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Concerning music and games

naengwennaengwen Registered User regular
edited March 2008 in Games and Technology
Now, i'm certain that there's been a thread about this before, but its been a while since i've seen it up front. Since the search function is offline, I figured now would be as good a time as ever to bring back the notion.

Despite my recollections, i'm surprised at how little this aspect of games is discussed. Sure, an original soundtrack composed by some of the best in the industry won't make or break a game, but it sure as hell does help, and you've gotta admit the additional ambience can make just about any game memorable, regardless of the actual game quality. So what do you think, are there any games out there that would have or have already inspired you to buy its soundtrack, or listen to music that inspired the composure? Or, if you're that involved, are there any composers that you feel are worth mentioning?

Guess i'll get the ball rolling with a few obvious ones:

Starcraft(Derek Duke, Glenn Stafford, Jason Hayes, Big Tuna, Tracy W. Bush)- Yeah, I know, the game's been out nearly a decade and you've probably listened to every track in the game to the point where your ears bleed at the mere mention of the game. But even after playing the living hell out of the game 200 times over, you still can't deny that the Terran soundtrack is pretty fucking awesome, yes? To be honest, I think Blizzard's been pretty great with this particular aspect of games following Starcraft. Don't think anyone will deny that Warcraft 3's sound track was pretty awesome, and despite it bogging down performance in WoW i'm sure a lot of you guys enjoy those moments where you don't feel pressed to react, turn up the music and enjoy the sounds of Azeroth (I must sound awfully cheesy right about now).

Half-Life 2(Kelly Bailey)- I know what you're thinking, when it comes to sound this game is mostly ambience. But think back to those moments where you've just finished some ridiculously tough puzzle, and suddenly you're back out in the open and your ammo and health are all back to full. Suddenly, the music starts to pick up. Remember when you thought to yourself, as it begun to build in intensity, "Hell yes, this next part is going to kick ass"? Was going to include Portal here as well, but all I could find on sound production was that Jonathan Coulton's the guy responsible for the end credits song. Was the rest of the game Kelly Bailey as well, or were there others who composed this game's soundtrack that I've failed to mention?

Baten Kaitos(Motoi Sakuraba)- I'm not sure how many of you have played Baten Kaitos before, but I know a good chunk of you have played a game where Motoi Sakuraba has composed before. He's made music for Wolf Team(early Tales of games), Namco Tales Studio (more recent Tales of games), Camelot(Beyond the Beyond, Golden Sun and the Mario Sports games), tri-Ace(Star Ocean and Valkyrie Profile), and he's even lent his musical talents for Smash Bros Brawl(the Intro, Battlefield and Final Destination themes); and that's just the tip of the iceberg! The reason I bring up Baten Kaitos, though, is that I consider his compositions from this game to be some of the best he's ever done. There haven't been many games i've played before where I regretted leaving the starting area despite access to it throughout a good portion of the game, or intentionally prolonged boss fights just waiting for the track to loop (and considering turns were time based after selecting the first card, you can imagine some of the messes this got me into :p).

Shadow of the Colossus(Kō Ōtani)- Yeah, this one's a gimme. Kō Ōtani is a bit more interesting of a story though, most of his work prior to Shadow of the Colossus is primarily in animes and Gamera films. He also worked on the sound tracks for Sky Odyssey and Philosoma. Guess his work on Gamera films paid off here, though, because with Shadow of the Colossus he fucking nailed it. Sure, for some the boss fights might lose their charm once they understand the tricks necessary to beat them, but one thing that'll never get old is the moment you finally access the beast's weak spot, and the music changes from that eerie, Gamera tone to a more intense, enlightening sort of piece; almost like the game is telling you "holy shit, you solved the puzzle! Now FUCKING KILL THE THING!" Incredible stuff.

