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Postby robometal cowboy » 14 Dec 2012 05:48

GoNintendo 'End of Day' thought - How much does a game's soundtrack influence your opinion of a game?
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Weekend is here already? That's just fine with me! It also means the holidays are that much closer. I guess I better buy some gifts! That is, as long as the end of the world doesn't come along and ruin the festivities! Either way, I'll see you in a few, short hours.



Like many of you, I downloaded the Rayman Legends demo that hit the Wii U eShop today. I actually played the demo before I went to bed last night. I'm a huge fan of Rayman, Michel Ancel, platformers and animation in general, so you can imagine how much fun I had with the demo. My lord, it really is a little slice of heaven.

With that said, there was one element of the demo that really stood out to me. The Toad Story demo level had some music that absolutely blew me away. The music in Rayman Origins was fantastic, but this theme really caught my attention. I actually just stood still and listened to the tune. The part I'm talking about in particular can be heard in the first minute of the video above.

I kid you not, the music actually brought a tear to my eye. I find it to be such a beautiful piece. On top of that, the music reminds me of a song from Beyond Good and Evil, which I believe to have one of the best soundtracks of any game. I'm sure Christophe Héral, the man behind the music in BG&E as well as Rayman Origins, is behind this soundtrack as well. He has a quality that I don't really hear anywhere else.

Take out the music in the Rayman Origins demo and I am absolutely in love with the game. Put the music back in and I'm even more head over heels. It just goes to show how much game music means to me when I play. It truly can add to the overall impact in a huge way, swaying me from enjoyment to pure bliss.

What game soundtracks have you heard that really stand out to you? Anything stick out in recent years? Any other 3DS/Wii U games that have blown you away with their audio presentation yet?
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GoNintendo 'End of Day' thought - How much does a game's sou

Postby Roth » 14 Dec 2012 05:58

Look at the game Journey for example.. or FEZ.. or Double Dragon Neon, so many great ones this year.
Music plays a major role in video games that reviewers sometimes tend to forget. It's what sets the mood and feel of the game. It's especially important in horror games where you can't just have the same music played in constant volume throughout. You have to create that atmosphere and time the pieces of sound precisely and intelligently to achieve better effects.
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Re: GoNintendo 'End of Day' thought - How much does a game's

Postby Danielkm » 14 Dec 2012 06:08

The game that's fresh in my mind is Xenoblade. Simply amazing soundtrack that enhances the experinces to a whole new level!
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Re: GoNintendo 'End of Day' thought - How much does a game's

Postby siavm » 14 Dec 2012 06:20

I like to think it does but it really doesn't add that much to the experience for me. Gameplay is most important and that is what draws me into games. Sure I pay attention to music in games but after a few minutes even if the song is memorable I forget it is there and just keep playing.
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Re: GoNintendo 'End of Day' thought - How much does a game's

Postby ridleysaria » 14 Dec 2012 06:29

When I think of a game, the first thing that pops into my head is the music. That shows how important it is. I can never understand someone who plays a game with the volume off.

Some of my favorite soundtracks that immediately come to mind: Metroid Prime, Super Mario Galaxy, Castlevania, Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy IV, Kid Icarus Uprising, Ocarina of Time, Skyward Sword, Megaman 2.
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Re: GoNintendo 'End of Day' thought - How much does a game's

Postby amo » 14 Dec 2012 06:44

The game soundtrack that made me cry the tears of joy, epicness, love & passion is the Fi theme from Zelda Skyward Sword. :'(
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GoNintendo 'End of Day' thought - How much does a game's sou

Postby MoldyClay » 14 Dec 2012 06:47

All elements of a game influence my opinion. Soundtrack/music is definitely one of the top ones for me.

Obviously, I am not going to HATE a game if it is great in every department aside from music, but music is extremely important.

Think of it this way, when a game has memorable music it does two things. Not only does it sound great and you love hearing the catchy/likable music, but it will dig up memories of the game it is attached to and will tumbleweed from there.

