Well, I’m back from Vancouver, and it’s time to get back into the rhythm of day to day life. And I can’t think of a better way to do that than by taking in some of the best game and anime soundtracks around.
So what I’m going to do here is recommend some of my favourite games to play if you’re looking to revel in some fantastic music, and some anime whose soundtracks will not let you down.
I could, and probably eventually will, recommend Journey for a wide range of reasons… there truly is very little not to love about it. What I am here to talk about today is music. And there are few games whose music will enchant quite like Journey. While Journey’s orchestral soundtrack is a great listen on its own merits, it is an example of a soundtrack that truly shines when it has the background of the game’s vast desert landscapes. Over the course of the game, you’ll likely feel emotions that you might have questioned if it was possible for a game to instill and the soundtrack plays a big role in bringing those out – without directing them.
There’s no ‘oh we’re listening to a sad song now so I should feel sad’ in Journey, with every piece merely providing the framework for the scene and leaving it to you to decide the emotions.
Angel Beats (Anime)
I’m probably getting predictable with this one, but when you talk about anime and music, my first instinct will always be to think of Angel Beats. Angel Beats is one of those soundtracks that is fantastic no matter where you listen to it but in a way, I actually like listening to the music just on its own just a little bit more. While I loved the way the music interacted with the show itself, and GiDeMo’s concerts were always a pleasure to watch and listen to… some of the songs in this soundtrack are the type that I just can’t help but close my eyes and luxuriate to the music. But really, whether you’re listening or watching this show, you’re in for a musical treat.
I know Transistor is very new, and my review is hopefully fresh in your minds, but I can’t think of any game that has done what Transistor did, at least from a musical standpoint. With a character that can’t talk, it’s through her music that you really get to know her – and when she starts to hum it transforms good music into gorgeous music.
Spellsong Cycle (Books)
I know books can’t have soundtracks but the Spellsong Cycle might as well have one. LE Modesitt Jr has created a world where magic is performed by singing. But the interesting thing about it is that it’s more than simply hum a few lines and “oh hey, I’m flying!” You get a lot of theory from the main characters about how this musical magic system actually works and it’s fascinating… but you also get a peek into what music would be like if it was utilitarian in stead of purely emotional.
WShand (Twitch Stream)
If you’re ever perusing twitch late in the evening looking for something interesting, you should keep an eye out for WShand streaming. His stream has some of the highest production values of any I’ve ever seen, complete with a special opening video and ‘commercial breaks’ that aren’t just the stupid ads twitch viewers are used to. But the reason why he fits in this category is that he frequently serenades his viewers. It’s interesting to see a streamer actually bring some musical talents to the mix.
As far as what he plays? Well, he mostly just does first runs of games – when I saw him playing Catherine I just had to watch, and it was one of the most entertaining streams I’ve ever watched.
Hopefully these musical recommendations help keep you feeling the rhythm in the coming days. As always, let me know what you think of any of these recommendations or feel free to share your own.