Friday, June 12, 2009

Favorite Game soundtracks

While the music in a videogame does nothing to affect my critique of a game there's still no shortage of game music that I absolutely enjoy. Plus at least it'll keep me from gushing over the music whenever I look at a game. There's going to be a lot of stuff you've already heard but I hope that you'll find something new as well.

Here's a list of my favorite soundtracks along with an accompanying youtube sample and a few words.

Tekken 4: While this is considered the black sheep of the series it's definitely one of my favorites in terms of music. It's a very cool mix of acid jazz and minimalistic pieces that help to evoke a ton of atmosphere. 

Tekken 5 / Dark Resurrection: Keeping with Tekken this is easily my pick for best of the series(though T6 BR might change that when it finally hits consoles). The composers went in a number of different directions here and while there are a couple misses the highs are just absolutely perfect.

Super Mario Galaxy: Needless to say if I was going to put any Mario soundtrack here it'd be this one. Aside from the amazing orchestrated pieces there are a number of tracks here that adapt to Mario's current situation(whether he's about to defeat a boss, underwater, or etc). It's hard to explain but since you played the game you already know what I'm talking about.

Vagrant Story: Phenomenal. That's all I can say.

G-Darius: While Darius Gaiden was a bit of a surprise aurally with its combination of eastern themes and techno-opera G. Darius pushes it to another level with something completely out there. There's a bit of everything and a lot of unique sounds to this soundtrack and for the final entry in the series OGR really took it to another level.

Sonic CD: While popular opinion is mostly in favor of the original version's Japan/Europe soundtrack there's good and bad in both of them I think. The original soundtrack is pretty reliant on samples(like this boss theme) and can get annoying at times(plus there's a few outright stinkers) while there's some mediocre tracks to the US version as well. Since we have the freedom to take both that's what I'm doing. Good stuff.

Ecco The Dolphin CD: Spencer Nilsen is one of Sega's most talented composers yet I don't think he gets enough credit. This soundtrack is one of his highlights. Just the kind of thing I'd be listening to if I were to find myself swimming in the middle of an ocean somewhere.

Puggsy: Due to the weak soundchip a lot of great compositions on the Genesis tend to get buried. This one does a fine job of working around that and producing just tons of memorable and catchy tunes. Nothing mind-blowing I guess but whatever I dig it.

Street Fighter 3: Third Strike: Some people can't stand this soundtrack. I love it so oh well. Not much else to say.

Castlevania: Curse of Darkness: While there's little worthwhile about the actual game the soundtrack to CoD is one of the best I've heard in the series.

Metal Black: While the in-game soundtrack is good this one really shines on the arranged work known as "The First". Unfortunately I can't find much of anything on it on youtube.

Tokyo Xtreme Racer 1: I'm a fan of the Tokyo Xtreme Racer series but the music definitely peaked with the first Dreamcast game. Techno, Eurobeat, some Atmospheric, and even a bit of Metal. It's simplistic but fantastic.

Ridge Racer Type 4: This is considered among the best of the Ridge Racer soundtracks and it's not hard to see why. Definitely up there for myself as well.

Ridge Racer 5: While not up to RRT4's level this soundtrack still has some great stuff. Hell if it wasn't for this song I wouldn't have gotten myself to complete Ridge Racer 6's career mode.

Mass Effect: You knew this was going to get listed eventually so I may as well get it over with.

Street Fighter EX3: Okay maybe this isn't Capcom's best fighting game series but it's near the top when it comes to music. 

The World Ends With You: A surprising gem and one of my picks for best game of 2008. Soundtrack isn't for everyone but who cares about them?

There's more to come so feel free to watch this space if you like. 

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