Resonance: Secunda

The older I get, the more in-tune with game music I become. For so long I all but ignored the music of most games. A few notables stuck (Super Mario World, Super Metroid), but by and large, up until a few years ago, game soundtracks seemed nearly indistinguishable to me. Now, I’m working to fix that. This post on Virtual Bastion focused on a hauntingly beautiful tune from Skyrim called “Secunda.” This lovely piano melody proves to be the perfect accompaniment to Skyrim’s quieter moments.


For no terribly good reason, I recently took a new trip through The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. I played through the game only once when it was new(ish), and at the time, the experience didn’t leave much of a lasting impact. I couldn’t say what exactly brought on the inkling to pick up the game again a few weeks back, but I’m glad I did. With Skyrim, it’s common to hear from players that they wish they could wipe their memories of it and play it again as if it was new. I started playing through the main story, but then veered off into a long side quest involving the Dark Brotherhood. And I get it. Though familiar with the Skyrim universe, that part of the game was completely new to me, and it was incredibly enjoyable. Now that my Wood Elf has become a full-fledged member of…

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Resonance: Two Favorite Songs to Soothe a Troubled Mind

I think we can all agree that music is brilliant. It weaves through our lives overtly and discreetly . Through it, emotions are heightened as well as dampened. Much that same can actually be said of video games, eh? With that in mind, over on Virtual Bastion I recently covered two of my favorite game songs that help bring things down a notch during stressful times. Considering world events, I think I’ll just stick these songs on repeat today.


Upon completing my post from last week in which I referenced the soundtrack to Red Dead Redemption, I immediately had to listen to it again. I remain amazed at just how cohesive and brilliant it is in all its “Old West” mimicry. And, as much as it made me want to roam the prairies of New Austin once again, it also had a great side effect: it served as some much needed stress relief.

Granted, not all the sounds of RDR are serene enough to keep sleeping bandits at bay, but one of the early songs off its soundtrack, “Born unto Trouble,” is enough to promote a few healthy, quiet breaths.

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Will Red Dead Redemption 2 sound as good, if not better than the first?

If there’s one remaining game this year that I have my sights firmly set on, it’s Red Dead Redemption 2. (If there was ANY news about South Park: The Fractured but Whole, that might be the one instead. But there isn’t. So here we are.) I’ve been keeping a keen eye on RDR2 news, hoping for any slivers of information that will only heighten my excitement. Recent rumors concerning the game’s soundtrack did just that, because RDR’s soundtrack is an all-time favorite. Recently, over on Virtual Bastion, I offered up this quick report on RDR2’s musical news.


Earlier this week, an article popped up on VG247 discussing marked similarities, as pointed out by a NeoGAF member, between the song used in in Red Dead Redempetion 2’s announcement trailer, and a song titled “Apertura” (from The Motorcycle Diaries) by Gustavo Santaolalla. Take a listen below.

Santaolalla is a composer with plenty of meaty credits to his name, including the genius soundtrack of The Last of Us.  While he’s apparently contributing that the soundtrack of that game’s sequel, it does seem quite possible that we’ll hear his work on RDR2. After all, the two pieces of music do sound very alike, with the only exception being the instruments used – the trailer music is primarily in piano and Santaolalla plays the guitar in “Apertura.” I’m not alone in the thought that Rockstar wouldn’t use just any ol’ song in their announcement trailer for this potentially seminal game…

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Five Favorite Songs from Chrono Trigger…So Far (#Listmas2015)

I’m really glad that Chrono Trigger turned out to be my game project this year. I can see why people adore it so. It’s complex and touching story is wrapped up in simple vestments, making it much less intimidating than many modern RPGs and JRPGs. The game flows so naturally, despite containing unnatural and supernatural events. Overcoming its obstacles is challenging but never insurmountable. And playing into the drive to see Crono’s story through till the end is the game’s soundtrack. I’ve definitely looked forward to hearing news sounds every time I enter a new place. And how many new sounds there are! I’m kind of amazed that the composers managed to cram in as much music in the game as the did. So with that said, I present for this Listmas my top five favorite songs from Chrono Trigger so far. (Up the point of reaching Algetty, though I have progressed a bit farther since.)
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Game soundtracks are great, but sometimes your own soundtracks are better (A Guest Post)

Many, many thanks to Chip of Games I Made My Girlfriend Play for this submission that will wrap up Voluntine’s Week here on RoP. We all have our favorite game soundtracks, but sometimes, listening to something other than an OST while playing can add a new dimension to a game. It’s this notion that Chip explores in his post below. In addition to maintaining his own blog, Chip also contributes to United We Game and Geek Force Network.

If you enjoy this article, please share it on Twitter using #Voluntines.  Thanks!


Image from flickr user TheStouffe
Image from Flickr user TheStouffer

Thanks to years upon years of playing video games, I have a strong appreciation for the music featured in my favorite pastime. Okay, a strong obsession might be a better choice of words. Most of my iTunes playlists contain phrases like, “Official Game Soundtrack” or “Dwelling of Duels.” I listen to podcasts like VGMpire and The Sound Test. I may even be guilty of making fourteen different CD mixes of my preferred game remixes to listen to on road trips (fine, I admit it!). I just can’t help myself: the music is too damn good.

Of course, there is something to be said for the influence of these tunes on my memory. I can certainly appreciate video game music as a standalone medium, but there are plenty of songs that have the added bonus of a warm fuzzy factor. For example, the ragtime beat of Super Mario Bros. 2 immediately takes me back to my childhood home; huddled around the television with my cousins while my father and uncle try to take down Tryclyde. Perhaps this sort of nostalgia skews my feelings towards the music, but to be fair, Koji Kondo is an amazing composer.

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