It's been a long time since the bleeps and bloops of the video games of the 80s and 90s. Graphics and gameplay have evolved, and so has the music of video games - a part I'm always worried gets overlooked. Some fantastic stuff goes into modern games, so I figured I'd bring up a couple favorites of mine.
Bastion - 2011
Released back in 2011, Bastion raked in a ton of awards for its storytelling, music and artwork. One of the songs from the soundtrack actually won the best song in a game award at the Spike Video Game Awards 2011, and it's not hard to see why. Composer Darren Korb mashed up some more nostalgic instruments with some more modern stuff and the result is a sort of neo-western - a mash up of fantasy and american frontier.
A Proper Story
Build That Wall (The award winner)
The Bottom Feeders
The album is 22 tracks long and I highly recommend checking out the rest of it. You can get to it from the bandcamp links above.
Dark Souls - 2011
Also from 2011 was Dark Souls - a chillingly atmospheric adventure through a post-apocalyptic fantasy world tied together by an incredible soundtrack and crazy difficulty. Composer Motoi Sakuraba took the orchestral soundtrack thing to 11. The results are terrifying and oppressive - You might want to turn your volume down for these. Or up.
Ornstein and Smough
Again, I highly recommend having a listen to the rest of the soundtrack. Getting hold of the soundtrack can be tricky, but it comes on a disk with the PC version of the game or the collector's edition of the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions. The latter can be very hard to locate, though.
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2
Time for a blast from the past. Red Alert 2 was released back in 2000 and people still play it today because of its kickass soundtrack by Frank Klepacki, absolutely crazy story and almost perfect gameplay. The music was definitely ahead of its time, as was most of the stuff by Frank (who also worked on most of the other Command & Conquer games).
Hell March 2
Unfotunately, RA2's soundtrack isn't available legally but if anything I'd advise against buying it. Electronic Arts (the people who own the rights to the games) seem intent on pissing on the franchise's grave and are huge dicks in general.
Trust me when I say this isn't even the tip of the iceberg. There's tons more soundtracks like these, full of overlooked or forgotten music, and if you guys want to hear some more I'd be happy to dig up some more classics.
Leo Rae Brown is @MysteryPirate on Twitter and Pallas on Steam.
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