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#1 Edited by mracoon (4967 posts) -

GB's GotY coverage will be up soon but before then I wanted to know what video game music people enjoyed the most in 2012. It's been a terrific year for VGM, with both indie and AAA titles producing some amazing soundtracks. Here are my favourites:

Dustforce - Lifeformed

Never got round to playing this game but I did listen to the soundtrack. A lot of game soundtracks need to heard in-game for them to work but the Dustforce OST stood out because all the tracks were great on their own. (My favourite track is no. 10.) Available from Bandcamp.

Journey - Austin Wintory

This is a soundtrack that must be heard in-game to be fully appreciated. Apotheosis, the track below, still gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it. Available from iTunes.

Fez - Disasterpeace

As cryptic as the game itself. (My favourite track is, again, no. 10.) Available from Bandcamp.

Max Payne 3 - HEALTH

If I had to pick a favourite song from a video game then it would Tears, the track below. Available from iTunes / Amazon.

Persona 4 Arena / Persona 4: Golden - Shoji Meguro & Atsushi Kitajoh

Might as well put these together as anything related to Persona and Shoji Meguro is usually great. I don't think the soundtracks have been released outside Japan so the only place you can get them from is import sites.
  

The Last Story - Nobuo Uematsu 

As with Meguro, anything by Nobuo Uematsu is always going to be good. Again, I can't find this anywhere apart from import sites.

FTL: Faster Than Light - Ben Prunty

One of the more overlooked soundtrack from this year, although I remember it being mentioned on the Bombcast. Available from Bandcamp.        

Hotline Miami - Various Artists

I've avoided putting any licensed soundtracks but this is just too good to miss out. There doesn't seem to be a place to purchase the full soundtrack but the game's composer, Jasper Byrne, has put an EP with 4 tracks on Bandcamp.   
 
 
Those are my picks but I could always do with more VGM so tell me you favourites!
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#2 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@mracoon said:

As with Meguro, anything by Nobuo Uematsu is always going to be good.

Except for...

Oh, and favorite VGM? I'd post something out of Katawa Shoujo if that wasn't depressing as fuck, so instead, have some Xenoblade:

#3 Posted by mracoon (4967 posts) -
@Video_Game_King: What's wrong with that song? Also, I would of had Xenoblade on my list if it hadn't come out last year in Europe.
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#4 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

You mean the hobo snoring in the back, or the one being mercilessly beaten in the front?

#5 Posted by JacDG (2120 posts) -

Fez and Journey were the standouts for me, such great music.

#6 Posted by Sanity (1901 posts) -

Yea, Dustforce had amazing music... i love that game but i really suck at it. I also really liked the music in Xcom EU.

#7 Posted by Timing (619 posts) -

As far as the bigger games go, I'd recommend checking out some music from Dragon's Dogma and Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed.

I'll dedicate this post to a lesser-known game though, namely Malicious. I don't think I've seen much discussion about this game at all, but it's a lot of fun and the music is great, too.

#8 Posted by mracoon (4967 posts) -
@Timing: I'd heard a few songs from the Dragon's Dogma OST and enjoyed them. The GB crew did a Quick Look of Malicious so it got a bit of discussion.
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#9 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4726 posts) -

I'd throw the Far Cry 3 OST into the "Best VGM of 2012" group. OP already put up Hotline Miami so there's that.

#10 Posted by atomic_dumpling (2469 posts) -
#11 Posted by adam1808 (1455 posts) -

Nice to see Liformed up there, I've listened to that soundtrack more than I've played the actual game.

Online
#12 Posted by Zuldim (288 posts) -

Mass Effect 3, for sure.

#13 Posted by Redbullet685 (6036 posts) -
#14 Posted by Vegetable_Side_Dish (1726 posts) -

THIS  is the jam  
 
  

#15 Posted by peritus (994 posts) -

@Zuldim: Agreed.

