Sailing the Blue Skies since 2001.
I decided to split the music articles into two parts. I'll now do three of my favorite overall soundtracks together, and three of my favorite tunes in games together.
Anyway, 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. ^_^
Each time I do this feature, I will pick three games with a great overall soundtrack. It may have a few tunes that aren't great or even good, but the overall score is exceptional.
Meteos (DS, Bandai/Q? Entertainment)
Meteos has a rather unique idea with its soundtrack. It picks up and slows down depending on the tempo on the match. But thanks to its wide variety of stage concepts, Meteos is loaded with a vast array of music that covers many genres. Ranging from the simple military drums of Geolyte, to the haunting pipes of Cavious, to the retro gaming noises of Mekks, to the tribal chanting of Boggob, Meteos is rich with its many different tunes to jam to. What's most impressive to me about Meteos' soundtrack is how vital it is to the experience, though. Playing Meteos with no sound is not the same AT ALL. The music, as I said, fits in perfectly with each planet it represents. And without it, the game just isn't as fun to play. And that's the greatest compliment I can give it. ^_^
Secret of Mana (SNES, Square)
From the stirring opening track to the catchy overworld themes to the dire dungeon scores...Secret of Mana is without a doubt my favorite overall soundtrack. No other game to me has had such a soaring, fantastic musical score that fits every single place it's used. The tunes bounce back and forth from light to dark, soft to heavy, happy to sad. When your hero gets kicked out of town, the depressing tune that follows rings as one of the saddest songs I've ever listened to. The overworld theme in the early goings is the definition of a perfect fantasy song to quest to. The town themes are catchy and usually jolly, while the dungeon themes are rich in gloom and despair. When you visit a castle, the music makes you feel like you're rubbing elbows with nobility. Everywhere you go, music that fits the motif will bless your ears with their great melodies. The only song I don't care for too much is the boss fight music, but it does get the job done. And when only one song rubs you the wrong way, that's a powerful statement.
Skies of Arcadia (DC, Sega/Overworks)
Skies of Arcadia is my favorite game of all time, and one major reason why is its incredible soundtrack. It manages to capture the motif of piracy in the skies extremely well, and even blends in a ton of other cultural instruments to broaden the experience. From the wonderful Ixa'taka Village tune, with its pounding drums and chants, to Yafutoma's mellow composition rich with various Asian string instruments, the game's world FEELS multicultural, as it should. Also of note include the depressing Lower Valua track, perfect for the location's slum atmosphere. It makes one feel pity and remorse for the poor residents who are stuck living there. Couple in a fantastic battle theme, which is one of the first cases that a RPG's music changes as you do well in battle (or vice versa), appropriate dungeon themes, and a great overworld song that drips with a sense of discovery (it varies as you head to different areas of the map), and you have a fantastic score to a fantastic game.