The Gift That Keeps On Giving

When Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon released back in 2013, it took me by surprise. What also took me by surprise was the incredible soundtrack by Power Glove. I listen to tracks from it often.

Of course, the aesthetic also greatly appeals to me, but that’s a story for another day.

When Trials of the Blood Dragon released in June of 2016, I wasn’t even sure I was going to play it. I’d never played a Trials game, and, historically, any sort of driving game tends to find me hilariously challenged. However, the Blood Dragon theme proved too much for me to resist and I dove in.

To be fair, I was not good at the game.

But that didn’t matter; the soundtrack was glorious. Power Glove topped themselves. Various tracks have found their way into my monthly playlists even now.

Because of my prolonged infatuation with the music, I started to seek out other sounds in a similar vein.

Allow me to digress here for a moment. I’ve always loved John Carpenter’s music (his work for The Fog and Halloween among my top picks), and I felt like Power Glove was giving me a more rocking version of his music. I started to find various artists on YouTube and I found a whole new area of music that I adore.

I’ve certainly been blown away by video game soundtracks before (and written about some of my favorites in an early piece on my site back when I still wasn’t using caps…bless), and I track down the ones I am into as often as possible. I love that they are seemingly more widely included in certain special editions of games (most recently in Persona 5). If I see a special edition for a game I’m super interested in and it has an art book and/or a soundtrack, I’m pretty much sold.

While thinking about this topic, I found that, apparently, both Blood Dragon soundtracks were released on super bitchin’ neon pink vinyl double albums and I am sort of having lusty feelings about obtaining them.

So this got me wondering: are there any video game soundtracks that prompted you to look into new types of music you were unfamiliar with? Did it send you down a delightful new path? What are some of your favorite video game soundtracks in general? This is one of my favorite topics and I’d love to hear what people like.

Also, what will you be playing this weekend? My big plans include…well…I will just be glad to get to play anything, honestly. Here’s hoping it happens.

P.S. In looking back at my top ten soundtracks (which, incidentally, would now be a bit different) piece, I realize (now) that there were only nine listed. That is ridiculously embarrassing but it happened and I’m leaving it. Just know if you refer back to that piece, I am acutely aware of the fact that I apparently could not count to ten. But rest assured: I can count to ten now, so, that’s progress.

15 replies »

  1. I can’t say that any games have introduced me to a new style of music that I was unfamiliar with since I have always had a pretty broad interests in music of all sorts. Except for the type of music that tends to pass as “Rap” or “R&B” today, songs mostly concerned about money and being famous, or how to get a woman into bed.
    But, that is a bit off topic, now isn’t it?
    Anyways, there is one game that I cannot stand, and I am not even sure that I would classify it as “a game”, that inadvertently got me hooked on one of my current favorite bands—Three Days Grace. The “game” in question is actually a series, but I don’t have the time or patience to sit through the slog of tapping on on light switches, doors, and screws just to wait for some lame ass jump scare to try to make the game more exciting than it is. Yeah, I am talking about “FNAF”.
    I don’t like the games, but I do like the story it is awkwardly trying to tell, and so I watch MatPat on the Game Theorists channel on YouTube to see what other people think is actually going on. I love a good mystery, and a supernatural themed one is even more up my alley.
    Well, watching videos on certain subjects brings up suggestions for similar minded videos, and that is how I got hooked onto Three Days Grace. The FNAF fan videos with the songs “I am Machine” and “Animal I Have Become” by TDG caught my attention since I have heard them before, or at least bits and pieces of them, and so I checked them out. Needless to say, I am a much bigger fan of TDG than I am of Scott Cawthon. I just hope that he and David Cage don’t ever meet and try to tell a story together someday. In my opinion, they both have great ideas, but lack the ability to tell their stories in a coherent and sensible manner. Again, off the topic, but I just thought I would share that anyways.

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    • Perhaps I phrased it strangely but I think we are talking about the same thing. I’m not sure I’ve been introduced to brand new genres of music, rather new artist and sounds.

      Interesting that FNAF would bring you a new sound! You never know where one will come from.

      I think David Cage is a strange and interesting beast. But I can’t imagine him being one to collaborate all that often. He seems like a singular vision kind of guy.

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  2. David Cage has great ideas, to be sure. But, I think he could use some input from others so that he can tell stories more effectively, rather than having the many loose threads and plot holes in the stories, which Quantic Dream is pretty famous for by now. Hell, I loved Indigo Prophecy and Beyond: Two Souls, but I couldn’t get into Heavy Rain for some reason. Those other two I ended up just filling in the plot holes on my own. I was a bit disappointed that I knew who Aidan was, almost immediately, in B:TS and was hoping that there would have been some twist that threw my preconceptions out the window. He is either too obvious, or too vague—there doesn’t seem to be that much of a middle ground.
    Again, I did not care for Heavy Rain, and I have heard mixed results of the Shelby reveal, some were caught off guard, some saw it coming from a mile away. My problem with that game was that the story and game play did not seem to outweigh the number of technical issues that the game had, and so I just didn’t care to finish it.
    Are there any games that you didn’t finish because of those types of things? Or maybe games that you did finish despite the technical shortcomings because the story was what kept you hooked?

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    • I actually don’t think there are many games where I haven’t finished for those types of reasons. As far as technical shortcomings, I am still amazed that I somewhat recently played and beat the original Resident Evil. I am not good at tank controls.

      P.S. Spoiler alert on Heavy Rain! I have seen it all the way through, but just in case anyone else hasn’t.

      As for Beyond, I was flabbergasted at how completely random it felt. I don’t think the skipping around in time added anything of value to the story. I think it is his weakest game, for me.

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  3. I haven’t really been introduced to new music through games but some of my favorite bands music has been in games before.

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      • Not really most of the music I’ve heard in games is from like or have heard of before.Breaking Benjamin,Three Days Grace and Shinedown to name a few.

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  4. I’ll be stepping away from Horizon for the foreseeable future. Tired of the side missions. For me, they take away the “thrill of the hunt”. I’ll be diving deep into Andromeda; while keeping in step w/ GI’ GameClub. I am close to where I need to be in said game. I am enjoying it; even the side missions, what irony right?! Bioware knows how to do side missions that are entertaining; yet not taking from the story or the gameplay. Thoughts? Also, I don’t have any soundtracks that I favorite in the gaming realm. The theater realm, Lion King & Phantom of the Opera. You can never go wrong with either selection. Period!

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    • Both are good shows for sure. One of my good friends back in Germany was in the original German cast of The Lion King! I went and saw him in it (and also got to watch it from backstage at another performance) and it was lovely.

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      • Agreed! I loved the Lion King; I saw it twice, once in the States & my first time in Toronto, Canada. What an experience! I tell everyone to see it. As for Phantom, I have it on DVD from Her Majesty’s Theater w/ Sarah Brightman. I also saw it in person, what a treat for the eyes & ears. The musical genius of Andrew Lloyd Webber is unmatched. imho! On another note, jut playing Andromeda for now; I’m considering Horizon for a trade if I don’t make any considerable progress in the main story. Also, how do you handle big RPGs like Mass Effect; do you stick to main story; do you complete the side missions + story together. Having trouble debating how to proceed in Andromeda. Thoughts?

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  5. The only game I can think of that fits the bill in this case is Scott Pilgrim vs the World. The game got me interested in the Scott Pilgrim franchise as well, but the chiptune soundtrack done by Anamanaguchi was one of my favorite parts of the game. I ended up purchasing the soundtrack and have been listening and supporting their work ever since.

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