BioShock: The Ocean on His Shoulders
One of the best things about BioShock is how it fully commits to its engrossing setting and atmosphere, and its soundtrack blends in wonderfully. I just love the violin usage usage throughout the whole game, especially in this main theme, The Ocean on His Shoulders. Something about it fits BioShock’s mood incredibly well, and seems to facilitate the idea of a failed utopia undone by its own ambition. It certainly doesn’t hurt that it’s a lovely piece on its own merits.
Bastion: Spike in a Rail
I love every song on Bastion’s acclaimed soundtrack, and Spike in a Rail has to be one of my favorites among them. I love the energy to it; it’s perfect for Bastion’s lively action, and the instrumentation is well suited to the game’s dusty, wild west vibe. The basic beat has a hard edge to it that makes me think of the American frontier, and yet there’s also something fantastical about the whole thing that gives it its own unique flavor. The composer, Darren Korb, describes this combination as “acoustic frontier trip hop”. I can see what he’s getting at, and I like it a lot.
Final Fantasy VII: Cid’s Theme
In a game full of great moments with great songs, Cid’s Theme stands out as one of the most memorable to me. It punctuates the oddly touching tale of a man who wants nothing more than to be the first person into outer space, and has sacrificed everything to get there. When a twist sees him finally make it, this triumphant theme accompanies him. The marching beat and empowering trumpets combine to suggest that dreams can come true, and the chords they produce resonate in a way that makes all his sacrifices seem worth it. It’s a moment that brings a lot of personality to this rich world, and Cid’s Theme is a big part of what makes it so special.
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