But Wait, There’s More!
Not every game has a memorable original score or soundtrack. In most cases this is merely because the music wasn’t memorable; but for some, it’s simply because the music wasn’t original. Games like Dance Dance Revolution, Rock Band, and Guitar Hero (particularly the latter) were hallmarks of my gaming life, but it didn’t seem right mentioning repurposed music in tandem with the work of folks like Kyd, O’Donnell, and Uematsu.
Nevertheless, I feel compelled to mention a few bands to which I was introduced by games and which have since become staples of my music library. SSX3 was a particularly fruitful game for me, as it introduced me to Andy Hunter and MxPx. I found Billy Talent through Burnout Revenge (who made for an interesting soundtrack to my second Kingdom Hearts II playthrough, to say the least). Halo 2 made great use of Breaking Benjamin and Incubus. Guitar Hero 3 forced me to pay attention to My Chemical Romance, and the bonus track Prayer of the Refugee paved the way towards my love for Rise Against.
Bioshock and L.A. Noire sold me countless classics, a handful of Ink Spots tunes and old naval hymns, not to mention the record player I finally went ahead and got so as to play the vinyl on which the Bioshock 2 score (and a bonus Rise, Rapture Rise! disc courtesy of Rapture Records and the “There’s Something in the Sea” ARG campaign) was recorded. Most recently, DJ Champion and Cage the Elephant had me counting down the days until Borderlands 2’s release.
Lastly, I’d be remiss if I failed to mention The Black Mages, the small rock outfit that Nobuo Uematsu put together to perform (as of now; here’s hoping for more) two albums’ worth of epic reworkings of many of his classic Final Fantasy tunes. The man is already a legend; his music as immortal as any. But to see the gorgeous piano ballads and soaring arias transformed into acidic, blaring metal redoubles my respect for him and makes pretty much everything done while listening seem a shade more awesome.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reminiscing with me. If you’d like, I’ve compiled a playlist of all 31 tracks listed across these two entries, which can be found here.
As I said in the beginning, games are singular experiences, and this has been a glimpse of some of mine. I’d love the opportunity to take a reciprocal glance at some of yours.