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Soundtrack Review

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The Essential Games Music Collection Vol.2


Composers: Various
Performed by: London Music Works
Label: Silva Screen Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 20 April 2018

Video game soundtracks are currently experiencing a revolution. Always important to fans, and now supported by the rise of a healthy indie scene and digital distribution, the game soundtrack is nudging its way into the mainstream via Spotify and Apple playlists. Long gone are the bleeps and buzzes of the '80s. Replaced by an infinite variety of sound - from metal to industrial infusions, '80s synth-rock nostalgia, orchestral swoops and romantic pianos, the game soundtrack is finally establishing itself as a genre in its own right, with the inspiration and quality matching that of the film and TV soundtracks...

This follow up to 2011’s Essential Games Music Collection Vol.1, highlights some of the most notable, award-winning video game themes from past to present. Themes like 'Guile’s Theme' from Street Fighter II and 'Gerudo Valley' from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, are sure to bring the nostalgia of ‘90s video games. Other highlights include themes from Dragon Age: Inquisition and the universal acclaimed Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

This album contains 12 tracks (40 min, 46 sec) representing some of the genre's most impressive music. Anyone who played the original Tomb Raider game in the '90s will tell you that the music was a huge part of the atmosphere of the game. And here, Nathan McCree's original theme gets a pretty faithful recreation. The original Playstation game had the music burned onto the disc, so putting the CD into a CD player meant you could listen to all of the music - something I did for more hours than I care to remember. And while this new version isn't 100% faithful (how could it be?) It's about as near as you'll get.

And that's pretty much the case with all of the music here. London Music Works does a terrific job of capturing the original themes and representing them pretty accurately. While I'm not a huge fan of this sort of release, what it does is gives people a taster of scores that they may have missed. So, on the back of this release I'll be looking to track down the official World of Warcraft score, as well as Dragon Age Inquisition.

Guile's Theme (From "Street Fighter II: The World Warrior") from 1991 made me smile. It's been a long time since I heard it and waves of nostalgia came flooding back to me.

If you're a collector of game soundtracks, then it might be worth adding this to your collection, even if it's just so that you can use it as the basis for picking up the original scores of tracks that take your fancy.

Track list:

01. Main Theme (From "Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty") - Harry Gregson-Williams
02. Theme (From "Fallout 4") - Inon Zur
03. Icarus (Main Theme) From "Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Michael McCann
04. Theme (From "The Last Of Us") - Gustavo Santaolalla
05. Theme (From "Tomb Raider") - Nathan McCree
06. Dreams Of Trico (From "The Last Guardian") - Takeshi Furukawa
07. Opening Titles (From "Call of Duty - Modern Warfare 2") - Hans Zimmer
08. Theme (From "Dragon Age Inquisition") - Trevor Morris
09. Passion (From "Kingdom Hearts II") - Utada Hikaru
10. Invincible Theme (From "World Of Warcraft") - Russell Brower
11. Gerudo Valley (From "The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time") - Koji Kondo
12. Guile's Theme (From "Street Fighter II: The World Warrior") - Yoko Shimomura


Darren Rea

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