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Mad Dash Racing Soundtrack

Have videogames finally evolved to the point where soundtracks are something to look forward to?

While I don't normally groove to the techno beat, I have a wider musical appreciation than most. This came in handy recently, as I had the opportunity to listen to the soundtrack to Mad Dash Racing. Filled with top name artists such as Fatboy Slim, Moby, The Crystal Method, and Meat Beat Manifesto, the song collection also had several artists that I had never heard of, such as Overseer, Juno Reactor, Mephisto Oddysey, and Uberzone. I wondered what sort of auditory experience I was in for when I placed it my CD player, and let my Mad Dash screensaver kick in.

The first song was Acid 8000 by Fatboy Slim. I imagined myself racing down a cartoon path in control of a cartoon boar. Frankly, it was a bizarre experience, and I decided to just listen to the music instead of trying to contextualize it. That seemed to work better. The main reason why I am not a devotee of techno/electronica (or whatever you want to call it) is the repetitive nature of many songs. I can't stand listening to the same synthesized drum riff over and over. Thankfully, this collection of tunes doesn't follow that pattern.

After a while, I decided that listening to the songs in an office setting just wasn't doing it for me. I decided to put the soundtrack to the test in a situation a bit closer to the actual experience. Firing up my copy of Mario Kart 64, I turned the television way down, and turned on my boom box with the soundtrack. This was a much better experience, and oddly, enhanced the gameplay. I had stopped playing Mario Kart 64 solo a while back, but this gave me a good long period before I realized that nearly an hour was over.

The music didn't detract from the game, which is going to be essential when Mad Dash Racing is released. However, the music does stand on it's own as well. The next day I placed the CD (along with several others) in my primary CD player at home and hit the "random" button. I then proceeded about my day as normal. These songs fit right in with everything else that is on the market today, depending on your musical taste of course.

Eidos doesn't have definite plans to release the soundtrack commercially yet, but is also hasn't said that it won't happen either. While a commercially available Mad Dash Racing soundtrack may not burn up the sales charts, it would be a great introduction to the genre for beginners, or as a neat collection for fans of electronica/techno music. Game enthusiasts should keep an open ear (and mind) when listening to the songs. You just may find yourself that much more absorbed in the game.

One of the features of the Xbox is the ability to rip songs onto the hard drive, and (depending on the game) play a selection of songs of your choosing while playing the game instead of listening to the tracks included on the game disc. Most people have decried most game soundtracks as simplistic, or without variety. One such example is Crazy Taxi, where the same songs get played over and over. There are only so many times before you get tired of hearing the same Offspring song.

The reason I bring this up, is that now, I plan on having the Mad Dash Racing soundtrack reside in my Xbox hard drive along with several other key artists, because when I'm looking for some high energy music that won't detract from the on-screen action, I'm going to be sure to include some of these tunes.

Daniel "monk" Pelfrey
Still looking for a copy of Valley Girl on DVD.

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