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30 Beautiful Video Game Compositions You Need To Hear

30 Beautiful Video Game Compositions You Need To Hear

Within video games you will find innovative and extraordinary modern music. The highly creative nature of the industry, which promotes unrestricted imagination, has resulted in an exceptional array of diverse recordings over the last three decades.

To celebrate the genre, here are 30 examples of brilliant video game compositions (you can find many of the complete soundtracks on YouTube), and the geniuses behind them.

1 . Donkey Kong Country

David Wise’s Aquatic Ambiance, from the famous 1994 SNES game, begins the list. A British composer, Wise joined developers Rare in the 1980s and has since created a critically acclaimed body of work.

2. Donkey Kong Country 2

The Donkey Kong Country sequel from 1995 improved on the original, with Stickerbush Symphony remaining one of the finest recordings.

3. Donkey Kong Country 3

Wise concluded the Donkey Kong Country trilogy in 1996 with another sublime selection of compositions. Frosty Frolic remains a particularly enduring piece.

4. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

After a brief spell away from music, Wise returned to work on Tropical Freeze in 2013. The result is a wonderful soundtrack for the Wii U edition, with Grassland Groove proving a big hit with fans.

5. Okami

This unique title also offered an inspired soundtrack. Infused with Japanese culture, the compositions are mesmerizing. It was such an achievement Capcom won the Best Soundtrack at the 2007 Video Game BAFTAs.

6. Secret of Mana

A role-playing game from 1993, Secret of Mana was not only brilliant, but complemented by an emotive soundtrack by Hiroki Kikuta. The title now holds legendary status within the gaming community.

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7. Rayman Origins

http://youtu.be/efO5kApequ4

Ubisoft’s extraordinarily imaginative Rayman Origins is overloaded with innovative music. Desert of Dijiridoos’ Lost Beats is one of the many highlights.

8. Rayman Origins

http://youtu.be/tNqRRXr3YXY

From the underwater levels on The Sea of Serendipity, it’s clear why Rayman Origins’ soundtrack is so well regarded. This is The Lum’s Dream (Glou Glou).

9. The Curse of Monkey Island

LucasArts hit new highs with this remarkable soundtrack – a popular inclusion at video game music orchestral performances. Michael Land composed the music to this charming 1997 adventure game.

10. EarthBound

An enigmatic RPG from 1994, EarthBound (Mother 2 in Japan) has only just become available to Europeans. The soundtrack was composed by Hiroshi Kanazu, Keiichi Suzuki, and Hirokazu Tanaka.

11. Final Fantasy VII

Arguably the finest moment in the Final Fantasy franchise, VII reached a peak in storytelling and emotional impact. Nobuo Uematsu composed the unforgettable music.

12. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Still considered by many to be the best game ever, Ocarina of Time naturally showcased many mesmerizing compositions. The Forest Temple piece is a highlight – Koji Kondo composed the game’s music.

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13. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

Twilight Princess built on the increasingly mature themes of the Zelda series. Toru Minegishi, Asuka Ota, and Koji Kondo were the composers.

14. Halo 2

The landmark Halo series had its critically acclaimed soundtracks composed by American Martin O’Donnell. This is Peril, from the second release in the franchise.

15. The Last of Us

One of the finest games of 2013, The Last of Us boasted some extraordinary musical moments. Gustavo Santaolalla was the composer – he’s the winner of two Oscars for his work on the films Brokeback Mountain and Babel.

16. Assassin’s Creed II

Jesper Kyd is the composer for the series’ much celebrated music. Also employed for the second Assassin’s Creed game was a 35-person string ensemble and a choir.

17. Super Mario 64

A legendary title from Shigeru Miyamoto, Super Mario 64 revolutionized the games industry in 1996. It’s still a classic, and its music is as beautiful as ever. This is Dire Dire Docks, as composed by Koji Kondo.

18. Super Mario Galaxy 2

Nintendo’s composer, Koji Kondo, employed some 60 musicians for what was dubbed the “Mario Galaxy Orchestra,” a symphony orchestra offering new depth to the Mario series. This is a more playful composition, highlighting the franchise’s sense of fun, known as Puzzle Plank Galaxy.

19. Super Mario 3D World

One of the very best games from 2013, the latest Super Mario title offers more inventive takes on Mario’s musical landscape.

20. Bit.Trip Presents…Runner2

This fiendishly addictive platformer boasts arguably the best soundtrack from 2013. A heady mix of jazz and dance, it’s exhilarating stuff. Petrified Productions provided the music – this piece is Superfunk.

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21. Lost Winds

A humble platformer from 2008, Lost Winds utilized minimalistic Japanese music to great effect.

22. World of Goo

This wonderfully quirky soundtrack was created by Kyle Gabler. This track, Brave Adventures, has vocal sections performed by two people – Gabler used a keyboard to amplify the effect. The World of Goo soundtrack was released, free of charge, in 2009. You can download it here.

23. Bastion

Mine, Windbag, Mine is from the highly creative Bastion soundtrack by Darren Korb. What he has dubbed as “acoustic frontier trip hop” makes up the compositions, with the intention to be as innovative as possible.