If a game has a great soundtrack, you will associate it with playing the game and recall memories of great moments during the music (because that is how some memories work; They attach to audio cues) and then you think about other music in the game and other great moments.

If a soundtrack is not memorable, you can actually have a harder time remembering what seemed like memorable moments because you can't use an audio cue (and would instead need a visual cue, like replaying the game or watching a video).

Good music can also lead to lamenting about how a game was awful, but had great music.

@siavm

This is also true. Regardless of how memorable music may be (unless it is awful and loud), it will eventually get drowned out by the experience and you won't even notice it at some point (unless like the last sentence OR if it is redundant, since that will get annoying).

However, later on, even though you don't remember the music so much (like, if you think of the game, the music won't come to mind), the music will remind you of the game.
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GoNintendo 'End of Day' thought - How much does a game's sou

Postby varoennauraa » 14 Dec 2012 07:19

Very much positively...and even more negatively.

Snes's Final Fantasies and Chrono Trigger had compositions that enriched the drama to levels of the so much talked about "the game that made you shed a tear".

And when I don't like the sound track, it can ruin the game...especially in RPG's. Mere electric guitar in a fantasy game can make a game unplayable for me.
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GoNintendo 'End of Day' thought - How much does a game's sou

Postby XCWarrior » 14 Dec 2012 07:58

If I love it, great. If I don't, you just turn the sound down. So not much.
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Re: GoNintendo 'End of Day' thought - How much does a game's

Postby nicetoknovvyou » 14 Dec 2012 08:31

Star Fox 64.

I always play this game with the voices and sound effects off and the music allllll the way up.
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Re: GoNintendo 'End of Day' thought - How much does a game's

Postby Rockstar_Jenkins » 14 Dec 2012 08:50

There's no doubt in my mind. I downloaded the demo and played it by myself once before my friends did. While their most favorable level was the frantic Teensies In Trouble, playing Toad Story alone made me notice the details and take it all in. It set a completely different tone than the other two worlds. I instantly became obsessed with the music as well; I'm glad you noticed too, RMC! =)
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Re: GoNintendo 'End of Day' thought - How much does a game's

Postby Poopaloop » 14 Dec 2012 09:24

Yeah, everyone was raving about Castle Rock on Twitter, which was great, but I personally enjoyed Toad Story a lot more, that level is beautiful and the music is amazing.

The music in games matters a lot to me. I like the sweeping movie like soundtracks a lot of AAA titles have, but at the same time there is definitely something to be said for a catchy melody that you can hum to yourself for years to come. Music is normally the aspect I look back on most fondly from some of my favourite games, and it always makes me smile to hear certain sequences remixed or referenced, which is why I enjoy the soundtrack to Nintendo Land so much.
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Re: GoNintendo 'End of Day' thought - How much does a game's

Postby wiiarebrothers » 14 Dec 2012 10:12

On ething is that there is no "middleware" for music. You can rely on an existing game logic / graphics / physics engine. But music composing is a whole different story. It's like chara-design, or assets creation, it has to be original, and its what makes the difference.

Music in games is much more important than just a "background". Some games like Mario Galaxy or Portal2, mix sound effect and music. What you do in the game affects the music. I love these kind of things.
Making music requires a lot of efforts. Usually, a game with great music is not a bad game. The music in Little King's Story, or in Fantasy Life is very original and reflects the originality of these games.
For Zelda games, of course the music is a huge part of the experience. I think I realized I rushed through Skyward Sword when I listenned to the music on YouTube, and realized there was so much great tunes I didn't notice. Wind Waker also has very powerful music.

Of course, there are also examples of games with amazing music, and not so great gameplay, like Final Fantasy XIII. Overall, the music is great, but it's also a bit strange how tracks like Sazh Theme don't go with the rest. Overall, I think even in that case, music is representative of the game : huge awesomeness potential, but unfortunately rushed, and lacking a clear direction.

