Chalk Talk - Video Game Music: In Perfect Harmony

This weeks chalk talk we discuss the art of video game music.

For this week's Chalk Talk assignment we discussed one of the single most powerful and influential aspects of the games we love; the music. It is no secret that music in games can greatly influence the way we receive the game in question. Be it the simplistic notes from Legend of Zelda or the complex scores of Journey one thing is certain, video game music has a major impact on our gameplay experiences. Here's what GameSpotters had to say.


UniversalSigh: The conventions of music in film has been integral for decades and as gaming evolves rapidly year after year it's reliance on music to portray emotions, set scene and cast it´s power over the human brain for all manner of suggestibility, is more present than ever. Music has become so powerful in gaming that many games are given identity solely from the songs they produce. …. read more..


nintendo-naut: Whether it's the beautiful and haunting melodies of Kingdom Hearts by the great Ms. Yoko Shimomura, the legendary Koji Kondo and his ever-well-known scores for Mario and Zelda titles, or the songs from many RPGs that will forever echo through time composed by the great Yasunori Mitsuda, no honest man can deny they are truly great musical works. …. read more..


Bamul: The music makes us anticipate what will happen next, it gets us excited and then it definitely doesn't leave us disappointed. The image disappears; we are once again allowed to see through the glass. The music reaches a high point, and then bursts into the power of an orchestra. It slows down but does not stop. What we see before us is amazing - the melody only reinforces this serene, unknown and mysterious beauty. …. read more..


Starshine_M2A2: It's an wonderful combination of music and action that create a power even the best action movies seldom achieve. Once I had beaten Chaos I felt like I had just run a marathon - that I had achieved something truly epic. And ultimately that's the games magic. …. read more..


Jass5991: Music in games is unfortunately overlooked in many games, under-appreciated. It needs to be brought forward that games just would not be the same without music. Even simple Flash games, such as Realm of the Mad God, has it's own music to complement what's going on on-screen. …. read more..

The Peanut Gallery

In addtion to the fantastic blogs on GameSpot we also took a quick Community Poll via Facebook and Twitter to find out what others had to say on the subject.

A very special thanks to everyone who contributed to this week's Chalk Talk! To read all of the entrants, you can check out this link here.

Extra Credit

Sometimes a good blog is simply a good blog, and these GameSpot members deserve recognition for their efforts and contributions:
- Why The Custom Language OS Is A Bad Thing By: Daavpuke
- Nintendo's September 13 Event By: ad0234
- Truth in Advertising By: Uesugi-dono

Next Week's Assignment - Rated M for Murder

” Violence is the first refuge of the violent.”- Aaron Allston
Video games are no stranger to graphic depictions of blood, gore, and other forms of violence and these frequent appearances have impacted all gamers. For years violent games have been targeted by political figures, censorship laws, and various groups (such as BCTF and MAVAV) in an attempt to purge gaming from these blood soaked pixels. What is your stance on violence in games? Need some in stricter rules for these types of games? Or are the rules too strict already? Be sure to sound off in the roll call thread here with your awesome Chalk Talk entry! Roll-Call.

← Check here for more editions of Chalk Talk.

Written By

Community Producer for GameSpot. Fan of all things gaming, social butterfly, a lover of bacon, MTG, D20's and pie.

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Discussion

0 comments
Shmiity
Shmiity

The only thing I have to say about this topic is this: Video game scores have LOST the attention to melody and theme. There are too many orchestral soundtracks that are big and blustery, but are just garbage. Where are the themes? All of you can sing the zelda and mario songs. But what the heck is the Dragon Age theme? The Call of Duty theme? There isnt one. Those soundtracks are generic and garbage. 

bgghgubcjhgknjk
bgghgubcjhgknjk

Wind Waker has the best sound track I've heard, Portal has awesome music too as does of course mario

Daavpuke
Daavpuke

I didn't even know I got mentioned. And that for a technical blog no less. Thank you very much, I appreciate it!

