Top 30: Video Game Soundtracks Part 4

Back again, with this Christmas-time post (I have no life), and here are six more entries to the Top Video Game Soundtracks list!

#16: Music from Braid (Braid, Various Artists)

It’s rare to have a soundtrack so lovingly crafted to fit the needs of the gamer, but that’s exactly how the soundtrack to this 2008 puzzle game by Jonathan Blow was put together.  Blow took his time and thought long and hard about what the gamer would be feeling while playing his notoriously difficult game. Blow decided to go for a more “organic” touch, whatever that means.

Find here: Amazon, Magnatune

#15: Solatorobo: Red the Hunter OST (Solatorobo: Red the Hunter, Chikayo Fukuda)

The first of many recommendations made by outsiders who I consulted, this OST from this steampunk fantasy DS title is a breath of fresh air, mixing the fantastical elements of something like the Turn A Gundam OST with the adventure and whimsy of Valkyria Chronicles with a touch of that traditional sound one might remember from a Legend of Zelda soundtrack.  Its a neat game with cool graphics and this nice soundtrack is a fun takeaway.

#14: Radiant Historia Original Soundtrack (Radiant Historia, Yoko Shimomura)

Yoko Shimomura is probably best known for her work on the Final Fight soundtrack, which is iconic if not the greatest of things.  This title from Atlus definitely qualifies as one of her lesser known works, and I’ve gotta say its a strange one.  Gameplay-wise, the storytelling is rather unique, taking elements of time travel and alternating story-paths to weave a fun little tale.  This soundtrack acts as a shady backdrop, with a heady harp playing a role quite similar to that of a bass guitar, guiding the player through the game on a bed of music.  The only difference is that the journey is a mite more harrowing, arguably, than Through the Fire and Flames.

#13: EarthBound OST (EarthBound, Keiichi Suzuki, Hirokazu Tanaka)

This soundtrack is weird.  Out-n-out, downright weird.  Jazzzzy-8 bit synthetic beats with an attitude that captures both the child-like wonder and extreme bizarreness of the Mother series of games for the SNES and the Game Boy.  I personally played them on my GBA, but not much.  Really weird.

#12: Valkyria Chronicles OST (Valkyria Chronicles, Hitoshi Sakimoto)

In any discussions of games that got you into JRPG’s, Valkyria Chronicles tends to come up.  It’s a pretty popular game, with several cross-media alternatives to give you your fix of the military role-player.  This OST preserves that constant sense of roaring achievement and unstoppable optimism so often seen in epics that try to romanticize war, which an accent on the rising triads and arpeggios and the use of brass and woodwind more than string.  The sound can almost always be found to contain that distinct militaristic drumming in the background.

#11: Xenoblade Original Soundtrack (Xenoblade Chronicles, Manami Kiyota)

Continuing in the vein of JRPG’s, here’s a fun little game for the Wii, Xenoblade Chronicles.  It’s got what you want: soaring scores, a passionate piano backed by an army of strings of every type, proud belting horns resulting in a composition that probably best fits the description of every Final Fantasy midi file’s wet dream.  I was originally not going to add this entry, because I thought it seemed too Final Fantasy.  But you know what?  I was really FEEEELIN’ IT!!

Find here: Amazon

Alright, that’s enough for now.  Thanks for reading and have a great day!

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