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Thread: Video game music you consider exemplary

  1. #31
    Member rhinosaur's Avatar
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    Dec 2013
    Super Mario Galaxy -- Filled with great orchestral compositions

    SimCity 3000 -- The soundtrack that got me into jazz

    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Arcade Game -- Some interesting variations on the classic TMNT theme

  2. #32
    New Member Ishaad T. Cock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    I used to listen to game music a lot when I was younger, but it's really been a while. Some years ago, I decided to basically listen to “all the music” (specifically, critics’ relative highlights from most noteworthy bands; mostly rock), starting from around the 60’s. I’m up to ’74 now. Anyways it’s not until very recently that I’ve been looking back at the old games I’ve played and accumulating their relative musical highlights; so my game music knowledge is a bit patchy.

    For a lot of game music, there’s not really anything special about their effectiveness other than being catchy. Mega Man would be one of the most prominent series for its music. Specifically, MM 2, 3, 9, and X, which also happen to be the best games.

    Outside of that, I suppose we’re looking for music that does well to build the mood or something. A lot of that might not sound especially interesting out of context, of course. Let’s see what I remember...

    Hollow Knight is probably the best example I can think of right now. The presentation in that game in general is excellent. Very atmospheric; the game's whole thing was the lonely journey, exploring an old decaying kingdom, uncovering its rich history - like Dark Souls. I also liked how the tracks crossfade into their more intense versions; and they knew when to use silence as well. I'm not really qualified to understand what makes music effective or whatever though.

    Kingdom Hearts games also had some excellent all-around soundtracks. Each world was highly individualized, with its own music, enemies, and even menus. Kingdom Hearts 2 in particular is one of the most incredibly polished games in history. Ironically, a lot of people hated it, including myself. The gameplay was fundamentally too hard for its core demographic, so the difficulties that shipped in the original version were all turned into a boring button mash fest.

    I think I remember Metroid Prime having a really effective soundtrack, but that was a long time ago.

    The spinoff Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles is well regarded for its soundtrack.
    Tanioka has described the musical style for the soundtrack as being based on "ancient instruments". The soundtrack makes extensive use of many medieval and Renaissance musical instruments such as the recorder, the crumhorn and the lute, creating a distinctively rustic feel. Tanioka said that the idea came to her while looking at illustrations of the game world, which gave her the idea of making "world music", where the tracks would "not [be] limited to a single country or culture".
    A couple single tracks that I liked:

    The town themes in Diablo are pretty legendary.

    Final Fantasy XIII-2 had a few nice tracks. Being a sequel to a sequel, it was a little more experimental. In particular, this song stands out for its sense of otherworldliness. Stupid piece of shit garbage game though.

    Sonic Adventure 2 has some of my (only) favorite hip-hop songs. At first I enjoyed them “ironically”; but irony always turns genuine over time...


    By the way, the best way I know of at the moment to find old game soundtracks, besides youtube, is from a site called KHInsider. For mass download, you either have to donate, or write/download a script.
    Last edited by Ishaad T. Cock; 07-05-2018 at 06:48 PM.

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