24. Journey

2012’s acclaimed PS3 game had its soundtrack composed by Austin Wintory. He based the soundtrack around one theme, with heavy use of the cello in order to represent the player. This track is called Reclamation.

25. Shadow of the Colossus

http://youtu.be/UmkRKotTQ9w

This is Swift Horse from the outstanding soundtrack by Kō Ōtani from the 2005 PlayStation 2 game.

26. Skyrim

http://youtu.be/Cmp5fr4wUEA

Jeremy Soule composed the music for Skyrim, relying on a choir of over 30 men for certain sections of the game.

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27. World of Warcraft

For an MMORPG like the World of Warcraft series, a brilliant soundtrack is a necessity. Developers Blizzard have used over a dozen composers since the game’s inception in 2004, with sheet music for the many recordings released in 2011.

28. Jet Force Gemini

Rare’s 1999 N64 classic was home to some of the most advanced music ever heard in a video game. Robin Beanland composed it all – this is Water Ruin. 

29. Earthworm Jim 2

http://youtu.be/8OtrgZ2r2GA

Composer Tommy Tallarico used inspiration from classical music (primarily Beethoven) for a number of Earthworm Jim 2’s distinctive tracks. This is one of Tallarico’s original creations, from the level Lorenzo’s Soil.

30. Metroid Prime

Nintendo’s remarkable Metroid Prime Trilogy featured ethereal music that perfectly complemented its futuristic themes. This is the iconic opening world music, which is remixed from a level in the 1994 SNES game Super Metroid. Kenji Yamamoto and Kouichi Kyuuma created the soundtrack.

Featured photo credit: Video Games Live/Roxanne Ready via flickr.com

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8 Things to Watch for If You’re Considering Being Vegetarian

8 Things to Watch for If You’re Considering Being Vegetarian

Vegetarianism has been around for a long time, finding favor with many people, including Pythagoras clear back around 580 B.C. It’s been presented as one of the most healthy diets around, including being touted by the Egyptians to the point of abstaining from meat and animal clothing due to karmic beliefs. The vegetarian society (vegsoc.org) defines vegetarianism as:

“Someone who lives on a diet of grains, pulses, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits with, or without, the use of dairy products and eggs. A vegetarian does not eat any meat, poultry, game, fish, shellfish* or by-products of slaughter.”

While it’s pretty obvious that there are multiple benefits to following a vegetarian diet, it’s always good to be informed about the cons of this dietary choice as well.

Outlined below are several things you might want to be aware of before you say good-bye to meat forever. Whether you are a current vegetarian, or contemplating making a shift, keep in mind these 8 things to keep yourself healthy.

1. You could suffer from B12 vitamin deficiency

The B vitamins are especially important for stress management, adrenal health, and brain function. Vegetarians in particularly are at risk for B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 is attached to the protein in animal products and without enough B12 you can suffer from depression, fatigue, and an inability to concentrate.

Due to its attachment to animal proteins, B12 is the hardest for vegetarians to obtain when they don’t eat dairy or eggs in their diet. This essential little vitamin can be found in some algae and has been added to some yeast, but research doesn’t currently provide enough information to say whether or not these forms of B12 are of good quality and can provide adequate supplementation.

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The body is unable to make this vitamin, meaning it has to be taken in through food or supplementation. Essential for making red blood cells, DNA, nerves and various other function in the body, a Harvard Health Medical report in January of 2013 found symptoms of a B12 deficiency can present in sneaky ways including depression, paranoia, delusion, and loss of taste and smell.

2.  You could suffer from higher states of anxiety/depression, lower sense of well-being

According to a CBS Atlanta report, vegetarians suffered from a higher rate of anxiety and depression than their counterparts. Read the full report here. Depression and/or anxiety can be a result of many possible deficiencies including essential vitamins and amino acids you can find only in meat products, including Omega-3s from wild caught salmon.

Without the correct supplementation and proper understanding of diet, including the importance of micro and macro nutrients, depression and anxiety can become a serious problem, bringing down the overall health and well-being of vegetarians.

Even though reports on health and lifestyle show vegetarians have a lower BMI and lower consumption of alcohol and drugs, it also shows they suffer from more chronic illnesses and more visits to the doctor than their meat eating counterparts.

3. You could suffer from excess weight

When you go vegetarian it opens up a lot of food, but just because there isn’t any meat in front of you, it doesn’t mean it’s necessary healthy. Though pizza and beer technically fall under the vegetarian diet, it’s not a healthy choice for your waist line.

Just because being a vegetarian is associated with a healthier lifestyle in many cases, doesn’t mean it’s always true. Making bread and pasta your staples and not understanding where your protein sources should be coming from, can pack on body fat, which increases your chances of health issues such as diabetes and chronic inflammation.

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If the choice to go vegetarian happens on a whim without the proper understanding of food control, portion, and nutritionally dense alternatives you can find yourself reaching for vegetarian foods, which could cause serious problems down the road. Nuts are a good example, but just because something is touted as healthy, it doesn’t mean, your should eat it in excess.

