VGM Review #2: “Bastion” Soundtrack


Update 1/31/12: Check out my interview with Darren Korb after reading the review!

A few weeks ago I stumbled upon a list of nominees for the 2011 Video Game Awards (or “VGAs,” if you will).  Naturally, I was interested in the “Best Original Score” category.   The soundtracks that are up for it derive from Bastion, Batman: Arkham City, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and Portal 2.

Being that a goal of this blog is to listen to new game soundtracks, the reader shouldn’t be too surprised to know that I had heard none of those soundtracks.  Yes, it’s a travesty that out of all of those games I haven’t yet played Arkham City or Portal 2, but you know… I just haven’t yet.  The other week I bought Skyrim, Rayman Origins, and Skyward Sword, so needless to say, I have my hands full.

Since it’s my job to inform you of which soundtracks are worth listening to, I immediately started delving into these nominees.  Bastion was first and I jotted enough notes to blog.  Deus Ex was next and I quit listening to that because I didn’t have the patience to wade through the tracks to find which ones were the best at the time (the ones I did listen to weren’t particularly impressive, but my sample was by no means representative).  Then my workday was over and I had stuff to do at home.

So, I got as far as Bastion and you know what?  I’m fine with that.  If Saturday reveals that some other soundtrack got the award, I’ll check it out; otherwise, I’m moving on to games that I have wanted to explore.

The first thing that the reader should know before taking my opinions on the soundtrack to heart is that I have never played Bastion.  This fact will affect my review a bit because I won’t be able to give any insight on how the music interacts with the game itself.  When I did “Time’s Scar” from Chrono Cross, I made references to the medium that the music was presenting—here I will not.  I will solely base my opinions on how I feel about the musical content and what I like in my VGM.

If you feel like listening to the soundtrack while reading, go here.  I will have individual examples posted below as well, though.



VGM or Not? #1


I stumbled across a track that I thought could serve a dual purpose as both VGM and in a general musical capacity, such as an audio recording on an album to which people would actually listen.  Check it out, formulate your own answer, and then read the whole post to reveal the truth.

What say you?  Is this track a trick or a treat? (sorry… had to put Halloween in here somehow; also, the tune, whether it’s a trick or not, is a treat… so… anyway just keep reading!)