Six Epic Video Game Music Tracks

Far from their humble beginnings in the 70’s, video games are now a huge, gigantic, megalithic industry. However, while everyone seems obsessed with frame rates and graphical power and mega-huge open worlds to explore, something I feel has been criminally ignored is video game music.

While it’s widely accepted how important music is to film, there doesn’t seem to be the same appreciation for music in video games. Despite this, developers spend a great deal of time, effort and money to ensure the music for their games is top notch. Music really helps built atmosphere in a game, just as it does in film and TV. Be it a horror, action, puzzle or platformer game, music is often the unsung hero.

Thus, I thought that for this entry of Collectorized I’d share a few of my favourite pieces of video game music (in alphabetical order). I hope you enjoy.


Deus Ex
One of the best games ever made – if not the best – also has one of the best ever scores. Ranging a huge gamut of styles from electronica to jazz and classical, Alexander Brandon delivered gamers with one of the most celebrated game soundtracks of all time. Of all the tracks in the soundtrack, however, it’s the main Deus Ex theme that most makes me wish to pull on my trench coat and sunglasses.

 

Doom
One of the most important games released also has one of the best soundtracks. While every track is great, it’s the gravely, grunge-rock that Robert Prince provided for the opening level that makes the perfect soundtrack for demon killing!

 

Halo: Combat Evolved
Having dropped out of console gaming right at the start of the 6th generation due to the fall of the mighty Dreamcast and completely skipping the 7th generation, I came pretty late to Halo. Of course I knew what it was; it was pretty hard to be even remotely interested in video games at the time and not know what Halo was. It wasn’t until the game was re-released as part of the Master Chief Collection on XBox One that I played the game. Indeed it is a wonderful FPS title, and I often find myself humming the game’s main theme by Martin O’Donnell, hence it’s inclusion here.

 

Uru: Ages Beyond Myst – The Gallery Theme
While the ambient minimalism of the original Myst and its sequel, Riven‘s soundtracks are lovely, I’ve always felt that Tim Larkin’s score for the spin-off game Uru has been criminally undervalued, even by Myst fans. The Gallery Theme plays upon entering the Kadish Gallery in the To D’ni expansion (also accessible in Myst Online: Uru Live). For me, this hauntingly beautiful piece truly evokes the drama and mystery that the Myst games are known for, as well as palpable sense of melancholy that suits the game’s theme of exploring a once great city that is now fallen and abandoned.

 

Rayman Origins/ Legends
For my money, Rayman Origins and Rayman Legends are two of the best platforming games ever released. Coupled with the crazy action and cartoony characters is an equally insane soundtrack. Filled with catchy tunes, crazy “lyrics” and sounds that would feel at home in a Loony Toons episode, Christophe Héral provides one of the most fun soundtracks of any game.

 

Sonic the Hedgehog
For all the arguments about the quality of Sonic games in recent times, one thing that Sonic Team (and other developers who have worked on the series) always gets right is the music. The Sonic series has some of the best music in video game history, so much so that it’s impossible for me to choose a favourite to showcase here. Instead, I’ll include just one of my favourite tracks, Speed Highway, from Sonic Generations. Originally appearing in Sonic Adventure by Jun Senoue, bellow is Senoue’s remixed “Modern” version of the song from Sonic Generations. It captured the speed, adventure and awesome style that made Sonic famous all those years ago perfectly!

 

The 10 Best Graphic Novels NOT in the 100 Greatest List

Recently I picked up the magazine The 100 Greatest Graphic Novels of All Time! magazine from Future Publishing. I thought it’d be interesting to go through the magazine and see which ones I’d read and which ones I needed to. The magazine was very well written with some really thoughtful commentary on the books presented within resulting in my “to read” list gaining quite a few additions.

While the magazine covered many great graphic novels – and indeed you’d need a slew of magazines to cover all the graphic novels that you should read in a lifetime – there were of course a few of my personal favourites left off. Thus, I thought I’d write up my own list.

Continue reading The 10 Best Graphic Novels NOT in the 100 Greatest List

Journal of Lehnah

After two years, I’ve returned to The Cavern.

In 2003 Cyan Worlds, creators of the mega-hit video game Myst, released Uru: Ages Beyond Myst. It was planned to me a truly cooperative MMO where players would help each other solve puzzles and continue the story begun in the five titles that made up the main series.

Sadly, it was not to be. In 2008 the game was taken off-line; lack of subscribers being the main reason sighted for its downfall.

Continue reading Journal of Lehnah

Liv Tyler: A Celebrity Crush Story

Liv Tyler was, and is, my biggest crush.

While not the first woman my younger self had a crush on (that honour goes to Secret World of Alex Mack star Larisa Oleynik when I was around 8 or so,) she is the longest lasting.

My first memory of seeing Liv was on the poster for That Thing You Do, a musical comedy released in 1997, the year I turned 12. I remember thinking how sweet and cute she looked. I didn’t actually see the film until a few years later when it aired on Australian free-to-air TV, probably in ’98 or ’99.

Continue reading Liv Tyler: A Celebrity Crush Story

The Issue With Variants

Variant covers for comic book issues have been a staple of the industry for some time now. The first comic book to have a variant cover was 1986’s The Man of Steel #1While there were technically variants before this, they were all due to small differences such as distributor logo. Man of Steel #1 was the first to receive variant artwork, which is what variants are mostly known for nowadays.

Variants played something of a not unsubstantial role in the “spectator boom” of comics in the 1990’s. There are a lot of pieces to the spectator boom puzzle which I won’t go into here, but if you’re interested you can read this great article by Michael McCallum on ComicBooked.com.

To give a brief history of the boom, people suddenly got the idea that buying a comic and holding on to it for 10, 20, or 50 years would eventually put their kids through university or pay off their house. Big firms such as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times wrote articles about the possible future value of these once unpalatable items and so people started buying comics by the armful.

Continue reading The Issue With Variants

Does Sonic Need A Reboot?

While I said in my previous post that I didn’t actually mind Sonic Forces, there is no avoiding the fact that it just has not been a hit with the vast majority of Sonic The Hedgehog fans or gaming fans/ professionals in general. This has resulted in a lot of people asking “what’s next” for the Sonic franchise, myself included.

In my reading of various fans opinions of what the next move for Sonic could be I came across several incredibly interesting videos by fans Billiam and TheKazeblade on YouTube. While all of their videos are well worth a watch, they made two points that really struck out at me;

  1. Sonic is – and has always been – reactionary. (Billiam)
  2. The Sonic franchise is now so fractured that the brand identity is at risk of becoming completely obscured. (TheKazeblade)

Billiam and TheKazeblade were making their points in regards to gameplay decisions and designs throughout the Sonic franchise since (roughly) Sonic Adventure. Let’s take a look at those points a little more deeply.

Continue reading Does Sonic Need A Reboot?

A Fanboy’s Thoughts on Sonic Forces

Last night I finished the main story portion of Sonic Forces, and you know what? I rather enjoyed it!

Given the amount of negativity surrounding the game within the Sonic fan community I expected Forces to be at best another Lost World, at worst another Sonic ‘06 (not that I’ve actually played that one). Instead, I found it to be somewhere between “above average” and “pretty good.” A solid 7 out of 10 I’d say.

Continue reading A Fanboy’s Thoughts on Sonic Forces