Great Music Makes Good Games and Movies Great

I have this theory. Oh, you want me to tell you what it is? Surely my title said it all and I can be done blogging today, right? No, well then let me elaborate a bit, with song…

(Queue up the mix tape. Yes, I totally stole that from GotG.)
Do you really think Conan the Barbarian would have become such a cult favorite without the amazing soundtrack?
Does anyone who loves Star Wars not get goosebumps when they hear its inspiring music and see that classic scroll?
Does anyone doubt that Guardians of the Galaxy got a major boost from the mix tape music used throughout the movie? It added that feel good vibe, irony, and a massive cuteness factor.
Oh Brother Where Art Thou
Grease…Footloose…Young Guns…Back to the Future… you get the picture.

Great game music does the same thing for me. It inspires me to feel more heroic, adds tension and atmosphere, and is absolutely essential for me to really love a game. There are games I probably wouldn’t have played more than once had it not been for the whole emotional package that came with them. Just listening to some of the clips I’ve linked during this post has me feeling the urge to log in and play.
I don’t actually play Skyrim, but I love the music and instantly recognize it. And boy, it gets my blood stirring.
Malukah’s covers of various game tracks as well as her interpretive music are amazingly touching. That passion doesn’t come from bad music. That it accompanies games is so amazing to me. Her tribute to Mass Effect 3, Reignite, touches so many chords in my gamer soul.
Inon Zur’s ethereal music and driving beat is the perfect counterpoint to Dragon Age. It is one of the things that brings me back to that game again and again.
I love Jeff Kurtenacker’s music in Wildstar. Even when I wasn’t sure I wanted to play another MMO, I loved the music.
I really like the music they’ve created for Defiance. It has that great mix of haunting peace and driving beat that a game really needs.

Game music does wonders for my level of anticipation for upcoming games as well. The music we’ve heard for The Witcher 3 just makes me want to play that game now even more. Dragon Age Inquisition‘s music gives me the chills, in such a deliciously good way. I hadn’t intended to play Destiny, until I heard some of the music in their beta trailers. I have to admit, I’m intrigued.

So, back to my theory. Well, it is just that any game or movie can go from being underwhelming to compelling and popular on the strength of the music that comes with it. Oh yeah, and GotG wouldn’t have been the big hit it is without that mix tape.

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4 thoughts on “Great Music Makes Good Games and Movies Great

  1. Oh man, I agree so much with this sentiment, although my games of choice for “music making the games” are somewhat different. Bastion and Transistor both win huge awards in my book for taking an okay, if somewhat uninspired gameplay and made it so fun just due to music/narration. In the MMO category, I love FFXIV almost exclusively due to the nostalgia pumping soundtrack.

  2. Pingback: Archaic Advantages | The Keen Gamer

  3. I loved this post. The radio in my car doesn’t work, so recently I decided to start bringing headphones and jamming out. It’s amazing how much a difference it has made in my work demeanor. I feel livelier and jauntier than ever. The great thing about GotG’s soundtrack is how it lets you know that you’re in for a fun ride even before you actually notice what’s on screen or what is being said.

    Music is just awesome like that!

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