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My Favorite Songs From Games I've Never Played

Anybody who has read my blogs know that the music in a game means a lot to me.  My thoughts on any given game's soundtrack  isn't the be all, end all on my overall opinion, but it can dictate how much I'm able to really get into a game.  It's been like that for years now, and because of my love of music, I don't picture it changing.  So, what do I gather from this?  Absolutely nothing, because really, I'm not unique in my love for video game music.  However, that's not what I'm here to talk about....

As I might've mentioned in a previous blog, if I like what I hear from a game's soundtrack, it will sometimes be enough to get me to play a game.  That was the case with Chrono Cross (still my favorite game of all time), To The Moon, the Professor Layton games, the good half-to-three-quarters I played of Super Mario RPG, and last but never least, Bastion.  All games I wound up enjoying tremendously, even if I didn't complete all of them.  Just as there are games I've been driven to play because of the music, so too are there games that I haven't yet gotten around to, or never got the chance to play, but want to play because of their music.  I decided, today, to share my favorite songs from games I've never played.

"My Home, Sweet Home" by Nobuo Uematsu, from Final Fantasy V


I'll be honest: I've never been very interested in the Final Fantasy series.  Sure what little games I've played from the series are good (Final Fantasy III on the DS, and the excellent Final Fantasy XII), but none of the games, despite the high regard a number of them are held in, have ever really got me to think, "Gee, I really should play this game".  I played a little of VII and lost interest, was never excited much by what I saw of VIII, never finished X, and tried playing XIII twice, but just couldn't put up with it (though I did enjoy what I played).  IX might be the only Final Fantasy that ever significantly aroused my attention, and even though I have it on my PS3, I still haven't gotten around to it.  Then, when playing Theatrhythm Final Fantasy one day, I heard this gem of a song, and suddenly had the urge to go through the FF series because of it.  Almost immediately I was struck by the song, and in my opinion sounds like what a home town theme ought to. Probably one of the best Final Fantasy songs I've heard.

"Life Is Beautiful" by Riyou Kinugasa, Takuya Kobayashi, and Hiromi Mizutani, from Deadly Premonition


Listen to this song and tell me how can you not like it?  It's simple, it's catchy, and it's just plain old good, to be honest.  A little cheery sounding for what's supposed to be a horror game?  Yes, I can't deny that, but screw it.  Who says horror games have to be all grim-dark anyway?  Not that I would know much about the genre given that I don't go out of my way to play any horror game, but I think you catch my drift.  "Life is Beautiful" almost makes me want to forget my aversion to willfully buying bad games, just so I could see where exactly Deadly Premonition goes.

"Klaymen's Theme" by Terry Scott Taylor, from The Neverhood

I've never played The Neverhood, as 1.) I grew up on consoles, and 2.) I doubt I would've ever had the patience to play a point-and-click adventure.  Now, had my family had a computer way back then, and this is all we had then maybe I might've played it.  But, as you can see, that's not the case.  However, when I heard the groovy "Klaymen's Theme" from The Neverhood, it got me to checking out the game.  While I'm not sure it's my cup of tea, I definitely dig what I've heard from the soundtrack.

"In A Prison of Remorse and Contentment" by Yasunori Mitsuda, from Xenogears

You all know about my love of anything to do with Chrono Cross right?  Well, years after I played that game, I found out that Yasunori Mitsuda, the composer of the Chrono series, composed Xenogears, and immediately set out to finding some songs to check out from the game.  Alongside "October Mermaid" (which for the longest time I knew as "June Mermaid"), one of the first songs I remember coming across is "In a Prison of Remorse and Contentment" (which like the first song I mentioned, I knew as a different name, that being "Ship of Regret and Sleep").  Truth be told, I've actually only listened to a handful of the songs from Xenogears, as fan that I am of Chrono Cross, I would like to check the game itself out eventually.  Until I do, though, I'm more than content with listening to this beautiful song.

"Battle" by Yasunori Mitsuda (again), from Xenosaga Episode I

Yes, I'm a sucker for anything that even bears Yasunori Mitsuda's name.  But really, I was never aware that the man even composed a Xenosaga game until I watched some videos of a guy playing some of the game's songs on the piano.  From there I did some checking around and eventually found out that it was one of Mitsuda's works.  In due time, I listened to Xenosaga's soundtrack, and liked it.  The one song that always stuck out to me was the game's battle theme.  Better than any fight theme in Chrono Cross (still my favorite soundtrack), it proved to be one of those songs that I got really into whenever I heard it.  I'll probably never play the Xenosaga series, but at least it gave me one of my favorite battle themes.

