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Music of the Year 2014 Categories

Michael Sollosi's Music of the Year
Editors' Favorites

Mike Sollosi ("Other Mike," "Mike 2," or "Monsoon Mike") is a recent addition to the RPGFan staff, but that didn't prevent him from enthusiastically contributing to RPGFan's Music of the Year 2014 feature. Mike 2 enjoys happy saxophone, sad piano, bold percussion, long walks in the forest, and playing RPGs. Some of those traits may exhibit themselves in the following selections.

Have you heard...

Broken Age OST

Peter McConnell channels cartoon classics in this album full of heart and quirky themes.

Child of Light / Cœur de pirate
Composed by Béatrice Martin

What pretty music. The slow songs are dreamy and tragic, and the more upbeat songs feel like classical chamber music at a very precise allegro. Cœur de Pirate has a beautiful singing voice, and I found her soundtrack to Child of Light to be the game's best feature and one of the most moving game albums of the year.

Favorite Tracks:
Jupiter's Lightning
Leave Your Castle
Off to Sleep

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

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

Persona Q's soundtrack maybe isn't quite as layered or well-produced as that of Persona 3 or Persona 4 (two of my all-time favorite game OST albums) but it's still some of the best new game music of the year. Incorporating instrumentation, motifs, and even vocalists from Persona 3 and Persona 4, the Persona Q soundtrack is equal parts great fanservice and a strong standalone soundtrack.

Favorite Tracks:
Footsteps of Time
Group Date Cafe
Laser Beam

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

Transistor OST
Composed by Darren Korb

The Transistor soundtrack is not only a stunning listen on its own, but its lyrics fit the in-game context perfectly. SuperGiant Games famously recommended not to listen to the soundtrack before playing the game, to avoid potential story spoilers and the initial effect of the audio. I broke that rule, and I don't regret it. The album was too good to just leave alone. It defies genre, combining jazz, rock, electronica, and hip-hop sounds into something really special.

Favorite Tracks:
Paper Boats
The Spine

Also See Our Review: Transistor OST Review

Bravely Default Flying Fairy OST
Composed and Arranged by Revo

Technically Bravely Default came out in 2012 in Japan, 2013 in Europe, and 2014 in North America, but I'm counting it as a 2014 album because, well, America. I wasn't familiar with Revo or Sound Horizon before discovering their work on Bravely Default and the Attack on Titan opening theme song within a month of each other. Now I'm part of the adoring throng that's invested 80+ hours into Bravely Default and bought albums and remix albums of Sound Horizon's work. Revo's compositions are powerful, textured walls of sound that use unusual voices in fascinating ways, and Bravely Default's music is equal parts catchy, expressive, and context-appropriate. I will continue to listen to Bravely Default's soundtrack well into 2015 and beyond.

Favorite Tracks:
Ship Soaring Through the Heavens
Land of Immortality
Serpent Eating the Horizon

Also See Our Review: Bravely Default Flying Fairy OST Review

Have you heard...

Forever Today: Final Fantasy XI Seekers of Adoulin OST PLUS

Is this the soundtrack to Final Fantasy XI's last expansion? We don't know for certain, but if so, it's going out in style..

Best Reissue: Skies of Arcadia OST Volume 1 and Volume 2
Composed by Yutaka Minobe, Tatsuyuki Maeda

In December of 2014, game music fans in North America received a real treat when Sega provided a new digital release of the Skies of Arcadia soundtrack on iTunes and Amazon. Highlights include the beautiful world map themes, a stunning variety of songs embodying the vibe of each exotic city and town, and dynamic battle music that changes depending on the direness of the situation. Fantastic. Skies of Arcadia is one of the all-time great RPG soundtracks and now it's super-easy to obtain digitally (and legally!).

Favorite Tracks:
Kingdom of Montezuma
The Little Jack (Nasrad, Montezuma, Valua)
Boss Battle (Crisis, Opportunity)

Also See Our Review: Eternal Arcadia OST Review

Favorite Non-RPG Music: Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Composed by David Wise

Retro Studios and Nintendo did Donkey Kong fans a great service by bringing back the original composer of the Donkey Kong Country trilogy, David Wise. Wise's musical score for Tropical Freeze does a marvelous job of creating different moods for the gorgeous, colorful stages that the Kongs romp through, and it uses a wide variety of voices in doing so, from smooth woodwinds and tribal percussion in mid-game jungle stages to electric guitars in certain boss fights. The SNES Donkey Kong Country soundtracks are fan favorites, but David Wise may have outdone himself in Tropical Freeze.

Favorite Tracks:
Scorch 'n Torch
Punch Bowl
Twilight Terror (Stickerbush Symphony Returns)

Twitch Schedule & Status

Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII
Sunday, March 25 • 10am PST/1pm EST

On Break
Mondays • 6pm PST/9pm EST

Tuesdays • 12pm PST/3pm EST

MS Saga: A New Dawn
Thursdays • 3pm PST/6pm EST

Secret of Mana Remake
Fridays • 3pm PST/6pm EST

Tales of the Abyss
Tues-Wed-Thu • 7pm PST/10pm EST
Saturdays • 5pm PST/8pm EST

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