Gaming Vibes Playlist #4

Greetings! It’s been just over fourteen months since the last time I found myself sitting at my computer looking over blog post drafts before eventually thinking “I…guess I could list some of the music I’ve been listening to lately”. Music has the near-magical ability to transport myself outside my own headspace and provoke an array of emotions. This can be immensely helpful during times(right now?) when it feels like everything is going to shit. Here’s just a few game-related songs I’ve been listening to lately. Oddly enough, my last playlist post in December 2020 began with a track from the exact same game, so…nice?

Cyberpunk 2077 – The Rebel Path

I was pretty hyped to play Cyberpunk 2077 when it first released back in December 2020. Despite not encountering the plethora of issues others did in the opening six hours, I still decided to hold off on the game until I had a few other big, open-world games finished up. Now that the next-gen 1.5 update has been released I decided to give it another go last weekend and the game plays pretty damn well. This feels like what the game should have been at launch(if given the time it needed). I’ve been playing Cyberpunk pretty much nonstop for the past week; here’s one of my favorites from the soundtrack…

Death’s Door – The Crows

I played through Death’s Door a couple weeks ago now, and the game has managed to stick with me. The gameplay and art style are nearly perfect, as well as the soundtrack, which ranges from light and spirited to pensive and foreboding. I’ve spent quite a while listening to the game soundtrack while working at my computer. One of my favorites – The Crows manages to sound relatively dark and moody, yet still airy and delicate. The entire soundtrack is well worth a listen for anyone who appreciated the range of emotions showcased in Hollow Knight’s score.

Sonic & Knuckles – Flying Battery Zone(Act 2)

There’s been plenty of talk about Sonic the Hedgehog the past few months – celebrating the Sega mascot’s 30th anniversary in 2021 and the theatrical trailers for Sonic the Hedgehog 2 being released just last weekend. I was just a kid when Sonic & Knuckles was released and remember thinking it was one of the most awesome things I’d seen; just the innovative “Lock-On” cartridge allowing you to combine the game with your Sonic 3 cartridge and play what was originally meant to be a single game. I happened to wake up one morning this past week with the Flying Battery Zone music stuck in my head. I’m really gonna have to sit down and play through Sonic & Knuckles again…

Novo Amor – Haven

Life is Strange: True Colors is a game that I thought sounded interesting, but wasn’t sure how soon I would get around to playing it. The game came pretty highly recommended by a friend, so I decided to give it a try. It didn’t take long at all before becoming attached to the characters and storyline, almost surprisingly so. The setting of the game is a small town in the mountains of Colorado and the soundtrack captures the pervasive moods of the game perfectly, so much so, that I would often just sit at the title screen to take everything in…

Biting Elbows – Alone

Despite one’s feelings around the gameplay mechanics or overall….weirdness of Death Stranding, I still believe that if nothing else, the game had an AMAZING soundtrack containing both original scores as well as licensed music. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in being completely unaware of Icelandic band Low Roar, whose haunting melancholic songs have become inseparable from the game’s otherworldly landscapes. The “Director’s Cut” of Death Stranding was released a few months back and included a number of new songs, all of which I love. Here’s one of my favorites from Biting Elbows – another band I had no knowledge of prior to Death Stranding.

That’s four weeks in a row! Keep on keepin’ on!

Thanks for reading!

Gaming Vibes Playlist #3

It’s been two weeks since my last blog post. As much as I’d like to say there’s a particular reason I haven’t posted anything recently, I’ve quite simply hit a bit of a drought regarding WordPress posts. I have a handful of loose ideas I would like to write up something for, but most of them require me to finish playing the specific game…which I have not. Whenever I have trouble coming up with ideas or generally concentrating on writing, I usually spend extended periods of time listening through video game music as I find that often times provide some sort of inspiration to write. I have been playing through a fairly ecclectic group of games at the moment, so I decided for today’s post to simply include some of the music I’ve been listening to as of late…

Cyberpunk 2077 – Hyper-Spoiler

We’ll start things off with a track from Cyberpunk 2077. After 8 years and an insurmountable level of hype around this game, it was finally released this past week. The game’s reception has been…..less than stellar as countless bugs and glitches – sometimes game-breaking, sometimes just plain funny, have very negatively affected CD Projekt Red’s mega-hyped release. Say what you will about the game and it’s littany of issues, it does have a pretty killer soundtrack. I’ve played the game for about 4 and a half hours without any catastrophic crashes or glitches – a few minor graphical hiccups here and there, and will be playing this at perhaps a more leisurely pace while the unfortunate dev team at CDPR scrambles to salvage this train wreck of a game launch. I do have a bit to say about the game and the events surrounding its release(yikes!), which I may write about in a follow-up post in the future, but for now I’ll stick with the awesome soundtrack…

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity – Overlooking Hyrule

I bought Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity a few weeks ago after really enjoying the game demo on my Switch. I hadn’t ever played any of the Warriors/Musou games before, but have had a lot of fun in the 8 or so hours I’ve invested. I’ve seen others stating online that they were satisfied with the game overall, but were a little disappointed in some of the story beats as it was presented originally as essentially, a prequel to Breath of the Wild. I love the dramatic grandeur to the track – Overlooking Hyrule as you hear the spirited strings and piano, but can also notice the march of the drums underneath as you envision the Hyrule Army preparing for the onslaught of Calamity Ganon.

GoldenEye – Dam(Tweaklab Synthwave Version)

I recently went back to bask in the nostalgia of playing GoldenEye on my N64 a couple weeks ago as part of a random Twitch stream. The game certainly shows its age in the visual department, but still manages to remain entertaining after 23 years. It also has an iconic soundtrack that instantly conjures all those warm, fuzzy feelings of nostalgia. So, naturally, I’ve spent a fair amount of time recently going through and listening to random OST remixes on YouTube. Here’s one of my favorites that sounds more or less like a meeting of 007 and Stranger Things…

Yakuza 0 – Heartbreak Mermaid

I’ve recently been playing the Yakuza games after knowing OF them for many years, but having never played them. I’m really, really loving the cocktail of seriousness and absurdity in both the characters and storylines. One of my favorite activities within the Yakuza games has been the karaoke mini-games. Here’s one of my favorite songs that has been stuck in my head almost endlessly since playing…

Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla – The First Departure

I’ve been playing Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla here and there for the past month, and I’d say overall I’m really enjoying the game, but feel like it doesn’t quite have me “hooked” just yet. One aspect of the game I absolutely love is the soundtrack, which finds longtime AC composer Jesper Kyd returning to the series along with Sarah Schachner, who was responsible for AC: Origin’s wonderful instrumentation. I love the solemn tone of the stringed instruments, and the spacious sound that’s created within the track. Sometimes, the most impactful pieces of music aren’t ones that fill every second with sounds, but rather allow the space for the selected notes to resonate.

Hades – God of the Dead

Well…I wasn’t going to write a list of video game music I’ve been listening to lately and NOT include something from Hades – my Game of the Year pick for 2020. I absolutely love the Hades soundtrack and the range of instruments and styles showcased within. Supergiant Games composer Darren Korb(also the voice of Zagreus and Skelly in the game) described the music featured in Hades as “Mediterranean prog rock”. Take a listen to this epic battle music…

That’s really all I have for now, gonna go play some more video games. Thanks for reading!