Music and Games

I was going over the playlist (checking for broken links and all…since I get so much feedback about it) when I noticed just how much of it is made up of music from games.  Or from games that introduced me to that particular song.  Check it out.

Akira Yamaoka is the composer for the Silent Hill franchise.  “True” is from Silent Hill 2 and “You’re Not Here” is the main theme from Silent Hill 3.

Christopher Tin’s “Baba Yetu” is the opening theme for Civilization IV.

Every Sonic game since Sonic Adventure has always had some kickass, if a little cheesy, rock music to serve as its soundtrack.  Sonic Team even has its own band, Crush 40, to compose music for each game.  Azure Blue World is the theme to the first Sonic Adventure stage (Emerald Coast) and Live and Learn is the Sonic Adventure 2‘s theme.

Green Jelly’s Carnage Rules is the intro to Spider-Man: Maximum Carnage for the SNES and Sega Genesis.  Since the SNES and Genesis used cartridge-based media, the music did not sound nearly as good.  Compare the SNES version to the Genesis one.

Harry Gregson-Williams is the composer for the Metal Gear Solid series.  He’s also done some other work (I believe he also did the score for Narnia) but for me, his work for Hideo Kojima’s franchise will be his greatest.  Debriefing is from the end of the third game, Snake Eater, and it really adds to the finale.  It’s on my shortlist for songs I want played at my funeral.  The main theme from the 2nd game, Sons of Liberty, is also there.  Finally, Sorrow is my favorite piece from the 4th game, Guns of the Patriots.  Ironically enough, the song I picked from the first game (The Best is Yet to Come by Rika Muranaka) isn’t composed by him.

The theme for Star Wolf plays in various Star Fox games and also makes an appearance in Super Smash Bros. BrawlBrawl also has Sonic Boom, the main theme for Sonic CD.  Not a good song to fight to but I like listening to it.

Koji Kondo is a composer for many of Nintendo’s first-party franchises, such as Mario and Zelda.  I only bothered with Zelda in this case.  Lake Hylia is from Twilight Princess and the first 30 seconds of the Spirit Temple theme from Ocarina of Time is just badass.

I don’t know who did the soundtrack for Desert Combat, a Battlefield 1942 mod, but it’s easily the best music I’ve ever listened to while waiting for a game to load.

While the above songs were composed for games

Sports game usually have a good soundtrack to them.  Well, used to.  Madden NFL had some kickass songs until around 2005, when they all of a sudden slumped off.  The best of these songs appeared in 2003 (Andrew WK, Epidemic, Good Charlotte and Seether) and 2004 (AFI, AM Radio, blink-182, Serafin SOiL, Thrice and Yellowcard).  They’ve picked up a bit in recent years, though.  Madden 08 gave us Atreyu, Shadows Fall and Sum 41 while Madden 09 has tracks from Disturbed, The Fashion, From First to Last, In Flames, The Offspring, and Rev Theory.

Vince McMahon’s WWE promotion has had long-standing ties to rock music and his companies’ games reflect that.  Allele, Bullets and Octane, Dark New Day, Nonpoint and Versus the World all have songs in his SmackDown! vs RAW series of games (the songs I’ve picked are either from the 2006 game or the 2007 version).  Some of these songs were lucky enough to be the theme song of select pay-per-views.

Both Saints Row and Grand Theft Auto have had (at least) good soundtracks.  The one for GTA:  San Andreas is truly impressive (Helmet, Kiss, L7, Living Colour, Stone Temple Pilots, Toto).  Saints Row isn’t slouching either, with Europe and Ratt.  Saints Row also has, of all things, a classical music station!  It’s weird doing drive-bys to the tune of Mozart or Beethoven but it’s also pretty damn funny.

Battlefield: Vietnam represented the 60s and early 70s well with their soundtrack.  They have songs from Count Five and The Kinks.

And I couldn’t really write this without mentioning Guitar Hero or Rock Band at least once.  Nirvana shows up in the first Rock Band (a song I can actually sing to!).  Poison and White Zombie make an appearance in Guitar Hero III.  Freya’s song kicks all sorts of ass in Guitar Hero II, especially the bass.

Oh, and the only reason I have Sweet Victory there is because it was on an episode of Spongebob Squarepants.  The one where Squidward’s rival challenges him to some sort of music duel.

The winner takes all
It’s the thrill of one more kill
The last one to fall
Will never sacrafice their will

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