Important Importables: 10 game soundtracks every gamer should own

August 21, 2010 - 2:00 am No Comments

Hot Japanese Imports: 10 game soundtracks every gamer should own

Section: Exclusives, Originals, Features, Columns, Japanese Imports, Lists, Gear, Audio

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Many video games are reknowned for having wonderful soundtracks which create a perfect atmosphere while you play. So if you are a game fanatic, you may find building a game music library will help heighten your appreciation for the accompanying instrumentals and songs.

Getting such a library started can be a bit daunting though. There are many wonderful soundtracks out there and going out and buying randomly could result in CDs with only one or two songs on them that you really like. So in today’s Hot Japanese Imports, I’ve compiled a list of 10 Japanese game soundtracks which can really add something special to a game music library.

Kingdom Hearts SOundtrack

Acquiring Video Game Soundtracks

I already went over game soundtrack buying in an earlier column, but here’s a quick summary in case you don’t feel like revisiting and rereading. Most video game soundtracks you’ll have to import from Japan. There are exceptions, and iTunes and Amazon are expanding their game soundtrack selection every day. The first step is to check iTunes and Amazon now, to see if the game soundtrack you’re looking for is available there. If it is, then you’ll probably be able to get it for between $9.99 and $19.99.

If the soundtrack you’re looking for isn’t there, you’ll have to import. Since bootleg CDs can be a problem, your best bet is to use a reputable site like Play-Asia, YesAsia or AmiAmi and see if they have what you’re looking for. It’ll be a bit more expensive, costing between $20 and $45 for a complete soundtrack, but it’ll be authentic and in good condition.

Final Fantasy VII FFVII Soundtrack

10 Great Game Soundtracks You Should Own

  1. Persona 3 Original Soundtrack: The Persona 3 soundtrack is a perfect staple for a video game soundtrack collection due to the varying music. You have wonderful instrumentals that perfectly accentuate the themes of Tartarus dungeon exploration and events, but also have Japanese pop, rock and hip hop mixed in that were used for the “everyday life” segments of the game. If you really enjoy the music and the game, you may also want look into the Persona 3 FES Original Soundtrack and Persona 3 Portable Original Soundtrack. Each one should cost between $21.90 and $31.90, if you decide to import them.
  2. Katamari Damashii Soundtrack: Katamari Fortissimo Damashii: Expect to pay around $30 for this soundtrack. Also, Beautiful Katamari Damacy Original Soundtrack and Boku no Watashi no Katamari Damacy – Complete Sounds of Katamari CDs are available.
  3. Miku Hatsune – Project Diva – 2nd Nonstop Mix Collection: This may seem a bit of a stretch, but the music from the Hatsune Miku: Project Diva games is quite catchy, and if you enjoy rhythm games and JPop it’s worth a listen. They’re the kind of tunes which will energize you and get caught in your head. I suggest the Hatsune Miku: Project Diva 2nd soundtrack, just because it includes the best songs from the first game and a few music videos. Expect to pay around $30, since it’s a two disc set. The first game’s soundtrack, Miku Hatsune – Project Diva Original Song Collection, is available for about the same price.
  4. Silent Hill 3 Original Soundtrack: This one’s out of print, so it may be a bit difficult to find. Personally, I enjoyed it most because it had the best songs by Mary Elizabeth McGlynn. But all Silent Hill soundtracks have the same eerily disconcerting and haunting instrumentals, so you could easily go for the Silent Hill 2 Original Soundtrack or Silent Hill Original Soundtrack instead. Expect to pay around $30.
  5. Final Fantasy VII Original Soundtrack: There two distinct versions of the Final Fantasy VII soundtrack available, the Original Soundtrack and the Piano Collection. As you can guess, the Piano Collection has all the songs performed by a piano. Both are equally lovely, and I highly recommend both. If you’re a general fan of the series, then the Original Soundtrack is the way to go. Expect to pay $40 for that one. The Piano Collection is usually about $10 cheaper.
  6. Mother 1 + 2 Original Soundtrack: Don’t let the title fool you – this is actually the soundtrack for Earthbound. Earthbound is part of the Mother series in Japan, and was known as Mother 2 there. So if you pick up this particular soundtrack, you’ll get the music from both the first and second game. It’s jazzy and one of the best SNES era soundtracks out there. Expect to pay around $30 for it, if you get it.
  7. Kingdom Hearts Original Soundtrack: Like Final Fantasy VII, there are a few version of the Kingdom Hearts soundtrack out there. For an initial video game soundtrack collection, the Kingdom Hearts Original Soundtrack should serve you well. It usually costs between $30 and $35 and is filled with wonderfully lush instrumentals and reinterpretations of Disney themes and Hikaru Utada’s theme song, “Hikari.” There are also two piano collections, Kingdom Hearts Piano Collections and Piano Collections Kingdom Hearts: Battle & Field, and a Kingdom Hearts Original Soundtrack Complete box set, for over $150, that has nine CDs filled with music from the game.
  8. Nintendo Sound History Series: Zelda the Music This CD is a Legend of Zelda fan’s dreams. It covers all Zelda games from the original Legend of Zelda to Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. There are 70 themes from the games, and you can usually pick up a copy for around $20. If you search for it, try looking under both Nintendo Sound History Series and Famicom Sound History Series, as it could be listed under either. Zelda fans may also want to look for the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Rearenge Soundtrack, which offers 12 remastered and rearranged songs from Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. It’s slightly more expensive though, and costs around $30.
  9. Nintendo Sound History Series: Mario the Music: This CD is out of print, so it may be a bit difficult to find. If you can, it’s worth it. It is filled with 79 tracks from the original NES Mario games. All the Super Mario games, and also music from Dr. Mario and Mario Bros.. Again, check for it under both Nintendo Sound History Series and Famicom Sound History Series, if you go shopping for it. And expect to pay around $20.
  10. DDR Max Original Soundtrack: The Dance Dance Revolution soundtracks are filled with great feel-good music, perfect for parties or working out. Whichever works best for you. The DDR Max soundtrack is filled with a number of classic DDR tunes which have appeared in multiple games, and while the songs are short you get a lot. Expect between $30-40.

COMING NEXT WEEK: Hot Japanese Imports reviews Heart no Kuni no Alice for the PSP.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last week Hot Japanese Imports talked about Sanrio.

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Full Story » | Written by Jenni Lada for Gamertell. | Comment on this Article »


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