I thought I’d start a new series by reviewing a soundtrack every month. What works, what doesn’t… let’s take a look at what other games are doing with their soundtracks!
This month’s soundtrack comes from the game Grim Fandango, the classic LucasArts adventure.
Simply put, it is perhaps the best soundtrack ever made for a game. I recently listened to the soundtrack as I was preparing to do my own film noir tune for a game I’m working on. Sometimes listening to a parody of a genre is more informative than researching a particular example of the original genre and this is a good example of that. They’ve distilled the film noir jazz sound into its essence so well, you’d think the music came from the black & white age.
Peter McConnell created a masterpiece with his score for this game and all other adventure game developers should look at this classic as an example of what’s possible in game music. One of my goals as a game music composer is to help raise the quality of game music. I’m glad that other composers, though few and far between right now, are out there with that goal in mind too. This soundtrack has great depth and it avoids cliches, something every composer should look to do. Pick up a copy of the game. It’s worth it for the game itself, but everyone needs to hear what’s possible with a game soundtrack.
Verdict: Required Listening