Castlevania: Lords of Shadow — The Ice Titan
I’m one of the masses of video game audiophiles who once decried the “cinematization” of game scores–having grown up with the prominent and catchy melodies of Nobuo Uematsu, Koji Kondo, and Yuzo Koshiro, in the middle of the last decade I felt very strongly that the majority of game scores were trending toward ambient mood-setting when they were not busy being the background to lengthy cinematic sequences–and I was afraid that our special, peculiar kind of music was in danger as a result.
This opinion was, in retrospect, pretty short-sighted. What I (and many others) identified as a “trend” was really just the birth-pangs of a new type of game score, and while most AAA, $60 games often have soundtracks that mirror their Hollywood contemporaries, “gamey” chiptune music is still alive and well.
What’s more, in the last five years or so, cinematic game scores have come to be really, really good. Take the above example, from 2010’s Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, a game which is 60% God of War, 20% Shadow of the Colossus, and only about 20% Castlevania. Its departure from its source material notwithstanding, the game is an absolute delight, thanks in no small part to Oscar Araujo’s fabulous and compelling score.
If you’re a gamer and you haven’t played Lords of Shadow, well– you should give it a shot. It’s not absolutely a must play, but it’s most certainly worth your time, especially if you like whippin’ trolls.