#16 Posted by Animasta (14675 posts) -

He's no Shoji Meguro, but I did like the devil survivor 2 soundtrack:

(you already mentioned hotline miami, so natch)

#17 Posted by TheHT (11155 posts) -

@Zuldim: this one song bums me out every time i hear it. so good though!

#18 Posted by BeachThunder (11854 posts) -

Yay, Dustforce soundtrack.

#19 Posted by mracoon (4967 posts) -
Good to see my choices backed by the GB crew.
 
@Zuldim: I thought the music was good while playing the game but it didn't stand out to me like ME1 and ME2. I haven't actually listened to the soundtrack on it's own, though.
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#20 Posted by xpogox (48 posts) -

All of the Miami Hotline soundtrack is insane!. One my favs of the year for sure!.

#21 Posted by Zuldim (288 posts) -

@mracoon said:

Good to see my choices backed by the GB crew.

@Zuldim: I thought the music was good while playing the game but it didn't stand out to me like ME1 and ME2. I haven't actually listened to the soundtrack on it's own, though.

There are definitely some tracks that are kind of, for lack of a better word, standard, and just kind of there, but tracks like "Leaving Earth," "An End, Once And For All," "Credits," or "I'm Proud Of You" really make the soundtrack for me.

Interestingly, while I really liked the soundtrack of 1 and 2 while playing, I never went back and listened to them on their own. Maybe that's why this one stood out to me so much.

#22 Posted by UitDeToekomst (709 posts) -

Lots of nice choices there, but I am sad that the music from Thomas Was Alone continues to never be mentioned in these lists. I don't have a handy link to any, but it should be easy enough to find on YouTube... or just buy the game. It's $5 on Steam right now.

#23 Edited by Mento (2512 posts) -

@mracoon: @Video_Game_King: Personally, I think of LTS's final boss music as highly reminiscent of Uematsu's Black Mages remix of the FF9 final boss music, which also begins with a several minute long hobo torture session (and man, does The Last Story go out of its way to evoke FF9 a lot. I guess that was Sakaguchi's prerogative more than anything.)

For the record, my favorite The Last Story track is this one:

Talking of awesome ex-Squaresoft composers, Sakimoto (yes, the FFT and Vagrant Story guy) scored the soundtrack to Crimson Shroud, the game that Yasumi Matsuno (yes, the FFT and Vagrant Story guy) made for Level-5. Here's the theme (and, again, somewhat reminiscent of his past work):

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#24 Posted by Hailinel (24423 posts) -

No amount of love is too much for the Xenoblade Chronicles soundtrack, but seen as that's already been brought up, as has The Last Story, I'll highlight something else. The Kid Icarus: Uprisng soundtrack has some amazing music from composers like Yuzo Koshiro (yep, Streets of Rage guy) and Motoi Sakuraba (the Valkyrie Profile guy), among others (Seriously, this game has like six composers).

And a track from a game with some surprisingly good music:

Tthat map theme is pretty damn great.

#25 Posted by DeF (4863 posts) -

I wanted to scream when this game got the "it was two cool ringtones" stamp on the podcast. That is just insane!

This game has some of the finest arrangements of Nintendo music ever!

#26 Posted by spankingaddict (2661 posts) -

The Mass Effect 3 theme is easily the best music this year for me .

#27 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4676 posts) -

It has been said but anything from Fez, Hotline Miami and Journey. I also quite like the Katawa Shoujo soundtrack.

And this song

#28 Posted by Gamer_152 (14072 posts) -

No Halo 4 or Mass Effect 3? This is a travesty sir! A travesty I say!

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#29 Posted by SlashDance (1814 posts) -

Bass line of the year.

That soundtrack is fun as hell !

#30 Posted by rjayb89 (7720 posts) -

SHIN MITSUO TENSEI:

#31 Posted by Pie (7080 posts) -

I really like the soundtrack of Max Payne 3.

#32 Posted by Demoskinos (14778 posts) -

This because its REAL dumb in a REALLY good way. I always sat at the title screen before I started the game.

