December 24, 2009

My Favorite Orchestrated Game Tunes

Well... I don't even know. I could have made a list of epic songs, or the best songs, but I just couldn't decide what to call this list. Best game themes didn't seem right, because some of them aren't. Most epic didn't seem right because some of them aren't epic in the traditional sense. And I couldn't just add "all time" to the end of it because, well, it didn't encompass games from all time. What they did have in common was that they were orchestrated. So I made a list of my favorite orchestrated game tunes. Epic, beautiful, mellow, doesn't matter because they're all awesome. And in no particular order. The only rules are that the song must be orchestrated (sorry Metroid Prime!) and I can only choose one song from any given game.

Shadow of the Colossus: The Opened Way
I have to admit, it's pretty tough just picking one song from this game. It has one of the best soundtracks ever and I could easily make a list out of tracks from this game alone. I went with Opened Way (or Path depending on who you ask) because I think it's pretty much the definition of an epic battle with a giant stone titan.

Super Mario Galaxy: Gusty Garden
If Shadow of the Colossus had the best soundtrack of the last console generation, Galaxy takes the prize for this one so far. There were a multitude of wonderful tracks to choose from, some of which are surprisingly epic for a Mario game. In the end I chose the track that plays on Gusty Garden. It's so very... magical. I found myself playing on this stage again and again just so I could listen to the music. A remixed version seems to have become the theme for the sequel, as depicted in the trailer. In a very close second are Buoy Base and Melty Molten.


Gears of War 2: Armored Prayer
The first Gears soundtrack was remarkable in that it was so unremarkable everyone remembered it for being unremarkable. Gears 2 brought in Steve Jablonsky, the guy responsible for the Transformers score. The music quality went up 200%. It was so good in fact, that it produced one of my favorite game themes ever. Epic, moving, this track had it all. Armored Prayer incorporates that theme and creates a truly epic and inspirational song. This track plays both at the very beginning of the game during a cutscene in which the troops are being rallied, and again right at the end during one of the most epic final sequences of any game.

Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep: Fate of the Unknown
Though this game isn't out yet, the song was included in all of the trailers as well as the Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix+ soundtrack. Completing the game unlocks the trailer for Birth By Sleep as well as an additional boss battle against one of the game's protagonists, Terra. I have no idea why, but I really enjoy this track. This is the highest quality version I could find.

Twilight Princess: Orchestra Piece 2
Twilight Princess had an excellent soundtrack. Unfortunately, it was all midi. That is, except for two tracks. Why they only chose to orchestrate two tracks is beyond me because they're spectacular. The first one was included in a trailer for the game. The second, I believe, plays during the ending credits. They were both included on the official soundtrack. I prefer piece two because it really showcases what Nintendo could do if they decided to go the orchestrated route. I imagine it's what a Zelda movie would sound like. It's a short but very memorable tune.

Final Fantasy 13: Battle Theme
This game isn't out yet either, but it's only a month away in Japan and the music is starting to leak out. Like in all Japanese RPG's, FF13 has a particular song that plays when a battle initiates. I dare say this is quite possibly the best battle music of any RPG.

Metal Gear Solid 4: Metal Gear Saga
I have decided after much deliberation that the MGS4 version of the song is the best one. The theme to MGS is probably my favorite game theme because it's so powerful in so many ways. Still, though, I think the Eminence Orchestra version is the definitive one.

Halo 3 ODST: Traffic Jam
I thought I'd pick something recent since the series has so many great tracks. I went with my favorite from ODST. Traffic Jam is groovy and epic at the same time. It's like the new "In Amber Clad" but longer and more intense. Just give it a listen and you'll see why I picked it.

No comments:

Post a Comment