That’s My Jam!: Evolution Of Game Music

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Living through the old generation of gaming consoles up to this point reminds why I love to play videogames. From the first time playing CastleVania and listening to the epic first stage song for the very first time gave me chills, I kept repeating the first stage over and over again until my GameBoy’s battery died on me over and over again. Gives me goosebumps everytime I hear it again now .

When you feel like buying a game and you listen to some epic music in the trailer, does that justify purchasing the game? Do you keep listening to it over and over and over again for hours until you remember every part of it? Do you pretend to air-drum/guitar/violin while hearing it? Do you search for that song in the background and troll sites/Google searches for a hint of what song is playing in the background? In this feature article we shall talk about the games that we loved to play for it’s awesome and epic 8-bit retro music as well as current iterations of how the music evolved. How sometimes purchasing a game just from watching a trailer and loving the music in it. This is a collab of tasteful music in videogames written by your 3 masters. So kick back, put on a nice pair of headphones on your ears and prepare to hear some of the best and worst music to come since Le~Olden Days and how some tracks will actually make it or break it in case of buying a game. Enjoy!

Ahmed:

 

When I first heard this song playing at my local arcade, I fell in love with the game. Yes the gameplay was solid and Jesus Christ it had Ferrari’s! However listening to that song over and over again made me feel like I’m actually driving that car and sitting next to me was a hot blonde. Jump 20 years later and the same composers came back for another remix of my original mix in Outrun 2006, I got a massive boner (I kid you not) it was like they ripped that old nostalgic feeling I had and raped my ear drums with the new mix.

 

 

3 Years later Sega did it again and this time with Bayonetta, even the newer remix sounds more and more better, that for some weird reason in me, made me want to buy the game and just replay that certain area just to have that wonderful feeling. For me I would like to say music is a huge deal for me, when buying a game I sometimes watch a certain trailer, love the music, listen to it endlessly and just ponder and wait till the day of the release is upon us! Sometimes going into a game I hear an awesome soundtrack, even though the gameplay is just horrible, I keep playing the game wanting to hear more of that stylish audio that’s pumping me up.

In a recent trailer that I saw at E3 2011, I hated the fact Capcom did changing Dante but after hearing this trailer, I totally changed my mind. Nalepa & The Glitch Mob are two of my favorites & hearing they remixed the trailer, I bought the album right away, for me music is a huge part of the gameplay and not having the sheer epicness of great composers working to make you fall in love with their work. I must admit, growing up to this stuff really turned my head around about listening to music as a main factor in all games. Admit it you still like to listen to Mario’s Theme song from the old NES game.

 

As far as the most recent song that’s pumping me up right now is Final Fantasy XIII-2, yes you may roll your eyes right now but all I can actually say about this is, listen to it and then judge me. They finally introduced a whole new “Dub-Step Esque” style called ~Aggresive Mix~. Ordered the OST from playasia.com and was surprised to how good the actual Soundtrack sounds like, can’t wait to put my hands on the game now. Well, that’s about it for me I think, ranted enough about this for now. I hope you enjoyed my part and please make sure you read until the end, leave a comment & what kind of music you actually loved growing up and still do to this day.

 

 

ReverEND:
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I don’t know why, but I’ve always had a place in my heart for the 8-bit music. Not just the crap that was made up of 2 bloops and a beep. I mean the music that you know what have sounded great in any stage of gaming evolution. That music that sounds like there was love taken to create it. Back in the day I always loved Capcom/Disney collaborations. You know what I’m talking about, those GOOD Disney games from way back. Ducktales, Chip n’ Dales, Take Spin. It was Capcom that made them all great, it took over a decade before Disney games started getting decent again after that split from Capcom after the 16-bit games came out.


