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 Is the music in games becoming less memorable?

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Join date : 2010-04-12
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PostSubject: Is the music in games becoming less memorable?   Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:47 pm

So, I was randomly going about youtube today, looking up old tunes from Sonic 3, when a thought came to my mind. As music for games becomes more predominantly orchestrated, are they then becoming less memorable? Its just a thought, and while the only evidence I could give would be subjective, I thought I may bring it up to see what you good people of the forum think.
As it stands, I think the music in games from the last ten years has been somewhat lacking, more especially that in the recent generation of consoles. Sure Super Mario Galaxy had a beautifully orchestrated soundtrack, how much of it is memorable that wasn't already a rearrangment and thus nostalgia of an old mario track? The music in such other games that come to my mind as Bayonetta, Fallout 3, Left 4 Dead, Halo series, don't have any standout tracks that I want to listen to outside of the game. Sure, the main theme may be nicely done, but nothing else is interesting. So has it become more focused onto atmosphere and creating a mood? And for what sort of games does that work?

Essentially, I'm not arguing for either side, just putting the question to you folks. I'm undecided personally, as some games have lovely soundtracks with songs that you can hum and they will be recognised, but in other games the music helps to build tension.
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PostSubject: Re: Is the music in games becoming less memorable?   Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:04 am

I think that's all mostly just about the idea, and especially originality. I can imagine a lot music of FFXIII recently, no one would forget the new music from Gow3 for example in the opening menu, the typical drums promissing action x3
I do remember most music of my games (I don't have much, but I use to cycle (sell and buy) others), So I guess it would just be the fact you play too many new games, or too shortly each, or you don't pay attention to the music, it could be many things, but I don't really think that newest games have not memorable and recognizable soundtracks, for me a lot more than the old ones, since new ones are richier =")
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PostSubject: Re: Is the music in games becoming less memorable?   Wed Apr 21, 2010 2:06 am

Left 4 Dead only has one song that's super addicting, but it's in the first TV spot TT_TT not in the game.

Actual full length song.
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PostSubject: Re: Is the music in games becoming less memorable?   Thu Apr 22, 2010 8:29 pm

both retro and modern videogame music is great in my opinion.

Sure, it may be richer today, but there are tunes that we just can't forget and actually became part of us. Music is something I'm not a real expert of, but I can say, that, if done properly, even an 8-bit tune can be epic and give you an emotion.

A perfect example of 8-bit music performed well today is Megaman 9, or 10, both of wich got an awesome 8 bit soundtrack in my opinion ^^
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PostSubject: Re: Is the music in games becoming less memorable?   Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:19 pm

I'm a huge fan of some of the soundtracks of recent games, actually, but I know that my taste in music doesn't necessarily jive with other peoples'. :3

I thought the music in Assassin's Creed was very good, I thought, but it wasn't until I played Assassin's Creed II that I was really blown away by the music Jesper Kyd had composed. The recurring motifs and epic chase music in the game, combined with the "ethereal"-sounding female vocals made the music truly memorable, in my opinion, and I will still end up hearing the Venetian chase music in my head on loop at some points until I put the soundtrack on and get it out of my system. XD

I'm a huge fan of Shoji Meguro's music from all the Shin Megami Tensei titles, but in particular, the styles explored by Persona 3 and Persona 4 have struck me as being some of the most fun and memorable music I'd heard in a video game in quite some time. Similarly, Takeharu Ishimoto's work on the tracks in The World Ends With You had the same sort of effect on me.

I do agree with you that in the cases of the classic games that we've grown up with - Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, and Tetris to name a few - the key to the music being so memorable was partially to do with its simplicity. A lot of the original music wasn't much more than the same 60 seconds of notes looped ad infinitum, but it was because these themes were short and catchy that they became so ingrained into our minds that we'd find ourselves walking down the street and whistling them.

A lot of games nowadays, as you said, seem to be going the route of sweeping, orchestral pieces. There is nothing wrong with these, but by their very nature, they have a tendency to be less memorable because however good they may be, they lack the sort of simplicity that allows our minds to easily recreate them when thinking of them.
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