Thursday, January 24, 2013

Game Music Online: Audio mentioned in G4's Top 100 Video Games of All Time: Part 3

Continuing my journey through the G4 Top Video Games series, Part 3.   These are the best games whose audio was worthy of being highlighted in the show.  A best of the best list.

52 Rock Band 3  Scott Porter:  "Everybody wanted to have the keyboard.  I think it's the best instrument that lends itself to a music game that I've ever seen.  My dad's on the drums, my mom's on the mic, I'm on the guitar or the keys... it's really an amazing thing..."  My mind goes back to the 19th century when a family might get together and play through music together, each on a different instrument.  Is Rock Band 3 the 21st century version of chamber music?

It does me good to hear Chantal Claret say that she "failed Rock Band at her own song."  The couple of times that I've played this type of game, I'm not very good at it.  I always feel like the music and gameplay are ever so slightly out of sync.  As a classical pianist, I wonder if that may have to do with a difference in time of the mechanical action on my piano and the electronic sync up with game controllers?  I've certainly got rhythm...

47 Myst  Will Wright: (What made Myst successful was) "the connection between the high resolution graphics and the sound effects."  There was something about it that was enchanting in an almost musical hypnotic way.  -James Gunn  I played Myst just a little, but my mom played it for days, up all hours-- she was hooked.  I remember how shocked she was that the ending is right at the beginning.  I'm listening to the soundtrack-- it strikes me as being minimalist, unobtrusive music, that does indeed have a hypnotic effect.  Here's a little gameplay for you:

46 Red Dead Redemption:  "And in true Rockstar Games fashion the Red Dead Redemption soundtrack was a stand out on its own."  "All the music in the game is actual tracks from these old spaghetti western movies.  They did an amazing job putting this stuff together and really capturing that feeling."- James Gunn.  Not a game I know at all, or had ever heard of, but I've enjoyed hearing the soundtrack.  One of my favorite tracks is Ashtar Command's Deadman's Gun.  For an audio flavor of the game, here's the opening.  Love how communicative the music is at moments like 1:17.

I also found an incredible short documentary with a behind the scenes of the Red Dead Redemption Soundtrack.  This makes me wonder if Gunn's statement above was just referencing a feeling of old Westerns.  Also, I learned from this that the music has a layering effect where jumping on a horse causes a bass line to come in.  Clearly, I need to play this game to fully appreciate its musical cleverness.

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