"The Gun Barrel of Battle" by Nobuo Uematsu, from Lost Odyssey

Ah, Lost Odyssey.  The first of three Xbox 360 games that I missed out on that seemed to have some excellent soundtracks.  Honestly, I had actually wanted to play this game when I saw the first trailer released for it, but unfortunately my brother and I traded our 360 in before we got the chance to play it.  Still stings to this day that I haven't been able to play Lost Odyssey yet.  Moving on, one day when I was browsing through a weekly music feature the site Bitmob used to host, "The Gun Barrel of Battle" from the game was featured.  Almost immediately I fell in love with the song.  It's epic, it's a bunch of extra words I'm too lazy to use in fear of sounding redundant, and really, I think it nails everything a battle theme needs.  You know you're listening to a good song when it either A.) makes you type to it, B.) makes you drop everything you're doing to pretend you're conducting the song, or C.) makes you stop to imitate a certain point of the song.  "The Gun Barrel of Battle" made me do all three as I was typing this.  Seriously, I need to play Lost Odyssey.

"Act 4-2" by Keiji Yamagishi and Ryuichi Nitta, from Ninja Gaiden


Quite frankly, I'm too chicken to go and try the old Ninja Gaiden.  Especially after watching the Super Replay for it, I know it would completely annihilate me.  This is a damn good stage song, though.

"Castle" by Koji Kondo, from Yoshi's Island

It's amazing that I've never played the original Yoshi's Island.  I played the DS game (which I think is under-rated), but for some reason I never got around to playing the SNES version, even though I had that console for some time.  Regardless, this probably one of my favorite songs from any Mario related game.

"Cave" by Nobuo Uematsu (I'm noticing a pattern here...), from Blue Dragon

Hey look, another Uematsu composed game I didn't play!  I'm actually not even sure how much I've wanted to play Blue Dragon.  I remember playing a demo and thinking it was fine, but never had that much interest in actually playing it.  I've always really liked "Cave" however, and will always have a reluctant regret for not playing Blue Dragon, despite the disinterest.

"World 4-1" by Troupe Gammage, from Mutant Mudds

Like a few games before it, I was made aware of Mutant Mudds through the game's music.  One day I was browsing Destructoid, when I came across a news story talking about it.  the article featured some of the music, and from the get go I became addicted to "World 4-1".  It's a shame I've only ever played the demo, as it seems like Mutant Mudds, on top of being a pretty fun little platformer, has a pretty good soundtrack.  The song makes me want to dance.

"The Clicker" by Petri Alenko, from Alan Wake

I've always been interested in playing Alan Wake.  It's one of those games that always seemed different, and from what I've read about it, seems it's more suspense horror, the type that I can handle.  I'm probably wrong on all accounts here, and if you're a fan of the series feel free to correct me, but that's just what I've taken away from what I've read about it.  Unfortunately, like Lost Odyssey, Blue Dragon, and so many other Xbox 360 games, I've never gotten the chance to play Alan Wake.  I have heard its soundtrack though, and I walked away very impressed with what I heard.  Not likely to knock any of my other favorite soundtracks off their perches, but altogether solid and enough to make me want to check out the game even more than I did previously.  Getting back to the song I chose, "The Clicker" has actually been in my Youtube favorites for a while now.  Maybe a year or so ago, my brother was taking part in a forum game involving music, and one of the songs from the Alan Wake soundtrack was used.  This lead me to check out some of the game's soundtrack, and really, the first song I chose turned to be "The Clicker".  Like most songs listed in this blog, I liked it as soon as I listened to it. 

"Cavern of Remembrance" by Yoko Shimomura from Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix


Alright, I'll admit that I'm cheating a bit with this last one.  I have played Kingdom Hearts II, but given that the Final Mix version of the game has never hit stateside (probably not until next year or after in the second HD release), and being that there's added content which you could say makes it a brand new experience, you could theoretically say it is different.  Okay, so I'm full of sh**, but you probably get what I'm saying anyway.  I've always envied Japan for the exclusivity they have of the expanded editions of the Kingdom Hearts games, and upon hearing an awesome song like "The 13th Reflection" from KH II's Final Mix, that envy only grew deeper.  Believe it or not though, I prefer the song "Cavern of Remembrance".  I've always liked its more electronic vibe, and it's one of those songs you could just have on in the background that you don't mind repeating over and over again.  The song was also used in 358/2 Days multi-player, and I loved how it was used in that game, as well.  Overall, I consider it one of the best Kingdom Hearts tracks.

Honorable Mention:

"Theme of Love"
by Nobuo Uematsu, Tour de Japon orchestrated version, from Final Fantasy IV


Put in as an honorable because it's not the original song, which in my opinion doesn't touch this performance.  Few songs ever make me tear up, and this is one of the few that does.  First time I watched this I got massive chills.

I wonder what type of music that cat could make....

...And that will do it, for now.  As you might expect, there are probably too many songs I like from games I haven't played to list all of them in one blog.  Maybe eventually I'll do another installment.  Right now though, I'd like to know what you're favorite songs from games you haven't played are.  Has a soundtrack ever roped you into a game?

Take care and thanks for reading!

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