A game’s soundtrack is one of the most important elements that make up the entire masterpiece. Indeed, music sets the mood and can fill the verbal void when no words are available. Imagine two characters about to engage in a passionate kiss – the soundtrack will tell the player whether the kiss is either for a permanent goodbye or a joyful beginning.
Video game soundtracks have evolved just as much as graphics and gameplay have. This generation is delivering music that hypes us up for boss battles, gears us up to play against our friends, and soothes us during periods of calm. Here are my favorite songs so far for this gen that remain embedded in my ears for how much they move my gamer soul.
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Mass Effect – Criminal Elements [By Jack Wall and Sam Hulick] Conspiracy! Murder! Embezzlement! Whatever the villain’s at, this song sums up their treachery and the battle to take them down. It’s upbeat enough to generate excitement in taking down the baddies.
Mass Effect – Main Theme [By Jack Wall and Sam Hulick] You might as well call this song “Hero’s Theme” or “Damn It Don’t Worry, Help Is On The Way.” This is the track that plays when we first meet our Shepard. As Shepard walks through the ship with attitude and determination, this song lets players know that help has arrived, and we are the universe’s savior.
Half-Life 2: Episode 2 – Strider Battle [By Kelly Bailey] I don’t know if there’s any better feeling in the world than shooting a Magnossun Device at the belly of a Strider. At the peak of the battle against the Striders, this track gets you amped and gives you that extra shot of adrenaline you need to protect the silo. (I don’t know the correct title for this song, so if anyone out there can help me that’d be great).
Portal – Still Alive [By Jonathan Coulton] A wildly popular song already, GLaDoS serenades us at the end of Portal with her delightfully sarcastic, yet sweet voice. Sweet… just like the cake she promised us.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess – Hyrule Field Main Theme [OST by Koji Kondo,Toru Minegishi, and Asuka Ohta] I can think of no better song to ride a horse to than this one. Its beat is so similar to the pounding feet of a horse, it’s lighthearted and almost remixes itself throughout the whole track. This is the best version of the song I could find because it has the battle theme mixed into it.
Super Mario Galaxy – Bowser’s Star Reactor [OST by Koji Kondo, Kenji Yamamoto, and Mahito Yokota] This track has a militaristic feel to it; I almost feel inclined to march along to its beat. It represents everything that is Bowser – aggression, power, leadership and villain-ess… villainity… or whatever. Just evil.
Super Mario Galaxy – The Story Begins [OST by Koji Kondo, Kenji Yamamoto, and Mahito Yokota] I’m a big fan of songs that sound like they are supposed to be accompanied by a twirling plastic ballerina in a jewelery box. This song is very lullaby-like, and matched perfectly with the game’s storybook.
And now, I’m enjoying the music to Lost Odyssey. And it’s no wonder; it’s composed by the same man, Nobuo Uematsu, who did the Final Fantasy X OST.