Featured OST – Kingdom Hearts

I admit that I am guilty of glazing over unfamiliar and foreign sounding names when I reflect on the individuals who have shaped our collective history of game culture. Their  efforts are undoubtedly super human, yet committing their names to memory has never been a priority. Going forward, as an exercise in actively trying to create a future of recognition, I would like to talk a little bit about Yoko Shimomura.

Yoko Shimomura is a gifted composer- gifted is putting it incredibly lightly. Having worked on games such as Final Fight, Street Fighter II (She wrote Blanka’s Theme), and the Legend of Mana, it is apparent that she showcases not only range and diversity, but an excellence in world building through the creation of an elaborate and emotional audio environment.

In my personal opinion, her greatest work was with Square Enix in the creation of the Kindom Hearts series. The soundtrack is nothing short of magic. She has stated that the first song “Dearly Beloved” is her favourite in the series. If not the entire soundtrack, that song is definitely worth a listen:

 

Featured OST – Gran Turismo 5 (Lounge Edition)

If I had the inclination and class to comprehend the subtleties of smooth jazz, this soundtrack would probably be labelled something more appropriate than “nice car song” in my own library.

Featuring a larger diversity of artists and more collaboration between different musical backgrounds than in previous soundtracks, Gran Turismo 5 is what I term to be objectively perfect. In a genre of gaming where mechanics remain relatively similar, it is the refinement of a core experience that creates uniqueness and distinction. For Gran Turismo it is a perfection and professionalism that is communicated through the excellence and precision of their soundtrack. If the word streamlined had a sound, this would be it.

No Lyrics. Perfect for studying.

Featured OST – Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

In the Grand Theft Auto series, the experience of driving is a defining component of game play that is slightly tweaked for every iteration in order to help shape the uniqueness of each game. Car selection and map orientation form a large part of the physical object composition that characterizes the game, but it is the music and dialogue of the world’s inhabitants that separates Grand Theft Auto from other forms of proletariat digital entertainment.

My favourite installment, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, features just the best selection of music from multiple genres and assembles them into distinct and unique Radio Stations that you can listen to while you drive. Each Radio Station has it’s own show host and accompanying fictitious commercials.

There are a quite a few to choose from, but this one has always been my favourite:

Recommended Tracks:

Toto – Hold The Line
America – A Horse with No Name

Featured OST – Urbz: Sims in the City

Behind the scenes of this entry, a deep and dark and mysterious and sophisticated moral dilemma of epic proportions occurred (also, a “your mom” fight on the executive forums). Do I provide access to the one soundtrack that I know to be completely unknown and give away the only thing that has defined me as a unique individual? Or do I share the things I love and be incredibly upset with myself for such a blatantly self destructive decision?

While I… ruminate solemnly about my fate- enjoy the soundtrack!

Recommended Tracks:

High NRG [Neon East]
Gofuork! Gofuork! [Central Station]