For the Introduction/explanation to this mini-series, here's Part 1. The original VGM FACE OFF Primer post this is all based off of can be found here. For your convenience, here are the tracks again. Please listen to them BEFORE reading my write-up:
Arnold Palmer Tournament Golf - BGM 2:
Check Mii Out Channel - Wii - Contest Results Parade:
In the case of the Arnold Palmer’s Golf vs Check Mii Out Channel VIBE OFF:
Which version was the original? Roughly two decades separate these two tracks. Probably better than 50% of gamers experiencing the Check Mii Out Channel theme when the channel was active were not even alive when the Arnold Palmer track first wafted out of the usually monaural single speaker of the old faux woodgrain CRT box TVs.
Familiarity/Novelty Disclosure: That said, I was not aware of the Arnold Palmer Golf game music till probably 2013, 2014, where I first heard this Check Mii Out track in 2008 or 9 or so.
System hardware preference disclosure: This is kind of a toughie. While it’s undeniable that the Wii sound hardware is exponentially more capable and advanced than the Sega Genesis, it also lacks that magic that made the 4th gen my favorite era for VGM. Namely, sound hardware that was advanced enough to do some really amazing, and complex things…but still basic enough that you could take absolutely nothing for granted. The Wii’s hardware is so powerful that it can effortlessly do ANYTHING…but when anything’s easy….nothing’s special. So for those reasons, I guess I’ll say Genesis.
My verdict: Check Mii Out Channel.
Why? While I love the crisp punchy purity and simplicity of the Genesis track (complete with charming PSG “plinks”), there is just something special about the magic mix the Wii track finds. It’s got pizzazz, and propulsion, and is just so much “bigger”. Also, while there’s a crispness and cleanness in the simplicity of the Genesis track, the Wii track fits perfectly with the old Wii system menu/channel suites’ loosely held theme, which is the “squeaky-cleanest-in-a-totally-good-way” thing I’ve perhaps ever encountered in all of video-gamedom [subjective, I know]. It’s like the crispness of opening a can of pop, and the cleanness of white shower wall tiles, and mid-2000’s Target soap commercials…and I LOVE IT! Also, maybe there’s the nostalgia element as this channel was a fairly big part of the early days of us owning a Wii, and also, while the Genesis game is halfway between 20 and 30 years old, you can always play it on an emulator, or if you’re lucky enough to own a real Genesis…you can play it for realz! When Nintendo shut down the Wii channels, this thing in a very real sense died. With the Check Mii Out channel, there really is “no going home.” And that’s very sad, and perhaps makes this music, and the vibe of the channels, and everything associated with it just more special to me.
Was this a close contest? Yes. I had to listen back to back several times before I could really make up my mind.
So, what about you? Agree? Disagree? Think I'm totally nuts? There's a comments section. Light it up!
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