Blood on the Asphalt – “Made in USA (Ken Stage)” (Sixto Sounds)November 5, 2009
This song is made of pure awesome. It’s solid American rock with some serious drums and a strong synth backup. This was the early ’90s when arcades were still popular and chock full of kung fu fighters playing Street Fighter II, which pretty much created the fighting game genre, and “Made in USA (Ken Stage)” does a great job of capturing that feel of quarter-popping, slushies, and roller rinks. The song is the theme of Ken Masters, one of the main characters from the game, and so “Ken’s Theme” is pretty recognizable due to the popularity of the series as well as its excellent composition.
“Made in USA” is a Super Street Fighter II remix from the OverClocked ReMix album, Blood on the Asphalt – A Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo ReMix Collaboration (*whew!*). The original Street Fighter II (1991) soundtrack was composed by the amazing Yoko Shimomura, whose works include Parasite Eve, Legend of Mana, and Kingdom Hearts. A funny thing about the album was it was later picked up by Capcom as the soundtrack for Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix (2007) for XBox Live Arcade, making it the first fan-created soundtrack to be used in a commercial videogame. You can listen to the original soundtrack on the album site while the game soundtrack is available on the OCR torrent page.
Shimomura is the second female composer to be featured on a Daily (the first being Michiru Yamane). She started working for Capcom in the late 80s doing sound effects and BGM (background music). While she wasn’t the only woman at Capcom at the time (nor the only female composer), as one of the few early vgm composers with a classical music background, her abilities with both composition and technology allowed her to produce some amazing soundtracks. Moving outside the limitations of action games, she eventually began composing for role-playing games (RPGs) at Square USA (now Square-Enix), where she produced Super Mario RPG (1996) and Parasite Eve (1998). Anyway, 1up has an amazing interview with her, so go check it out!