Saturday, January 26, 2013

Game Music Online: Audio Mentioned in G4 Top 100 Video Games of All Time: Part 4

Continuing my journey through G4's Top 100 Video Games of All Time whose audio was worthy of special highlighting in the series.  A best of the best list, if you will.  I'm having a blast getting to know these games, (re) experiencing their music, and thinking more about their soundtracks.  Hope you will too....

40 Space Invaders:  Tim Schafer: "I remember hearing... this thumping... strong bass sound.  You had this emotional reaction to it.  It was really the first to use audio in that way... to make you feel something."  Space Invaders is often cited for the first continuous soundtrack, as well as Schafer's credit for being the first game to use music to heighten the game play experience as the descending bass line and alien ship movements speed up.

37 Halo Combat Evolved.  Scott Porter  "There are certain songs you hear from games that just make you so happy or take you back to a time that was so awesome.  And every time I hear (sings the opening theme)...  the theme song is so incredible...."  Not a game I've played, but one whose music I'm currently listening to.

32 Mike Tyson's Punch Out.  "It was awesome watching him run along with his coach and that song..." (he sings the song) Danny Pudi.  I've been thinking about this cutscene music for a really long time and seeing this finally got me to look it up.  Of course the best one was the nighttime training-- love it!

I also watched this awesome video, a 40 min longplay of the Punch Out, to remind myself of the music experience.  When I hear this music, it strikes me as straddling the ear between arcade and home entertainment systems.  If it just played the transition music, start of the fight, winning fanfare, etc this game music could be for arcade.  However, once home entertainment systems started to become popular, game designers needed to create a more specific audio experience.  Presumably, a household only had a TV or two-- that's how ours was, at least-- and if someone were playing games in one room, it needed to create a continuous soundtrack with underscoring that builds tension and keeps players and observers engaged.

Also, I LOVE the classical music references: Glass Joe: La Marseillaise, Von Kaiser/ Super Macho Man: Ride of the Valkyries, Don Flaminco: Carmen Overture.  Is this kind of stuff happening in contemporary games, or have we lost these references?  Also read that Soda Popinski plays a Russian folk song-- wouldn't know it, but I do like how the music introduces each character.  I don't know if I recognized these musical themes as a kid, but much like the Looney Tunes episodes, I liked the music when I was a kid, and now, I get the musical references on a completely different level.

30 Super Street Fighter II Turbo.  "The best thing about Street Fighter II was all the sounds they made when you were fighting.  -Mo Mandel  I didn't play this Street Fighter, but I did play Street Fighter II on the SNES.  When my friends and I played together, we totally imitated these effects for our super powered punches and kicks.

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