Music and video game writer, Adam Dolge, takes a deep look into the relationship between video games and music. Whether it’s bands covering music from video game soundtracks, the musicians who compose songs for games, or the line between what sounds good and what hurts to hear, he’ll stroll with you through video game history, pulling out the best and worst of music in games.
This one is going to have to be brief — busy with work and I’m sick. There are a handful of games that I consider classic, not retro, just classic. These are games we can turn on and play at any junction of life and time. Musically speaking, there are classic games with classic soundtracks. Here’s the classics I’ve been playing lately, and a bit about their soundtracks.
Civilization 4 (Civ 4)
When it comes to a series of games, my all time favorite is Civilization. Sid Meier created an absolute masterpiece, and with each installment he capitalizes on technology and history. The game brings you through history, leading a civilization to glory or doom depending on your diplomacy and development of the land. To some degree, the game follows history. Better yet, the game allows you to create history. Civilization 4 has a breathtaking soundtrack. Fully orchestrated, the music takes you through history, changing depending on your given civilization and changing through time. You cannot help but get enthralled in the world you’ve created, that Sid and company envisioned.
Grand Theft Auto 4
I started playing this game again with an old friend. We have played previous Grand Theft Auto games in the past, taking turns seeing how many people we could kill before dying ourselves, or going to jail. It should go without saying that Grand Theft Auto 4, one of the best games last year, has one of the best soundtracks. The theme song is recognizable, giving you mild thug feeling. The ability to change radio stations is powerfully cool, and luckily you wont hear any Coldplay songs – that’s enough to make you beat a hooker with a baseball bat. Somehow the DJs always know about that building you just blew up. Awesome.
A close second favorite series behind Civilization, Shining Force is by far my favorite turned-based strategy role playing game. For me, and other Shining Force fans, the music is priceless and comforting. There isn’t anything particular unique about the music made for this Sega Genesis classic, but for me it’s fitting for its deeply immense story line.
So what are your favorite classic soundtracks? I plan to do more classics down the road and I’d love to get some suggestions.