Video game music can be the best part of a game. It is one of the main components of the aesthetics of a game and can really contribute to the integrity of the soul. The music of a game is the foundation of the tone, and it has as much (if not more) impact on the atmosphere than it does on the visuals. That said, music can indicate what kind of game you think it will be.
If the music is upbeat or cheesy, then you might get the feeling that the game is supposed to be upbeat and upbeat, just to have a good time. If the music is slow, solemn or dark, you may get the feeling that you are getting into something serious, with an oppressive atmosphere. If the music in a game doesn’t fit, it can all make the game feel bad. It may not take anything away from the game, but there is always the possibility.
Chip-tune is easy to replicate by humming, and if a piece is catchy, it is also easy to replicate by humming. If you can hum it long enough, it tends to become memorable.
Some ind games don’t require music, they just require sound effects, varied noises, and maybe a bit of the occasional vibe here and there. Expert examples of this would be Ditto and the Fallout New Vegas add-on Dead Money. Ditto has a very calm but dark and oppressive tone, and the silence broke me only the sound effects and the occasional dripping of water leads to this home. Dead Money is meant to be scary. His random noise environment emphasizes this to the fullest, working with the images to intentionally unsettle him at his core. Boy, does he do it right.
In the past, when music was so hampered by the technology of the time, music had to resort to much simpler means to convey the atmosphere. They were unable to use the detailed compositions of current music. Heck, they couldn’t really make anything sound like instruments. Instead, they composed strong melodies from compressed sound bits that make the chip-tune style unique. These strong melodies are simple and generally catchy. It is because they are catchy that they tend to be more memorable. Chip-tune is easy to replicate by humming, and if a piece is catchy, it is also easy to replicate by humming. If you can hum it long enough, it tends to become memorable. Also, its simple nature allows you to remember it more easily, but that doesn’t involve humming, so it’s boring and whatever.
Some games may have nice and appropriate music that is not as memorable. You can remember it when you hear it, but you just can’t remember how it goes on your own. These tend to be on the environmental side of things. Fez is great at this. It doesn’t really use loud melodies, just random notes that match the pitch you’re trying to convey. This type of music is usually slow-paced, providing enough space between the chords so that it doesn’t sound like an inconceivable mix of sounds. This type of music is by no means bad, as it can fit very well into the game during which it is played. It’s just not that shocking to hear it out of the game.
The door is open for amazing things in the realm of video game composition, but remember that with great power comes great responsibility.
Over time, games gained access to quality sound instruments, as well as other advancements in the field of music. The floodgate of variety for the musical feats one could accomplish was now open. Games now have ways of doing amazing things with their music, and it’s amazing. Some can still stick with the chip-tune style, updating it and making use of the complexity that they can achieve with current technology. The door is open for amazing things in the realm of video game composition, but remember that with great power comes great responsibility. Let’s hope the video game music of the future doesn’t screw things up.