Did you know that video game music helps the brain by providing a stimulating background that doesn't interfere with concentration? OK, I can't prove that. I have no scientific evidence to back it up, but for some games, it seems like it just has to be true.
Xbox Live Arcade is home to some amazing games with some equally amazing music. Composers often sink days, months or even years into crafting the best musical experience for players – dedication that likely goes unnoticed, which sometimes is the whole point.
Sometimes, the best game music can serve as a stimulating background while studying, writing, reading or just doing some housework. Sometimes, you don’t want to notice the music or have it break your concentration. With that in mind, here are the top 10 XBLA soundtracks that serve as the best music to read, study, write or work to.
Author’s note: This piece contains plot spoilers and specific details regarding the story and characters of Bastion. If you have not yet finished the game and don’t wish to have anything spoiled, please wait to read the entry below. Thank you and enjoy.
This is as much an open letter to Supergiant Games and my colleagues at XBLAFans that I've let down, as it is about simply musing about one of the best games I have ever played. If the title of this piece wasn’t any indication, Bastion was an extremely meaningful game to me during a time when it’s common for lives and futures to be shattered or irreparably set back.
Like I said, Bastion is already one of the best games of the year by far, and easily in the top 10 games I have ever played, which encompasses 20-some years of gaming memories. My situation at home bars no sway in this opinion because either way; Bastion is a work of art. Its art style is a wonder to look at and is unlike anything available right now. It’s like interacting with some of the most beautiful paintings you’ve ever seen. The game’s music alone is almost worth the 1200 MSP price tag, and is regularly rotating on my iPod alongside major artists everyone knows. The gameplay is also engrossing and addictive, and caters to a wide combination of tastes and play styles. I personally enjoyed the musket and Cael Hammer combo because I like being a devastating, close-range powerhouse. I got 200/200 Achievements within two days of purchasing and playing Bastion, and still want to continue playing.
But where Bastion differs from all other games is how I identified with its plot and characters, and how I used this to overcome my failed marriage.
Pinball FX2 was developed and published by Zen Studios. The full game retails for free, individual tables can be purchased for 200 MSP. The Mars Table retails for 240 MSP. A copy of the DLC was provided by the publisher for reviewing purposes.
Last November, we reviewed Pinball FX 2 and recommended that people buy the game. While the initial game download was free, players could then choose to demo and buy individual pinball tables for 200 MSP a piece.
Zen Studios has announced a new add-on for Pinball FX2, called the Mars Table. As the name suggests, players will get a chance to pinball it up on a Mars-themed …
During the late 90s and early 2000s, it seemed like Rare could do no wrong on the Nintendo 64. Responsible for massive hits like GoldenEye 007, Perfect Dark, Conker’s Bad Fur Day and Banjo-Kazooie, they cranked out memorable games dear to many gamers.
Jet Force Gemini might not be remembered in the same way as some of Rare’s other classics, but like many of their other titles, it was ahead of its time and pushed the boundaries of what the system could do. It’s epic scale, creative weaponry, surprisingly violent combat and emphasis on exploration landed it in the hearts of many, and would make a perfect HD remake for XBLA.
Trials HD is the quintessential example of a game that is instantly playable and fun, but tough as nails to master. What starts off easy and fun gradually becomes borderline maddening and impossible, rewarding the most patient and determined players with personal satisfaction as well as leaderboard bragging rights.