Sailing the Blue Skies since 2001.
Music is one of my favorite components of video games. There is nothing like having the perfect track accompanying you as you go battle a boss, solve a puzzle, or even just going through a stage. This feature is meant as a tribute to all of the games whose music thoroughly impressed me. ^_^
I will pick three songs from different games that I really, really love to gush about. It may be from a game I highlight in an overall soundtrack, but I will go more into detail about why this song has stuck with me since I first heard it.
Mega Man 3: Protoman's Whistle Concert - Credit Roll #1 (NES, Capcom, )
To kick off this feature, I may as well put in my absolute favorite gaming song of all time. When I first heard Protoman's whistle in game, I loved the way it sounded. When I finally beat the game, my happiness kicked into overdrive. Protoman's Whistle Concert is beautiful. It captures the mystique of Protoman's character perfectly. It stands tall among the NES compositions, to me easily at the top. But ultimately, the song is just well composed. It fits the mood following MM3's conclusion. It helped me love the character of Protoman. It's one reason I love MM3 in general. And it's just a great, great song. It cuts a little short in the game, but you can find the complete tune over at Flying Omelette's site (as well as many more!).
Silent Hill 3: You Are Not Here - Intro Music #2 (PS2, Konami, Akira Yamaoka, Mary Williamson)
Silent Hill games have some very interesting music in them. In terms of the survival horror genre, I don't think any game can top the aural frights that Akira Yamaoka can provide (or any game of any genre, really, to be honest). But this song is not all that creepy. :p I love the melodic guitar work, the pounding drums, and the excellent singing that Mary Williamson pours out of herself into the pulsing intro to Silent Hill 3. It quickly gives you a bit of a peek into Heather's mind with its lyrics and imagery, and the disturbing images the intro slides in between appearances of Heather is a bit of a contrast to the upbeat feel of the music. The lyrics also combat the music, repeating "I feel your stress" over the beating guitar/bass/drums. It's a blend of pleasant and unpleasant; pleasant to listen to, yet unpleasant to truly comprehend its somewhat depressing message. And that's what Silent Hill games do so well. Balancing the good and the bad in some sort of twisted teeter-totter, from the beginning to its end, letting players find out which side is the heavier weight on the character they control. And it's quite clever that this balancing act can be found in the musical score itself, too. Awesome song that I loved from when I first heard it.
Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin - Jail of Jewels (DS, Konami, Michiru Yamane, Yoko Koshiro)
It was a great idea to bring in Yuzo Koshiro to aid Michiru Yamane in Portrait of Ruin. It resulted in the best overall CV soundtrack I've heard yet. I don't know who wrote this track, but it fits Castlevania like a glove. I loved going through this section of the game just to hear the pulsing intro, and as I wandered through its passages, I continued to connect with it. Slaying monsters to this track is incredibly satisfying. It almost makes me feel like it's giving my heroes extra strength somehow...which is goofy, but it's a perfect theme for this type of gameplay. It has a sense of urgency to it, which I really enjoy. I just love it.