Video Game Soundtracks Aren’t What They Once Were

Video game soundtracks sometimes get a bad rap.  I will say that there are some games that don’t have the best soundtracks.  This was mostly seen in the early years of the gaming industry.  The consoles just couldn’t handle all the information of the games and a beautiful soundtrack.  Thankfully, the technology of today has got to the point that we not only have amazing graphics, but we can have those beautiful soundtracks that previously only appeared on piano collections or orchestral arrangement of the soundtracks. While there are a couple of official videos for the songs on the game’s soundtrack that I will be discussed in this article, most do not.  As such, videos are hard to come by.  Thankfully, there some wonderful people that have taken the time to get these songs up so that others can enjoy them.  Everglow is one such person.  Go visit their YouTube page by clicking on their name right there.  That is where the videos featured on this post come from. 

Now, before you jump to conclusions and claim that I am only talking about the “Final Fantasy” franchise, I’m not.  While I do love the music from those games, the only video game that I have the soundtrack for is not from that franchise.  I have the original “Kingdom Hearts” game.  This soundtrack is amazing.  A lot of the pieces don’t even sound like they are from a video game.  They  aren’t even named like they should be from a video game.  If you were to play some of these songs to people who had never heard of the game they would probably think some of these songs were just classical pieces.  My favorite piece from the first soundtrack is called March Caprice for Piano and Orchestra. This particular piece comes at the end of the game since it is the credit’s song.  I love this song!  It is so pretty and unless you knew it was from a video game, you would probably not know.  

This game franchise spans a whopping eight games and one upcoming title that is in development so far!  That isn’t counting the seven remake/remastered versions of the game, the mobile version of the game, or the few little promo games on Facebook and the Disney website.  That means that there is a lot of music to listen to.  Since the games are a joint project of Square Enix, the company that produces the “Final Fantasy” games, and Disney Interactive Studios, there are quite a few songs that sound familiar.  The Mickey Mouse Club March and numerous Disney songs are featured in the soundtracks as well as One-Winged Angel from “Final Fantasy VII”.  These songs have been specially remastered for the games and actually sound really amazing.  Here is One-Winged Angel from the “Kingdom Hearts II” soundtrack.

Yeah, it is a very long song.  The original wasn’t much better in terms of length.  The short version of the song lasts about 7 minutes and the full is an almost ridiculous half hour long.  I can’t begin to imagine playing or singing that long!

Okay, okay, so those particular songs were designed to be listened to in a fully orchestral version.  What about the songs that play when you are just running around in the game.  Surely they sound like your stereotypical video game songs.  Nope.  They really don’t.  I actually love them.  This particular one is called Cavern of Remembrance.  

Still think video game soundtracks all sound like they are made with a synthesizer on the computer?  That piece was recorded directly from the game itself.  No joke!  The pieces from this franchise are beautiful!  Disney and Square Enix really did an amazing job on these games in terms of soundtracks.  Square Enix games have always featured amazing music, but with technology the way it is today, they can really have some of the most beautiful in-game soundtracks of any game on the market.  It also doesn’t hurt that the main people working on the soundtracks are Yoko Shimomura, known for her work on numerous video games, Kaoru Wada,who composes mostly for anime and telly, and Hikaru Utada, who is a well known J-Pop artist.  Other artist appear in the credits as well for their songs that are used on the soundtrack, but those three have the most influence on the soundtracks as a whole.

If you were go to just go out and buy a video game soundtrack, defiantly pick up one of the soundtracks for these games!  You will love them.  It is a mix of familiarity for those who are fans of Disney and Square Enix games and newness all around.  Even those who are not gamers will enjoy the music from these games.  My mother likes the music and sometimes I don’t even tell her she is listening to music from a video game.  Of course, my mother is a gamer.  My father isn’t and he likes the music.  Overall, I would recommend these soundtracks!  There are a lot of them to choose from and you really can’t go wrong with any of them.