RPGFan Music

RPGFan Music of the Year 2022 ~ Editors’ Favorites: Hilary Andreff

Music of the Year 2022 Featured

Where did 2022 go? It felt like a blur of high-profile games released in bursts throughout the year, which consequently affected my ability to keep up with music releases and even what I wanted to listen to. We didn’t get all the music releases we should have yet (coughXenocough) either, but here are a few things I did get a chance to check out.

The “Is it 1923 or 2023!?!” Award – Shadows Over Loathing OST

Who needs a concept of time anymore? Shadows Over Loathing certainly doesn’t, with its incredibly creative use of time-travel puzzle solving, 1920s aesthetics, and clever use of jazz and other music from that era. That’s good enough for me. It’s probably no surprise this soundtrack is here, given my review and that I wrote the overall MotY entry for this game, but Ryan Ike‘s work earns it. Every new situation and area was a surprise and delight because of the novel music I’d get to hear, not to mention the best use of dynamic musical scoring in a game I’ve seen in recent history. Each theme confidently portrays the tone of its in-game context, which contributes to a very immersive experience. So, no matter what year it is, I’m going forward with that energy.

The “Brood to this album but also appreciate the pun album name” Award – Gabriel Knight: Synths of the Fathers

I am going to put it right out there: This album is on this list because I was in no way expecting to hear an arrangement of Gabriel Knight music in 2022 and I needed to share. Good thing it turned out to be a well-executed synth take on the original soundtrack and intensifies the mystique and danger of the original game to 11. The synthy sound also lends it an air of determination, so you can brood all you want but know that things will ultimately turn out okay. Much like the original game soundtrack, this album embraces the darker tones but doesn’t let you forget that this is a game with a protagonist voiced by Tim Curry. And if you can have both, you’d be foolish not to! Plus, I have to rep my girl Grace Nakimura at every opportunity.

You can listen to the full album on YouTube, and for some bonus listening, there’s also audio commentary on the album with the original composer, which is neat!

The “End of year surprise” Award – Chained Echoes OST

I think the Chained Echoes soundtrack took us all by surprise, as it was featured and frequently mentioned on Rhythm Encounter recently. There are more than a few reasons this OST by Eddie Marianukroh deserves attention and discussion, but two factors cemented its place here on my personal list for this year. First, its uniformly high quality is laudable. It feels polished, with clear time and effort going into the finer details of instrumentation and successfully creating an atmosphere for a variety of moods and situations. The instrumental parts consistently weave well, and each note feels purposeful. Second, this is a soundtrack that claims inspiration from some of the greats like Chrono Trigger and actually uses that effectively to create a new and more modern-sounding soundscape that can stand among some of the greats. If you need further convincing, check out Pat’s review, or the full soundtrack in the YouTube embed above.

Hilary Andreff

Hilary Andreff

Officially, Hilary focuses on proofreading and QA here at RPGFan and has been with the team since early 2017. You can also find her on the occasional podcast, doing a music review, or helping make a news post once in a while. Unofficially, she responds immediately to any talk of a Quintet game or the Shadow Hearts series and is known for pushing RPGFan's graphic adventure coverage. She may be one of the most likely staff members to make a friendship speech.