Last year a lot of great games came out and with them a lot of good soundtracks. Along with the good games, there were plenty of meh, mediocre and maybe just forgetful titles that a lot of us may have missed. Now, as adults who share the privilege to play just about every game every year, myself along with one part of our editorial team have put together five of our favorite songs (from a videogame) into the following list.
Syndicate Aspari Extraction
Our first song comes from the early 2012 release of Syndicate: the not-so-well regarded or even played reimagining of the isometric strategy classic. While the game was lackluster in gameplay and story, it had a pretty cool art team and song composition. Sadly the actual in-game music was overshadowed by the big wub wub kids like Skrillex and Nero who were commissioned to create the heavily promoted dubstep songs for the game. During the Aspari Extraction mission, ou can find a very early 2000’s sounding techno song from composer Johan Althoff that I personally still listen to this day.
Darksiders 2 Guardian Battle
While Darksiders II was regarded as a suitable follow up the 2010 Zelda-like dungeon crawler, one notable change was very apparent from the get go: the all new music from composer Jesper Kyd. Having a resume that would impress just about any long time follower of gaming, it really felt like Kyd stepped out of his comfort zone with Darksider 2 and took the score to beyond any of his usual work. While a long time time fan of most of his eclectic stylings, I will forever remember the guardian battle in DS2 not for the epic set piece or gran vista, it was the music that made this moment stand out above just about the rest of the game.
Dustforce 9-bit Expedition
Released just about one year ago, Dustforce was originally a PC only sidescroller that caught a lot of people, including myself pleasantly off guard. The pseudo-Metroidvania platformer felt similar to recent retro revives like Super Meat Boy but rather than feeling the usual stress of jump, die repeat: players found that the clean art style and music made the frustration of failing just a tad easier. Invoking a sort of chiptune meets nirvana the entire soundtrack is superb, but easily my favorite is 9 Bit Expedition from composer Terence Lee.
Lollipop Chainsaw Final Boss Music
This score from Mindless Self Indulgence frontman Johnny Urine and Silent Hill composer Akira Yamaoka combines aggressive synth rock and symphonic samples to create a sound that you can’t find anywhere else. The final boss theme in particular is one of my favorites. It’s driving and epic, earning it a permanent slot in my workout playlist since the game’s release in June of last year. Even more surprising, the game’s soundtrack crosses the musical spectrum to match each of its themed bosses. I particularly enjoy the insane “Viking” tracks, which combine flutes, guttural warrior chants, and thrumming double-kick bass drums.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 Run
Even though Final Fantasy XIII-2’s presentation is undeniably Japanese, the soundtrack is incredibly eclectic. Jazz fusion is not something we often hear in games, and this track in particular features absurd levels of talent from every instrument involved. Whether you’re tracking the ridiculous rolls of the bassline or the manic pounding of the drummer, there’s always something new to hear in this track no matter how often you listen to it. The soundtrack only gets crazier from there, with a screamo rendition of the Chocobo theme titled “Crazy Chocobo” taking the cake.
Honorable Mention: Mass Effect 4 Omega by DJ Sunyo
Before we end things here I have one last song on the list. Though this video was originally inspired by the overlooked songs of 2012, I wanted to make a special mention to DJ Sunyo, a resident of Germany (according to his YouTube profile) who last year created an updated edition to the famed Afterlife dance club song from Mass Effect 2. The song is so good in fact, it will be my personal mission this year to get someone from BioWare to sit down and listen to this track. Worst case, they listen, smile and thank me for sharing some awesome music. My actual goal? Get this song in Mass Effect 4 in any way possible. In the meantime, head to Sunyo’s channel and listen to his stuff, it’s pretty damn good.
Thank you for watching and if you want links to any of the songs mentioned today, head over to Inside Gaming Daily dot com for everything you’re looking for. See you next time.