Hello and welcome back to P-Vock's Music Box. The longer I write these columns, the more I feel like there are certain franchises I just sort of neglect. Some I may just not enjoy like The Elder Scrolls. Some of them I just kind of forget to talk about, like Ape Escape. Then there are some like the case of today's franchise, that I really have no excuse for. Though that may be fitting for this series, as it has been absolutely eclipsed in popularity by its spinoff younger sibling. So for today, let's talk about a franchise that often gets ignored by anyone outside of its dedicated fanbase.
Almost anyone who knows anything about video games knows about the Persona series, but many often seem to not know that Persona is a spinoff of the Shin Megami Tensei series (well, technically Shin Megami Tensei is also a spinoff of a spinoff itself but I don't have two hours to explain this entire stupid series). While not as popular as Persona, SMT definitely delivers some absolutely unique ideas and has a monstrous collection of beloved games. The Persona series is absolutely lauded for its music, and I believe that because of that, mainline SMT gets nowhere near the credit it deserves for its iconic tunes. Let's start off slow and get a lil more intense all at once from a track from the recently released SMT 5.
Okay yeah, this is an absolute banger of a battle theme. It's such a banger, in fact, that I will often allow battles to take way longer when I play because I want to continue listening to this theme. But enough of that, this track also does something really cool that I wish more tracks did. You may have noticed that the first few seconds sounded quite different before it heated up. The reason for this is that the initial portion will play until someone actually takes a swing. So, you can step back and survey your enemy and decide what to do, and the music will flare up only once you actually strike. For a medium completely dependent on player interaction, it's shockingly rare to have video game music that offers any level of interactivity. So, that is just absolutely fantastic in my opinion.
But alright, enough of the basic battle music. This is a JRPG series, after all, so let's get ready to kill a god.
It is exactly what I said. This is a JRPG, so you kill a fictional god. I don't know of many pieces of music that fit the "kill a deity" motif better than this one, and SMT 4 Apocalypse is the only one with a story so garbage that I don't mind skipping right to the true final battle. This game is nowhere near as great as the other entries in the SMT franchise, but at least they went hard with the music.
So, I decided to be a little edgier this week. Not for any particular reason, I just kind of felt like it. SMT is a franchise that just doesn't get as much love as it deserves, so I am always happy to talk about one of the more rad aspects of it. Plus, I think this kind of audience might just appreciate this kind of music more than your average video game beats. I hope these tunes fired you up for the weekend, and I'll catch you back here next time with another suggestion from my Music Box. Stay Brutal.
PS. Here's a beep boop cover of the SMT5 battle theme just in case you wanted it.