Music has an impressive effect on the human psyche. You can listen to an ill suited playlist for an hour and go through a rollercoaster of emotions in one sitting. I know, as this has happened to me on a bad day.. damn that shuffle.
A scene in a game is just a scene when watched without sound. It’s just a visual image that comes in a split second and is lost. Music lingers on. It causes our brain to recognise a the tone of the situation, and our emotions act accordingly. The same is said for films, music just makes that crisp, lasting impression.
Whenever I hear Queen’s ‘don’t stop me now’ I cant help but giggle and think of this scene :
Final Fantasy XII has my most memorable soundtrack. I still have to skip Aeris’s theme tune on my MP3 because of the mood swing it causes me. Every single town has the appropriate music accompaniment…
Bioshock is filled with atmosphere, and although the graphics are pretty funky, the sounds definitely make this game what it is. The chilling moans and whispers of the splicer's, the frantic violins and the creepy retro music combine to make absolutely awesome game play. Watching this video gave me shivers, I know exactly what is going to happen, but the music still makes me jump. Now I really want to play it again!
Shadow of the Colossus would have been quite a poor game if it weren't for the music. The player spends most of their time in silence, traversing around a vast landscape with only the wind and a horse for accompaniment. Suddenly, you veer around a rock on your horse and this magnificent music kicks in. Your heart starts going and you can feel the adrenalin course through you. It’s such an amazing experience, that game was just immense. Each colossus has it's own theme, and each is different and unique in its own way. It’s little things like that which make a soundtrack great.
I feel like I need to mention Fallout 3. Although the usual in game sounds were nothing to shout about, I got very, very attached to the music they played constantly on “Galaxy News Radio”. Having a far off radio humming whilst you a exploring what should be an empty building is very disconcerting, but there's nothing quite like blowing off a raiders head whilst humming along to vintage song’s from the 1940’s.