Chrono Cross(Yasunori Mitsuda)- Was going to throw this in originally but sorta forgot to about halfway into the post. Mitsuda has quite a track record, he's done Chrono Trigger, Front Mission: Gun Hazard(both with Uematsu of course), Radical Dreamers, Xenogears, and more recently the Shadow Hearts series and a few songs in Luminous Arc for the DS (yes Smash Bros Brawl fans, he worked on some songs there too). Like with Baten Kaitos, I wanted to bring up Chrono Cross because this is probably some of Mitsuda's best work. Hell, you could probably tell that just by watching the intro. My only nitpick is that I wish they had included more battle themes; don't get me wrong, the rendition of the Radical Dreamers battle theme is excellent, but seeing some of the work that was done on the boss battle themes throughout the game I was somewhat disappointed that they didn't try to mix up the battle theme every now and then. Whining aside, if you want a game where muting the volume is a CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY, this is it.

To summarize, I want a thread wherein you post game soundtracks or composers that you enjoy listening to and why you like them. Don't remember how the last thread concerning this went, but if it catches on i'll be sure to keep it maintained.

naengwen on
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Posts

  • SyngyneSyngyne Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Granado Espada
    The game is a typical pretty Korean MMO grindfest, but OH MY GOD the soundtrack. A lot of it is forgettable trance techno stuff, but sprinkled throughout is a lot of orchestrated pieces that complements the Baroque style of the game perfectly. The Barracks theme when you log in is probably the best example. There are also a few tracks that mix techno with strings, and when it works, it works really, really well. For the good tracks alone this is probably one of my favorite game soundtracks.

    Homeworld
    The soundtrack fits the game perfectly. It really drives home the feeling of being alone in space. The use of Adagio for Strings in the intro makes for a really emotional moment if you've read the game's backstory.

    ...dammit, I have to reinstall this now.

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  • ShadowfireShadowfire Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Call of Duty, or any war game series for that matter, always has epic music. :^:

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  • almighty_monkeyalmighty_monkey Registered User
    edited February 2008
    Its overlooked on account of the game being shite unfortunately but..


    Sonic 3D (PC/Saturn)


    The soundtrack to the ruins level especially was awesome. Shame, again, that the game was cack.

    Guitar!
  • SwitchbladeSwitchblade Registered User
    edited February 2008
    Hell, the entire Sonic series had great music. Chemical Plant Zone especially.

    Aside from that... pretty much anything Jeremy Soule has ever been involved in - especially Total Annihilation, The Elder Scrolls and SupCom.

    what else...? Beyond Good & Evil had a pretty good soundtrack.

    EDIT:
    Oh yeah. GUILTY GEAR. How the fuck could I forget that?

    When God gives you lemons, YOU FIND A NEW GOD!!!!
  • DaveTheWaveDaveTheWave Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    The problem is that no matter how good the music is, it won't be worth listening to outside of the game (more than a couple of times, anyway). Most game music is simple 8 bar loops, and no matter how catchy it is (Kirby), it's got nothing on "real" music IMO.

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  • HybridHybrid South AustraliaRegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    The soundtracks for Silent hill 2, 3, and 4 are all great, and work just as well on their own, away from the game. Akira Yamaoka is well represented in my playlists.

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  • EchoEcho very gravitas Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited February 2008
    I have big <3 for Akira Yamaoka. Both the raw industrial stuff and the "real" songs.

  • SwitchbladeSwitchblade Registered User
    edited February 2008
    The problem is that no matter how good the music is, it won't be worth listening to outside of the game (more than a couple of times, anyway). Most game music is simple 8 bar loops, and no matter how catchy it is (Kirby), it's got nothing on "real" music IMO.

    I beg to differ. your "8 bar loops" are probably in the minority nowadays. A lot of these things are way more comprehensive than that, and well worth looking into. There are some absolutely fantastic pieces of game music out there that are well worth listening to on their own.

    Pretty certain I've got "What's the World Come to?" from SiN Episodes on my MP3 player right now, and I'm listening to The Guilty Gear soundtrack on WinAmp as I write this.

    I've also got the music from Katamari Damacy and We <3 Katamari too. good stuff if you're into J-pop that isn't sung by a chorus of annoying girls with voices so high they almost transcend the limit of human hearing.

