image courtesy of Bejeweled 2
Science-Fiction may not be what I’m writing professionally at the moment, but it’s one of my very favorite genres of reading, writing, and movies.
After putting together my list of favorite fantasy soundtracks, a good friend of mine mentioned how hard it is to find science-y songs that aren’t too operatic and pack a good, action-y punch.
“Black Burn” and “Green Grass Gradation”
Oft-forgotten entries in the Megaman video game series, ZX and ZX Advent definitely deserve more spotlight for their music alone.
“Area O – Black Burn” is dark and intense with a hard-hitting beat while “Area A – Green Grass Gradation” is a bright and cheery bit of electronica that still somehow gives an organic feel.
“Derezzed” and “End of Line” from the TRON: Legacy soundtrack
Can you ever go wrong with Daft Punk? This French duo put together an awe-inspiring score for this sequel to a sci-fi classic that almost outshone the mind-blowing visuals.
“End of Line” is a brilliant mixture of the good old-fashioned synthesizer and classic video game sound effects while “Derezzed” was given a wicked music video with laser robot horse jousting. What more could you want out of life?
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Mario Kart is known for having some of the best atmospheric music in video games, from dark and foreboding lava castles and haunted houses to bouncy mushroom farms, busy highways, and of course, neon electric anti-gravity superdomes.
“Electrodrome” is an upbeat and enthusiastic track that will put you in the perfect mood to launch blue shells at friends and enemies.
When the one song of the only release trailer is already a mega-hit, you know an upcoming game is going to be epic.
Cyberpunk 2077 was announced in this year’s E3 conference with the track “Hyper”, full of intense, thumping synth beats that bring you back to the days of Vangelis and Depeche Mode.
“We All Become”
Music from Supergiant Games has already been mentioned in a previous post and for good reason – Darren Korb always puts together amazing tracks that support deep and beautiful worlds.
Transistor is their second game which blends vintage art nouveau and glossy futures. While the instrumental version is featured here for less distracting play, Ashley Barrett once again lends her soaring voice to the version featured prominently in the trailer and can be found here.
Jet Set Radio Future
“Concept of Love” and “Shape Da Future”
Another forgotten franchise, Jet Set Radio and its sequel Jet Set Radio Future are set in a world of totalitarian governments, pirate radio stations, and rebel roller-skaters where magic vinyl records can summon demons.
The soundtrack of Future is most notable in its original trip-hoppy electric beats and vocal collages the likes of which Tony Hawk could only dream. It also features a personal favorite, the goofy “Aisle 10”, a vocal song about falling in love with a grocery store clerk.
Released in 2004, this oldie-but-goodie of an addicting video game featured epic visuals that became computer wallpaper mainstays for a decade and and an even more epic soundtrack.
While the entire score is worth listening to – award-winning composer Peter Hajba never disappoints – “Silent Conquest” is the crown jewel of the list, so to speak. Action-packed beats and melodic turns motivate and inspire in this track.