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December 31, 2018 | | Comment? Share thison Facebook OSVOSTOTY 2018: BRENNA’S PICKSon Twitter


Yet another year come and gone and it’s been a year of fantastic VGM. Unfortunately, it’s been another year where I didn’t get to play a whole heck of a lot of games, though what I did had some fantastic music. Now it’s time to do the rundown of my 2019 picks for original soundtrack of the year. While it’s likely disappointing to some, I encourage people to comment with their own list for 2018 OSTs.

Game Soundtrack of the Year

  • Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon

This shouldn’t be much of a surprise to anyone. The bonus throwback game that was included in the kickstarter for the Castlevania spiritual sequel Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night ended up being a ridiculously fun game in its own right, and the music was as catchy and memorable as the original NES games. Michiru Yamane and Ippo Yamada crafted a soundscape for Curse of the Moon that, while obviously more sophisticated than what would have been possible on an NES, still embodies the spirit of the 8-bit legacy.

Runner Up

  • Dead Cells

I reviewed this soundtrack back earlier this year and it still holds up as one of my favorite soundtracks of the year. Composer Yoann Laulan crafted an amazing Dead Souls-esque soundtrack befitting of the game’s atmosphere, yet it still stands out on its own merits. It’s broody, gothic, foreboding, odd and just the right feeling for crawling decrepit dungeons as an undead, and that’s what made me love the Dead Cells soundtrack.

Honorable Mention

  • Octopath Traveler

I usually keep my OSTOTY selections to soundtracks of games I’ve actually played, but despite not playing Octopath Traveler, I can still say it’s one of the most beautiful soundtracks of 2018 without a doubt. With sweeping orchestrations and emotion jam-packed into nearly every track, Octopath will and should be on people’s top soundtracks lists for the year.

Arrangement Album of the Year

  • Ocarina of Time by Super Guitar Bros.

If you’d asked me that simplistic arrangements of VGM to guitar-tabbed tunes would somehow end up sounding better than the original tunes, I might have believed you given how these two guys have created their previous stringed offerings.

Runner Up

  • Music Box Classics: Castlevania by Video Game Music Box

This is a bit of a cop-out, as the Music Box Classics albums are basically reworkings of MIDI input with chiptune instruments meant to sound like a music box. Still, the Castlevania offering from the Video Game Music Box (otherwise known as String Player Gamer) nabbed my interest if for no other reason than I would murder a person to get a real music box that played “Vampire Killer”. I am a simple girl who sometimes can enjoy simple things.

Honorable Mention(s)

Admittedly, I have bias with these two, but it’s the end of the year so screw having any shame. Both of these albums dropped at last year’s MAGFest and were performed live on stage (as was the above’s Super Guitar Bros album) and they both sounded amazing and deserving of some accolades (even shameless ones).



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