    When God gives you lemons, YOU FIND A NEW GOD!!!!
  • LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Bioshock -
    Haunting, atmospheric, orchestral soundtrack. I am pretty bad at talking about music, so I suggest you just grab it yourselves here.

    Other than that, the Splinter Cell - Chaos Theory soundtrack, and frankly anything by Amon Tobin is gold. If you are into breakbeat at all you will love it.

    F-Zero GX/AX Soundtrack is so metal, it's fantastic, and whilst I don't like the games that much, the Halo Soundtracks are all ace.

  • UncleSporkyUncleSporky Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    The problem is that no matter how good the music is, it won't be worth listening to outside of the game (more than a couple of times, anyway). Most game music is simple 8 bar loops, and no matter how catchy it is (Kirby), it's got nothing on "real" music IMO.
    Won't be worth it to who? This is very true for old game music (although even then some people listen to it in all its 8/16 bit glory) but most newer games have soundtracks to rival movie scores. It's as listenable as those at least, and I actually prefer game music to most "normal" music since a lot of games still forgo vocals.

    And then there are the remixes/arrangements/orchestrations of older game music which show they are extremely worthy pieces; case in point, Fountain of Dreams from Smash Bros. Melee.

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  • Waka LakaWaka Laka ゲームセンターCX! 課長 ON!Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Its overlooked on account of the game being shite unfortunately but..


    Sonic 3D (PC/Saturn)


    The soundtrack to the ruins level especially was awesome. Shame, again, that the game was cack.

    Agreed 10 times over.

    For those who haven't heard it - Here is the Midi (Right Click Save as) EDIT -(FIXED)

    I bought the Jet Set Radio Future Soundtrack and play it religiously.

  • SwitchbladeSwitchblade Registered User
    edited February 2008
    Come to think of it, I wonder if I can get my hands on the Mass Effect soundtrack... To Galbadia!

    When God gives you lemons, YOU FIND A NEW GOD!!!!
  • RainfallRainfall Don't lose your WAAAAAAAYRegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Hmm. My two favorite soundtracks(Homeworld and F-Zero GX) have already been mentioned, but I also adored the soundtrack for Deus Ex. Just so... perfect. And awesome. And so TOTALLY connected in my mind with the pure awesome that Deus Ex is.

  • UncleSporkyUncleSporky Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Waka Laka wrote: »
    Its overlooked on account of the game being shite unfortunately but..


    Sonic 3D (PC/Saturn)


    The soundtrack to the ruins level especially was awesome. Shame, again, that the game was cack.

    Agreed 10 times over.

    For those who haven't heard it - Here is the Midi (Right Click Save as)

    I bought the Jet Set Radio Future Soundtrack and play it religiously.
    Actually that is the Genesis version, and the poster listed the PC/Saturn versions. They actually have different soundtracks (or so I've heard). I really like the Genesis version as it is, though, one of the magma themes is really pretty.

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  • TehSpectreTehSpectre Ragamuffin Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    So, I am really surprised that no one has mentioned Chrono Cross.

    It is largely regarded as the best video game soundtrack, ever.

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  • Waka LakaWaka Laka ゲームセンターCX! 課長 ON!Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Waka Laka wrote: »
    Its overlooked on account of the game being shite unfortunately but..


    Sonic 3D (PC/Saturn)


    The soundtrack to the ruins level especially was awesome. Shame, again, that the game was cack.

    Agreed 10 times over.

    For those who haven't heard it - Here is the Midi (Right Click Save as)

    I bought the Jet Set Radio Future Soundtrack and play it religiously.
    Actually that is the Genesis version, and the poster listed the PC/Saturn versions. They actually have different soundtracks (or so I've heard). I really like the Genesis version as it is, though, one of the magma themes is really pretty.


