“And ever we fight on” – Joris De Man, Killzone 3: The official Soundtrack (Available now on the PlayStation Store)

How many of you have played Killzone 3 and upon hearing this were excited for the experience that was to come? It is amazing to think that for that brief period of time you believed you were in for an epic story concerning a few soldiers in enemy territory with nowhere to run. The reality, unfortunately, was almost entirely nothing like you hoped for. I am not saying Killzone 3 is a bad game and by no means is this a review. I am just saying that the music outdone the script in terms of technicality and execution.

I want to know if other players think of the soundtrack to a game as much as I do. For me a good soundtrack can be as important as a good character or game mechanic. There is nothing worse than playing a game and wishing it had custom soundtracks. Worse still I cannot think of games with lacklustre soundtracks.

A great soundtrack brings out the emotion or surroundings and adds depth to a scene that would be cold without it. Can you imagine playing Metal Gear Solid without Harry Gregson Williams ear candy pumping in the background? Play MGS for a bit without sound. It’s not as intense.

It would be disrespectful and ignorant not to mention the two top musicians in our field and the very men that has led me to purchase over 25 game soundtracks. I am of course talking about Koji Kondo (Mario, Zelda and pretty much most of the Nintendo catalogue from the 1980’s) and Nobuo Uematsu (Almost every Final Fantasy ever made).

The first time you hear work from either of these greats is the only time you will ever need to hear it. The first time I turned on any Final Fantasy game was in 1997. It was the PSone great, Final Fantasy VII. This game had fantastic full motion video sequences and fantastic game play but the character models were lacking in. . . well, everything. You couldn’t tell whether they were supposed to be crying or choking except you could because of the emotion used in tracks such as Tifa’s theme;

From making you feel sadder than any ‘oxfam’ commercial has ever managed to making your adrenaline kick in during boss battles it is no surprise that all of Square-Enix games released since have lost their magic.

Koji Kondo is responsible for any piece of music I listened to during my childhood. The fantastic ‘The Legend Of Zelda: A Link to the Past’ score was brilliant from start to finish and who can forget the Super Mario Bros Theme?

I wanted to write this post really to express my feelings for original soundtracks and how much they should never be replace by Licensed songs. It would be lazy and unappreciated to fill our RPG’s with Mozart and company, are you listening EA. There will always be a time and a place for licensed material. Titles like FIFA and Rock Band need them it is a part of their brand but they will always feel empty and lack the identity that is brought to games such as ‘Heavy Rain’, ‘Red Dead Redemption’ and ‘God of War’.

So I ask you Playstationer readers, what do you think? Do you turn the volume down if you don’t know the track being played? Do you press the PS button in hope you can use custom soundtracks or do you embrace the hard work and dedication of tireless musicians who just want our experience to be that much better?

Oh and apparently top 5’s are great so here is my top 5 PS3 soundtracks;

5 Ace Combat: Assault Horizon: Impending and dramatic this soundtrack puts you right at the edge of you seat.

4  God of War 3: How awesome is that choir? The temperament of every area is set beautifully in Kratos’ struggle against Mt Olympus

3 Heavy Rain: Just listen to it when you play. This game was beautifully sad and the soundtrack suited it perfectly.

2 Motorstorm Apocalypse: Not technically original but it sets the mood perfectly.

1. Batman Arkham City: Perfect. It just made the whole package water tight.

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