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GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 101: Video Game Music

Richard Naik's picture

The podcast gets rythmic on us as we talk game music, some of our favorite tracks, why game music is special, and what has been lost as games have evolved from their technologically limited origins. Featuring Richard Naik, Chi Kong Lui, Michael "Mac" Cunningham, and special guests Dylan Collins and Matt Hunter from the A Jumps B Shoots podcast.

00:00-00:02 - Intros

00:02-00:12 - A little chat about our musical backgrounds

00:12-00:27 - Games that we hate, but love the music

00:28-00:48 - With the technological evolutions over the years, has game music lost something compared to it's restricted roots?

00:49-01:04 - Name something creative that a game has done with its music that drastically altered your opinion of said game

01:05-01:31 - Some of our personal favorite game songs/soundtracks

01:31-close - Thumbs

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Platform(s): Xbox 360   Wii   PS3   3DS   Vita   Wii U   PS4   Xbox One   iPhone   iPad  
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Topic(s): Celebrity   Pop-culture   Humor   Politics  

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Psh!

I was there too...I think. I have been snubbed! This would never happen to Spaeth!

Dylan wrote:I was there

Dylan wrote:

I was there too...I think. I have been snubbed! This would never happen to Spaeth!

If it makes you feel any better, my name is misspelled Chi "King" Lui.

UPDATE: Apologies. Everything is corrected.

Dylan wrote: I was there

Dylan wrote:

I was there too...I think. I have been snubbed! This would never happen to Spaeth!

Sorry Dylan! Totally my fault-I was so excited to be putting that Mega Man 6 song at the end of the show that I snubbed you. A thousand apologies.

Chi

I knew you wouldn't let me down. Wing Commander! You even sang a little! Proud of you.

Looking forward to listening

Looking forward to listening to this one.

I think the technological limitations of past generations definitely brought out the best ingenuity from some gaming composers. The first 3 MegaDrive Sonic games (and Sonic & Knuckles) have phenomenal music. Also can't knock the catchy beats of the early Mario games either.

I think contemporary music has the potential to be as influential as those earlier days, but isn't always properly appreciated when done right. I know it's cool to knock the Halo games (and I would largely join-in that bashing based on recent efforts), but Martin O'Donnell is the best Western composer in gaming. I know that's a bold statement, but I haven't played any other game developed in the West that has such superb, compelling music. The music adds a least an extra point onto the games' scores IMO. The audacity to use jazz and a slower tempo with O.D.S.T is indication of his genius. Honourable mention also has to go to Jeremy Soule for his work with the Elder Scrolls series.

Taking the East (primarily Japan) into account, however, throws out a near endless list of superb composers. There's a reason I have more tracks from the Persona series, Final Fantasy series, Legend of Zelda series, Lost Odyssey, and Okami, than any modern 'proper' music on my phone/mp3.

As for sh*t games with good music? Braid is the defining example for me. The music transcends towards emotional reflection; it is entirely fitting for the game's pseudo-philosophical outlook. Shame it's a completely irritating and stupid piece of gaming design, though.

Name the Tracks

Bonus points to anyone who can name all the tracks that appear through out the episode.

I absolutely agree about

I absolutely agree about backward compatibilty; its a SHAME that its not being supported. I am cutting a teeny-tiny bit of slack to Sony about about BC on the PS4 because it would probably be tough and expensive to support the cell architecture. Microsoft has no such excuse. Not going to buy either one any time soon (or possibly ever) because of this.

Playlists

Great show, fellas. If you revisit music in a future podcast you should compile a YouTube playlist of the songs you cover and link from the website. I found myself constantly scrabbling for a pen and bits of paper!

Podcast missing it's goal.

Agreed. Game music shows should always have selections of the music the podcast is talking about. Not all songs of course, but a lot more than this podcast had.

Sure it's a lot more work, but I found this podcast to be missing it's core theme, which is emotional resonance from game music, which you'll never ever get from just' talking ' about the music.

Having game music in the breaks of the podcast doesn't cut it.

Nice to hear Dylan again and Matt Hunter was an excellent guest. He added a descriptive vocabulary that added to the show.

Damn right!

tacitus wrote:

I absolutely agree about backward compatibilty; its a SHAME that its not being supported. I am cutting a teeny-tiny bit of slack to Sony about about BC on the PS4 because it would probably be tough and expensive to support the cell architecture. Microsoft has no such excuse. Not going to buy either one any time soon (or possibly ever) because of this.

BWC just makes sense to try and save a few bucks by not selling more consoles is stupid.

Sony could have at least offered a unit that was 150 more but supported BWC but didn't so nope screw them too.

I'm out this gen albeit for the PC.

focus

Hey Gamecritics,

I just read a post on Brad's blog, and I responded on his blog. Perhaps I should share some parts of that response with you guys. Now I don't wanna spoil the good Xmass vibes here, but perhaps this could/should be something you guys can think/talk about? Happy holidays! (I mean it!)

Jay

Hello!
always have appreciated your podcasts, though I feel that you are more and more serving a niche public lately.

Why not give your extensive takes/reviews on PS3 games, like BEYOND: TWO SOULS, RAYMAN: LEGENDS, BROTHERS, GUACAMELEE! or even GTA5? Talk about those kind of things, analyse! Your public will grow and I would say those are much more "relevant" topics and games, serving a much wider audience.

Now again, I do very much appreciate your efforts, and that is exactly why I rather see you guys covering games that I might play. I do NOT wanna tell you how to do your job, but lately you guys are going more and more into a very dark and lonely dungeon of the gaming world, at least for me. Stay relevant and come back to the PS3/PS4/XBoner world.

Video game music, lot's of Pokemon talk, a sex show, a listener created show, GC at the movies, I mean where's the focus? Why not Bioshock: Infinite, GTA5? The podcasts are becomming a bit of a mess. No offense. Perhaps you guys should consider letting Richard do the "normal" podcasts, and Sinan doing the more explorative podcasts?

I feel that since Tim left, somehow you guys lost some focus. Dylan did a great job, made a huge effort, but the 2 hosts thing, I dunno. I guess I would rather see Richard becoming the new host. He is smart, neutral, doesn't make (not so-) funny remarks all the time, and is just a great and focussed talker. (You're welcome Richard) I guess my main point is, go back to basic. I would assume that the main public is appreciative, and so am I. But lately I am more appreciative of your guys' intentions than the actual show itself. Actually, I felt the show went a little downhill this last year, starting with the departure of Tim, and even more so after Dylan left. I guess now I just had to share this feeling. Sorry for the fucked up timing...

Or is there something I miss, or don't understand? Happy holidays to the whole crew, and (yes, still) looking forward to the big End-of-Year-Show on Gamecritics. Hope you guys talk games, a lot.

Jay from the Netherlands. (we're still here!!!;-)

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