Game Music

SQUIDS and Romain Gauthier: Now This Is VGM

February 6, 2012 | | 3 Comments Share thison Facebook SQUIDS and Romain Gauthier: Now This Is VGMon Twitter

I have a hard time trying to explain to non-VGM-enjoying friends what made and makes VGM something that contrasts with other forms of “soundtrack” music (film and television score). The line becomes more and more blurred each day.

But here, at the tail end of 2011, I found a perfect example of what I mean. The soundtrack for SQUIDS, an iOS title from French developer “The Game Bakers,” channels everything unique about looped background music that can make it beautiful and, dare I say, more than just background music.

The album is available (currently $4 USD) via bandcamp, and after the jump, I’ll tell you why half-hour collection of music is worth every penny.

How do you describe your favorite soundtracks? And why are they your favorites? My favorites are things like Chrono Cross, Atelier Iris, and Alundra. And the adjectives that come to mind? Bright. Spirited. Thoughtful. Whimsical. Deep.

In only 11 tracks of audio, composer Romain Gauthier covers the whole gamut. All for a “casual” RPG-ish title on the iOS. The instrumentation is perfect. I am never quite sure what is performed/recorded live and what is just voice banks and samples. And I don’t really care. I just get sucked in. From orchestral to Hawaiian luau and back, this sea-flavored soundtrack blows my mind. To quote the composer from the digital liner notes:

“The resulting music is, I’m not afraid to say, my favorite work until now; a blend of classic RPG tropes with lighter elements thrown in, such as mandolins, steel drums, and lighthearted synthesizers to break the seriousness and self-importance of usual RPG music.

Well crap, not only is Mr. Gauthier writing great music, he’s even reviewing his own work better than I could. So I’ll just stop here and let the music do the talking. Check it out, here’s the link again. The site says that buying this soundtrack help funds a sequel, and if this soundtrack has any fault at all, it’s that you’ll find yourself wanting some more! Let’s see it happen.

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