Soundtrack Reviews

  • Final Fantasy VIII - Original Sountrack

    Soundtrack Review

    Final Fantasy 8 Original Soundtrack CoverRemember the first time you heard the Super Mario Bros. theme? Or The Legend of Zelda overworld song? They are classic bits of music that have been replayed and remixed hundreds of times. Some games would undoubtedly not stand out as much in the nostalgic corner of our mind without their tunes to accompany them.

    A focus on quality game soundtracks seems to be on the rise, with indie titles Bastion and Jamestown both featuring a robust cache of songs that not only sound great while playing the game, but seem appropriate to listen to any other time of the day. There was a time at the end of the SNES ere and throughout the PS1 lifetime that video game soundtracks were huge. Through a combination of audio CDs becoming cheap to buy and MIDI files even cheaper to trade, games like Chrono Trigger, Donkey Kong Country, and Final Fantasy VI laid the groundwork for game music relevance.

    Which brings us to Squaresoft's 1999 JRPG, Final Fantasy VIII. Nobuo Uematsu, longtime Final Fantasy composer, spent years writing music for the robust but limiting NES and SNES consoles before finally chewing his teeth on CD audio with the PS1. But Final Fantasy VII, while featuring a quality soundtrack, turned out to be merely preperation for Final Fantasy VIII. Here's my review of its Original Soundtrack.

  • Sins of a Solar Empire

    Soundtrack Review
    Sins Of A Solar Empire Cover

    For those out of the know, Sins of a Solar Empire ("Sins" for short) is a space-based real-time 4X (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate) game. Imagine Civilization except in real-time and with giant spaceships blowing each other out of the sky, and you've more or less got it. It was developed by Ironclad, a Canadian developer known for producing expansions to Homeworld. It didn't get much recognition because of the little-known dev, but it turned out to be a great game with an epic scale and astoundingly deep gameplay.

    The game is one thing, but the soundtrack is another. The Collector's Edition of Sins of a Solar Empire comes with a soundtrack CD (among other things). The disc features 23 tracks by Paul Schuegraf, a Canadian musician known for, well, the score of Sins of a Solar Empire.

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