    Yeah shit... wrong one, I was looking for the piano one with the gregorian chants in the background -

    EDIT again - This is the one I mean! (Right click yarda yarda)

  • acidlacedpenguinacidlacedpenguin Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    The problem is that no matter how good the music is, it won't be worth listening to outside of the game (more than a couple of times, anyway). Most game music is simple 8 bar loops, and no matter how catchy it is (Kirby), it's got nothing on "real" music IMO.

    chances are if you feel that way then you're obviously not playing the right games.

    either that or you wouldn't consider listening to classical music on a regular basis.

    GT: Acidboogie PSNid: AcidLacedPenguiN
  • SwitchbladeSwitchblade Registered User
    edited February 2008
    Heh. Okay, I just officially proved how much of a nerd I am by ordering the Mass Effect sountrack CD on Amazon.

    But dammit, if doing something like that is wrong then I don't want to be right

    When God gives you lemons, YOU FIND A NEW GOD!!!!
  • Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Austin, TXRegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I've always been a fan of the Myst music.

    I also really love Arcanum's soundtrack.

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  • -SPI--SPI- Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Mechwarrior 2 Gregory Alper & Jeehun Hwang
    Always stood out to me as being un-fucking-believably good. Such a great mix of so many things from afro-arabic styles, strings/orchestral and synths amongst other things. Truly amazing and really brought the game up a couple of notches for me. The effect on the atmosphere of the game was incredible. Plus it was redbook audio so you could just slap that in the cd player and you were good to go.

    A recent soundtrack that stood out to me would be Mass Effect. It had a very unique score compared to the majority of games these days.

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  • RotamRotam Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Shadow of the Colossus(Kō Ōtani)- Yeah, this one's a gimme. Kō Ōtani is a bit more interesting of a story though, most of his work prior to Shadow of the Colossus is primarily in animes and Gamera films. He also worked on the sound tracks for Sky Odyssey and Philosoma. Guess his work on Gamera films paid off here, though, because with Shadow of the Colossus he fucking nailed it. Sure, for some the boss fights might lose their charm once they understand the tricks necessary to beat them, but one thing that'll never get old is the moment you finally access the beast's weak spot, and the music changes from that eerie, Gamera tone to a more intense, enlightening sort of piece; almost like the game is telling you "holy shit, you solved the puzzle! Now FUCKING KILL THE THING!" Incredible stuff.

    This. I couldn't believe how great this game's music was. Extremely epic and so well written as well.

    I'll list a few of my personal favourites,

    F Zero X
    Some tracks from the Advance wars series
    The original Phoenix Wright game and some tracks throughout the series.
    Mario Galaxy (Gusty gardens has fucking awesome music)
    Kingdom hearts series (The games aren't too hot, but the music is astounding most of the time)
    FFVI and FFVII

  • KingGrahamKingGraham Registered User
    edited February 2008
    As mentioned earlier, Chrono Cross had some damn fine music. Chrono Trigger too.

    The first game I ever noticed the music in was Final Fantasy VI, specifically Terra's theme, but all the music was awesome. I still listen to the soundtrack today, and I don't even feel nerdy doing it.

    WAIT! I take that back. The first game I ever noticed the music in was Myst. It wasn't there often, but when it was it was gorgeous. I often listen to the Myst soundtrack. Angelic synth-harp!

    Fallout 1/2 had amazing music. Deep, booming, spooky ambiance.

    Honorable Mention:
    Super Mario Bros. 3

  • KelorKelor Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Final Fantasy VIII has my favourite soundtrack of the series, Balamb Garden and Fisherman's Horizon in particular.

    The first Command and Conquer had some catchy tracks on it too, as did Red Alert.

  • darkwarriorvadarkwarriorva Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I still listen to a lot of game music today. Used to record them to cassette in the old days. Among my favorites:

    FF6, obviously

    Legend of Mana- There's some great stuff in that game, lots of driving inspiring pieces.

    Star Ocean 2- Oh man, so much good stuff. I have the orchestral remix on CD, one of the first game soundtracks I ever bought.

    Final Fantasy Tactics- The music makes me want to play the game. I've completed it over and over, have the original sound track, and I never get tired of the music. They're in my head right now.

