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Music of the Year 2014 Categories

Caitlin Argyros' Music of the Year
Editors' Favorites

The latest addition to our podcast crew, Caitlin's musical tastes — which begin with Xenogears, end with Xenoblade, but contain all manner of other faves in the middle — have been a nice complement to the rest of the staff. Even though we specifically brought her on to co-host our Rhythm Encounter podcast, as a huge fan of all things game music, she couldn't resist sharing her favorite music of 2014 along with the rest of us.

Have you heard...

A Bird Story OST

Kan R. Gao's beautiful aural and visual narrative strum one's heartstrings in this wonderful story.

Dragon Age: Inquisition
Composed by Trevor Morris

The story of Dragon Age: Inquisition is certainly praise worthy. But the music in the game, expertly composed by Trevor Morris, tells its own story that complements the tale you see unfold on screen. The score creates a theme referenced across multiple in-game events and countless hours of playtime, and the tone peaks and dips in time with the highs and lows in the game. One of the highest compliments I can think to give to a soundtrack is that I can imagine or recall the story simply by listening to the music that accompanied it. Dragon Age: Inquisition achieves this feat quite handily. Each track takes me back to a key moment in the game, and the tracks are arranged in such a way that I can simply relax and aurally relive my 100+ hours in Thedas... in less than 100 minutes. Beat that, speedrunners!

Favorite Tracks:
Dragon Age: Inquisition Theme
Journey to Skyhold
The Lost Temple


Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call
Composed by Nobuo Uematsu, Hitoshi Sakimoto, Yoko Shimomura, Yasunori Mitsuda, et al

Okay, I'm cheating a little bit with this one because most of the music in the game was originally released long before 2014. But since Curtain Call gathers all of this great music into one convenient and fun package, I figure I can get away with it. So much great music is included in this game, from Final Fantasies new and old, and the last couple of DLC releases have included selections from other well respected Square Enix titles with awesome music, including Bravely Default, Chrono Trigger, and Xenogears. Having music from Hitoshi Sakimoto, Yasunori Mitsuda, and Masashi Hamauzu in one game is a win-win-win as far as I'm concerned.

Favorite Tracks:
The Man with the Machine Gun
Giza Plains
Saber's Edge

Have you heard...

Okami Henkyokushuu Vol.2 Jazz

What happens when you take a soundtrack originally performed with traditional Japanese instruments and transform it into a jazz album? This. And it is fascinating.

Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth
Composed by Atsushi Kitajoh, Toshiki Konishi, Shoji Meguro, Yuzo Koshiro

The Persona spin-offs may be getting crazier and crazier, but the music in Persona Q is insanely brilliant. Distinct enough at times from the P3 and P4 soundtracks so as to match the Etrian Odyssey shell, but still familiar enough that you have no doubt you're playing a Persona game at heart. This tricky feat is helped along immensely by including the vocalists from P3 and P4: Lotus Juice, Yumi Kawamura, and Shihoko Hirata. It is a true testament to the brilliance of this soundtrack that I can't easily decide which of the two versions of the main battle theme I like more. The boss themes are sublime and have left me humming riffs for weeks. The dungeon themes range from catchy to downright awesome, and I dig the electronica influence in many of them. Suffice it to say, there's much to appreciate about the dungeon and battle music in this game, which is good, because you'll be hearing a lot of it.

Favorite Tracks:
Light the Fire Up in the Night ~Dark Hour~
Instinct and Longing
Battle in the Clock Tower

Also See Our Review: Persona Q Shadow of the Labyrinth OST Review






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Sunday, June 17
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