The cover of the Castlevania’s Walking on the Edge played on a banjo is pretty cool. Man, it has been a LONG time since I played Castlevania, but this certainly brings back memories. That cheesy music in the background that kept playing while a player would try to navigate their way through the game seemed almost like an afterthought at that point, but played here it now seems like it should be one of the most important parts. The only thing about it however is that I almost expected to see and image of a couple of vampires, zombies, or ghouls sitting on digital porch in a clip of the game, firing off over-sized crossbows or something at the character as they pass by. That’d be funny, right?
It wasn’t funny trying to get through this game I remember, it was one of the harder games that I ever played and I think it almost made me break a controller for the first time in my life when I couldn’t get through one particular level after about a day of playing. And yet so many people told me that this game wasn’t that hard, that they’d beat it within a matter of hours. Imagine how frustrating that was. Maybe if this music had been playing I wouldn’t have gotten so bent of shape with it, but then again maybe if I’d had the lack of self-confidence to learn all the tricks beforehand that could have helped as well. Oh well.
Anyway, the right music can do wonders for a game. It’s almost the same feeling you get when watching a movie and enjoying the soundtrack as it seems to compliment the action or the situation just perfectly. While playing a game music can bring a new sense of urgency to the situation that might not have been there before, or it can just help you to mellow out so that you can think straight enough to get yourself through one area after another. Video games are designed to be a challenge after all, so maybe if game designers decided to put more fitting soundtracks into the games it might be a huge advantage to the player in terms of how well they’re able to perform.
Have you ever noticed that affect? The right music seems to open the mind or make it work that much harder depending on what it is. If you’re doing something active and need a boost the right song can pump you up and get you moving. Or if you’re in a reflective mood and need something to calm you down and keep you on the level music can make things better as well. It’s amazing what music can do given the venue it’s set in, and it’s even more amazing the effect that is produced by its presence.
Video games are for better or worse puzzles and giant riddles set to action sequences that once figured out can be beaten pretty easily. Music however can be the method by which the mind is allowed to focus in order to solve those riddles.