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Thread: Video game music you consider exemplary

  1. #21
    Minister of Love Roger Mexico's Avatar
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    I definitely still remember this game's music as notably good even though the game is ancient history.


    Hard to say why--I'm not a music-theory sort of person at all--but I think it stood out because, given the very limited graphics capability of the hardware at the time the soundtrack in games from this era often had to shoulder a lot of the heavy lifting as far as creating a sense of immersion in the game.


    I dunno, it just did a pretty impeccable job of evoking the appropriate mood to go with the situations that the basic graphics were trying to get you to imagine yourself in the middle of.


    It's not a complicated game. There's virtually no narrative or character interaction--just a series of missions where you drive your robot-tank around a variety of sparse alien landscapes looking for things to shoot at.


    But the music just fits that really well. It hits all the right buttons of evoking a sense of exploring an environment that is both exotic and dangerous, and doing that mostly by yourself. It's ambient and atmospheric to bring out the sense of "I am far from home on some random planet in a remote corner of a huge galaxy", but also keeps you immersed in a sense of slowly simmering tension and the need to be vigilant for dangerous things you might unexpectedly encounter, and that you're fighting in an interstellar war so there are important stakes riding on your actions in goings-on that aren't necessarily happening only in your immediate vicinity.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ptah View Post
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  2. #22
    wetback Space Invaders Champion Fitz's Avatar
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    Can't believe I forgot this beauty.


  3. #23
    No Thank You Blorg's Avatar
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    I really like this one. Builds the atmosphere. And the sharper + faster rhythm (don't know what you'd call it) works well when you're playing the game, gives it a kind of hypnotic effect, maybe because it mimics the pattern of fast footsteps. Also feels heroic!



    Portal 2 is one of my favorites. Chaotic, creative, and funny. Also, it does a great job of theme-matching music to particular environments and characters. Listing a few youtube tracks doesn't really do it justice - a lot of its effect comes from how it builds up specific recurring places and people in the game.



    Some of my favorite musicians (The National) are also briefly featured in the Portal 2 soundtrack


    As with Portal 2, this is a soundtrack that doesn't hog the limelight, but is excellent at serving its purpose in the game. The soundtrack often blends with diegetic sounds. Whenever a conventional composition starts to emerge, it trails off or gets cut off by static or some other noise. This is a perfectly eerie effect that complements the themes of the game (for example, the character is looking for cohesion/a stable sense of purpose and failing to find it). At the same time, the noises in this menu soundtrack have their own strange harmony (right word?), which is unexpected and potentially scary since they don't come from traditional instruments. (again, this goes with themes of the game. robots gaining their own unexpected narrative momentum.)

  4. #24
    Meae Musae Servus Hephaestus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fitz View Post
    Can't believe I forgot this beauty.

    Music isn't the first thing that comes to mind with that game--which is often a good thing as game music like movie or tv music is often at it's best when it isn't something you notice--music you notice can pull you out of the flow to pay more attention to the music.

    With game music this is even more important because you still want that heightened excitement and involvement good scores bring to the table, but there's more concern about listener fatigue when you might hear the same song for hours. It damn well better be good with that in mind.

    Tetris and Dr. Mario nailed that aspect. Diablo came close but I found myself swapping out the music before I swapped out the game.

    This was before I realized you can ruin albums that way by making strong associations between the album and the game.

    It gets weaker over time but I still have moments where Joy Division reminds me of Daggerfall.
    Most of time, when people ask why something terrible happened, they don't realize they are looking for someone to blame.

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  5. #25
    singularity precursor Limes's Avatar
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    I don't try new games very often, so my choices will be very much retro.

    Loved this in the arcade in the 1980s and really enjoyed this remade euro mix that came along with the 2006 reboot. I still listen to this in the car like smooth jazz with a couple of good solos. Sue me.




  6. #26
    Senior Member Tetris Champion notdavidlynch's Avatar
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  7. #27
    Pull the strings! Architect's Avatar
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    I should have my own submission. For my money Grim Fandango beats them all


  8. #28
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    donkey kong 2 forever.

  9. #29
    Now we know... Asteroids Champion ACow's Avatar
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    All examples of music which fits the context.

    The music and atmosphere in journey practically makes the game. See if you can find a walkthrough online to see what i mean. Its a pretty short game.



    I would never listen to the soundtrack of frozen synapse by itself, but in the context of the game as background to a futuristic strategy tactics game it works:



    Stellaris (and really anything by paradox) because they actually put effort into proper musical soundtracks:



    Homeworld did soundtracks right by just taking good music that already existed and applying it to the game context, and mixing it in with different remixes and extra sounds (although this track isn't an example of the remixing other tracks):


  10. #30
    schlemiel Faust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Mexico View Post
    Sounds like the soundtrack to a long-lost Civilization game, if it had battle music.

    Quote Originally Posted by notdavidlynch
    I will forever quote any mention of Bloodborne - at this point I can't think of any game I've adored more, save for Tetris.
    Ditto, it's a perfectly made game.

    @PureViolence, my man. DKC 1&2 are classics.

    The SMRPG soundtrack makes me nostalgic, as does Knytt Stories. Also liked Star Craft, Metal Gear, TMNT IV. Undertale is worth the playthrough just for the ost.

    You've already mentioned Jeremy Soule and some other favorites. I always liked Final Fantasy music but the games put me to sleep.
    "All my heroes are dead" - John Zorn

    "It's not selfish if you hate yourself"

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