January 6, 2013
Gaming in Stereo: Happy New Year Edition
Well the New Year is well underway and thought I would celebrate it with two tracks off of one of my favorite albums of last year, The Greatest Video Game Music vol. 2 (that is including any mainstream music as well). The renditions Andrew Skeet put together are fantastic; and 8 bit music turned full orchestra is just the bee’s knees. I picked two different tracks from the album that were in games I have never featured before, Assassins Creed and Super Metroid. One is very majestic and fitting for its time period the other is dark and grim and converted 16 bit audio. Let us ring in the New Year with a Renaissance assassin and bounty hunter out to kick some space pirate booty.
Assassins Creed: Revelations – Main Theme – Lorne Balfe
This title track for the latest unnumbered Assassin Creed entry was not done by series composer Jesper Kyd, but Lorne Balfe who composed the score for the current entry in the series Assassins Creed 3. This is a beautiful track. The series has always had a beautiful score that made the crusades or renaissance Italy feel beautiful despite the templar corruption. (0:10) A somber female vocalist carries the melody throughout most of the track. At (1:36) the main beat comes in feeling a bit on the electronic side. (3:13) the female vocalist is replaced by delicate strings leading up to (3:51) where the track takes an epic turn. At that point you can just set back close your eyes and imagine a sun drenched Constantinople. The song is neither too subtle nor overbearing to make its point.
Super Metroid: A Symphonic Poem – Kenji Yamamoto & Minako Hamano
Metroid is one of my favorite Nintendo series. There was always a sense of exploration, darkness, and mystery lurking around every corner. Super Metroid to this date still holds up incredibly well, if you can’t find a copy there is the Wii Virtual Console where you can snag a copy for a mere $7. This track is an ode to the great themes found on space station holding the Metroid larvae and the planet Zebes. (0:04) the brass pull in the main theme that will be picked up later and creates a grand entrance for the track. At (0:29) the classic tune from the title sequence starts. At (1:27) the swirling on the drum brings a sense of dread that leads up to (3:50) the reassuring theme of Samus. Finally at (4:18) the main theme from the start of the track is ushered back in for a grandioso finale. This track made me purchase the game on the Virtual Console just in case my original SNES copy ever bums out. Enjoy and Happy New Year!