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OSVOSTOTY 2017: Ryan’s Picks

December 31, 2017 | | 1 Comment Share thison Facebook OSVOSTOTY 2017: Ryan’s Pickson Twitter

2017 flew by and was a very memorable year for game music, much like 2016! Personally, I am a huge film score fan, and have a deep appreciation for video game soundtracks that feature an orchestral sound. Not surprising my choice for game soundtrack of the year checked that box, as did the remaining choices on my list of runners up, and honorable mentions – except for one chip tune arrangement album. What I love about Original Sound Version’s OSVOSTOTY is that each of our contributors have different gaming experiences each year, and unique tastes in music.

Read on to see what I picked for my favorite game soundtracks of 2017.

Game Soundtrack of the Year

My choice for game soundtrack of the year is Antoine Vachon’s Mages of Mystralia. I reviewed the soundtrack earlier this year, and to this day am still listening to it every week. It features a stunning orchestral sound, with memorable themes that I hum and whistle along to with ease. I still haven’t played the game but can tell from the expansive amount of music that it does evolve with the gameplay. If you love orchestra and themes that stick with you be sure to check it out. You can find the album on bandcamp or in bundles with the game on Steam.

Runner Up

Although I didn’t get around to reviewing the soundtrack to RiME this year, it was my second favorite overall. The music was composed by David Garcia Diaz, and is another wonderful orchestral gem of a score. You can listen to a brief excerpt of the music above in “Alone in the Light” which is a theme that appears again throughout the score. I have only starting playing the game, and the music adds so much to the interactive gameplay. Initially there’s moments where you encounter a fox like spirit that moves as you activate ruins. Each activation triggers a wonderful symphonic moment as the music mirrors the on screen action. The Deluxe version of the game’s soundtrack is available for purchase on Amazon, or comes as a bonus download if you pick up the physical Nintendo Switch version. There are some special editions of the game over in Europe that also come with a lovely physical CD which I hope to be able to own someday.

Honorable Mention

Lost Sphear was released in Japan last this fall, and is due in North America early in the new year. The soundtrack was composed by Tomoki Miyoshi, who also composed the music for I am Setsuna.  I am still in the process of writing my review for the music, but it is wonderful. The music is much more lush than the previous game which only featured a solo piano. Overall I found the music to be a breath of fresh air, and have a warm and positive sound. It wasn’t the best of 2017, but it deserves a listen. You listen to a brief excerpt of the score above and can find the soundtrack for sale at many online retailers on CD. I purchased mine from YesAsia which offers free North American shipping for orders over $39.

Arrangement Album of the Year

Eric Buchholz knocked this one out of the park. Hero of Time is an exceptional orchestral arrangement of the music from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. The album features the Slovak National Symphony Orchestra and many game music arrangement regulars like Laura Intravia and Kristin Naigus on woodwinds. For me it was like listening to a cinematic interpretation of the game’s best moments. The production values were exceptional, and it also received glowing praise from friends of mine who purchased the vinyl edition.  You can check out the full album here.

Runner Up

Chipzel aka Niamh Houston’s Chipped of the NecroDancer captured the essence of Danny Barronowsky’s thrilling soundtrack to Crypt of the NecroDancer in chip tune form. My favorite track is “Deep Sea Bass (Coral Riff Remix)”. I’m sure that many playing the game on Xbox One with this soundtrack would even notice that it’s a remix of an original soundtrack, it’s just that good. I can’t wait to hear more from her in 2018! You can find the album here.

Honorable Mention

Lastly, my honorable mention goes to composer Jeremy Soule, who after several years following a kickstarter campaign to create the “Soule Symphony No.1” released The Northerner Diaries Symphonic Sketches. I have listened to the music with friends who contributed to the campaign and can say that is a wonderful tease of what’s to come. I plan to write more about this in the coming weeks. The album isn’t available to purchase yet, but Jeremy Soule has commented that he hopes it will be available on iTunes sometime next year.

With all of the great music that was released in 2017, I absolutely cannot wait to hear what 2018 has in store for us.

What was your favorite game soundtrack or arrangement release of 2017?

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