March 23, 2009

Halo Wars Triple Whammy pt. 1

Behold! A review of the Halo Wars soundtrack! Let me tell you, I was as skeptical as you probably are that the sound track of Halo Wars would suck. After all, it wasn't composed by the master himself, Marty O'Donnell, but Steve Rippy, the composer for Age of Empires and Age of Mythology. But I purchased it anyway because, well, Halo music is Halo music and any Halo music is a good thing in my book. At the very least, the soundtrack delivers. It's not stunning, but it delivers.

First and foremost, know that Halo Wars is a strategy game and that RTS music is far different from FPS music. It fits, though, and manages to create a nice atmosphere while still being "Halo-y" enough. The first thing you'll notice when you examine the CD is that almost all the tracks have ridiculous names. While this soundtracks predecessors contained track titles related to the game, this does not for the most part. Some of them are even downright silly, and it might be hard to take it seriously at first, but once you get into it you realize that it's serious stuff. As a whole, the soundtrack has a really light and airy feel to it. There's a sort of weird Metal Gear-esque melding of the symphonic and the synthesized. It all fits well in the game, but as a soundtrack, for me, it falls a little short. The reason I say this is because I'm not a huge fan of movie scores and most game soundtracks, for that matter. I like listening to a track when it can stand on its own as a decent song. Not many of the tracks on this disk can do that. Most of the tracks from the original trilogy can. That's why I love them so much. Anyway, the songs from Halo Wars are either very ambient and melodic in nature or, for the cutscenes, epic and movie score-esque.

Overall, the soundtrack is pretty good. It's excellent when played with the game, but a little lacking as a standalone. My other gripes are such: the CD also comes with a DVD containing a
"making of" feature (all of 2 minutes long), some trailers for the game (useless), and some extra tracks. This is what boils my cabbage. There are nine additional tracks as well as 5.1 surround mixes of some of the other tracks. Because they're on a DVD there is absolutely no way to rip them to, say, iTunes. They just sit there, uselessly, on that DVD. It's a damn shame, too, because they are some of the better tracks. Why is it that the best songs always get cut from the final disk?

My favorite tracks include: "Over your hurdles" and "Insignificanta." Others are good, but I'd say those are the best standalone tracks.

No comments:

Post a Comment