Inferior hardware, superior soundtrack

This thread is dedicated to games that were released on multiple platforms, but sounded the best on inferior hardware. This happened more often than one might think, thanks in no small part to the Commodore 64 and its marvelous SID chip.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Here’s the main theme from the arcade version of Commando.

That boring ditty doesn’t exactly make you want to put on your dancing shoes, am I right?

Wait until you hear the Commodore 64 rendition of that tune by the legendary Rob Hubbard!

He turned everything up to eleven, transforming a once-dreary soundtrack into an epic and energetic face-melter of a tune.

So, do you guys have any examples of games that sounded the best on inferior platforms?


This will be an interesting thread. I’d like to include things like Daytona but I feel that’s cheating since the Saturn port runs CD audio tracks.

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I never realized the Saturn soundtrack was different from the arcade version. Off to YouTube I go to compare them :slight_smile:

That’s a great tune! Haven’t heard that one before. And I agree that the Genesis version sounds superior.

Wow, what a difference. This track rules on console.

Let’s listen to another Capcom game! It’s a somewhat obscure one this time: LED Storm (also known as Mad Gear and Rally 2011 LED Storm).

Here’s the arcade soundtrack:

It’s certainly not a bad soundtrack, but it also doesn’t really get the blood pumping. A bit unremarkable, if you ask me.

Now, when this game got ported to home computers its soundtrack was completely replaced with different tunes. And it was a change for the better!

Just listen to the amazing tracks composer Tim Follin concocted for the C64 and the Amiga:

Classic shoot 'em up R-Type is up next!

Here’s the arcade soundtrack:

And here’s the Commodore 64 version:

I think the SID renditions of the arcade tunes are more fun to listen to. On top of that, a new title theme was composed by Chris Huelsbeck and it’s wonderful!

Does anyone know if the Sega Mega Drive is inferior to the hardware Data East used for Atomic Runner?


Sega Mega Drive

Not only does the music sound better on Sega’s 16-bit console, the graphics are also superior.

Did you think I was done gushing over the SID chip? Think again!

Here’s another soundtrack I prefer on the good old Commodore 64. It’s Turbo OutRun!


Commodore 64

The arcade version sounds like generic rock music, but the C64 version is bubbly and bouncy, thanks to having maestro Jeroen Tel on the keys. Also, the intro features an epic arrangement of Magical Sound Shower!


The SID really was something else back then. It’s crazy how good some of the music is.

Rob Hubbard was magical with it, any there are so many good composers that really made that SID shine.

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Another Arcade vs Genesis


I don’t think I’ve heard that track before, but the Sega version definitely sounds cooler. Great find!

I’m impressed by the SFC Super Street Fighter 2 soundtrack (it differs from the US SNES version), really good stereo sound. Very charming and I think I prefer it over the arcade (from what I hear cause I don’t have the arcade cabinet to really compare).


I didn’t know the SFC soundtrack differed from the SNES version! Gotta give it a listen sometime.

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I’ve got a soft spot for Naxat Soft’s Game Boy version of Snow Bros.’ soundtrack over the other versions

(GB)スノーブラザーズ・ジュニア/Snow Brothers-Soundtrack - YouTube

The punchiness really suits the tunes

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I compared it to the arcade soundtrack and I have to agree with you: the Gameboy version does sound more pleasant to listen to!

LED Storm (Tim Follin tune)

Amiga 6/10

ZX Spectrum 11/10

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Never knew the Speccy was capable of churning out such banging tunes. Sounds great!

Only a 6/10 for the Amiga version, though? That’s blasphemy! :face_with_monocle:

I’m more of a chip tune synth fan than sampled mod tunes.

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