By Jeff Neuenschwander / January 29th, 2015
A good story, great gameplay, and breathtaking visuals can only take you so far. Music, on the other hand, can tell a story all on its own and have your mind create visuals you could only dream of. Here to present our music awards this year are Reporting Manager Steve Baltimore and Reviewer Guy Rainey.
2012: Xenoblade Chronicles
2013: Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F
STEVE: There are tons of games that released this year that had great music. It was a real battle within the oprainfall contributors to pick out the very best of the year. But after much deliberation we narrowed it down to these five nominees.
- Shovel Knight
First up we have Shovel Knight. This soundtrack was composed by Jake Kaufman with two contributions from former Mega Man composer Manami Matsumae. This soundtrack features some of the best chiptunes I have heard in a long time. It brought back many memories for me of my 8-bit days, and is a must for any Mega Man fans out there.
- Bravely Default
Next up we have Bravely Default. This is, in my opinion, the best soundtrack in an RPG in years. It was composed by REVO of the Japanese band Linked Horizon. The vocal tracks were preformed by Joelle, who worked on Final Fantasy XIII-2, and REVO himself. With a mix of traditional RPG music with some heavy metal thrown in, there are so many good tracks in this game I wouldn’t know where to begin. Which is probably why our contributors picked it as one of the best of this year.
- Child of Light
Our next nominee takes to a fairy tale world, Child of Light. This epic OST featuring some of the best orchestral music I’ve heard in gaming in a long time was composed by Coeur de Pirate [Béatrice Martin]. The tracks range from somber tunes for deep emotional moments to faster tunes for some combat. This OST reminds me of something you would hear in a well made fantasy movie, and that is a great thing.
Next up we have Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd. Yep, Miku and her Vocaloid friends are back for more, this time with some all new tracks and some classic tracks found in previous Project Diva titles. Some of the classic tracks include The World is Mine, Kokoro, Meltdown and Luka Night Fever. Add to that some great new tracks such as Decorator and Blackjack and you’ve got one great OST to be sure.
- Valiant Hearts: The Great War
Last but not least we have Valiant Hearts: The Great War. this soundtrack was done by a fairly large team of different composers. Like the game itself, the soundtrack is very somber but really brings out the emotions being conveyed in the heart wrenching story. So if you’re in the mood for a some really great but sad music, you will likely want to check this soundtrack out.
AND THE WINNER IS…
Yep our contributors really dig them chip tunes, and you would be hard pressed to find a better album of them anywhere else. This Soundtrack will give those feels of getting up early Saturday morning and firing up NES to get your platforming on for sure. Anyone that loves chiptunes or retro style game music in general will find lots to love in out choice for Best Music of 2014.
2012: Main Theme from Xenoblade Chronicles
2013: Main Theme from Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
GUY: Music is an integral part of any game, as a song sets the mood of the game. We want to single out the best songs in the best games of the year.
- Strike the Earth (Shovel Knight)
If you’ve watched the trailers for Shovel Knight, you’ve heard this song. And no matter how many times you’ve heard it, it never loses its charm. Fitting the game as whole, Strike the Earth captures the very best elements of the aesthetics of the NES, and revamps them for the modern generation.
- Rainbow Road 64 (Mario Kart 8)
Of all the wonderfully orchestrated music in Mario Kart 8, why would we choose a remix of a game from 15 years ago? Because it really is that good. This remix captures the infectious melody of the original N64 music, while at the same time adding in new sounds that can only be achieved with real instruments.
- Tomorrow is Mine (Bayonetta 2)
There’s a reason that Tomorrow is Mine perfectly represents Bayonetta 2 as a whole: it has the same high energy, class, and underlying power as the titular Bayonetta. It’s clear that Platinum planned every part of the game to work together to create an amazing experience.
- Eclipse of the Sun (Hyrule Warriors)
Hyrule Warriors has a really awesome soundtrack. Omega Force accomplished something amazing by taking the orchestral melodies of the Legend of Zelda franchise, and making them not only work in metal, but sound natural. Eclipse the Sun may be an original composition, but it shows the exact progression from melodious to metal.
- We All Become (Transistor)
SuperGiant Games does great music. Like Bastion before it, Transistor has a phenomenal soundtrack, and We All Become is a perfect example of the studio’s musical prowess. In an industry where lyrical songs are rare, this shines as a gem, telling a little about the world the game takes place in.
AND THE WINNER IS…
Strike the Earth (Shovel Knight)
And Shovel Knight‘s infectious tune take the victory. I love every theme on this list, but I have to say that Yacht Club Games has managed something truly impressive here. They’ve managed to make themes that have nostalgic appeal, while at the same time are truly great in they’re own right. So that’s why Strike the Earth wins our best song category.
Bayonetta 2Bravely DefaultChronicles of a Dark Lord - Episode II War of the AbyssDragon Age: InquisitionGame of the YearHatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2ndHyrule WarriorsMario Kart 8Persona Q: Shadow of the LabyrinthShovel KnightSlinkiSuper Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii UThe Walking DeadThe Wolf Among Us