Friday, February 13, 2009

SuperPhillip's Top Ten Video Game Soundtracks of 2008

Hey, all. Happy beginning of the weekend to you all. I'm wrapping up the week with a brand-new top ten. Tonight we're going to take a look.. er, listen, to the top ten video game soundtracks of 2008 as judged by yours truly. You'll get to see my favorite soundtracks of the year, get a little explanation of each choice, and hear some cool selections from each soundtrack.

10) Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII (PSP)

Taking an alternative approach to Final Fantasy music, there's a myraid of techno, rock, and trance tracks all throughout the Crisis Core soundtrack including several remixes of Final Fantasy VII tracks. Of course by this moment in time, I think One-Winged Angel has been redone to death, and nothing can surpass the Advent Children version.

9) Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia (DS)

Michuru Yamane has been the go-to girl/composer of Koji Igarashi's Castlevania franchise for a decade or so now, and she hasn't lost a step since. Order of Ecclesia is her latest tour de ass-kicking with beautiful melodies as heard in Azure Wanderings and her adrenaline-pumping tracks like Dusk's Holy Mark. It's also an opportune moment to mention her phenomenal remixes in Castlevania Judgment for Wii.

8) Sonic Unleashed (Wii, 360, PS3, PS2)

While a lot of this soundtrack is fantastic, there certainly are plenty of tracks that are ho-hum. Regardless, the songs that are notable are beyond awesome. Tomoya Ohtani, Takahito Eguchi, Mariko Nanba, Fumie Kumatani, and Hideaki Kobayashi (all of which who have worked on past Sonic Team games such as past Sonic games, Phantasy Star Online, and more) all did a magnificent job with yet another Sonic soundtrack.

7) Mario Kart Wii (Wii)

While not a perfect kart-racing experience, Mario Kart Wii is a fantastic entry into the series with a great amount of content, cool characters, and wonderfully-designed courses. The soundtrack is no exception either. Seldom has there been a Mario Kart with a mediocre soundtrack (I didn't care for Mario Kart DS), and the greatness continues with Mario Kart Wii. Upbeat and catchy, the music of Mario Kart Wii earns this soundtrack the number seven spot.

6) LittleBigPlanet (PS3)

This is the only game on this list that includes music from licensed artists. They're lesser known artists, but licensed all the same. There's an ample amount and variety of tunes to fit any level an aspiring designer wishes to create. Throw in some "Volver a comenzar" for a latin flavor, or opt to include Alexander Nevsky's "Battle on the Ice" for a touch of latin chanting!

5) The World Ends With You (DS)

The World Ends With You has an eclectic mix of music. You have your usual instrumental themes occasionally, but the vocal tracks lead the march including Japanese pop, hip-hop, rock, and rap. Most of which is in Japanese with some English tracks, but that is quite alright. The lyrics are just the icing on the cake. For me personally, the actual music and melody are what I take from the listening experience. If I cared about the words, I'd probably read poetry!

4) Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon (Wii)

Without a doubt, I award Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon with the best game with remastered and remixed Final Fantasy tunes. It even beats out the upcoming Dissidia game which I feel has weaker arrangements. Listening to the full sounds of the various songs sent shivers up my spine the first time I heard them in-game. It really is a terrific soundtrack, and I do hope more people get the chance to play this fabulous game!

3) Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts (360)

It only took ten years, but now the many themes of the Banjo-Kazooie universe can be heard in full, glorious orchestral sound! Yes, there are plenty of recognizable themes returning such as Grunty's, Mumbo's Garage, Click Clock Wood, Hailfire Peaks, Freezeey Peak, and so forth, but the original songs are top of the line, too!

2) Wario Land: Shake It! (Wii)

Even though synthesized sounds are used for every instrument, it doesn't deter from making this soundtrack runner-up. The songs are relentlessly catchy, fun to listen to, and difficult to resist humming and/or bobbing your head to. Just listen to the examples given, and if you're like me, you'll be hard-pressed to not want to listen to more!

1) Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii)

I took *some* flak awarding Super Smash Bros. Brawl with Best Original Soundtrack of 2008. However, as I stated in the introduction of the category, "original" was defined as anything that was not licensed such as a Tony Hawk game or even LittleBigPlanet. Regardless, the amount of music contained in this soundtrack is unbelievable, and the consistent quality is even more astounding. There's no doubt that a soundtrack like this is monumental, so why not have it as 2008's best soundtrack?

Feedback Time!

Did you like this article? Do you agree/disagree with some/all of my picks? Let me know in the comments below! Talk to you soon!


nGen said...

I think de Blob had a great Jazz fusion soundtrack. Especially seeming it changed as you played.

Kyle said...

Some great picks. Definitely agree with you on a lot of them. Though I do think, like nGen said, that de Blob deserved a spot. Its soundtrack was great and how it differentiated based on what color you were was great.

SpinachPuffs said...

de Blob would be in my top 3, along with Smash Bros and World of Goo.

roto13 said...

Wario Land: Shake It has a great soundtrack. It's good to see it get some recognition.

Ryan said...

The fact that this list includes Mario Kart Wii gives it my instant respect and approval.


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