I think we can safely start assessing some things about last gen now. There’s precious few exclusives coming to either PS3 or X360. Even some of the the multiplatform releases are starting to skip out on the ageing hardware at last. Just like with PS2, we will no doubt continue to see FIFA being released on both platforms for the next few years – but the really big, or special titles, have come and gone.
So, it seems the right time to me to talk about my favourite soundtracks of this generation. Let me start by saying how subjective this is all going to be. It’s hard enough discussing what games people like – but music is even more varied. I’m well aware that that people will have entirely different top 10 soundtracks of the last gen. By all means list them in the comments or on the facebook DPD Revival group – I’d love to know what they are, and also what tracks you rate as the best from those. In fact I wouldn’t be averse to putting together a community favourites list.
But, for now, here’s my favourite soundtracks, and specific tracks from each, from the 7th generation of games, in no particular order. Enjoy 🙂
Note that I’ve picked visually boring videos so as not to inadvertently include spoilers. Just in case! I’ll try to keep all text spoilers to a minimum as well.
Castlevania Lords of Shadows
Mercury Steam’s reboot of Castlevania may not have been to everyone’s liking, but the music was very top. Oscar even managed to win an award from the International Film Music Critic’s Association. Well deserved too. This track is set again the final boss fight. It’s very epic and timed very well towards the end as the QTE’s deliver the final blows to the main evil.
Mass Effect 2
Mass Effect 2 had an outstanding Soundtrack all round. For some reason though the default sound setting completely drown it out. If you do play the game again, be sure to set the music to max and lower the sound effects volume! This track fits perfectly as you battle a Geth Colossus.
Keiichi Okabe and Emi Evans
Song of the Ancients (Fate)
It’s hard to pick a track from Nier. All the tracks are brilliant and Emi Evans work with singing made-up languages in them is superb. Yeah, if you didn’t know, all the tracks in the game are sung in made up languages that all kind of sound like other languages. It’s similar to what was done with Zone of the Enders 2 Beyond the Bounds – where the song was sung in kind-of-Finnish, but actually it was nonsense.
Chris Hulsbeck and Machine Supremacy
Ingame 4 (Dark)
Chris Hulsbeck is kind of legendary anyway from ye olde days. He did the original Gianna Sisters soundtrack, back when it was a simple Mario knock off. The retooled soundtrack is brilliant, with the music shifting with the graphics, from light and airy to some damn fine metal – courtesy of Machine Supremacy who helped out.
Chase Through Montmatre
Remember Me’s soundtrack is part of every inch of the game. It’s always there and it’s always lifting the game from being a fairly good action adventure with good memory remix parts, to a very exciting action title…with good memory remix parts. The Chase Through Montmartre is easily my best track of a very good set, it’s fast paced and matches the action sequences well – timing itself well for the really shockingly bad line at its climax “This little red riding hood has a basket full of kick-ass”…seriously, that’s the line. Probably sounds better in French.
Final Fantasy XIII
Blinded by the Light
Say what you want about the FFXIII trilogy – but it has my favourite Final Fantasy Battle Theme. Each time this refrain popped up through the trilogy I was excited. It was also the track used in the firs proper reveal of FFXIII.
Shatter’s soundtrack is old school genius. It sounds like a lot of old game tunes, without being like any in particular, and they all sound brilliant. The whole package is very slick and the soundtrack elevates it all.
Super Stardust HD
For a small game Stardust sure puts in some serious overtime. The original Super Stardust HD soundtrack is pretty damn good. So for them to then add on an Orchestral Remix and a remastered version of the original retro tracks from the Amiga was just amazing. Of the whole lot Taranis Orchestral is my favourite. It’s got an amazing climax that just needs to be put in some sort of action game where everything is riding on the hero…as opposed to shooting really amazing looks asteroids.
Hans Zimmer and Lorne Balfe
I know a few people who will question me putting this on here. I tested Crysis 2 and by all rights I should be bored of its soundtrack. But really, I loved all of it. All three Crysis games had amazing soundtracks, done by some really talented composers. Epilogue sums up nicely all the parts of the Crysis 2 soundtrack that I loved though. I was tempted to replace this with ‘It was Never Just About the Suit’ by Borislav Slavov from Crysis 3 – it’s a really good track, and Borislav’s work got overshadowed by Hans Zimmer on Crysis 2. But this track really is my favourite.
Mass Effect 3
Sam Hulick and Clint Mansell
An End, Once and For All – Extended
From the extended edition. A brilliant finish to a brilliant trilogy. Say what you want about Mass Effect 3 – it had it’s faults, but after extended edition, the ending wasn’t one of them. I was still pretty sad to see Jack Wall not working on ME3, and worse some of his tracks were used without him being credited, but Clint Mansell did a pretty good job with the running theme throughout the title.
Chris O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori
Tip of the Spear
Linger in Shadows
Saints Row The Third: The Trouble WIth Clones
Just a Little Further
Assassin’s Creed 2
Soul Calibur IV
Seize Your Destiny