Another example is Animal Crossing. Because Totaka-San was a director on Wii Music, he probably couldn't compose every tracks for Animal Crossing City Folk. If the game had at least new music, then the "same game" feeling that people had would be diminished. Still there, but not as big. That's because in my opinion, the music is very important in Animal Crossing. It gives you information on weather/hour/holiday, and it sets the mood. Music seems to be an even bigger focus in Animal Crossing New Leaf, all the "hourly tracks" are new.
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Re: GoNintendo 'End of Day' thought - How much does a game's

Postby McDaniel-77 » 14 Dec 2012 10:15

Music is more important than great visuals!

Metroid Prime had an awesome soundtrack, but I don't listen to that kind of music without actually playing the game. Super Mario music is beautiful, I like the jazzy tune of Paper Mario 3DS.

Streets of Rage 1&2, have awesome music or Panzer Dragoon. It really adds to the overall feeling of a game.

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GoNintendo 'End of Day' thought - How much does a game's sou

Postby kdognumba1 » 14 Dec 2012 10:34

A lot of games soundtrack have stood out to me and had me going back listening for more and more. I cherish the music of the games as much as I cherish the over all experience and love many of those soundtracks for the games I play. World of Warcraft is one in particular I can listen to for hours without getting bored, same goes with Final Fantasy XI and Star Wars Galaxy. I also used to find myself going to sleep to the Xenogears, Final Fantasy 8 and Chrono Cross soundtracks. I recently made my mom a playlist on youtube of beautiful music with 80% of it being from games and now she can't get the LoZ themes out of her head lol.

In recent years there have been quite a bit of soundtracks that stood out to me, some of them were on 3DS. Kid Icarus Uprising and Heroes of Ruin have phenominal soundtracks, 2 of my favorite from 2012. I also loved the Star Wars: The Old Republic soundtrack, Xenoblade Chronicles soundtrack (soundtrack of the year imo), The Last Story soundtrack, Diablo 3 soundtrack, Guild Wars 2 soundtrack, and many others.

The majority of the music I buy and have in my itunes is all game music and I don't ever see myself changing that. Video game soundtracks really do stand out as not only unique but some of the most beautiful music out there.
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GoNintendo 'End of Day' thought - How much does a game's sou

Postby YoshiRider123 » 14 Dec 2012 11:17

Fire Emblem Awakening's soundtrack is really good.

I mean really, really good.
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Re: GoNintendo 'End of Day' thought - How much does a game's

Postby Rezbit » 14 Dec 2012 11:23

Soundtrack is VERY important to me. Without a good soundtrack, a game can be enjoyable, but it will fail on fully immersing me into the game world. Without a good soundtrack, I feel like I am playing a game. With a great soundtrack, I am more likely to feel as though I am part of the gameworld itself, rather than disconnected from it.

Some of my favorite soundtracks are:

Metroid Prime
Okami
Super Mario Galaxy
No More Heroes
Megaman 2-4
Dead Space (Not for music, but the sound design was flawless)
Silent Hill
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Super Meat Boy

And many, many more!
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GoNintendo 'End of Day' thought - How much does a game's sou

Postby mariomaniac45213 » 14 Dec 2012 11:25

I love videogame music but if a game has weak music i'll still play it and I might still enjoy it but it only slightly differs my opinion of it. Like the NSMB series has pretty weak music. I don't care for the first two in the series but that was only a small reason why I didn't like those games. Sonic 4 series also had weak-decent tracks which was disappointing because Sonic usually has the BEST soundtracks available. Anyway all Mario's, most Donkey Kong's, and Super Metorid, twilight Princess among MANY others have wonderful soundtracks.
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Re: GoNintendo 'End of Day' thought - How much does a game's

Postby shy_guy76801 » 14 Dec 2012 11:27

The music in a game has always played a very key role in how immersed I get in the game. I think that's why the NSMB series hasn't caught me just yet. I love some 2D Mario, but the music seems rehashed and after playing NSMBU last night for the first time, it really doesn't look better than the others in the series either. Maybe this will change as the game progresses, but it shouldn't be that way. Mario games should look and sound amazing from World 1-1. Honestly, I'm a little disappointed in Nintendo's lackluster treatment of its original hit franchise.
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Re: GoNintendo 'End of Day' thought - How much does a game's

Postby IINIGMA » 14 Dec 2012 11:30

Graphics speak to your eyes. Music touches your heart. So yes, it's very important in my opinion and can easily make or break a game.
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Re: GoNintendo 'End of Day' thought - How much does a game's

Postby Light_Wolf » 14 Dec 2012 11:32

Music is one of my top reasons to love a game. A game can be great, but it will never be AMAZING without a gret soundtrack.

