To know me is to know that I love my yearly series, and here’s a new a one! This year I’m taking on the 30-Day Video Game Challenge (30VGC). Though, actually, it’s going to be more like the 26-Week Video Game Challenge, since I’ll only be covering two or three topics from the challenge each month. You can check out my intended schedule in this post. With that, it’s game on!
How in the name of all that is holy could any sane person choose the “best” soundtrack out of the zillions upon zillions of incredible game soundtracks that exist??!!??!!
When I started this whole 30-day thingy I didn’t think it’s be so hard.
That’s not what she said, by the way, but it is what I said.
Alright, alright, enough with the silliness. I can compose myself long enough here to make a pick. And that pick is…
Huh, guess the choice wasn’t that difficult at all.
A great soundtrack needs to convey at least two things: story and emotion. Super Metroid is a nearly wordless game, but it’s quite visually exciting. Even so, it visuals alone only tell half the story, because if you happen to play the game with the sound off, all you end up with is a fine sci-fi-themed platform game. But with the sound on, they game transports players into a world of solitude, mindfulness, desolation, and danger. The very mood of the game changes with each new area of the planet SR388 that Samus visits, from the triumph and determination that exudes after Samus’s first landing in the stricken underground parts of Crateria…
…to the harshly heated plateaus the fiery spot called Norfair…
…to the watery depths of the mysterious Maridia.
If I had to pick a personal favorite theme off the entire soundtrack, it’d be the secondary theme for Brinstar, which oozes chill despite the jungle-esque decor that defines the region.
And we can’t go without acknowledging the creepy aura and dank, dismal beats of the Wrecked Ship theme.
Surely I could have just made my pick and then linked a bunch of video and left the post at that, but you get the idea. I suppose that I could have also chosen “Metroid” games generally as having the best soundtrack, since earlier and later games often contain remixes of these and similar songs, but that would have been cheating, right?
In any event…yeah…this is an amazing soundtrack. It tells a story on its own, and accompanies Super Metroid in a way that few game soundtracks have been able to mimic with their own games. It is a soundtrack of the game, for the game, and by the game. A true masterpiece in composition, beauty, and sound.