One song I remember fondly was the “Moon Stage” song from Ducktales. It had that kind of “epic” feel to it to go along with the epic sense of the final stage of the game. and the fact that it was pretty cool to, as a kid, send a character you’ve been controlling for an entire game to the freaking moon!This song wasn’t really brought back into any other game that I know of, but I did find a pretty good fan “remix” that fleshes out the song with semi-actual instrument sounds. Which, dude did an amazing job… gotta give it to him. IT did change the songs “Epic” feel into a more mundane atmosphere though. But, again. he did amazing!

 

 


I also loved the Ninja Gaiden series. It had everything a good game should, the visuals were unique and smooth, sound effects were hard hitting. Story was gripping, and the score always drew you into the current level. Each stage had a unique feeling and much of that came from the levels soundtrack. Entering stage 2 of Ninja Gaiden 2 always gave me a feeling of peril and it had a lot to do with this song. And frankly, it was true to the song. The stage is one of the harder levels in the game, with a constantly changing rain/snow direction that is used to notify you that the wind is now going to be pushing you off the level you barely made it on 3 seconds ago.

I just want to throw in this video. This band does other work in recreating game music, from Chrono Trigger to Metroid. And this is their attempt at doing that with Ninja Gaiden 2. I think they did a remarkable job!.

I’m going to switch gears to a more modern sound. I haven’t been super enthralled with modern day music in games. I know more product gets put into them, but they seem to fade more into the background that, maybe, more often then they should. Many songs in games these days aren’t even written for the game, a large chunk is licensed music that came off some bands album 2 years prior to the games release. While, this is fine for some games (music games, obviously.) I personally don’t like it, I miss detailed, game specific songs that heighten a games interaction, not just follows along with whats being displayed on the screen. One artist in particular who I can pick out of a game these days has me hooked on his sound and unique angle for game writing. Jesper Kyd. Mr. Kyd has done amazing work in Assassin’s Creed, Kane and Lynch, and Hitman. This piece is the theme for hitman 2 which sets an epic tone and really, all by itself, places the lead character, the nameless Agent 47 as the Anti-hero.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christopher:

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Being of the generation of the 90’s, they were reaching the ending point of 8 and 16 bit games, and moving twords 64-bit and beyond, however, that didn’t stop my parents from owning a Nintendo, i remember playing countless hours of Mario, Donkey Kong, spider man, and even judge dread. (yes, i owned a copy of that game) but i never really payed attention to the music of games till i played the ocarina of time for the n64, i would always hum the song of storms, at school, at the dinner table, and probably even in my sleep.


In fact, they did a terrific job on the whole soundtrack of that game, but song of storms still remains one of my all time favorites. But then some time later, the ps1 was released, and i was introduced to metal gear solid. As a kid, I loved these games, and still do to this day, however, there was one track that stuck out like a sore thumb, and you knew, once you heard it, you FU#$@D up!

 

 

 

I remember as soon as i heard this, I jumped, i would actually get scared, start running around, frantically looking for cover, and trying to find somewhere to hide, but dot judge, i was just a young one! then as years passed, and games got more advanced, I was introduced to pc games, and might I say, it feels good that I can say that my first pc game was diablo,

Set in the Kingdom of khanauras (located in the Diablo series world of Sanctuary), Diablo has the player take control of a lone hero as he or she battles to rid the town of tristram of the titular Lord of Terror and his demon minions. I was hooked on this game, the gameplay was dark, gory, and rich in story telling, it also has, to this day, a very solid soundtrack, my favorite being a song entitled tristram, an acustic, gripping, orchestral with many different emotions.

 

 

Now lets jump into more recent games, When I popped this game into my ps3, I thought i was going to get nothing but a hack and slash, button mashing game. I was completely wrong, God of war was one of the more heavier story driven games I’ve ever had the opportunity to play, the gameplay was spot on, the voice acting was fantastic, and the music brought it all together, a very gripping soundtrack for a very heavy action oriented game, slaying gods has never been so much fun! the one track that stuck out to me was “Rage of Sparta” an orchestral song with chants, trumpets and some other workings, together to make a truly mood setting song.

 

 

 

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