Eating too many calories in fat will still cause you to gain weight. Eating too many calories in carbs will cause you to gain weight. Eating too many calories in protein will cause you to gain weight. See a pattern here? Not to mention you’ll miss out on important nutrients the body needs by over-eating in one area and under-eating in another. Re-read number 2.

4. You could have a higher risk of heart disease

Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables should be a goal we all strive for, but when you cut out meat, you also cut out what is known as complete protein, which you find in animal by-products. Complete means more than just the essential amino acids, it means those amino acids contain dietary sulfur. Without enough dietary sulfur, which is found almost exclusively in fish and pasture feed grass beef, the body will struggle with the biological activities of both protein and enzymes.

The effects cascade downward, effecting bones, joints, tissues, and even metabolic issues. In short, a low intake of sulfur associated with a vegetarian diet can result in high blood levels of homocysteine, which may lead to blood clots in your arteries, blood clots raise your risk of stroke and heart attack. To read the full report click here.

5. You could suffer from low cholesterol

I know, at first you’re thinking, wait, low cholesterol is a good thing. Yes, it is, when it’s LDL cholesterol, which you get from eating an unhealthy diet, but low HDL (good cholesterol) can cause serious health issues. HDL, according to the mayo clinic, is in every cell in our body and can help fend off heart disease, not enough of it though, and too much LDL can go the other way, will be building up plaque in the arteries and leading to heart disease.

Cholesterol, the good kind, is actually vitally important to the making of every steroid hormone in the body! There are six, and without cholesterol the body is unable to convert hormones, and it can cause damage in the endocrine system.

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A vegetarian without a balanced diet, meaning enough protein, enough veggies, and enough good fats, could disrupt his or her adrenals, which are directly connected to the endocrine system and the body’s ability to make and synthesize the hormones your body needs. The six major hormones in the body help do everything from metabolizing carbohydrates, to the electrolyte balance, to making sure if you’re a woman you can carry a healthy baby through pregnancy.

6. You could suffer from lower bone density and osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis, the disease where the bones get thinner, weaker, and fractures become a high risk with day to day movements. It’s often associated with the older generation, but your risk for osteoporosis increases with a lower bone density. Bone density can be directly related to diet and lifestyle, along with many other factors.

When it comes to eating a vegetarian diet it’s possible to miss getting enough of the right nutrients, causing the bones to begin to break down. If your vegetarian diet isn’t balanced and providing you with the correct nutrients and the means to absorb the correct nutrients, your body could begin to break down.

Recently, Professor Tuan Nguyen of Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research led a review of both Australian and Vietnamese research around the bone density of vegetarian versus their meat eating counterparts. Helping Professor Nguyen was Dr. Ho-Pham Thuc Lan from Pham Ngoc Thac University of Medicine in Vietnam. The review was designed to sort though years of research surrounded by discrepancies and inadequate clinical data.

At the end of the review, with vegetarianism rising to around 5% of the populace in the western continents, and with wide spread osteoporosis reports – 2 million in Australia and closer to 54 million in America – the decrease in bone density of vegetarians is a serious issue which needs to be addressed, if you’ve cut meat and animal by-products out of your life.

7. You could be at a higher risk for colorectal cancer

Cancer seems to be running rampant through America, and it’s within everyone’s best interest to do all they can to keep their body healthy and happy to prevent cancer from finding a place to grow. In most studies it’s been found vegetarians are at lower risk for cancer, but a European Oxford study with over 63 thousand men and women in the United Kingdom found the risk for colorectal cancer higher in vegetarians than in meat-eaters.

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Extra care needs to be taken when establishing a diet to ensure the body is receiving and able to up take all the important nutritional benefits and requirements from food.

8. You could end up eating more processed food

Depending on how deep you choose to go as a vegetarian, it could create the need to substitute a lot of food and recipe ingredients in your diet, but what happens when you cut out meat, eggs, and dairy and your recipe calls for meat, eggs, and/or dairy? You have to end up using a “healthy” vegetarian alternative which include stabilizers, thickeners, and various other ingredients you can’t pronounce.

Lauren from Empowered Substance puts it into a great perspective with her comparison of Earth Balance, a vegetarian approved butter replacement compared to butter. She points out the ingredients in Earth Balance consist of: Palm fruit oil, canola oil, safflower oil, flax oil, olive oil, salt, natural flavor, pea protein, sunflower lecithin, lactic acid, annatto color. Meanwhile, the ingredient list in butter, is much shorter. It’s butter.

That’s only one example. To appeal to the vegetarian lifestyle food manufacturers have found alternatives which fall under vegetarian, but aren’t necessarily healthy for you. Consider baked goods, which though vegetarian can be filled with more sugars and binders than regular baked goods with diary products. It’s the same with vegetarian items like mac and cheese, without using real cheese you may just be getting oil and thickeners, without even the smallest amount of nutritional value.

The reality is, most vegetarian substitutes contain the same junky alternatives which even meat eaters should be avoiding to remain happy and healthy.

On one final note, whichever lifestyle you choose to work with, remember anything in excess – including protein and animal by products – isn’t healthy for the body. It takes a wide spectrum of food and nutrients to keep the beautiful body you travel around in all day running in prime condition.

 

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