Eight of the Most Awesome Chiptunes in the Current Gaming Scene
There was a time not so long ago when not every video game sported a sweeping, grand orchestral score; a time when you didn't need a world-famous, critically-acclaimed composer or a whole sound team to cobble together a soundtrack for your game; a time when music in video games was simpler; a series of digitized beeps and scratches known colloquially as chiptunes.
As I'm sure anyone who gamed back then is well aware, there were some fairly glorious pieces of music composed for the older generation of titles. In the hands of a skilled composer, it didn't really matter that all they had to create with was a tinny, simplistic soundboard. They made it work.
Today, chiptunes are still considerably popular, even in an age where full orchestras are typically set to the task of providing the musical backdrop for AAA titles. There's a certain charm to a chiptune, a certain sense of nostalgia and a certain feeling of uniqueness. In short...they're right bloody awesome, and some of them are actually a hell of a lot better than most of the music you'll find with a full score. Here's just a few of the best to tickle your eardrums - if you search a little, I'm certain you'll find more.
Just a note before we begin: There's going to be a lot of stuff on this list which pays homage to Capcom's Mega Man series. What can I say? Those guys know their chiptunes.
8. McPixel: Main Theme
We'll start with something from the raunchy and absurd McPixel: The main theme. I'd say it captures the essence of the game more or less perfectly; listening to this, it feels as though you're about to dive into a B-list detective or action movie... given that it's basically a running parody of MacGyver (and pretty much everything else) that's fitting indeed.
7. Rokko Chan: Doctor Mad's Stage (2)
Yep, I'm pulling from a fan-work for the second song on my list. If you're a Mega Man fan and you haven't played Rokko Chan... what the bloody hell is wrong with you? Go here and play it this instant. To be honest, I was actually hard-pressed to decide which of the songs from Rokko Chan to include on this list... the soundtrack is amazing, particularly when you bear in mind that it was likely composed by someone with no formal training in music.
Seems to me like Capcom should drop them a line and see if they need some work.
6. Retro City Rampage: Will to Survive
Much to my shame, I've not yet gotten the chance to play Retro City Rampage, though the open-world GTA-esque game's rich collection of gaming-oriented pop culture references coupled with the awesome music is definitely tempting me towards my next purchase on Steam.
In my mind, this song is one of the best in the game - the sort of thing you could listen to for hours without getting sick of it.
5.Mega Man 10: Wily Stage 5
Yep... another song from Capcom. Somehow, even though they were working with a measly 8-bit system, Capcom's sound team rather brilliantly managed to capture perfectly the emotional build-up leading to the final encounter with Wily atop a desolate space station suspended above the planet. The track practically screams loneliness, with an underlying hope and tension that speaks of Mega Man's innate determination and...
You know what? I'll shut up, Just listen to the bloody song.
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A gamer at heart, Nick started writing when he was a child. He holds a BA in English, works as a freelancer, and loves every minute of it. One day, he hopes to net himself a career in game design - but that's something for the future.
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