    Crono Trigger / Cross- Can't say much that hasn't already been said. Music that makes you feel like taking on the world.

    Xenogears- I was surprised at the music when I first had this game. Some awesome tracks with a lot of eclectic ranges.....very memorable tracks, I think.

    Castlevania- Most of them, pretty much. I like the old ones (I-IV, Dracula X), as well as Symphony. Haven't listened to much of the DS ones, but I remember liking some of Dawn of Sorrow.

    Kirby, various games-Some of it is overly cutesy, but it can really pick up my mood sometimes. They're just relaxing, happy songs.

    Super Mario RPG- Not only did they successfully combine Mario and Final Fantasy in gameplay and design, I think they did it in the music as well. It's like Mario, and it's like a traditional RPG, except not quite either. Quirky, yet distinctive and unique music.

    I listen to more than that, but those are among my favorites.

  • SilvoculousSilvoculous Registered User
    edited February 2008
    Sonic CD's soundtrack was, the same as many Sega CD games, amazing. Couple that with the fact that it was the first Sonic game I ever played, and you have a wonderful recipe for nostalgia.

    Palmtree Panic's good future is forever burned into my brain. And Wacky Workbench's past.

  • ShujaaShujaa Registered User
    edited February 2008
    Advance Wars: Dual Strike

    Balefuego wrote: »
    When I play FPS games I just assume my dude is inside a tiny plane and he's sticking his arm out the window with a gun.
  • subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Playing through Company of Heroes right now I have to say it probably has some of the most epic WWII music I've ever heard. Really helps the game to get going when things heat up.

  • SteevLSteevL What can I do for you? Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Freedom Fighters had an excellent soundtrack by Jesper Kyd. It's a nice Soviet-meets-light-electronica vibe. Of course, I know next to nothing about electronica, so I'm probably way off there. Regardless, it fits the atmosphere of the game well. I bought the soundtrack.

    I guess he's also been excellent with Hitman, but I never got into that series.

  • Sprocket FlossSprocket Floss Registered User
    edited February 2008
    The Shin Megami Tensei games have great music. I paricularly like the soundtracks to Nocturne/Lucifer's Call and DDS. It's funny how they hide some of the tracks though. To hear one of the best songs in Nocturne you have to go to either the healing fountain or the Cathedral of Shadows (I forget which) while cursed.

  • KhavallKhavall Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Only two people mentioning Chrono Cross?


    FOR SHAME

    Every post should mention Chrono Cross. Every one. Even when they're not really about video game music, Chrono Cross is that good. God what a score.

    Also, Baba Yetu from Civilization IV.

    Come on now people.


    Also I really find the minimalistic turn in video game music really interesting. It's referencing the old-school "We can maybe make different beeps" music of the NES/SNES days, but it still moves and is more musically current.

  • AntishowAntishow Registered User
    edited February 2008
    The only game soundtracks in my iTunes library are the first two Katamari games. We Heart Katamari has some really good Glitch/IDM-ish stuff, like Meadowtronic and Blue Orb.

    Last night I tried starting up a game of Blue Dragon, and I just had to stop and listen to the music in that very first cavern. I can't really put my finger on what it is about Uematsu, but it just makes me feel like a kid again or something. It's as if I could close my eyes and pretend I'm sitting in a basement 12 years ago playing FF6; I can practically smell the Mountain Dew.

  • NexusSixNexusSix Registered User
    edited February 2008
    A million times yes on Amon Tobin's work on Splinter Cell.

    It's played out at this point, but I still think Marty O'Donnell's work on the Halo series is pretty incredible.

    I've heard it a million times after all of my runs through Morrowind and Oblivion, but I still love that music.

    Still, nothing beats the first time I heard the Star Wars theme in digitual-quality sound rather than some shitty-ass MIDI crap. TIE Fighter and Dark Forces, I still remember firing up those discs and getting all tingly while the music played.

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  • chamberlainchamberlain Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Konami release a really cool soundtrack as part of a preorder bonus (I believe for Dawn of Sorrow) that had tracks from just about every Castlevania game they had made. Really cool and very listenable.

