I remember buying Starfox 64 on July 1, 1997. On that very day, I played the game to no end. All nighting it into the wee hours of the morning. And on that morning, I had come to two conclusions: 1) The game was excellent, and 2) The music sucked. What happened to the epic, and ever so beautiful symphony that graced the original Starfox? A score so incredible that, even after I finished the game numerous times on all three routes, I would boot the game up just to hear it again... and again. What happened to Starfox 64's soundtrack? I was *very* disappointed. That was until, however, I realized that I was being the world's largest ass. I'll explain...
I remember, a while ago, just putting Starfox 64 on for a quick playthrough. But instead, I wound up going to the sound test. I listened to roughly every track, any you know what? The music wasn't bad. In fact, it was actually really, really good. That was when I discovered the error of my ways: I was judging the music by its sound quality and not by the actual composition. A *very* big mistake. I dismissed an excellent soundtrack because the sound system used was inferior... I was, and still am, ashamed.
Now, after almost four years after the game's release, I am a proud owner of the Starfox 64 Original Soundtrack. A disk filled with songs full of melody. It isn't symphonic, but I don't think it was ever intended to be. Starfox 64 has a sound all its own, and I wouldn't have it any other way. There are so many great tracks on this disk. The melodramatic "Aquas" (track 14) and "Zoness" (track 16) are just two. And while I try to avoid picking favorites, I can't help it in this case. "Area 6" (track 18) is one frantic and adrenaline pumping track (it's also my favorite level in the game)!!! There are some sounds I couldn't even pick out in the game, like how the beat (via bass drum) constantly changes and shifts throughout "Sector Y and Solar" (track 12) for instance. And check out a very brief, yet very cool drum solo 44 seconds into "Fichina and Sector Z" (track 10)!!
Hajime Wakai contributed to the majority of the album (though Koji Kondo's name appears first on the credit roll and liner notes). He was obviously quite excited about this CD's release, judging by the number of explanation points to the first few characters!
Sadly, there are still many people out there who judge a soundtrack on its sound quality instead of the actual music. But I'm telling you, fellow game music admirers, you will miss out on *many* a great soundtrack with that attitude... I almost did. To anyone out there looking for something new and different to listen to, and have an open mind, I really suggest you check out Starfox 64 OST.