Medley Melodies #4: Video Game Soundtracks
That’s right, it’s another round of songs that miraculously doesn’t include a vast number of Japanese vocals and tracks from Sonic games! Or the main theme from Super Smash Bros. Brawl, which everyone enjoys, but has no place here. This is music you can actually listen to on the go and enjoy without the support of an awesome video game. So what do we have so far? Whew. This list is growing pretty long.
1.) “Blow Me Away” – Breaking Benjamin – Halo 2
2.) “Wake Up” – Rage Against the Machine – Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2
3.) “Ready Steady Go” – Paul Oakenfold – Juiced
4.) “Lowrider” – Cypress Hill – Street Hoops
5.) “Aisle 10 (Hello Allison)” – Scapegoat Wax – Jet Set Radio Future (JSRF)
6.) “Techno Syndrome (Mortal Kombat)” – The Immortals – Mortal Kombat
7.) “Evil Eye” – Fu Manchu – Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2
8.) “She Sells Sanctuary” – The Cult – Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
9.) “Passion/Sanctuary” – Hikaru Utada – Kingdom Hearts II
10.) “Beyond the Sea” – Bobby Darin – BioShock
11.) “Put Your Head On My Shoulder” – Paul Anka – Hitman: Contracts
12.) “All I Want” – The Offspring – Crazy Taxi 3
13.) “M4 Part II” — The Faunts — Mass Effect
14.) “Looking For the Perfect Beat” — Afrika Bambaataa — Scarface: The World Is Yours
15.) “Still Alive” — Ellen McLain – Portal
16.) “I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire” — The Ink Spots — Fallout 3
17.) “Sympathy For the Devil” — Rolling Stones — COD: Black Ops
18.) “Far Away” — Jose Gonzalez — Red Dead Redemption
And now! For another six entries! Walloping websnappers! Wait a second. You mean you never saw the sixties Spiderman show? I guess I mean, “Is that a real knife? My weakness! Anything but small knives!” Equally funny, but oh well. Catch phrases just don’t work in the movies. Unless you’re Bruce Willis. Or Iron Man.
That’s enough of that. We want games! Well here you go…
19.) “Return of the Tres” – Delinquent Habits – Total Overdose
Here’s a game that wasn’t particularly special, but had a whole lot going on. It’s an open-world action-shooter whose music was primarily comprised of just three bands, one of which was Delinquent Habits. The selected song played over the main titles, and believe it or not, is actually a catchy rap song performed partly in Spanish.
Rap is a fairly popular genre, and it’s sung in all manner of languages, but rarely does it have the sort of impact this mariachi style theme musters. It feels authentic to itself and its genre simultaneously, and that’s certainly no easy task. Also, it snugly fulfills the expectations for a game called Total Overdose. If anything, the soundtrack is way more fun than the game, but I guess that tends to happen more often than we think!
20.) “Make it Bun Dem” – Skrillex and Damian Marley – Far Cry 3
Here’s another open-world game to be added to the mix, only it’s a first-person shooter. This time the song features Skrillex—one of the current kings of Dubstep. IMO. This is one of two reggae songs we’ll have on the list, but I don’t think anyone can deny the fun you had with a flamethrower burning five crops of weed. Ha ha ha! Like the Joker once said: everything burns.
21.) “Black White and Blue” – Ladyhawke – Fifa 13
Whoa! A whole laundry list of music to choose from that’s larger in size than a GTA game. Fifa is famous for its gigantic playlists of music, so just about any song could be chosen from the latest sports game’s vast range, but aside from also being used in Forza: Horizon, I wanted to have some diversity. Ladyhawke’s partly electronic piece is borderline generic, but catchy enough to forgive and memorable in the game. But this choice isn’t just mine—it’s also yours! Choose your favorite song from any Fifa game!!
22.) “Your Touch” – The Black Keys – Driver: San Francisco
Zombieland!!! Haha yep. The Black Keys are pretty damn famous for using music in all manner of media, especially “Howlin’ for You”. It’s quite natural that one of their songs would be used in a video game. Their guitar work is fantastic, if only redundant the more albums they release. It’d be great to hear them break rhythm and get out of their comfort zones. This also makes three open-world games in one list, which feels strange.
The storyline is absurd, and so is the concept of “shifting” in this action-driving game, but besides mostly positive ratings from critics—who cares what they have to say anyway—this song is worth digging up if you’ve for whatever reason never heard of this band. Their tunes sound a tad British sometimes, but make no mistake—they’re American Rock, and can generally fit any mood you’re in.
23.) “Happiness is an Inside Job” – Barrington Pheloung – Broken Sword II
This is a point-and-click adventure game, which makes it unlike any other game I’ve selected so far. Although it was also made available for the original Playstation. It’s 2D, played from third-person. This is also the second reggae song in the new entries, but it’s more purist with the style—so if you’re generally not a fan, and hate Bob Marley, then…well, what’s wrong with you?
It’s catchy, it’s pleasant, and sort of sounds like elevator music. You may not recognize or particularly like the game, but the song is certainly worth a listen, and an addition into this playlist we’re all collecting. At least, I am. You don’t have to. But if you’re not even listening, then why are you reading this??
24.) “Build That Wall” – Ashley Barrett – Bastion
Ashley didn’t write it, but she performed this plucky, solemn song which was Zia’s theme in the fantasy RPG from 2011. It’s been well received, and for a song that’s used in a video game, I have to say that this particular selection is quite meaningful considering. Much of the music I’ve chosen so far has been terrific background music, catchy, or a good time—but I’m pleased with reminding everyone about this one, just for how powerful it is all on its own.
And that’s that! Do I really say that at the end of every single one of my articles? What am I, a terrible Anchor? Anyways. So yeah. The Mandarin was basically lame, Star Trek II comes out next week, and the next generation of Xbox where we may have to pay for online releases the 21st. Ahem. I’m really pleased with how long of a list this grew into, and hopefully we’ll see some more. If I can’t find anything else worth noting, I’ll start video game scores!
See you! Also–for those who read my Wishlist–keep an eye out for Five Movies That Should be Video Games!