That's why Xenoblade is my GOTY.
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Postby CM30 » 14 Dec 2012 11:49

It influences my opinion of the game a fair bit, it's one of the reasons I thought the likes of Super Mario Galaxy and the Donkey Kong Country series were so good.

But it's not the most important thing, and I can ignore a bad soundtrack. Heck, I liked both Yoshi's Island DS and New Super Mario Bros 2, neither of which exactly had a fantastic soundtrack...
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GoNintendo 'End of Day' thought - How much does a game's sou

Postby AadmM » 14 Dec 2012 12:11

My music library is chock full of game soundtracks and remixes (makes up over half of it, I would say). That should speak volumes for my love of video game music.

Lately I've had the Mighty Switch Force OST stuck in my head and I just can't seem to get it out. No, that's not a bad thing.
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Re: GoNintendo 'End of Day' thought - How much does a game's

Postby Agedgamer » 14 Dec 2012 12:45

Way back when FF IV became FF II here in NA, I rented it to see what it was like. Having played the original FF on the NES I was curious how the NA iteration held up given the fond memories I had of FF I.

When I fired the game up, and the prelude began, as a musician and composer, I was instantly charmed and hooked. As I played through for the duration of the rental, my decision to buy the game was based 50% on the score.

As the years go by, it's been my experience that the score adds MUCH to the enjoyability and certainly ambience of a given game. My iPhone playlist has many pieces from various game soundtracks.

Both my daughter and I have been lately enjoying the soundtrack for Darksiders II.

So, yes, for my daughter and myself, the music is a VERY important component to our enjoyment of any given game.
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Re: GoNintendo 'End of Day' thought - How much does a game's

Postby gonin7 » 14 Dec 2012 13:05

I remember falling in love with the music to Beyond Good and Evil. It was the first time I actually googled and downloaded the score to a video game. The score can give the game a world of atmosphere that wouldn't be there otherwise. I think the music really helps with the accolades the game has been given. I remember it was around this time in the early 2000's when I really started to notice that video game music started to take off. Developers were spending more time and focused energy on their soundtracks. And why not? They finally had the space to show off. (Anyone else blown away by the music in the player profiles of F Zero GX? Every track seemed to fit the different characters perfectly. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CL9qQzhoA4c)

I remember I had a roommate that was playing through my copy of Twilight Princess in November of 2006. I'd come in to the living room to find him swinging away while the TV was on mute and pop music was blasting through a stereo system next to him. I remember saying, "You're joking, right?" This isn't Tony Hawk. This is freaking Zelda and it's the first time you're going through it. The music is definitely a part of the whole experience. (And what would Zelda be like without those familiar chimes!?)

I bought Rayman Origins last Christmas and not only is it one of my favorite platformers, it has some spectacular music. I'd often youtube and spotify the soundtrack while I was working on my computer...and that just rarely happens these days. I will constantly be watching out for any future products involving Christophe Heral. I think it's also saying something to know the composer by name. I love Michel's games. His team never disappoints. I try to buy his products full price the day they come out. I try to give support where it's deserved.

Some of my favorites that I feel enhance and pull you in to the world of the game. When I hear these, I want to pop the game back in.

Jet Force Gemini
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_Tg0Kg27iM

Star Fox Adventures
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJKTFm-FMC4

Beyond Good and Evil
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUUGVVQjUNk

Rayman Origins
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJSHwK_HfgU

I love knowing that most video games are now going fully orchestrated. I hear something like this and get chills thinking of the future.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMICyNq2-hI.
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