Have you ever been playing a video game, where you just felt like saying…
“Hey y’all, that level was AWWWWW-SURRRMMM, I hope the next wown is jus’ as good!”
Then the next level starts and the background music busts out and melts your face like Eddie Van Halen playing a microwave?
Yeah, this article is dedicated to that feeling.
Final Fantasy 7 – “Fight on!”
I’ll start off with one most people will know. If you don’t, shame on you.
For me, I remember sitting in the living room, innocently bringing down the Shinra Corporation like any 8 year old dreamed of. Then, it happened. At 2:14 on that video, I had my first ever musical epiphany. The first time I’d ever heard a song that was so good, I was just incapable of thinking of anything else, which I suppose is the definition of mind blown.
I imagine anyone else playing this game, regardless of age, felt the same too. Up until that point the FF7 soundtrack had been the standard FF business, orchestral pieces with an avant-garde edge. Sure the other games had amazing songs, but the platform limitations meant you never heard any cranked up guitar riffs. Well, Nobuo Uematsu saw to that. In fact it’s almost like he tried to make the first 2 hours of gameplay as dark and dismal as he could, knowing that when this bust in, you knew s**t was going down.
Later on, the Black Mages (Nobuo Uematsu’s band) recorded their version of the song as “To Those Who Fight Further”, and it’s a song that should be guaranteed a place on your ass-kicking playlist.
Sonic Adventure 2 – “Live and Learn”
Whilst the 3D Sonic titles offered a mixed experience, (Personally I believe the Adventure series kicked ass, and they should make a third!), no matter how much you may or may not like them, the intro song to SA2 was phenomenally good.
While both the Adventure games had good music, SA1 had a bit of “Stock rock music for video game” vibe, whereas nearly every song in SA2 felt like every ounce of effort was put into it, with some unbelievable riffs and vocals.
So up until this point, every game in the Sonic franchise had almost flawless soundtracks and gameplay. Then they released Sonic 2006 and the less said about that, the better.
Guilty Gear – Every freaking song!
Like bad ass riffs? Try this, this, this or even this. Yes, that last one had jazz, with bad ass riffs. It’s like the illegitimate child of Santana and Soundgarden. You can literally pick any song off the Guilty Gear soundtrack and you will not be disappointed.
Go ahead, type “Guilty Gear XX OST” into Youtube and have a browse. Even better, go and play the games. Guilty Gears soundtrack is SO good in fact, that even 7 or so titles later, they’re still using the exact same songs, just recorded better, demonstrated here and here. Yes, that is a massive cop out. Should you care? Hell no. The songs are so good, you look forward to playing the new game to see how good the new versions are.
Guilty Gear is one of the rare cases in gaming, where the soundtrack is better than the game. I mean sure, you can say “Oh man that game rocked” and the other person will say “Yeah man, the music was really good as well”, but with Guilty Gear you’ll often find people saying “Have you played Guilty Gear XXXX Engrish Funny Subtitle yet?” and receiving the reply “No, but I listened to the soundtrack and its AMAZING”
Street Fighter – “Guile’s Theme”
Admit it, when they announced Street Fighter 4, your first thought was “Oh my god, Guile’s Theme!”. Okay probably not, it was definitely “4? But I have like, 12 SF games.” Numeracy jokes aside, when they announced that they were keeping all the original songs but just revamping them, the internet wept a tear of joy as one of it’s (surprisingly) entertaining meme’s would have an update. Yes, I am talking about “Guile’s Theme goes with everything” and if you’ve never heard of it, prepare to have your mind opened. I believe this is a testament to how well written a song is when it can be applied to literally anything and still fit.
If you watched the above video and didn’t laugh, I have bad news for you: You have no soul.
Halo 2 – “Blow Me Away”
I know that is an actual song by the fantastic Breaking Benjamin, but the song was created specifically for Halo 2, so it is a video game song! And what a song it is. The Halo series is fantastic in it’s storytelling, creating atmospheres that suck you into the game and ‘feel the moment,’ which most other games (*coughcallofdutycough*) fail to do.
So when you’re running around an alien space shape chasing down a corrupt leader in the middle of a civil war where you can kill anything alive and not feel any remorse, and this song kicks in, you can literally smell the inside of Master Chief’s suit you are that immersed.
Castlevania – “Bloody Tears”
I thought I’d finish on one of my favourites. The Castlevania soundtrack is fantastic, and like many games with good soundtracks, they think it’s okay to recycle all the music.
The above video shows possibly the series’ most iconic song in all it’s iterations. You can see see it develop from a rock monster limited by the paltry NES sound capabilities into the beautiful creature it always wanted to be. Every time this song drops in a CV game, you feel like the biggest bad ass in the galaxy, welding the trusty (well not always) Belmont family heirloom, the Vampire Killer whip, why shouldn’t you feel so awesome?
Skeleton? Whip. Medusa Heads? Whip. Dracula? Whip. What’s for dinner? Whip. What’s the last word of this article? Whip.