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Music of the Year 2014 Categories

Brigid Choi's Music of the Year
Editors' Favorites

One of RPGFan Music’s newest contributing editors, Brigid is one of the youngest members of RPGFan staff, as she likes to remind her peers whenever they talk about marriage, jobs, and MySpace. She also brings lots of giggles/squeaks to RPGFan Music meetings. Her first review on RPGFan Music was Supergiant’s second game Transistor, and she’s squeeing over being able to fangirl about it again for Music of the Year 2014. Check out what else she’s fangirling over below!

Have you heard...

A Realm Reborn: Final Fantasy XIV OST

A positively massive 120-track undertaking, composer Masayoshi Soken delivers a compelling backdrop to the rebuilt FFXIV.

Transistor OST
Composed by Darren Korb

I've already geeked out about this album in my review, but I'm specifically including it on my Music of the Year picks for three reasons: 1) it's innovative, combining so many elements of post-rock and trip-hop in ways that I've never heard in post-rock and trip-hop alone; 2) it can definitely stand on its own, as an album separate from the game. A lot of criticism about video game soundtracks is that much of the appreciation for the music comes from memories of the game, but I'm certain that this soundtrack can be enjoyed without playing Transistor; and 3) I've never heard post-rock in a video game before, or at least post-rock written this well (I have heard trip-hop in a game before, in Supergiant's other game, Bastion). The Transistor soundtrack adds so much to the game, enhances and challenges its genres, and can be fully enjoyed without focusing half your attention on a screen.

Favorite Tracks:
Old Friends
In Circles

Also See Our Review: Transistor OST Review


Child of Light / Cœur de pirate
Composed by Béatrice Martin

Unlike Transistor, the Child of Light OST doesn't stand well on its own, but that's completely fine. It does a fantastic job of perfectly fitting the aesthetic and the experience of the game. Without the twinkling melodies on piano and the sad, sad cello, Child of Light wouldn't feel as mystical and regal as a game with a magical princess should feel. I'm also in complete awe and shock that this OST is written by Cœur de pirate. I think it's very important for musical artists outside of the video game industry to try their hands on a video game soundtrack, or at least one or two songs in a video game. Bringing fans of non-gaming artists to the video game world will spread appreciation for video games to a wider audience and bring more credibility to video game music, especially for those non-believers who think video game music is all bleepy chiptunes.

Favorite Tracks:
Dark Creatures
Pilgrims on a Long Journey

Also See Our Review: Child of Light / Cœur de pirate Review


Final Fantasy III (PC)
Composed by Nobuo Uematsu

I admit this choice is heavily influenced by nostalgia and loyalty to the Final Fantasy series and Nobuo Uematsu. It's just exhilarating to hear your favorite songs with better quality instruments! The classic Final Fantasy songs are here, as usual ("Prelude," "Victory Fanfare," "Chocobo Theme"), as well as the gems of Final Fantasy III ("Memory of the Wind" and "Cloud of Darkness"), not to mention the Black Mages' remix of "Last Battle." I would have expected something that set the stage of JRPG music to sound cheesy and boring after hearing so many copies of it, but even twenty-five years after the release of Final Fantasy III on the Famicom/NES, the music is still some of the best I've heard.

Favorite Tracks:
Memory of the Wind ~Legend of the Eternal Wind~
Battle 1

Also See Our Review: Final Fantasy III OST Review


Dragon Age: Inquisition
Composed by Trevor Morris

I'm struggling to say something coherent about the Dragon Age: Inquisition OST. It's just good ol' American fantasy RPG music! If a non-gamer heard the Dragon Age: Inquisition OST without context, he or she would probably think that it was a soundtrack to an epic movie... which is exactly the reaction that I think composer Trevor Morris was going for (he also composed for The Tudors and Olympus Has Fallen) and the reaction that I think the video game music industry needs to have from non-gamers. The soundtrack is eerie when it needs to be, full of life when it needs to be, and gorgeous when it needs to be. It's an epic soundtrack to an epic game.

Favorite Tracks:
Dragon Age: Inquisition Theme
The Well of Sorrows

Have you heard...

Final Symphony

A full-on symphony offering some of the most beautiful performances of Final Fantasy VI, VII, and X you've ever heard.

Favorite Non-RPG OST
Super Smash Bros for 3DS & Wii U

Super Smash Bros. has a lot of songs from RPGs (The Legend of Zelda, Pokémon, Xenoblade Chronicles...), but it's still a fighting game that goes in the non-RPG section. Even though the Melee theme is still my favorite after all these years (and, it seems, Melee is still the favorite amongst the competitive Smash scene), the new theme for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U is still exciting, with sharp strings, proud trumpets, and dynamic drums. With four-hundred and thirty-seven songs — again, four-hundred and thirty-seven songs! — this soundtrack packs all kinds of punches, from the bitty "Flat Zone 2" to fully orchestrated medleys of Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and Fire Emblem, not to mention countless remixes of your favorite songs (the remix of Kirby's "02" is especially awesome). This OST is arguably the most diverse video game soundtrack so far, from jazzy Donkey Kong songs to the pop rock songs of Sonic. There's something in here for everyone, even if the Smash guys didn't include that one favorite song you were hoping would pass the test.

Favorite Tracks:
Menu
Xenoblade Chronicles Medley







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