Archive for the ‘Music Games’ Category
Despite how many times he insults me, I’m almost positive that a certain bearded co-worker actually likes me because he supplied me with a Playstation 2 complete with Nerf controller. I will be repaying him soon with beers. If SNES and Sega Genesis were the consoles of my childhood, the PS2 epitomized my adolescence. I’m I proceeded to spend all of the trade credit I’ve amassed at a local used media store and got some classics as well as some games that slipped past my radar. Here’s a few that I didn’t get the first time around:
Space Channel 5
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
King of Fighters: XII
First of all, I’m so happy to have a used console with one of the largest libraries of stellar games – especially those that I’d never played before. I’m thoroughly enjoying Kingdom Hearts as it’s so poignant yet extremely simplistic. Psychonauts has strikingly adult subject matter as seen through the eyes of kids with psychic abilities at summer camp. Space Channel 5 is probably the weirdest of the bunch – a rhythm game about aliens invading and forcing people to dance – but is still highly enjoyable for such a silly game. All in all, I expanded my library for relatively cheap and have a few long gaming sessions to look forward to with each game.
What are some games you neglected to play until years after they were released?
Silent Hill: Downpour was released earlier this week, but I decided long ago that I would not be buying it. Not only has the series lost the atmospheric and unsettling feel (which it lost quite a few releases ago), it also lost one of the main reasons I continued playing.
Akira Yamaoka served as the musical motor behind the series from the original game through the embarrassing Wii rerelease of the original as well as the few great ones in-between. Listening to the soundtracks for the first three games, it’s obvious that Yamaoka had a clear sense of the creepy, haunting ambiance the player would experience and his music heightens the experience. When I learned KoRn would be providing some of the music for Downpour and Akira would not be composing any pieces, I hung up any second thoughts of buying or playing the game. Joystiq also shared some of the same sentiments in their review saying the loss of Yamaoka is possibly the game’s “biggest detriment”
That being said, I don’t want to focus on terrible in-game music. Instead, we’ll listen to some of my favorite gaming scores. Feel free to add yours in the comments!
One of the best musical compositions in a game comes from one of my favorite games: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Symphony, while also being my first foray into the Castlevania series, made me more aware of atmosphere in games. Voice acting aside (“Have at you!”), Symphony brought a more holistic approach to gaming – not only was the gameplay fantastic, the music and art served as an incredibly immersive experience for that console generation. Composer Michiru Yamane gave us the ethereal and classic pieces that are as timeless as the game itself.
Some music fits the game so perfectly, it’s almost impossible to play without it. Garry Schyman’s Bioshock soundtrack and score are the best examples of this. The decaying world of Rapture was almost magical when coupled with his haunting compositions while the in-game licensed music heightened the “roaring twenties” aesthetic, the mingling of the two made Bioshock ‘s ambient sadness a little more perceivable.
And of course, who could forget the Tetris theme? It was the first bit of gaming music that continually got stuck in my head. Wikipedia guesses that Hirokazu Tanaka is the likely composer of this piece. Here’s a dubstep remix… for some reason…