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GoNintendo 'End of Day' thought - How much does a game's soundtrack influence your opinion of a game?



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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33 total comments (View all)
User avatar
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.
User avatar
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! =)
User avatar
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.
User avatar
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.
User avatar
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.

McDaniel-77
User avatar
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.
User avatar
14 Dec 2012 11:17

Fire Emblem Awakening's soundtrack is really good.

I mean really, really good.
No Avatar
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!
User avatar
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.
No Avatar
Anonymous
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.
No Avatar
Anonymous
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.
User avatar
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.
User avatar
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...
User avatar
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.
No Avatar
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.
No Avatar
Anonymous
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.
User avatar
14 Dec 2012 13:17

gonin7 wrote: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.


Great stuff here. I'm going to go one step deeper and throw one of my favorite games of all time in the mix in Body Harvest.... enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lKS5yW ... sults_main

Some of the best uses of Grand Piano MIDI on N64 ever. bh06 (track #9 on the link) still gives me chills!
User avatar
14 Dec 2012 13:22

One of the reasons why the Commodore 64 was so popular back in the 80's was because of its SID (Sound Interface Device) chip which supplied unique sounds that lead to some memorable gaming music. Some of these games had a key role in inspiring the early forms of electronic/techno music. To this day, you can look up commodore 64 /c64 music and there's even some hardware SID chip emulators as it's been hard to emulate on a PC.

The music was the hook that made you think of (and perhaps be addicted to) a particular game. The game of M.U.L.E. on the commodore 64 had a memorable 8-bit theme which I couldn't get out of my head. It brought the abstract world if Irata to life. Every time that tune came to my head, I considered playing the game. The same can be said for Metroid and countless other tunes. When I thought of a game, I'd immediately think of the music or vice versa. Don't even talk about how addictive the Super Mario World music was! I'd be studying for a test or doing an assignment in University and one of the guys in my shared house would fire up the game to play. Suffice to say, hearing that tune made me run downstairs to give the game a go (or at least, make me think of Mario when I should be studying).

The other obvious and, perhaps, most influential part of music is setting a theme/mood. There's just too many to count, but it's one of the Primary reasons why I love Nintendo games so much. Heck, look at how influential the Zelda music has been. Tell me you haven't had a tear in your eye at some point in the game. Sure, the story also is integral to making the music memorable, but sometimes the music seems to make the story (Original Metroid).

Anyhow, music is super important to gaming. Without it, I'm not so sure I'd be coming back so often.
No Avatar
14 Dec 2012 13:40

Im a dj and a keybord player, so music is very important for me, it can ruin a good game if the music is bad.

My favorite game soundtracks are ( in no particular order)

Ocarina of time
Journey
Shadow of the colossus
Final fantasy vii
Xenoblade
Mario galaxy
Majoras mask
Kirbys epic yarn
Super smash brawl
Metroid (nes)
Rotozoa
Cronno cross
Super metroid
Twilight princess
Wind waker
Super mario world
User avatar
14 Dec 2012 13:52

Having excellent music in a game never hurts. I think it can have a big impact on how much I like a game.

For instance, Batman: Arkham Asylum had some pretty mediocre music, and I thought it was a great game. However, its' sequel, Batman: Arkham City, had some incredible music, and I thought it was an instant classic of a game. Both games had nearly identical gameplay, and although Arkham City was bigger, the music to me was the biggest improvement.
User avatar
14 Dec 2012 14:41

How has everone been talking about sound tracks and skipped over the SNES Donkey Kong Country games!?!
Also Simon's theme in Castlevainia 4 is pure awesomeness.
User avatar
14 Dec 2012 14:53

Music is absolutely a vital part of a game's experience for me. It's also sort of the way my brain stores memories. I actually wrote an article for a website a while back about Donkey Kong Country for SNES (I'd link it, but I wouldn't want to be called out for spamming the comments/forums since I love GN too much--if you're interested, search for Memoirs of a Gamer: Donkey Kong Country on Google) and I mentioned "Aquatic Ambiance" which is one of my all-time favorite pieces of video game music.

Just hearing the song brings me back to my first memories of the game, how I felt at the time, even the surrounding memories of those days in elementary school. Music is a powerful thing.

Of note, a few of my favorite gaming soundtracks are Chrono Trigger, Donkey Kong Country, The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, Fez, The Walking Dead (oh man, those swells accompanying huge story moments), Gravity Rush, Final Fantasy VI and so, so many more. Music is fantastic! :mrgreen:
User avatar
14 Dec 2012 15:04

Since RMC originally posted about a Rayman/Ancel game's OST, I present one from Rayman 2 probably everyone forgot about!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KF8d8I9n-2s
User avatar
14 Dec 2012 19:21

Like someone already said, when I play the music is normally drowned out but it still felt weird for me the whole time playing Metroid Other M, it was only until I was nearly done with it that I noticed it was because there wasn't any real music in it.
Also I used to spend alot of time in Majora's Mask just standing there listening to the Astral Observatory music :P
User avatar
15 Dec 2012 10:52

I think music is important and I really enjoy listening to soundtracks on my ipod but I almost always tune out music while I'm playing. It's not a conscious thing it just happens.

And yes the music at the beginning of this video is nice it seemed oddly out of place for the game/level. The character is making weird noises and smacking people and then you have some nice piano music in the background...just seemed odd.

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