Weekend Gaming Vibes – Playlist

This past week felt like one of those weeks where your energy level just isn’t what it would normally be(not very high to begin with) and you just feel like you could use a recharge. I haven’t been quite as active on things like Twitter or Twitch and had some reading to catch up on here on WordPress this past week, so I thought today would be a perfect day to do something a little more simple like showing a playlist of some of the gaming-related music I’ve been listening to when I’m sitting here at my computer, doing housework or simply not working.

This past week it was announced that Activision is set to release a remastered edition of both Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 & 2. The first things that sprang to mind were the endless hours spent playing THPS games as a kid and the memorable collections of licensed music featured within. I could immediately hear Goldfinger’s “Superman” or the Dead Kennedys’ “Police Truck” playing in my head. As with many other fans of THPS, the series was the introduction to a great many different songs and artists. One of my favorites from the original Pro Skater is Jerry Was a Race Car Driver, the little ditty that introduced me to the goofy, yet talented trio of Les Claypool, Larry Lalonde, and Tim ‘Herb’ Alexander.

Streets of Rage 4 released just a few weeks ago and I’m still having a lot of fun playing through the game. It’s a great example of a sequel retaining the essence of what made the previous games such a beloved franchise among retro gamers. The soundtrack to Streets of Rage 4 is no exception as the generally uptempo tracks nicely compliment the flow of the game. One of my favorites is the track ‘Rising Up’ which coincidentally(or not) is used during the elevator level in the game, a prerequisite for any beat ’em up game.

For any critiques or complaints one may have against Doom Eternal, the heavy-as-hell Mick Gordon soundtrack typically isn’t among them. The aggressive industrial-metal soundscape created is integral for setting the mood of the game – brutality and carnage. The relationship between Mick and Bethesda doesn’t sound entirely amenable, with Gordon himself allegedly stating he does not see himself working with Bethesda in the future after the controversy about the mixing and handling of the game’s soundtrack. Regardless of what happens, the Doom Eternal soundtrack is still an impressive work to go out on.

Another great game with an equally great soundtrack released in the past couple months is Ori and the Will of the Wisps. The track I picked for this playlist is ‘Ku’s First Flight’ which plays early on in the game as we see baby owl, Ku hatch with a damaged wing making flight a seemingly impossible dream. It isn’t until Ori retrieves a large feather and ties it to Ku’s impaired wing the duo are able to take flight as this beautifully emotive track accompanies them.

I picked up the Assassin’s Creed Rebels collection for my Nintendo Switch recently. The set includes an HD remaster of both Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and Rogue. It wasn’t until the past few years that I had really started to play more of the AC series and had always wanted to play Black Flag. I really enjoy being able to sail around the map as I loot and plunder the Caribbean islands. Who doesn’t love being a pirate? I also love the arrangement of stringed instruments in the soundtrack, particularly the cello sections.

Probably not much of a surprise here as well, I’ve been continuing to play Animal Crossing: New Horizons as I run around the island hoarding shells, buying turnips, and fishing. The soundtrack, in complete contrast to Doom Eternal, is like a cool island breeze. The relaxing soundscape is the perfect way to chill out and relax amidst everything else going on outside my apartment. I have a fondness for steel drums as well, so the track Island Tour(Day – Rain) has a spot on this playlist.

And not entirely surprising, I’ll conclude my list with a selection from the Far Cry 5 soundtrack, one of my absolute favorite games from this current console generation. I was surprised at just how much I started to like the original songs included in the game as essentially “propaganda” songs played for the Eden’s Gate cult. An interesting part of the game’s soundtrack is, depending on which region of Hope County Montana you are currently in, you will hear different interpretations or arrangements of a given song. One of my other favorites that I’ve been listening to over the past week year and a half is this folksy arrangement of the song ‘Let the Water Wash Away Your Sins’. The alternate version of the song incorporates instruments like acoustic guitars and violins…sorry, I mean fiddles, along with the sing-along chorus give the song almost a Bob Dylan-like feel to the song. The irony of all these songs in the game is just how easily you go from hating “that stupid cult music” to “I love these songs!”.

What have you been listening to this past week? Have you had a special playlist to help keep you sane during quarantine? Let me know. I think I’m gonna jump back into some more Far Cry 5…

Thanks for reading!

Random Gaming Music Post

As I seem to have hit a bit of a rut over the past week in terms of writing on my blog site, I decided to take a bit of a detour from my regularly scheduled content(and I use the term “content” loosely…). I’ve also spent the last couple days not feeling entirely down about anything, but don’t feel necessarily…engaged or inspired. So, for today’s post I decided to share some music from various video games that I’ve been listening to lately or just whenever I feel like reverting to something less melancholic. I’ve arranged the music in order from more somber to lighter and more upbeat as you would envision the sunrise breaking over the dark horizon…

Keep Your Rifle By Your Side – Far Cry 5

The soundtrack from Far Cry 5 has become one of my favorite video game soundtracks, with several different arrangements of the “cult songs” you hear in-game. The song Keep Your Rifle By Your Side by the band Hammock who recorded an album of alternate arrangements of the original songs featured in the game starts slow and maintains a spa-like ambience that sounds as spacious as the Montana rockies.

Legend of the Eagle Bearer – Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Another track that begins slowly and then keeps a steady relaxed pace, Legend of the Eagle Bearer is the main title music and over-arching theme for Alexios or Kassandra’s epic journey through ancient Greece in Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey. I love the loose, slightly buzzy timber of the strings to conjure the Mediterranean vibe of the theme.

Fodlan Winds – Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Fodlan Winds is used as the main battle theme during Fire Emblem: Three Houses with an “airy” lightness in the string section that uplifts the (mostly)sober feel of the game. The entire soundtrack of Three Houses is wonderful and is one of many aspects that contribute to what may be my favorite game of 2019.

Press Play – Firewatch

I’ve always loved 80’s sounding synth-pop, so I naturally loved the song Press Play featured in the wonderful indie title Firewatch. The song is performed by fictitious 80’s band Cheap Talk and is featured early on in the game which is set in 1989. The song sounds eerily reminiscent to early Madonna – before the Pepsi Ads and Like A Prayer…

Pop Virus – Death Stranding

Hideo Kojima’s newest(and weirdest) game Death Stranding released this previous Friday and was one of the game I spent the weekend consuming. The game itself has proven quite divisive in terms of “fun” or “what the hell is it?”, but the game features some wonderful music, both licensed and original score. The catchy J-pop jam – Pop Virus by Gen Hoshino is a bit of sunshine in the gorgeous, yet desolate Death Stranding and has been one of my favorite songs to while I “play” as Norman Reedus relaxing and chugging Monster energy drinks in one of the Private Rooms.

That’s all for now, I always like seeing and hearing the pieces of music that others enjoy in their favorite games. What are some of your favorites on your “gaming playlist”? Let me know. Thanks for reading!