My current favourite soundtracks for the current generation are fairly recently released games. NieR:Automata, Celeste, and Stardew Valley. All are completely different and have been purchased as OSTs (original soundtracks). All are good games in their own right but the music can literally be listened too without knowing anything about the game itself.
Each of the 46 tracks on NieR:Automata are epics and fairly lengthy. They’re very diverse and so full of energy, with a wall of sound coming at you like a huge locomotive on an Amtrak rail network. This has choral choruses and other choir type singers against an orchestral backing score with a heavy rock sound coming in now and again! This gets your blood pumping but when the quieter music comes in, then the emotional factor kicks in.
Stardew Valley is nearly the exact opposite of epic as it sounds like a nod back to the 16-bit era of gaming music, but seeing as this is one of my favourite eras of gaming then this soundtrack to me is darn perfect. It sounds like a mellow country chillout type of music with violins, banjos, and guitars – all obviously synthetic but that’s what they did back then. It is charming, whimsical and just so beautiful to listen to. You can just imagine those warm hazy summer days in the countryside when you were younger and when all was sweet and innocent.
Celeste is to me the score of a gamer’s lifetime. Many gamers will tell you the game is a solid side- scrolling platformer with a very steep learning curve, but the music feels to me like an aid to help your way to the top of Celeste mountain. The main soundtrack, which I have, has 21 tracks and the album lasts for 1 hour and 41 minutes. It has a lot of modern sounds from dance beats and good modern popular music techniques, with some top singing and taking influences from a variety of different countries.
The music will help your struggle through the game to the mountain’s summit and even when just listening to it as a straight soundtrack you can feel every emotionally charged struggle, desperation and relief as this amazing music sends your mind into a nirvana type state of mind.
So I can safely say from my above comments that today’s gamers are in safe hands regarding sound and music. This generation has produced some classics and it makes you think that the sky is the limit and in some cases beyond the sky and through the stratosphere to were the celestial objects orbit. That is why I love music, it really is mind expanding and just universally awesome in every way.Alucard