#33 Posted by Pie (7080 posts) -

Tiny and Big has a pretty cool soundtrack as well.

Shame songs are hidden as collectibles is all....

#34 Edited by MocBucket62 (1203 posts) -

We need more Rhythm Heaven Fever in this thread, flock step is the only one with music only:       

   
    
      
#35 Posted by Demoskinos (14778 posts) -

Folks this is what you make when you are on Hard Drugs. Also, if anyone doesn't reconise the song it was used in Hitman Absolution.

#36 Posted by SirOptimusPrime (1997 posts) -

It's already been said, but Hotline Miami is easily my favorite soundtrack of the year. Sleeping Dogs has some good tunes too (if Hotline can get in with a majority of it being from outside sources, then I'll back up the licensed music in SD), especially on the hilariously awesome rap channel.

Crusader Kings II has a great soundtrack as well - those pieces are awesome and quite memorable. The Witcher 2 has all right ambience, but the dramatic pieces are really good too. Dark Souls came out on PC this year, and Bravely Default is out too, so Sakuraba gets double props for that. It's great to hear him not rehash the Star Ocean 2 soundtrack for the 30th time on those, though I doubt he composed more than a track or two on BD since Revo worked on it.

@Demoskinos said:

This because its REAL dumb in a REALLY good way. I always sat at the title screen before I started the game.

And this. I love B'z.

#37 Edited by knitlife (45 posts) -

@mracoon: Fez Fez Fez Fez Fez. The music was superbly integrated with the gameplay and succeeded at setting the tone for various levels (such as the foreboding cemetery one). Love that music. Also, the songs sound a lot like Boards of Canada, which was a plus in my book.

#38 Edited by ShaggE (6427 posts) -

I can't hype this song enough. It's just ridiculous, in the best way.

And this... I'm stunned that nobody's been talking about this song. I might actually like it more than the HEALTH track from Max Payne 3, and I fucking LOVE that song.

Oh man... listening to it again, that buildup at 2:55 still gives me chills.

#39 Posted by Breadfan (6589 posts) -

  

#40 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@Gamer_152 said:

No Halo 4 or Mass Effect 3?

Of course they're not here. They sold a lot and have numbers on the end. THAT MEANS THEY'RE AWFUL!

#41 Posted by Atwa (617 posts) -

  

   
  
    
    
    
#42 Posted by mracoon (4967 posts) -
@MocBucket62: I could listen to that wrestling one FOREVER.
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#43 Posted by Subjugation (4720 posts) -

@ImmortalSaiyan said:

It has been said but anything from Fez, Hotline Miami and Journey. I also quite like the Katawa Shoujo soundtrack.

And this song

I won't post it a second time, but I will quote it for emphasis. This song has some serious emotional association to it.

#44 Posted by Rhaknar (5939 posts) -

Hotline Miami easily, especially Hydrogen

#45 Posted by Subjugation (4720 posts) -

I also feel like people forgot that Diablo 3 got a lot of things right, especially the music. Some of my favorites:

And I would be remiss if I didn't plug Guild Wars 2. Jeremy Soule always does such an amazing job. This one always gets me at about 1:55.

#46 Posted by benspyda (2033 posts) -

I love the epicness of the Journey soundtrack and the subtleness of the FTL soundtrack. The Hotline Miami soundtrack fits well with murdering dudes but outside of the game its not really what I'm looking for. Great year for game music.

#47 Posted by Guided_By_Tigers (8061 posts) -
#48 Posted by xMEGADETHxSLY (446 posts) -

That is the only good song from Max Payne 3.

#49 Edited by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

Im surprised how much ME3 got snubbed this year in the music categories.

#50 Edited by JackSukeru (5910 posts) -

@Pie said:

Tiny and Big has a pretty cool soundtrack as well.

Shame songs are hidden as collectibles is all....

Oh yeah there were some good songs, I had this one on repeat for a large part of the game.