For one reason or another, my roommate and I recently got the urge to play through all of the Donkey Kong Country games, 100%, one after the other. The first DKC was fun, as always, and went down quite quickly; Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest took a bit longer though. It wasn’t just that the game is longer and more difficult than its predecessor, it’s that it also got us to stop several times just to appreciate the music. Even in this age of fully orchestrated soundtracks, DKC2’s small selection of MIDI themes still sounds incredible, and Stickerbrush Symphony might just be among the best of the bunch! Continue reading Resonance: Stickerbrush Symphony
We all know how important music is in video games. Sometimes, a game’s soundtrack is a character in and of itself, bringing life to a game in ways that a character can’t. Sometimes, a game’s soundtrack plays a supporting role by imbuing scenes with emotion, being a presence without overwhelming the action. Sometimes, a game’s soundtrack can be nearly nonexistent, popping up only when absolutely necessary in order to make the players react. And, no doubt, there are games without soundtracks. When done right, the lack of music plays a key role in forcing the player to focus on the game itself. When done wrong, lack of music in a game can make it feel hollow and incomplete.
So a game and its soundtrack often go hand in hand. We play great games and are rewarded by great soundtracks. But could it ever be that the soundtrack itself is the reward?
While I could, in my sleep, hum the soundtrack of the original Mass Effect, the sounds of Mass Effect 2 remain fuzzy. Even now, in the midst of the game, I’m so caught up in the action that I’ve not been playing much attention to the background music of each mission. That all changed when I reached the point of attaining Samara for the team.
Sometimes a piece of music in a game is more memorable for its sheer oddness over its general musicality. As an example, take a listen to the theme of Level 2-6 in Yoshi’s Woolly World, “Lava Scarves and Red-Hot Blarggs.”
Up to this point in the game. the music of Yoshi’s Woolly World was pretty much what you’d expect from a cute Mario game with a cute, warm theme. It was bright and upbeat, full of syncopated rhythms and feel-good notes.
And then along came the synthesized guitars in Level 2-6, and suddenly the game felt very different. Not bad different …just…different. More serious maybe. More sinister in a strange way. More of something that totally wasn’t Yoshi’s Woolly World.
I’m sorry. I’m really, really sorry.
I’m sorry that I once doubted everything about you, from your magic wardrobe to your keen wit. I’m sorry I lacked faith in your strength, your charisma, and your ability to make a hack n’ slash game rise above, far above, that to which we are accustomed. Please accept my humblest of apologies as I would very much like to continue to bask in your glorious gameplay.
P. S. Thank you also for the amazing soundtrack.
Image By Flicker User: Jorgen Haland
It’s been awhile since our last Resonance entry, so this time we’re doing not one, but three most excellent pieces of gaming music! Specifically the introductory themes from Metroid Prime, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption! Continue reading Resonance: Metroid Prime Trilogy Intro Music