Twenty-O-Ten wasn’t just about great games, it was also about good music being produced for said games. But why talk and read about it when we have YouTube to help play out these standout aural wonders composed for 2010?
The Big Ones
First up, we have Red Dead Redemption’s OST which I mentioned a few days ago here. Apart from the frickin’ melodious and beautiful ‘Far Away’ by Jose Gonzalez, there’s also one of the combat themes ripped out from a climax of a Sergio Leone flick (The Shootist) and the acoustic-escalating ‘Compass’ (Red Dead On Arrival version) by Jamie Lidell.
If we’re going the blockbuster-scale approach, might I interest you with famous composer Bear McCreary’s contribution to Dark Void? The game may be a mess, but you can’t deny the triple-A esque impression you get from this pulse-pounding leit motif.
Super Mario Galaxy 2’s soundtrack deserves mention. Well, one track does warrant attention because it combines grandeur and playful harmony at the same time. Take a listen to ‘Cloud Garden’ by Mahito Yokota.
StarCraft II’s Terran skirmish music during multi-player did stand out. I do love me some mixtures of Western acoustic twangs and strums together with future-esque percussions. This track’s my personal favorite and technically increases my chances of winning an online match by 5% when played.
Old Tunes Made Anew
Next, we have Donkey Kong Country Returns’ OST, which recycles Dave Wise’s past tunes from the first Donkey Kong Country and the end result being aural bliss. The comparison between songs is clear: the new remixes take the feel of the old tunes and use today’s sound technology and instruments to make them sound fresh. Say, if the old track had a serene and oceanic feel to it, the new one just adds in one or two more channels of instruments while keeping with the ‘underwater’ theme.
Here’s the old:
…and here’s the new:
Super Street Fighter IV’s OST is full of remixes of past Street Fighter music. Some sound pretty good since they alter in-between cheesy butt rock and electronica. Other tracks, how shall I put this, require an open mind to listen to. Like Boxer’s theme which annoyed Jimmy Wartooth to no end when he was still in GameAxis:
…And The Band(s) Played On
How can we forget about Anamanaguchi (whom I wrote about on the August issue of the now-defunct GameAxis Unwired) and their contribution to the Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game soundtrack? It’s retro blended with modern conventions at its finest; made fit for a game where you walk left to right beating people and woodland creatures up along the way.
Speaking of which, doesn’t this next track sort of a new-age tribute to the forest level music in Double Dragon 1 and 2?
Last and definitely not least, we have a guy named ‘brentalfloss’ putting in awesomely funny lyrics in classic NES games. He recently released an album that’s remastered with new lyrics and new audio tracks not found online on his Youtube channel. He’s been around for more than a year, but his stuff seems to be getting catchier by the day. Like this ditty on a certain run-and-gun shooter:
All in all, we’ve got a great mix of Hollywood-level production, reiterations of decade-old melodies and indie bands using chiptunes. It’s safe to say that 2010 is a great year for videogame music, simply because it adhered to the ‘variety is the spice of life’ adage. Here’s hoping that 2011 wows us aurally.
What are your most memorable pieces of videogame music made in 2010?