Tagged video game music

Soundtrack Sunday: Vagrant Story

Vagrant Story is, in my opinion, one of the most underrated video games to date. It was an action RPG released by SquareSoft (now Square Enix) in the spring of 2000, and there were a couple of remarkable things about it. First and foremost was the localization, specifically the dialogue: Vagrant Story takes place in a pseudomedieval setting, and the writing follows suit. Instead of being a straightforward translation from the original Japanese script, it was heavily and thoughtfully...

Using Music as an Escape in the Black Community

A few notes float across my consciousness as I lie awake at 4:00 a.m., coasting through a gray night, inundated with news posts on TV, Facebook, and whatever meme posts about the failure of the American system come up. As a young boy, I was told—so often it felt scripted—that America was never going to work for me, that I would always be against it. This internalized message gave way to a commonplace depression known in most black communities:...

Gamer’s Rhapsody 2016 Struggles with a New Venue and New Problems

Gamer’s Rhapsody 3 was, as one could infer, the third go of a convention focused on the art and music of video gaming. As the red-rings-on-my-face target audience for this convention, I’ve been following this con closely, including enthusiastically reviewing last year’s event. The Midwest has a lot to offer nerds of all flavors, but those of us who are die-hard fans of the elements of gaming often overlooked—scores, sound effects, script writing, character design, background art—the idea of...

Soundtrack Sunday: MediEvil

After a night of insane partying with his buddy Danny Elfman, Tim Burton had a fever dream, woke up, said “That was weird,” and promptly forgot about it, moving on to make Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. That dream was somehow projected into the brains of Chris Sorrel and Jason Wilson of SCE Cambridge Studio, which resulted in the creation of a game for the original PlayStation called MediEvil. Okay, that’s probably not what actually happened, but it’s a pretty...

Soundtrack Sunday: Lords of Shadow

One of the most stand-out things since the very beginning of the Castlevania series has been its soundtracks. “Vampire Killer” is one of those tracks that is almost instantly recognizable, up there with the Legend of Zelda overworld theme and the Mario ditty. Even though the series has spanned 10 composers, the music has a consistent sound and style—somewhere between epic, symphonic gothic and prog rock. Many fans of the series (and game soundtrack fans in general) consider the jewel in...

Gamer’s Rhapsody: A Soundtrack Geek Goes Home

Last month, I was able to attend Gamer’s Rhapsody, a new convention focused on the art and music of games. As I wrote about previously when covering Arnie Roth’s A New World tour, video-game music has come a long way from the blips and boops of arcade machines and the first home consoles. As acceptance and respect for gaming music grows, so does the fanbase. And, as in my case, it pulls people who have long been fans of...

A New World: Final Fantasy Live, Up Close, and Personal

One of my main fandoms is soundtracks, particularly video-game soundtracks. I have paid more attention to the score of any given game than almost all other factors since before I could remember. I have been closely following the evolution of video-game music through the years, not only how the technical capabilities have advanced but also, of more interest, how the very concept of video-game music has changed. Your grandma can probably hum the Mario Bros. theme. These jingles have become an irrevocable part...
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