LOUDER FEATURES: Musical Nostalgia - The Soundtracks to our Gaming
Where were you when you heard your favourite band for the first time? It might have been when a friend sent you an album to listen to, maybe even on a mixtape made specifically for you if you can remember that far back! For the average person, their favourite music often comes from catching it whilst doing something else, like watching a film or playing a video game. In fact, if you were an avid player of the Tony Hawk or Guitar Hero games, it almost certainly shaped your taste in sound and style. So let’s look back at some iconic titles with equally iconic soundtracks that elevated the play style to many games.
Guitar Hero III - ‘Through The Fire And Flames’ by DragonForce
The Guitar Hero and Rock Band gaming series let music fans live out the dream of performing on stage and rocking out to fantastic music. But there’s always that final challenge that separates the shred masters from the casual strummers: the final song in Guitar Hero 3: Legends of Rock. It may be during the credits of the game, but completing the complex song, especially with that intro. The real challenge is perfecting the song on the highest difficulty, but because of how great the song is, it’s a challenge worth fighting for. There’s a reason people still talk about the song to this day.
Crazy Taxi - ‘All I Want’ by The Offspring
The aim of Crazy Taxi is to take your passenger from one point to their destination as quickly as possible, avoiding traffic and doing tricks to earn tips. What better soundtrack for that scenario than the insanity that is American punk? Whilst Bad Religion’s ‘Inner Logic’ is a banger to show the insanity during the credits, The Offspring’s ‘All I Want’ is the true song to accompany the carnage. Its blasting sound and fast paced vocals work with how fast-paced the gameplay is, and elevates the game into the iconic title it is today.
Brutal Legend - ‘Rock of Ages’ by Def Leppard
Considering that Brutal Legend is one of the most metal games out there, as you play Eddie the Roadie maneuvering through the world of metal and music cameos, including Rob Halford of Judas Priest, Ozzy Osbourne, and the late and great Lemmy. But as the game progresses, one of the most iconic songs of Def Leppard’s catalogue becomes a needed anthem as the chugging riffs and steady beat add to the thought and planning in this battle strategy game. It may be seen as a left pick choice, but with the difficulty spikes in the game, this tune is essential whilst playing.
Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 - ‘Guerilla Radio’ by Rage Against The Machine
As the lyrics say, “Turn that shit up”! Tom Morello’s excellent skill on guitar is a fantastic song choice whilst pulling stunts and tricks on a skateboard, in this classic game from the Playstation’s lifetime. The shredding on the guitar is the perfect accompaniment for the shredding on the skateboard as Zack de la Rocha’s powerful lyrics and vocals cut through to help motivate the player as they skate their way to the top.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City - ‘I Ran’ by Flock Of Seagulls
Often considered a one hit wonder, this iconic post punk/new wave jam is an unusual choice for a game about crime and, more often than not, running people over at high speed in your car. But this is Rockstar Games, and unusual is their middle name. The soaring vocals and echoing guitars are the perfect sound when getting chased by the police or even when, literally, running away after completing a mission. The fact that the chorus is “and I ran, I ran so far away”, it makes it a genius decision on the developers part to include this 80s banger.
Bratz Rock Angelz - ‘Rush’ by Aly & AJ
Left field choice? Absolutely. But those who say the Bratz franchise didn’t help mold their childhood are liars, especially with the inclusion of Aly & AJ tracks. The rock theming works well with the music, and whilst the focus of the game is more on the fashion aspect, being able to rock out to this song adds to the theme of the game. It’s fun to do the random fashion and makeup tasks, or even the posing tasks, with this bop in the background for everyone to rock out to.
Thrillville: Off The Rails - ‘Ocean Avenue’ by Yellowcard
Thrillville is Rollercoaster Tycoon on steroids, where you run the theme park, ride the rides, talk to the guests, and get involved with running the parks. What better way to encompass that than with an emo classic?! In all seriousness, the energy and fire that’s in this song adds to the craziness of the game. As the player goes on an eccentric ride with loops, corkscrews, and even crashing the ride by not completing the track, the emo anthem adds to the insanity and enjoyability of the game. Pour your emo heart out as you build an extreme coaster!
What are some iconic songs that you found through video games? Let us know on our Twitter page, @uplouderblog, or over on Facebook! And speaking of The Offspring, be sure to check out their latest album, 'Let The Bad Times Roll' - check out our review here!