2015, A Golden Year for Video Game Music

2015 was one of the best years for gaming in a long while: With games like The Witcher 3 showing that some old genre’s still have places to go. With games like Ori and the Blind Forest and Bloodborne showing the strength of thematic cohesion. And Undertale changing our perception on game design as a whole.

But even with all those impressive accolades, there’s one thing even more impressive..

These fuckin’ jams!

The OSTs released in 2015 are some of the best gaming has ever seen. So here today we’re gonna look at some of my favorites and examine various techniques used.


2015 | VGM’S Golden Year:

Motifs:

Moon Studios is an indie studio. Which is a statement that’s hard to believe after you’ve played this masterpiece. Ori has got to be the prettiest game I’ve ever played. Just goes to show what you can do with a little style and ingenuity. With a quarter of the resources Moon Studios have made magic.

Ori and the Blind Forest is one of the most emotional games I’ve ever played. And this emotion is perfectly conveyed through its first track.

This game uses motifs to sell its various themes as well. If you check out its’ closing track, “Light of Nibel”…

You can hear Ori’s theme in many places throughout it. The instrumentation throughout correlates to the themes of the major dungeons throughout the game. Representing reflection on the journey Ori has taken.


Thematic Cohesion:

From Software. What else can I say? These guys have been in the game awhile but hit critical stardom with 2011’s Dark Souls. Bloodborne was highly anticipated and exceeded expectations with it’s horrifying monsters and haunting themes.

While each game I’ve talked about today has pretty good thematic cohesion. Bloodborne reigns King. It’s music captures the hectic and claustrophobic nature of the world and gameplay perfectly.

If you listen to its’ title theme “Bloodborne,” you immediately understand the ideas and themes the game is trying to sell you.

The vocals combined with that pulsing bass help to convey the games horror and the hectic nature of its combat. The music keeps building until the vocalist hits that note at 2:05.

Beautiful.


Good F@#$in’ Songs:

Toby Fox’s Undertale caught the world by storm. No one expected this ugly-looking 8 bit inspired rpg to be one of the best games that came out that year.

Undertale undeniable had the biggest impact when it comes to VGM. Every single Youtube cover artist and remixer covered at least one song on this amazing OST.

Undertale actually uses alot of motifs as well but Undertale’s claim to fame isn’t necessarily the way its’ tracks string together. But just that each track is just good. From the jazzy feel of “Ghost Fight” to that spanish guitar feel in “Spear of Justice”‘s second movement the whole OST is nuts. In the best way.

But the track that impacts me the most. Is its title theme, “Undertale.”

It captures the nostalgia of a simplier time. It makes me think of hesitation before a big decision, as you step out of the safety of your home before doing something truly great.

And with that track I leave you. Hopefully this song fills you with the strength to keep moving foward. Good luck.


Buy the Music:

The Witcher 3:

Ori and the Blind Forest:

Bloodborne:

Undertale:

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