Music in Video Games: The non-visual cues.

Let’s step out of that comfort zone.

Normally I would do a game review. However, I think it’s good to start a discussion once in awhile. Plus, if I keep reviewing games everyday I won’t have enough time to try out new ones to keep up. So let’s forge a new path.

This week’s discussion will be based on music in video games; and more importantly, what soundtracks have stuck with you throughout your gaming experience. Below each title is the actual song so you can refresh/experience it for yourself.

First let’s just say video games encapsulates all systems, all genres and all platforms. From PC to Atari here are a few of my most memorable soundtracks/songs from games.

Halo 3

Without a doubt one of my favorite Halo soundtracks, don’t get me wrong I loved the first Halo. I remember when I got my first Xbox and since I was under the M rating age I wasn’t allowed to have Halo (at first), so my friend and I would play the demo of it and spend hours on it. I owned with the Warthog, I could do crazy stunts and I loved it more than anything in the world. But the soundtrack of Halo 3 was fantastic, this song (above) especially so.

Mass Effect

What a fantastic cinematic masterpiece Mass Effect was. The graphics were terrific, the voice acting (Seth Green) was unbeatable and the storyline was remarkable. But, what stood out most to me was the variance in music throughout the game. It had a hint of TRON mixed with a Greek/Roman battle flick and topped off with a fantastic orchestra composition. That game was amazing and it’s without a doubt on my top 10 games of all time list. It is one of those few games you can invite friends over to watch and they are happy doing just that. It’s like Uncharted, a fantastic gripping storyline game that moves like a movie.

Minecraft

This was a more memorable song than favorite song. It was well done and C418 was a big hit for doing it. However, when Minecraft first started having music involved it became a little repetitive. But, since I probably wasn’t supposed to play the game for 12+ hours in one sitting, I think that falls under my fault, not Mojang’s. In the end, I liked the Minecraft song, it was catchy, it flowed with the crafting system and it didn’t take away from any experience, it was great grocery store muzak.

Age of Empires III

I love RTS games for the PC, probably my favorite genre of games available. Age of Empires (the series) has been my favorite RTS game of all time. Whether it was playing Age of Empires II in my middle school for “History Class” (yeah we had the coolest teachers, don’t get me started when we played Axis and Allies for a high school class). But, my personal favorite was Age of Empires III (with all expansion packs), that period of history has always been favorite, it focused on the U.S. which was neat since most RTS games didn’t, and the graphics were so pretty! The water was my favorite part, I’ve noticed water has and always will be my favorite texture in games and when they cheapen out that usually sums up my experience. That’ll be an upcoming post (the best H20 in games, I’m not kidding). Regardless, this theme song always got me pumped up, and ready to wage war!

Saints Row 2

Okay, technically this wasn’t their soundtrack, it was on it, but they didn’t compose it. You can thank the band A-Ha for it; which I do daily. What a song! But, I chose to put it on here because in the game your main character (boy/girl) will sing to it, and do what everyone else does when they “sing” it… try to hit the high notes… and tend to fail miserably. Saints Row stuck out to me, it had a soundtrack that I wanted to listen to, and the characters reacted to it, similarly to how humans do. It wasn’t just background music, it stood out on its own.

Summarization

Well that pretty much sums up my main list some notable mentions are:

  • Pokemon (Original Gameboy Blue, Red and Yellow)
  • Tetris (Super Nintendo)
  • Gameboy Advance Wars (GBA version)
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Genesis and Adventures/Dreamcast Version)
  • Crazy Taxi (The Offspring song)

So what are some of your favorite songs? Reply in the comments and share your experiences, feel free to make this post yours, I want to know stories, history, etc. Let’s discuss.

3 thoughts on “Music in Video Games: The non-visual cues.

  1. Final Fantasy IX, most specifically a song called You’re Not Alone. It appears at a prominent part during the game and it’s just a strong sound. I implore a listen, if nothing else, but here’s the context of the story:

    Zidane just found out the WHOLE of his past was a lie. Down, defeated, deflated, he sets out to fight hordes of enemies alone, feeling as if he has a wrong to right. His friends however stand by his side – Even when he tries to shirk them off. He tells them to get away and this was his fight, but they don’t. They stay there and even tell him that he’s not alone.

    Wonderful storytelling, wonderful music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKAoSY5bhSw

    Like

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