Hellswrath99
Hellswrath99

Good gameplay will keep you playing a game.  Amazing music will immerse you in the game and make it an experience to remember.  Glad to see it get a spotlight and great blog posts!

game-ster23
game-ster23

All great reads. Good work to who were mentioned.

lim_ak
lim_ak

Wow I'm late in getting round to reading these. Good stuff folk. 

umd1998
umd1998

I'm a big fan of the music from the original Zelda, all Zelda games really.

Soulreavercross
Soulreavercross moderator

Chrono Cross & Trigger and Final Fantasy series have always had some of the best music in video games period!

vguy555
vguy555 moderator

I've always liked music in Nintendo games.

Coco_pierrot
Coco_pierrot

for me the Final Fantasy universe have incredible music but in particular FF6, FF tactic ( PSOne version ) and FF13-2 had the most incredible music. I also have a special place for Okami, Mega Man X, Mega Man 2 and 3. Also I have felt in love with the soundtrack of Journey that is avalaible on the collector edition.

Tazzman1000
Tazzman1000

Heres a quick preview of the article I was going to write "music and video games go together like Irish men and beer. Don't agree with me go to IGN". Stupid statements aside well done to all who featured.

King9999
King9999

As someone who's been gaming since the 8-bit days, I could spend a day or two listing games with memorable soundtracks.  I have a deep appreciation for the soundtracks of the old-school games, because the limited technology made for some catchy tunes.  That''s not to say that current games don't have music that you can listen to over and over again.  In fact, I'm currently hooked on the Double Dragon Neon soundtrack.

Nerdystylez
Nerdystylez

when i was younger i loved sonic adventure 2 soundtrack, and silent hill 3

Hurvl
Hurvl

I feel extremely nerdy when people talk about Lady Gaga or whatever music they're listening to currently, because I almost exclusively listen to computer game music. I have a lot of games that contains great music and if there is no easy way to listen to them outside of the game and make a playlist (like I have with Deus Ex 1, Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines/Redemption), I turn to Youtube (where I llsten to Diablo 1/2, Clive Barker's Undying and Knights of the Old Republic 1/2). I never get tired of them and there are songs there for every mood, whether I like rock music or more weird/spooky sounding tunes. So it comes as no surprise that I think that game music has a huge effect on immersion and general gaming experience.

Bamul
Bamul

Yay! Congratulations to everyone, good job on getting mentioned. ;)

obsequies
obsequies

the merchants ambient background music in resident evil 4 was nice 

obsequies
obsequies

valve's "theme song" was great too..remember listening to it for the first time on the beginning of half-life back in the day and knew that company was going to become something much bigger

obsequies
obsequies

Lone survivor had such an amazing title screen song that I just sat there and listened to the whole thing..getting all pumped

Lach0121
Lach0121

Command & Conquer (all including Red Alert)

Diablo 

Halo

Bastion

Zelda

Zeno Clash

Duke Nukem

Quake 2 & 3

Metal Gear (all of them, even the originals)  Snake's Revenge had some nice music too!

Lost Odyssey/Blue Dragon

Tabula Rasa (often overlooked)

Goldeneye, Perfect Dark

Silent Hill

Parasite Eve

KOTOR

Legend of Dragoon

Turok 2 - take for instance "Port of Adia" that is an awesome track!

Contra - Jungle track

Songs throughout the Final Fantasy franchise, 

Even a few songs throughout WOW ,and SWTOR, and some in a game I recently played through (FEAR 2)

 

These are just off the top of my head too. Video game music (scores and soundtracks) are some of my biggest inspiration as a hobbyist musician myself.  

dapman418
dapman418

I'm a bit upset that the topics that I want to write about are being assigned now when I don't have the time for them. :P Still excited to read all of these great entries!

00LiteYear
00LiteYear

This might be an aesthetic choice, but does anyone know why Parappa the Rapper's Left eye is bigger than the right?

c_rakestraw
c_rakestraw moderator moderator

 @dapman418 Need to start setting some time aside then. That or write really, really fast.