Musical Interlude


I am sitting in the buliding for the college of computing at our local university right now. In my lap (well hands now) my phone is streaming a drum and bass channel for me to listen to. I’m killing time because the suggested 45 minute lead time was a serve over estimate.

But while I’m sitting here, enjoying some REALLY good electronic music, I can’t help but remember some thoughts I had rattling in my skull as sleep dragged me into its playground of unconscious hallucinations. My last gaming of the night for me was spent in Wipeout HD. I remembered thinking of how strong an asset to the game the music is, and how unique that is in the industry.

Yes, there are some games where the score will forever be inscribed into the gamer collective consciousness (I’m you FFVII “fanfare”), but the large majority of games audio fades to, at best, a dim and whispy memory. Leaving no lasting impression on the player emotionally.

What will it take to have that change in games? Is it something that can even be applied across all genres of games? To take the thought through the capitalistic lense: is music in games at the state it currently is because, as consumers, we just don’t care/value/want it?

Bah, I still have 15 minutes until this thing starts.

About Shadow
Making serious business out of internet spaceships.

4 Responses to Musical Interlude

  1. Gankalicious says:

    Though I have absolutely no basis for this what-so-ever, I would never have pictured you as a Drum n’ Bass kinda guy…… not sure why.

    • Shadow says:

      I’m a mystery like that!

      I enjoy all sorts of electronic music as my primary mode of auditory entertainment – but usually partake of trance of D&B or Jungle. Though, I also deeply enjoy classic Rat Pack, and 90’s grunge/alt rock stuff – Pearl Jam being the preimminent example that comes to mind.

  2. Gankalicious says:

    A varied musical interest is a good thing, I think. I would say I’m primarily Break Beat but I don’t discount anything that is good (or at least that I like) including Dub-step, hip hop, techno, and other more ‘mainstream’ music. And Motown, give me some Motown!

  3. Erbse says:

    Good music will always speak for itself, there isn’t much for us to do about it, but for the game designers. SunSoft and Capcom are well known for their 8 bit madness (Ufouria, Journey to Silius, Megaman, Duck Tales Moon Theme). Mystic Quest may be the ruler of the 16 bit era – then there’s F-Zero.

    In modern games there has been Gothic that stood out, The Wichter (2), Oblivion or Elder Scroll’s generally. I think it’s mainly that music doesn’t get as much attention as it should in modern games, and then there’s always the matter of personal taste and perception. As you mentioned it boils down to association – FF7 and 8 probably thrive from that. Intense story that sucks you in and music being perfectly used to underline the drama just perfectly.

    The general trend obviously is either arcade games or RPG’s, anything in between typically gets the short of the stick audio wise.

    Zero Punctuation pretty much nailed it with his FF13 review, Sony / Square wants to make movies, not games. In that sense it’s only normal their tracks are usually great, although FF13 was just terrible in about every aspect of modern gaming.

    Oh, and melodic DnB / Dubstep is about as good as it gets.

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