Game Tunes (

By:James Stevenson and Troy Roberts
Date: Friday, March 26, 2004

Music in videogames is one of the most important aspects of a game. While many games are overlooked for the qualities of their composition, how many gamers can hum the theme to any of the MARIO BROS. games without even thinking about it? Groups of dedicated gamers will even play Name That Tune with videogame music. In this Gamers' Thumb, Troy and James discuss their favorite game music.

Just thinking about game music makes me think of things like all of the different MARIO music, THE LEGEND OF ZELDA's overworld

A screenshot from METROID: ZERO MISSION.

theme, METROID's theme, and of course, all of the FINAL FANTASY games. Square Enix is even having a concert of FINAL FANTASY music the week of the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. Some might pose the point that you remember the music to games like that because you heard it so much as you played it. I disagree, STARGATE (the movie) had a wonderful soundtrack, and I can easily identify the main theme but I've only seen the movie once or twice.

All in all game music is amazingly important. It puts a huge emphasis on the major moments in the game. Even then, game music that is catchy will stick with you I still remember some of the music from RATCHET AND CLANK.

Licensed music is also cool who didn't like the awesome 80s soundtrack of GRAND THEFT AUTO: VICE CITY? Or in EA's new MVP BASEBALL, I think the team has put together an excellent set of songs that really feel perfect in the game.

Music is huge, and no game developer should forget it. - JS

So, how important is music in video games? In my opinion, at times it can make or break a game. If you really think about it, any game that can be considered a good game doesn't have music that is impossible to listen to. Most very good games have really good music in fact. Take any of the STAR WARS games, any of the FINAL FANTASYs; even

A screenshot of ninja goodness from NINJA GAIDEN.

the recent hit NINJA GAIDEN had very good background tracks. And how many old games that are considered classics do you remember the music to? MEGA MAN, SUPER MARIO, SONIC I can easily recall the great music tracks to those games, and they were all great games. Hey, they may be great games because of the gameplay, but the music can make it a classic. TR


Sony has revealed the first PSP game, DEATH JR... Microsoft announced the XNA, a development system that will allow PC and console games to be closer brethren in future iterations of the Xbox console... NBA BALLERS has gone gold... GRAND THEFT AUTO SAN ANDREAS will not be set in the 70s, as some speculation has indicated... Nintendo has confirmed a sequel to the WIND WAKER will be released... SPLINTER CELL: PANDORA TOMORROW has a bug that freezes the game in Optimatch mode on Xbox Live.




most of the big titles were released this week, there are some good games coming around next week as well. SYBERIA II is released on the PC, DESTRUCTION DERBY ARENAS comes out for the Playstation 2 along with CRIMSON SEA 2, and, of course, RESIDENT EVIL OUTBREAK.

Gamers' Thumb is our weekly Video Game column.

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