    Super Castlevania 4 was about as good as music got on the Super Nintendo. Well, that and Super Metroid. And Act Raiser. And Contra 3.

    The list never changes: http://www.infinitebacklog.com
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  • cheezcheez Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Okami, Chrono Cross, Kingdom Hearts 2, Chrono Cross.

    FF and Tales also appear frequently on my playlists.

    And Chrono Cross.
    Spoiler:

  • ApostateApostate Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    -SPI- wrote: »
    Mechwarrior 2 Gregory Alper & Jeehun Hwang
    Always stood out to me as being un-fucking-believably good. Such a great mix of so many things from afro-arabic styles, strings/orchestral and synths amongst other things. Truly amazing and really brought the game up a couple of notches for me. The effect on the atmosphere of the game was incredible. Plus it was redbook audio so you could just slap that in the cd player and you were good to go.

    A recent soundtrack that stood out to me would be Mass Effect. It had a very unique score compared to the majority of games these days.

    Totally need to second the MW2 soundtrack. I lived for certain tracks on that game. It really fit the game perfectly. You really felt like you were striding across the landscape in a giant walking robot.

    Also along the same lines, and composer, was the Heavy Gear Soundtrack.

  • EinhanderEinhander __BANNED USERS
    edited February 2008
    I have a lot of videogame music on my Xbox, which outputs sound through my stereo, so I use it as a jukebox of sorts a lot. Everything from Doom to TimeSplitters 3 to Silent Hill 4 to Daytona USA to Ikaruga to all sorts.

    Having the music for games that support custom soundtracks if fucking awesome. It's fun to tear ass around a track in Forza while a Japanese man awkwardly yells "Rooooooooooollllllinnnnng Staaaaaaaaaaaarrrrtttt!"

    Also, speaking of TimeSplitters 3, Free Radical has a page where you can download the soundtrack along with the soundtracks for TS 1 and 2, and Second Sight.

    If anyone knows of any other devs who have posted game sountracks online, please post them.

  • SomestickguySomestickguy Unbelievable! Could you imagine the step? He's genius!Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I know it isn't out in America and Europe yet, but Super Smash Bros Brawl.

    287 background music tracks.
    287.
    287.

    If you can go through the entire list of songs without squealing with glee then I fear for your soul.

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  • StupornautStupornaut Registered User
    edited February 2008
    Masafumi Takada -- killer7, God Hand and No More Heroes. Maybe the most underrated game score composer of the last five years: anyone who can go from Underworld-style techno ("Sweet Blue Flag" from killer7) to batshit Ventures-style surf rock (the theme to God Hand) is the fucking man, and the reoccurring theme to No More Heroes is, no lie, the catchiest game theme I've heard since goddamned Tetris.

    Kazunaka Yamane -- Double Dragon and Combatribes. Double Dragon was maybe the first time I really, really noticed music in an arcade game, and the score to Combatribes is pretty overlooked as far as digital recreations of punk rock goes (the third boss fight features a theme that might as well be a Bad Brains song).

    Scientist -- kind of a cheat since he's not technically a game composer, but I hadn't really heard of him until Grand Theft Auto III put a whole bunch of his early '80s dub stuff on the soundtrack. 1980's Heavyweight Dub Champion and 1981's Scientist Meets the Space Invaders are two of his best albums.

  • DanHibikiDanHibiki Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Sega Genesis' music is fantastic. Super Nintendo had a far better capacity for sound effects but the Sega team had amazing composers at the time.

    My Favorites:
    Streets of rage 2-3
    Castlevania Bloodlines
    and
    Contra Hard Corpse

    Still have the whole collection on my play list along with Tyrian and Topgear.

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  • StraythStrayth Registered User
    edited February 2008
    Darkwarriorva nailed it. I'd add in a bunch more Final Fantasies (until X), and I'll admit Halo to the list. For all the grievances I have with those games, their soundtracks are fantastic.

    That's right.
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