Why is a Great Video Game Soundtrack Essential?
Unlike the well known children’s song I am not a music man. However even I can appreciate a well executed musical score. An epic video game soundtrack is the the difference between an average boss battle and an epic boss battle.
Some genres are better than others at utilising emotive video game soundtracks. Horror games and RPG games are particularly accustomed to executing a stellar soundtrack. This is often by design and sometimes by necessity.
RPG games in particular are not equipped with the same on screen action. In the days of the past much of story was told via text boxes. As a result a good musical score is essential to keep the gamer engaged. Along with this, an appropriate video game soundtrack can ensure the correct atmosphere and emotion is conveyed to the gamer without the use of voice acting.
On the other hand horror games use music in a different way. Creating tension and atmosphere to scenes where graphical inadequacies would have prevented so.
As a youngster games like Resident Evil and Silent Hill scared me to the safety of the nearest cushion. My big trick to alleviate said fear was to remove the audio completely. I may not hear the slow creep of undead around the corner. But as they say, ignorance is bliss.
My Favourite Video Game Soundtracks
We can all name a video game soundtrack that will stick with us beyond the end of a game. For me it is Dancing Mad and One winged Angel by Nobuo Uematsu.
I am going to give to Dancing Mad over One Winged Angel as I believe it is the lesser talked about of the two. They are both equally as good though in my opinion.
1. Dancing Mad – Final Fantasy VI
2. Nier: Automata – A Beautiful Song (Opera Boss Theme)
Nier: Automata a game where even the bosses suffer. Once again much like many of Square Enix’s endeavours the music through this game is wondrous.
I still think this is my favourite of the lot. Beautiful yet painful much like the battle itself. The game itself is excellent and the music is part to that.
Not being a a final boss. This battle caught me very much by surprise and took me a few attempts. However because of the video game soundtrack I was never more hyped during this game than this battle. Not bad considering the wealth of huge enemies that present themselves.
Published on Jun 9, 2010
Dancing mad is the perfect amalgamation of perfect pacing, atmosphere and story telling within a video game soundtrack. Uematsu is already in the god-like tier when it comes to soundtracks and musical scores for an epic boss battle. This is probably his finest work.
Ascending to the heavens to battle a deity has never sounded so freaking good. The changes in pace really do well to present the madness of Kefka.
Published on Jan 20, 2008
Can you feel the anxiety?
The impending pressure of endless block after block?
Is it getting faster?
Where the f*ck is the long rectangle?
If OCD and chronic anxiety was a video game soundtrack this would be it. Did you know that the soundtrack is based off a Russian folk song. It was re-arranged in 1989 by Hirokazu Tanaka and trademarked to GameBoy.
If you are interested in the full origin story. Have a look at Wikipedia. Quite fascinating.
4. Dearly Beloved – Kingdom Hearts Series
Composed by Yoko Shimomura. This piano based song is achingly beautiful.
Stressed about work? Put it on. Miss someone a lot. Put it on. Want to escape? Put it on.
If ever there was a beautiful musical score that allowed you to escape to a far away place playing an equally magical game. (The first two in the main series at least.) This is it. It manages to invoke the nostalgia enhanced love of Disney and Final Fantasy and make you feel at ease with yourself.
The Kingdom Hearts Series is general is home to a wealth of luscious video game soundtracks. Alternatives include “Simple and Clean” and “Sanctuary” by Utada Hikaru. Check out the content below if you need a gift idea for a Kingdom Hearts fan.
5. Opening Theme – Silent Hill by Akira Yamaoka
This theme iterates discomfort throughout. As you listen without context you can’t help but feel this does not match the game completely. Herein lies the beauty.
The primary motivation behind this video game theme is to unsettle the gamer. Akira Yamaoka drew inspiration from European electro-pop and industrial music. Developers upon first listen assumed it to a be a game bug. This came to personify the unsettling nature of the game for years to come.