Video game music is always something that strikes a chord (pun not intended), it can make or break a game and the more memorable ones stick with you. They could even be what sticks most with you after you’ve long stopped playing the game. Video Game Orchestrations Volume 1 is a collection of both new and classic tunes from some of the best video games ever released.
Featuring music from Gears of War, Minecraft, Duke Nukem 3D and Morrowind as well as many others, this collection managed to cover every genre from nearly every console. It even captures the more obscure titles such as Rule of Rose. This is an album that captures the emotion of the game, with some brilliant re-workings of some of the most memorable soundtracks.
For example, the album starts off with Gears of War and it is disturbingly haunting, which evokes images off Locust hordes approaching and cornering Marcus, Dom, Baird and Cole. As soon as the music hits, everything you remember about the game comes flooding back. This is what soundtracks are meant to be and Blake Robinson, the composer, has captured the emotion perfectly.
The tracks flow brilliantly into one another, from the Silent Hill theme flowing nearly directly into the theme from Deus Ex. Even when you haven’t played the game, the music can evoke images of what the game might be like. For example, I personally haven’t played Rule of Rose and have only heard the name, so after listening to the track I went and searched for a description of the game and my initial assumptions about the game being a survival horror style game were correct. When the music can bring about images of games that you have never played before, it just shows that Blake has tapped into what the heart of the game is.
There are a couple of concerns though and one is that the tracks are just too short with 13 tracks clocking in at just over 31 minutes. You could be thoroughly enjoying some of the tracks and it will just shift into the next one, which is a shame as I believe that more could have been worked out in the music. However this is only a minor concern and one that doesn’t detract from the quality of the album.
The only other concern I had was that there were some noticeable franchises missing, as I would have loved to have seen something from Sonic, Final Fantasy or Doom (Yes I know Doom had a Midi Metal soundtrack, but it would sound awesome done classically). Again this is only a small concern and doesn’t take away from the selection of game soundtracks there are.
If you love your video game soundtracks, this is definitely worth picking up from iTunes. You won’t regret it.