This was an incredibly tough category this year. Even with eight nominees, there were several other soundtracks that were released that we wanted to include. When it came to selecting the overall winners, however, the team here at OSV was pretty quick to agree.
I want everyone to take a look at our list of nominees once again and take note of how few sequels and huge big-budget titles made the list. I think that says a lot about where the industry is going, and it’s definitely a good thing.
So, in case you’ve forgotten our nominees for Soundtrack of the Year:
Double Dragon Neon
Dust: An Elysian Tale
Etrian Odyssey IV
Guild Wars 2
And the winners are…
Our second runner-up is Dust: An Elysian Tale. This was one of the biggest and most pleasant surprises of the year, combining a touch of whimsy, a dash of majesty, and just enough action to make sure everyone listening was still awake. It brings a lot of elements together quite nicely, matching the beautiful visual style of the game and giving you a number of memorable moments. It goes a long way to prove that you don’t have to have a huge budget to make an amazing, award-winning soundtrack!
My how I wish our winner this year was released a different year. Everyone on the staff absolutely adored our first runner-up, the Double Dragon Neon soundtrack. We say it every time Jake Kaufman releases a new soundtrack, but this is his best work to date. A masterpiece. Not only did he get to create amazing arrangements of classic Double Dragon music, but the original music featuring live performers (“Glad I Am” is my personal favorite) along with the hilarious and masterful mix tapes made this one of the best experiences of the year. No doubt, looking back a decade from now, even if I don’t remember the melodies (although I will), I’ll remember Double Dragon Neon as one of the most fun soundtracks that was ever released.
And now, our winner. Did anyone doubt that this one would win? Journey was amazing. The soundtrack, crafted by Austin Wintory, was equally so. What I love most about the game’s soundtrack is that it lets you relive the magic you experienced playing the game, but over a much shorter duration of time. It’s great being able to take the whimsical melodies with you on the go, adding a bit of mystery and intrigue to whatever it is you may find yourself doing while listening. Or maybe it’ll remind you of that one partner who stuck with you through half of the game only to fall in the tower area, never to be found again.
Oh, and did we mention the Grammy nomination? While we’re all hoping it will win, the fact that it’s been recognized outside of the industry is a huge deal, and I can’t think of an album released this year that is better suited to represent our interest in game music better on such a global stage. Good luck, Journey!
See all of our OSTOSTOTY 2012 winners here: