Listening To: The World Ends With You Original Soundtrack

TWEWY_OST_Cover

I’m not ashamed to say that I’m still on the Video Game Soundtrack high, and this week I’d like for all of you to take a listen to the Soundtrack of the amazing DS game The World Ends With You. Now I talked about the music of the game briefly before in it’s review, but I feel that the music needs to be talked about – and you should too.

I like to think of the music of TWEWY as a gift from the creators. It’s hip, refreshing and contributes greatly to value of the game itself. Different songs evoke different emotions in player, an idea that was used initially to represent the complex nature of the real-life town Shibuya. The primary styles of music include rock, hip hop, and electronica.

Takeharu Ishimoto took advantage of the various moods of Shibuya by incorporating a range of voices to perform the tracks. Artists that featured in the compositions include Sawa, Makiko Noda, Leah, Ayuko Tanaka, Mai Matsuda, Wakako, Hanaeryca, Cameron Strother, Andy Kinlay, Nulie Nurly, and Londell “Taz” Hicks.  Rather than posing a risk in making the overall soundtrack cluttered, the range of voices the artists provide… just seem to fit. When the soundtrack is listened to as a whole, the songs, although unique, act as a collective, creating an amazing masterpiece (Hats off to you, Mr. Ishimoto.).

I have to say, I’ve listened to this soundtrack time and time again. I can’t seem to stop – its uplifting and just manages to put me in a better mood. More energetic, in a way. I don’t know how else to tell you, but please, do yourself and your ears a favour and listen to this soundtrack. If you’re looking for something to listen to to just brighten up your day or to encourage you to do something, then I say “Look no further”.

And you’ll see exactly what I mean.

Songs to look out for:

  • Twister (Vocals by Sawa) 
  • Long Dream (Vocals by Makiko Noda)
  • Calling (Vocals by Leah)
  • Hybrid (Vocals by Sawa)
  • Someday (Vocals by Hanaeryca)
  • Owari-Hajimari (Cameron Strother)
  • Game Over (Vocals by Andy Kinlay)
  • Twister (Gangster Ver.)

Note: Although it is not included in the soundtrack, the ending theme, “Lullaby For You” by Jyongri, should definitely be added to your playlist as soon as possible.

Listening To: Rule Of Rose Original Soundtrack

Rule_Of_Rose_OST_Cover

It’s been a while since I last heard the soundtrack of the rare Atlus horror game Rule Of Rose. Only a few copies of the game exist within North America and its release in Australia and the UK was cancelled, making it one of the rarest PS2 games in the history of gaming. Despite this, it has gathered its own worldwide cult following, praised for its controversial plot, dark undertones and most importantly, its music. The official soundtrack, which only contains 6 tracks, showcases a mere portion of the musical masterpiece of the game.

The game itself is remarkably complex, filled with a variety of characters (most of which are children, save for 3 adults) that are unique (and nearly always sinister) in their own right. Rather than being a horror game filled with gore and violence, it plays on the mental and suspenseful aspects of horror, as indicative of Japanese horror games. These two facts are translated into the music of the game – all of the instruments used consists of string instruments, pianos and striking vocals rather than electric sounds. Yutaka Minobi, composer of the musical score, attempted to bring out the “human element” into the music as directed by the developers – and completely succeeded.

The result was a track that evoked a harsh sense of despair and darkness, an overriding theme in the game. It doesn’t stop there though – a sense of danger, distress and even paranoia comes through the music. It can be said that while the game already builds suspense through its plot, the music adds depth to our own humanly fear, creating the game into that can only be described as… unhinged.

As of lately, I’m still on my “Video Game OST” high. Sifting through the myriad of games I’ve played through, I immediately attempt to experience their soundtracks once again. Rule Of Rose is that exception – I’ve never played it (As I said earlier, it is banned here), yet I feel enamoured with its music. Although I’ll probably never play it, let alone find a copy, I’ll always have its soundtrack. And that alone is a victory for me.

Songs to look out for:

  • A Love Suicide
  • Piano Etude  I
  • Backbiting
  • Fear II
  • Bullying

Listening To: NieR Gestalt and Replicant Original Soundtrack

Nier OST Cover

So lately I’ve been listening a lot to video game soundtracks. Whilst not the most popular or polished games of Square Enix (or any game for that matter), NieR stands to be a guilty pleasure of mine for two reasons – the plot and the music.

Now you may be thinking “It’s just video game music in a mediocre game“. Ah, but my dear friend, how many games have gone through the effort to complete all the vocals in a completely new (that is to say, non-existent) languages? Keiichi Okabe, the lead composer of the album has done such extraordinary work that rather than making the music fit the game – much of the game itself was changed to fit the music.

Perhaps it was the work Emi Evans. She was responsible for the interesting language of the album, incorporating French, Spanish, Portuguese, Scottish Gaelic, Italian, Japanese and her own “futuristic” language. Her vocals are just simply beyond what words can describe – I beg of you, please take a listen. The songs themselves are movingly melancholic, an indication to the overwhelming sense of hopelessness and despair posed by the entire world of Nier (If you’ve finished it completely, you would understand). But don’t take my word for it. While many gave the game mixed or negative reviews, it was often found that the soundtrack in a way redeemed it (Thanks Emi, really).

I personally listen to this soundtrack to calm down or to fly through the homework that piles up on my desk. It’s insanely soothing, and if you’ve played the game, strangely perceptive. I find that, while I don’t understand 99% of what is being sung, I wholly relate to it – and you would to if you would just take a listen.

Songs to look out for:

  • Hills of the Radiant Wind
  • Grandma
  • Yonah (Piano and Strings Ver.)
  • Emil Sacrifice
  • Ashes of Dreams -New-
  • Song of the Ancients (Devola Ver.)