Welcome back to The High Notes! This week, we’re returning to the world of video game music after Dan took over for me last time with some of his favorite weird anime openings. Since 2012 is coming to a close, I’m going to spotlight a few of my favorite songs from new games that I’ve played this year.
Journey: “I was Born for This”
In case you’ve been living under a rock, when Journey hit the PSN earlier this year, it was met with heaps of completely justified praise. It’s a beautiful game, and a major part of what makes it great is its brilliant score, which actually earned composer Austin Wintory a Grammy nomination. “I was Born for This” plays as the credits roll, and this truly moving piece is a fitting way to close out the experience.
Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask: “Mask of Miracles Theme”
The Professor Layton games all have enjoyable music, but Miracle Mask has some of the best yet. The main theme of the game, which happens to play in full on the main menu screen if you stay there long enough, is one of my favorite songs from this soundtrack. The piece by Tomohito Nishura starts quietly and builds to a fun, well-paced tune that conjures images of adventure.
Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward: “Virtue’s Last Reward ~Piano~”
VLR turned out to be an excellent sequel to 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors, and much like its predecessor, VLR’s soundtrack does an excellent job of amplifying your sense of immersion in the story. However, one of the best songs in the game actually plays during the end credits. This theme begins with a poignant piano section, but around 1:40, it takes on a completely different tone. A quick pace and more percussive elements combine to leave you with a sense of urgency that really fits the game.
These games certainly weren’t the only ones to have great music this year, but in the interest of keeping this article at a decent length, I’ll end the list here with some other worthy mentions. The Last Story would have had a song in this list, but since we had an entire post on Nobuo Uematsu’s score, you can check that out for a full spotlight. Xenoblade Chronicles also has a gorgeous soundtrack, but since I somehow haven’t finished the game, I didn’t want to pick a single song to highlight without hearing all of the music in context.
Since these song spotlights are never long enough to encompass everything they should, jump into the comments and share your top video game music from 2012 with us!
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