Another Post About Music

With the turmoil in my life outside the nice fluffy goodness of gaming (yes, I didn’t completely give all other aspects of life to get No Collisions) reaching a stressful crescendo this week, I’m taking the soft option and pulling out an easy post this Sunday night. There’s not really been much gaming, anyway – I’ve been plugging away at Mercenaries 2, finishing the game through one path (of six), and giggling at some of the shitty voice acting and clunky programming – watching Agent Joyce call himself on the radio to alert himself that I was beating his face in was most amusing. So much more to do, though.

And so to the topic of this post: more gaming music. This idea was seeded by a post on the Llamasoft Blog a while back which announced that the soundtrack for Space Giraffe was available for free download. “So what?” I hear you say, “there’s only four songs on there.” Yes, but one it the super-wonderful Satipn, created by the equally-super-wonderful Redpoint who, by coincidence, have just released their latest collection of tunes, Nostalgia For Now – well worth the pittance they’re charging (and they offer a FLAC download, too). Most of Redpoint’s back-catalogue – including the stunning Firem – is available gratis (legit!) from Hidden Music… which is home to Covert, whose latest release Symbolic is a beautifully retro-tinged harbour of melancholic goodness. Highly recommended, all.

Releasing gaming soundtracks is, of course, nothing new – the number of CDs available of (say) music from the Final Fantasy series is, quite simply, staggering. In fact, my first ever purchase off eBay was a pair of (bootleg) Jet Set Radio / Future CDs. But the release of tunes for free is a little rarer; some recent releases include the score for Bioshock (as advertised on The Cult of Rapture on August 24, 2007 – check “Articles” for the original posting, and also an interview with composer Garry Schyman). Another recommended download is the soundtrack to The Longest Journey.

Of course, you could always do the somewhat-dubious perhaps-legit method of soundtrack acquisition – a modded Xbox yields all manner of raw source material, from ADX files of all of Jet Set Radio Future‘s rockin’ radio mixes, to raw WAVs from Panzer Dragoon Orta. There’s more goodies to be had by peeking into Super Galdelic Hour‘s PS2 disk, too, as well as the raw CD-format audio present on games such as Quake and N2O.

Shadier still are the torrent and rip sites. Poking around the seedier places on the Internet at the moment will probably have you tripping over complete compilations of all music from the Wipeout series – which, as much as it is lauded, really failed to impress me much. Give me the bright and bouncy JSRF soundtracks, anyday!

And now our mega-games seem to require mega-soundtracks. Check out the track listing for GTA4 – that’s an astonishing number of songs. And, as much as I can claim disinterest in Saints Row 2, the tracklist for radio station The Mix is just about perfect for this child of the eighties.

And if you followed that last link, it would just confirm what you probably suspected: that you should stop reading this post now. Because my cloth ears are hopelessly nostalgic and my opinions rooted in the eighties… and that’s good for maybe three people out there. One of whom is me.

So, music, yeah? Ummm… check some of the above links out. Throw some money Redpoint’s way. And next week, hopefully, I’ll write something about a game… fancy that.

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