Top 5 – Video Game Soundtracks

3plogommLately, I’ve been chatting a lot with folks about music, especially given how often it plays a beneficial role in our lives. I love music. I played clarinet in school for years before realizing that I enjoyed singing and moving over to that. I’ve spent a lot of time listening to classical compositions alongside top 40 pop and rock and enjoying different styles of independent music through various means and recommendations from friends. My past addictions to rhythm video games and studying up on different styles of dance music are also known to folks I talk with.
Of course, I’ve also listened to plenty of video game music. Like- a lot of it.

Now more than ever, I feel like I need to outline that this Top 5 is not what I think is the best or most well-composed video game soundtracks. There are a ton of great soundtracks out there that didn’t get attention here for the sake of brevity and because of criteria I set for myself to actually pare the list down enough for a post. I’d love to hear your own contributions and feelings on what your top soundtracks are, of course, but so that you have any idea of what went through my head while I was putting this together:

The soundtracks below are pieces that I’ve gone back to a number of times. When I open my audio files, I find myself gravitating toward them for whatever reason- memories, nostalgia, inspiration; these mean something to me and have followed me for years. They are soundtracks that I can listen through from one end to another nearly every time I engage with them and stylistically, they just hit all of the right spots for me.

Ready to dive into my little corner of the video game aural skies? Then let’s go!
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Top 5 – Video Game Villains

3pmegamanstyle

Welcome, fellow gamers!  It’s been a little while since I posted up a Top 5 list, and I spoke with a couple of folks to ask ‘what kind of list would you like to see?’  While I’m working on some reviews on some pretty killer games, I really wanted to do some more fun and subjective pieces to keep my creative factory running.

The first list I had pitched was by my good friend (and wife to my co-contributor) who asked about my favorite villains.  My top pick was easy; honestly, anyone who has ever talked to me about video games and knows the game they are from has heard me go on and on about them.  To fill in the other four spots, though, I had to do a little more thinking on a few different levels.

I got to wondering about what made a good villain to me.  There’s something about the feeling when you think of a good villain and specifically how they stand out to you.  Asking on Twitter warranted a lot of different responses including being drawn to comical villains or sympathetic villains that you can relate to.  A lot of great names came up- Bowser, GLaDOS, Ganondorf and one particularly well suggested James Sunderland from Silent Hill 2.  Seriously, if you like dark storytelling, you need to play that game.

But I digress.

Listed after the jump is my personal list of Top 5 Villains.  Your opinions may differ, and I gladly welcome you to chat about them in the comments or on Twitter with me.  You’ve been warned, though.  There are spoilers in here since you can’t really explain the villainy of characters without at least describing some of their actions, though they aren’t necessarily game ruining tidbits.  Also, this list is entirely subjective.  Did I mention that yet?  It also changes just about everytime I think about it so without rambling on too much more-

Lights.  Camera.  Villainy!

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Top 5 – RPGs That Shaped Me as a Gamer

I am a prolific gamer of the RPG genre.  I started young with tabletopping Dungeons & Dragons with some neighborhood kids.  These same neighborhood kids had an SNES, and when I went over for our game one day, I noticed one playing this crazy looking game on his system, with stats and equipment and little characters running around before the screen changed and he entered a fight.

It turns out he was playing Final Fantasy III (what we nowadays know as Final Fantasy VI), and I was blown away by the idea of being able to play a game like this.  I became like a man possessed trying to figure out how to get one of these RPG videogames in my own life.

I considered an article today on five games that had heavy influence on my gaming career, and started putting caveats in place.  I first decided I would not post about a game that I have previously posted about before (which excluded Xenogears from my lineup).  No more than one game per series, no matter how many of them I’d consider influential to me.  I also decided to post one RPG per system, another major hurdle.  When I began writing out the list and realized that three out of five of the games were RPGs already, I figured I may as well make the jump to fully discussing the genre, and could write about those other games separately.  With all of that in place, I still had trouble paring the list down to what I did.

So now, I present to you, in no particular order: Five RPGs that have truly shaped me as a gamer.  I must warn you that I’ll be discussing some things that may reveal spoilers.  They are all a bit older as far as games go, but I thought it only fair to include the warning.

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