Ninjers? on MY internet?!

I have mixed feelings about video game soundtracks. On the one hand I think it’s really awesome that companies actually release a disc dedicated to the video game music. But on the other hand, since the music is not new to most people purchasing the discs, it is a bit annoying to shell out for a CD of music you already are familiar with and have already supported by buying the product it was originally written for.

Now, I can’t wholeheartedly advocate just warez-ing or pirating copies of these CDs, but at the same time they are usually only in print for a short period and become either difficult to find, expensive, or just unavailable except in shoddy, dog-eared condition by people who don’t give a fook about having nice things.

This debacle mainly came to my attention while I was looking for the music from Tenchu: Stealth Assassins, a classic game for the original Playstation. The music to this game is pretty well thought out. There is some very tasteful classical and steel-string guitar playing as well as loads of sampled or live Japanese and South-east Asian instrumentation and percussion.

in ur internet am ninja

Some of the melodies and the atmosphere can remind me of the music from the original Diablo. If you listen to music and played any videogames, you should know the music to Diablo. Actually, I think if you didn’t play Diablo or Starcraft every day after school instead of doing your homework, you’re a jock. And playing World of Warcraft every day doesn’t count, because that game has shitty music, shitty graphics, shitty gameplay, a shitty monthly pricing trap and shitty people {i.e. you} playing it. It’s basically the source of jock and anything else shitty.

Back to Tenchu: it was also a game that took place entirely at night, so it had kind of a somber, melancholic, mysterious, brooding aura coating everything– music included. But somehow it didn’t get completely stupid, like say, horror movies or anything to do with cabbage. Some of the keyboard and string writing/performance reminds me a bit of the work Peter Kater does, particularly his collaborations with Carlos Nakai (FYI – their soundtrack How the West Was Lost is some fine audio dining). There is also some “tribal chant” on the final music track at the end of the game, something like what the Black Lodge Singers might do. This music displays a fine array of influences and meshes them uniquely.

So here’s the rub: I’ve bought Tenchu and so have at least three of my friends. It’s probably one of the top twenty best-selling PSone games and the franchise is still going strong (although it is now humorless and ought to commit seppuku). Given how much I’ve supported it, I don’t want to have to buy a soundtrack disc just to listen to the game tracks when I feel like it or put them on mixes. I anticipate further rewards for buying a good game!

Now, I know movies do the soundtrack thing too, but its a long-since established deal with movies. Besides, movies only play songs for 2 seconds so you have to buy the soundtrack. Video games loop the music a bajillion times – in some cases even longer. Stage music is at most 3 minutes long in modern games. But sometimes it takes like three days to get through a stage of the game… and so you’re hiding in the marsh, thinking of those other lazy ninjas all warm and cozy at home playing World of Warcraft, while you’re out here miserably wet, sitting and waiting for that guard to turn around and do something stupid like maybe eat cabbage, so you can sneak up from behind and bleed all the red pixels out of him. It’s really not fair. Hard-working ninjas deserve soundtracks!

Follow my logic?

I don’t have much more to say, except that I wish more games would include the soundtracks with them or provide them at a small extra charge. Companies could offer the soundtrack for download as a bonus for buying the game or pre-ordering it. I know some game releases do have these kinds of offers, but it’s kind of nuts that there aren’t more specials for games with good soundtracks. I realize that the internet has created a generation of freeloaders who expect premium software for absolutely no cost, so I’m not saying just throw the music out there for free. Still, when it comes to paying full CD price for music I’ve heard a million times and already supported, I typically wanna buy something else instead.

But this is capitalism, son! Buy big or be gone!

Buy it @ Amazon
Buy it @ Half.com

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~ by chaosrexmachinae on October 4, 2007.

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