As those who know me can surely attest, I tend to have an opinion on just about everything. Read more …
Video games have been around for nearly 40 years now and only within the past 5 years have they really started to make a breakthrough into the mainstream. Yet even now they do not get the respect they deserve in the way that other forms of entertainment media do.
One area of gaming that does garner a lot of respect, both from players and peers is the music. Music in games has come along way from simple beeps to full-blown symphonies and a few bars of a tune can instantly trigger memories in gamers that we didn’t even know we had. It’s this feeling that the London Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Andrew Skeet, are hoping to ignite with this album.
There are 21 tracks, or 22 if you have the Bonus track edition, which cover every possible aspect and genre.From the FPS worlds of Modern Warfare and Battlefield to the RPG summit of Elder Scrolls and even the portable gaming of Angry Birds. All colours, creeds and tastes are catered for. The album covers 20 different video games with combined total sales exceeding 1 Billion units globally.
A favourite of mine is their take on Final Fantasy VIII’s Liberi Fatali, just a few notes and I’m transported back to that opening scene of one of the series most under appreciated games. Bioshock: The Ocean on his Shoulders is a hauntingly simple piece that does well to convey the sense of isolation and insanity that the game provides.
The Tetris and Super Mario Bros. themes both get an orchestral makeover, with the latter ending up with a very jazzy sound that wouldn’t seem out of place in the background to one of the recent batch of 60’s style Tv shows.
The rousing strings and horns of the Call of Duty and Battlefield themes are a brilliant accompaniment to Halo 3’s: One Final Effort, each bringing that sense duty and achievement.
You have to wonder what the inspiration was to make this album and you can’t help but look towards Nintendo’s own Symphony efforts as part of the Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary. This album does have a Legend of Zelda Suite and they do it justice but in my opinion it does fall just short of what you can hear on the CD included with Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.
That is just a small blip on what is otherwise a fantastic album and a great introduction to classical music. Classical music might not be to everyone’s liking but any serious gamer has been listening to it for years in between loading screens and during opening cinematic. What this album shows is just how wonderful these tracks are and how talented the people who create this music are.
The album is available now from Amazon and iTunes.