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2009/01/27

Where has all the music gone?


I originally sent this as an e-mail to NAG magazine recently.

I’ve been playing through all the Doom games lately along with the Doomsday sourceport that makes playing them on XP a cinch. 

While I was doing this, even though some are catchy, I laughed at the MIDI songs blasting out of my speakers, but after a while I realized something.

Games sure have become quieter, haven’t they?

Most developers go for atmospheric sound and music, maybe with the occasional flare up of dramatic music when the mood strikes, but beyond that they are a lot quieter. Gone are the days of the 1990s when you had a soundtrack playing all throughout the level. True, it did get irritating after a while, but look at how Sonic Clang pulled it off with their songs that accompanied the Classic Doom mod for Doom 3.

Doom 3 itself didn’t even have a soundtrack apart from the main menu music, and probably the last games that did were Quake 2 and Quake 3. Quake 2 still has one of the best OSTs ever, IMO.

Some people have even taken to remaking the old songs from Blood, Doom and Duke Nukem 3D, because they like to relive the good old days.

Wouldn’t it be great if more games had a proper dark, broody soundtrack with guitars and drums, and not this dramatic techno or classical stuff playing? Think of how it would sound nowadays compared to the original Doom games.

Here are a couple of sites where you can find more modern mp3 versions of old game OSTs.

http://www.neuro-lab.net/music/main.html

http://www.markmcwane.com/
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