I can't believe it's been a year since I joined the RPGFanmily. Another year, another handful of RPG OSTs that are close to my heart. I guess I was more impressed with triple-A game OSTs than indie game OSTs this year, but that may be because I'm too scared to play the emotionally-charged Undertale. It may also be because I'm having way too much fun with a new soundtrack from my favorite game series, The Legend of Zelda. With hopping back and forth between being Link's waifu and being Squijid the Squid-Kid, 2015 was a good year in game music for me.
I'm a big fan of games that are accessible to non-gamers. Life Is Strange is one of these games, not only because of its easy controls and difficulty, but also because of its recognizable songs. When the kid next to me recognized the alt-J song and asked what I was doing, I was happy to share the game with him. Having licensed music for the soundtrack also helped connect me emotionally to the game. For example, I was abruptly brought back to my angsty high school days when Bright Eyes faded into the game, and I was able to empathize with Chloe and her difficult situation that much more. Square Enix put a lot of effort into creating an authentic northwestern US atmosphere, including "hella" slang, edgy Seattle fashion, and folk music.
Have you heard...
Kingdom Hearts Tribute Album
You like Kingdom Hearts and tribute albums with a lot of variety in it, right? Enjoy!
It's a shame that this 3DS remake wasn't remastered more. Still, it was such a cool experience to be able to listen to this soundtrack from my childhood again. The music is as good as I remember: cute and creepy, incredibly creative, and so, so sad. After combing through the internet, the only copy of the OST I found was on CD Japan, so I made an account specifically to buy it. Does that show you how much I love this soundtrack?
Also See Our Review:
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask OST Review
I'm usually not a huge fan of top-down Zelda games, but A Link Between Worlds is just too good. The juggling of one melody with different styles in the dungeons of Lorule is astounding and impressive. The themes of all the new characters are adorable (Ravio, Maimai, Irene), beautiful (Hilda), or appropriately eerie (Yuga). But overall, the most satisfying parts of the OST are the remastered Link to the Past songs. Hearing SNES music with 2015 sound samples is just too cool to not include this OST on my list.
Splatoon has created its own style of music. It's clearly influenced by J-pop and J-rock, but the vocaloids are all backwards mixtures of Japanese and English with lots of reverb, underwater filters, bubbly sounds, or squeaky overlays. They're speaking in Inkling, the language of the Inklings (AKA squid kids). Many times, the Splatoon songs feature bubbling noises or other underwater sounds, as well. These two features end up having a surprisingly dramatic effect on the music, so much so that I consider Inkling music to be its own genre. The developers of Splatoon evidently care a lot about the overall style of Inkopolis culture, with their attention to fashion, slang, art, and of course, music.