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Turn it Up!

Music doesn't make a game, but it sure does help

By Troy Roberts     December 10, 2002

One of the most overlooked aspects of video gaming is the music contained within a game. It's not that music can actually make or break a game, but when you think about it, a game with great music is a lot more enjoyable than a one with just so-so or bad music.

Good music is something that apparently comes very naturally to Squaresoft. Even back in the early days of FINAL FANTASY, the series had some catchy tunes. These days, the music is expected to sound well and to fit the game, and whatever may be happening. And it does make for a much more enjoyable experience. I was really impressed with Square and Disney's latest venture with KINGDOM HEARTS, especially with them getting Japanese pop sensation Utada Hikaru to sing the opening theme of the game (if you ask me, all game companies should hire Japanese Pop artists to sing songs, but it could be that I love Japanese Pop music).

I know I've been on my kick about SHENMUE lately, so I'm going to continue gushing about the game a little more on the music. SHENMUE's music is perfect and fits the game extremely well. From the different types of bar music to the music when just roaming around a city at night, it sets the mood for any and every thing that may happen.

Obviously, the games based on the STAR WARS franchise have to be noted as having exceptional music. Having one of the best soundtracks in movie history to lean on, every STAR WARS game comes jam-packed with tunes from the movies to listen to, maybe even some new ones (according to which game you're playing).

And who can forget those catchy tunes we've listened to for years, from games like SUPER MARIO BROS., THE LEGEND OF ZELDA and SONIC THE HEDGEHOG. Or even the beautiful music from TETRIS that somehow came out good across those Game Boy speakers.

While music doesn't necessarily make a video game good, it definitely helps. Good music can help turn a good game into a great game.


A demo of BioWare's NEVERWINTER NIGHTS has been released...Capcom has set official Japanese release dates for both RESIDENT EVIL 2 and 3 for the GameCube. Both games will be released in Japan on January 23, and will only retail for about 38 bucks...Koei has announced DYNASTY WARRIORS 4 (YAY!)...


Not a


whole lot coming out this week. Actually, I couldn't think of a single thing that would be worth mentioning, but THE SIMS ONLINE does come out next Tuesday, and that looks like it is shaping up to be really good. And if you're still a PSOne owner, they just re-released GRAND THEFT AUTO 1, 2 and the expansion to the first game in a COLLECTOR'S EDITION.

Gamers' Thumb is our weekly Video Game column.

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