5 Video Game Soundtracks For the Hero In Everyone This Summer
If you're like me, you love music, and you love video games -- so naturally, there are times where you find yourself listening to video game soundtracks.
Summer is the best time to do so: the next big games are months away from release, and the weather is as good as it gets. So why not line up some great video game music for all of your summer activities?
Here are 5 video game soundtracks that will make the hero or heroine in every gamer feel just a little more awesome.
Quick confession: Okami is my favorite game of all time, and in my opinion, the soundtrack is one of its strongest features. It covers every emotion imaginable, from the infectious joy of "Issun's Theme" to epic boss themes, and everything in between.
Anyone looking for fantastic music will find plenty of songs to love, particularly if you like more traditional Japanese music. For instance, with July 4th looming on the horizon, the jubilant "Kamiki Festival" above is a perfect song to fit the festivities.
Unfortunately, the Okami soundtrack is the only one on this list that you won't find anywhere on iTunes. However, it can be found easily on YouTube, or you can buy it on CD from Japan. The full soundtrack stretches across 5 CDs, which should give some idea just how much music is featured in the game.
2. Super Meat Boy
The soundtrack for the original PC release of the platformer Super Meat Boy (the PS4 release included a new one, sadly) is an excellent blend of old and new video game music styles. The result is extremely catchy, perfect for inspiration during workouts in the gym or trips to the great outdoors. "Forest Funk," above, is a particularly good choice. I also recommend "Can O' Salt" and "Fast Track to Browntown," two themes from World 3, in particular.
3. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
This is probably one of the more well-known and popular video game soundtracks of the last five years or so. Those of you who like alternative or metal music will find plenty to love here, even if you aren't a fan of Raiden, Revengeance or the Metal Gear series. This loud, energetic soundtrack perfectly matches the game's frenetic action. In addition, the lyrics often describe the major theme of the moment--which is a nice touch.
"Rules of Nature," above, is probably the game's most famous song. It frames the battle between Raiden and Metal Gear RAY as an example of "survival of the fittest" in action. Another good example is "Dark Skies," which describes "a brave new world rising" and warns that "times have changed." If you're looking for music to inspire and drive you forward, look no further.
4. Halo: Reach
Like the other Halo games, Halo: Reach has an incredible orchestral soundtrack. However, the music here is more somber and grim than in previous games, reflecting the inevitable fall of the planet. Even so, like the soundtrack for Revengeance above, this is perfect motivational music. "Tip of the Spear," above, is probably my personal favorite. Foreboding yet determined, this epic track makes any daily chore considerably more heroic than it would be otherwise.
5. Mass Effect
Last, but not least, there's the Mass Effect soundtrack. Of the three games in the series, the first has the most "futuristic" sound. The next two games in the series, particularly Mass Effect 3, relied more on a traditional orchestral soundtrack. Here, however, the music is more electronic, leading to that "futuristic" vibe. One of this soundtrack's greatest strengths, like with the soundtrack of Okami, is probably its range of emotion.
There are tracks better suited for easy listening, like the iconic "Vigil," and also more intense ones like "Battle At Eden Prime." But in my opinion, the best song in the game plays during the end credits. "M4, Pt. 2" by Faunts is a perfect choice at this point in the series, as the lyrics wonder about the future in store for both Shepard and the player: "I have wondered about you / Where will you be / When this is through?" The music here makes for great background noise while out on the town, or just for daydreaming while looking at the summer night sky.
Was your favorite video game soundtrack left of the list? Do you disagree entirely with any of these choices? Leave your favorites in the comments!