now if you would excuse me, I need to bang my head a bit :)
halc
on 2011-04-04 19:38:45
uematsu eh? interesting. i never knew square published rad racer. anyway, very rockin' mix, per the usual; not much else to say. congrats on becoming one of the elusive workshop moderators too. :nicework:
Mirby
on 2011-04-04 18:06:07
I've loved this song since RTS, and I'm glad it's hear now. It's infectious with the clapping effect, and I love it. ^.^
Gario
on 2011-04-03 17:15:03
Hey, I remember this one from the WIP forums (the one that you're now a moderator for - congrats on that, btw). Glad to see this one made it through. It's got a classy edge to it that I can't quite put my finger on, but it just seems to scream 'Classic Hard Rock', which I love.
Thrull
on 2011-04-03 01:02:39
Hell yes. I remember two things about Rad Racer 2: the ridiculous looking crashes, and this song.
Finally it gets its fully-instrumental justice. Well done.
WillRock
on 2011-04-03 00:31:16
Its very ironic this mix was posted with one of mine, because back some months ago now, when "stevo's beard" was made on facebook, he got more fans than my WillRock page, and I, in a fit of rage, declared war on "Stevo's Beard".
Stevo, in retaliation made this mix iirc, to show me who was boss.
So yeah... Awesome mix stevo... may the war continue *shakes fist*
djpretzel
on 2011-04-03 00:10:46
What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.