Pardon my link bait but I already did a recap of my favorite game music from 2015 over at Original Sound Version. I even think it turned out pretty well so you should probably check it out over there. If, for whatever reason, you just can’t bring yourself to leave GameLuv I’ll do you a quick recap of my picks.
Game Soundtrack of the Year: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
By: Ludvig Forssell, Justin Burnett, Harry Gregson-Williams, Daniel James, Rina Yugi, Steve Henifin (Kojima Productions), Donna Burke, Stefanie Joosten
If you still love listening to a soundtrack after spending 200+ hours with it, you know it’s something special! While the storyline of MGSV may be all over the place, the music — from original score to mood-setting ambiance to licensed 80’s pop songs — holds true to the game’s themes of pain and revenge. Even the licensed tracks used only in trailers leading up to its release stick to the overall vibe of the game.
Runner Up: Minna de Spelunker Z/Spelunker World
By: Ken-ichiro Iwasaki, Maro Miyakawa
I don’t know how many hours I spent with Spelunker in 2015 but I kept up with the Japanese and U.S. versions almost every single day from April on. It’s a peculiar combo of punishing retro platforming and modern, free-to-play design that I can’t seem to get enough of. As such the infectiously catchy music has been in my head all year long and I love and hate and LOVE it!
Arrangement Album of the Year: V-Jams by V-Jams
V-Jams’ style hit me so hard back in August that it made me feel like a video game music virgin; as if no one had ever rearranged a video game tune before. It’s not because V-Jams’ renditions are ultra-authentic to the source material, far from it. V-Jams pushes familiar themes to the edge of recognizability and then noodles over them with amazing jazzy style as the minutes unravel. There’s also a bit of mystery around the collective which I’m eager to see revealed in 2016 because it means more of this astounding music won’t be far behind!
Runner Up: Volume III by DJ Cutman
While I love the wildest deconstructions of music I also appreciate the simple art of adding fat beats. It really was that simple on Cutman’s earliest works but for 2015’s Volume III there’s a lot more going on. Chopped and looped with layers of fresh drums and beats, he’s reinvigorated some of my favorites and introduced me to so many new soundtracks. Volume III is simply his most polished and professional work yet and well worth checking out.