It has been quite a while since I last did a, Let’s Talk Music, piece. I love music. As much or maybe more than the person next to me. I find it enthralling and an all important addition to any game that we play. Whether that is an opening song to show us the game or the compelling ability of its score to throw us into the heat of the moment or to bring us to tears. Music can tell a story of it’s own and gaming music is one of the most overlooked sections in the music industry. However, with time the music industry has come to recognize titles like, Journey or Mass Effect, titles that have such empowering soundtracks behind them. So today, I want to share a few songs from a few games that I absolutely love. Some will be of game openings, others composed pieces only used during gameplay. Headphones are recommended for this article or a very lovely sound system.
To start us off we go to the delightfully wonderful and downright beautiful game that is, Journey. A Playstation exclusive and game from, Santa Monica Studios. Journey features an amazing soundtrack composed by the amazing, Austin Wintory. It was this empowering and equally emotional score that got him a Grammy Nomination and was up against the likes of John Williams. JOHN WILLIAMS. I mean, kudos for this guy and his work with the game. My absolute favorite track is titled, Apotheosis. It is a deeply powerful song and it is equal parts emotional. This game is about telling a story through sight and sound. The music is as much a voice in this game as the silent moments of exploration are. Journey was a game that showed me how lovely Indie Game’s could be and just how powerful music can be towards us. I highly recommend you add this to your list of favorite songs.
Next we travel to the far flung future, to a galaxy rife with war against a genocidal race of machines known only as the Reapers. Mass Effect was the second game I ever played from Bioware and it is a series that will forever have a place in my library. The composed scores were phenomenal and they gave the game such a flavor and such character that I could not imagine them any other way. With the third and final entry to Commander Shepard’s story, Mass Effect 3’s soundtrack was equal parts dark as it was depressing. It is a time when no one is safe and an unstoppable force arrives at your doorstep. The song is titled Leaving Earth, as Shepard in this scene is fleeing from Earth after the Reapers begin to lay waste to the city of Vancouver. It is a moment in which we know what’s at stake here and what we have to do in order to safeguard humanities and that of the galaxies future. The second song that is featured is called, An End Once and For All. This is the song that plays at the ending of Mass Effect 3 and it is played over whatever choice it is that you make. It is powerful. It is invoking. Pair this with the images of characters you have grown to love over the course of three titles and many hours of gameplay, this song is powerful enough to make a grown man cry.
Next we move back to a time when magic was still powerful. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD has one of the best openings and one of the best opening songs I have heard in a long while. It is both harsh but awe inspiring. I cannot express how many times I have played this to myself while I am playing an intense strategy game. This song gives you hope of a future worth fighting for and it gives you a moment of wanting to cheer out. It makes you want to fight like there is no tomorrow. While Type-0 was a PSP title, it did receive a remodel on the PS4 and the soundtrack was no exception from this change. I can say I am very thankful for this change. The two linked videos will be of the opening and just the song itself.
Now we head to a modern time frame to discover our true persona. Persona 4 Golden was not my first run with this game series but it is one that holds a special place in my heart. Then I discovered the rhythmic joys of Persona 4 Dancing All Night. While the Persona games are mainly known for their gameplay and amazing story, the music is also a great standout. I cannot express how awesome it is to play through these games while listening and playing some of the awesome tunes that fill this alternate reality. While odd for an entirely Japanese game to feature purely English songs, it’s what makes this game special and it is why it speaks and appeals to a wider audience than just the Japanese one. This title has had a great amount of success and with a fifth entry to the series on the way, I am quite pleased to say I am looking forward to hearing what melodious tones are awaiting me in the shadow world.
This video may be a bit scandalous for some but to anyone who has played the games or enjoys anime in general, Senran Kagura: Estival Versus features one amazing opening for a game that I thought you wouldn’t take serious. In typical anime fashion, this title quickly clawed its way into being one of my favorite for a game of this nature and caliber. It is very moe and it is festive. It allows the player to get a feel for what the game has in store for them, further down the road. I especially enjoy the anime style scenes mixed with the games anime-esque art style.
To finish this article off I want to share a song from a title that I have waited 8 years for. Fallout means a lot of things to a lot of different people. Fallout 4 is a game that is made by a studio I revere and adore. Inon Zur handled the Fallout song we have grown to love with the utmost care, taking it up to an 11 from an already amazing 10. The song has just enough essence of the original before it to be memorable but the tone has changed. It has become empowered, it has struggle and it has hope. That lingering hope for a meager survival in a world that has long since passed for our hero/heroine. If the composed songs in Fallout 4 are not enough for you then rejoice because this game happens to have a whole slew of radio songs from the 1940’s-60’s for you thoroughly enjoy from Dean Martin to Dion. This title has a lot of content in the music department.
So there you have our list. While not a comprehensive one by any means, it is a list of the songs in gaming that we just cannot get enough of. Do you have some favorites that you would enjoy sharing with us all? Feel free to leave us some love down in the comment section below or catch us on our official Twitter page! We would love to chat with you all!
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