As with all great music, the best way to listen to it is via a turntable. With that in mind, I’d like to share five of my favourite video game soundtracks that are available on vinyl…
Video game music is a thing of beauty. Designed to be a frame to the game you’re playing, never encroaching too far as to become distracting, whilst also being emotive enough to transport you to the game landscape and creating the symbiotic link that makes video games so engrossing.
Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number Collector’s Edition – Various Artists Hotline Miami 2 is a perfect example of a soundtrack that drives the game. The infectious and frenetic electronic music marches in tune with you, as you frantically try to kill everything. A true example of how a soundtrack can control the speed of a game, with aggressive techno that pushes you faster and faster until you’re playing the game at blistering speeds. Of all the games I’ve played, the Hotline Miami series are the ones that really get me obsessed with the music, especially Hotline Miami 2 which I listen to almost every other day.
Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: The GameOriginal Videogame Soundtrack – Anamanaguchi Without the Scott Pilgrim Original Soundtrack this list would consist of purely Nintendo Entertainment System based soundtracks. Luckily for us, the soundtrack is such an eclectic nostalgic trip that it covers most of the tropes associated with 8-bit gaming condensed into one spectacular album. The game itself was a throwback to sidescrollers of the 80’s and 90’s, so it makes sense that the soundtrack was in the same vein, and 8-bit band Anamanaguchi were enlisted to create the soundtrack. Anamanaguchi did so exceptionally well, moving from mellow joyful interludes to unforgivingly aggressive chiptune and making this an 8-bit standout soundtrack.
Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee New ‘n’ Tasty! Collector’s Edition – Various Artists Less of a soundtrack and more of an experience, Oddworld has always been a slightly twisted place and the music is no exception. Showcasing a different style where the music is more a representation of the atmosphere, of the world, that Abe inhabits, a world of harsh environments and struggles of morality and ideology. Where intimidating creatures are everywhere, and life is something that is constantly at risk. A deep mix of ambient sound and guttural instrumentals that accentuate the dark atmosphere, the soundtrack is a terrifying, yet beautiful walk through Oddworld.
Brutal Legend Original Soundtrack Vinyl – Peter McConnells This soundtrack is Brutal! Well of course it is, but it’s so much more than that. The Brutal Legend soundtrack isn’t just a great original soundtrack, it’s also a fantastic metal album using orchestral pieces inspired by heavy metal to not just create songs but instead create a living, breathing heavy metal world. Nothing is better than playing in this beautifully constructed heavy metal world whilst Peter McConnell’s Heavy Metal orchestra scored all the action.
Final Fantasy Orchestral Album – Nobua Uematsu Honestly, for this I could have picked any of Uematsu’s offerings for the Final Fantasy series as they’re all perfect examples of how to score a game when you want it to feel like a fully fleshed out world. So difficult was this choice that I decided to go for the 25th anniversary Orchestral Album release, which features music from the entire series. I know that may be seen as cheating, but this is still a stellar show of how moving the music of Final Fantasy can be. Of course if I were to pick a greatest Final Fantasy soundtrack it would be from 7, but unfortunately with it coming on a picture disk vinyl I just didn’t think the quality was there.
Constructing a top 5 was a heartbreaking effort in self control, so if you know a great vinyl that’s not the list then comment below. And of course it goes without saying that a lot of these vinyls are limited edition, so they’re pretty hard to find at a reasonable price, but if you can I definitely suggest you do! As there’s nothing better than videogames on vinyl…well apart from playing the games that is.
Author – Hal, Plymouth Store