Here is the July 2022 G4F Records article on video game music releases. Enjoy!
This is a non-exhaustive list without any classification hierarchy. We invite you to discover new video game music releases that will brighten up your day! 🙂
As it often is in the small world of video games, the month of July is synonymous with the calm before the storm, in terms of releases. However, things are changing and in recent years, some diehard studios have decided to avoid the end of the year madness and are having releases a little earlier, during the summer. Perfect timing to enhance our article with the new video game music releases !
Stray, The Star of the Summer
Composer: Yann van der Cruyssen
Stray has been long awaited after its announcement in September 2020. This is true for many reasons, but the main reason is that we get to play a cat. A pretty little ginger cat! The animation, the art direction, everything feels perfect, and the release of the game this month has confirmed all that we could’ve hoped for. The game is developed by a young French studio, BlueTwelve Studio and published by Annapurna Interactive.
And what about the music? That is also quite the success. The composer of this surprising soundtrack is Yann van der Cruyssen. An artist we know well because we’ve collaborated with him on the soundtrack of Seasons after Fall (in which we play a fox, well, well, well..!). It’s hard to describe Stray‘s music in a few words, but we’ll venture to talk about cyber-soundtrack: ambient and chiptunes.
Between Ambient & Chiptune
Stray is an adventure game set in a lost cyberpunk city. We explore, we interact with the locals, we infiltrate and we solve puzzles. But of course, like any self-respecting cute cat, we meow, we scratch the sofa and we push objects into space. The rather unique cyberpunk atmosphere that emanates from the game’s environments is also found in the soundtrack.
Immersing us in the cyberpunk universe of the game, the music of Yann van der Cruyssen offers us a mix between ambient and chiptunes. This is paired with strange sound effects and sounds, which come to abolish the border between music and sound design once in game. We can hear, for example, the sound of the tiles under the cat’s paws in “Rooftops”. The result is a coherent and very immersive sound atmosphere. Which won’t come as a surprise when you know that Yann van der Cruyssen was also responsible for the project’s sound design.
The whole thing is very mysterious. We feel like we’re moving in an unknown place. Although some excerpts from the soundtrack bring slightly more positive melodies (like in “Town Square” or “Outlaws”), most of the music is tinged with melancholy or nostalgia. The music also doesn’t forget that we play a cat in Stray! We therefore find a touch of playfulness and more lounge, and even Lo-fi sounds, to highlight the hero’s velvet steps, especially during the infiltration phases. That’s a lot of emotions and information to convey. Still, Stray and its soundtrack achieve this with flying colors.
Stray‘s soundtrack is available on many streaming platforms, and a vinyl edition is also available from iam8bit.
Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series, A Bit of Sweetness and Magic
We thought the series was forever forgotten, but the game’s notoriety was underestimated. The fan community has continued to ask for the serie’s return, until finally convincing Bandai Namco to bring out the two games on modern platforms. These two remakes were developed by Monkey Craft and offer many graphic improvements, new accessibility options, in addition to bringing the 2 episodes together (Klonoa: Door to Phantomile and Klonoa 2: Lunatea’s Veil) in one.
Although more laid back compared to the other mascots of the games released on PS1 and PS2, Klonoa has managed to make its comeback. Thanks in particular to its gameplay, its extremely colorful design, but also its general atmosphere that’s good-natured and benevolent . The music, too, had left its mark on some of the players and we’re going to take advantage of this reissue to analyze the content!
The first thing to note is that the music has not undergone a facelift for this new edition. This is the exact same music present in the original games. It’s a shame, but that doesn’t prevent you from benefiting from the work of the team in charge of the composition. Many composers are credited on these soundtracks. For the first episode, we find: Eriko Imura, Hiroshi Okubo, Junko Ozawa, Kanako Kakino, Kohta Takahashi, Takaki Horigome, Tetsukazu Nakanishi and Tomoko Tatsuda. Klonoa 2 meanwhile, welcomes a few new names in compensation for several departures: Katsuro Tajima, Asuka Sakai, Yuji Masubushi and Go Shiina.
More than 4-1/2 hours of music!
For all those who have at least tried the game during their childhood, listening to the music immediately takes you back! You’re instantly transported into your memories and easily recognize the sounds of the 32-bit era.
Starting with the game’s introduction, we’re greeted by a nice theme song played on the flute, which sets the tone for the rest of the adventure. A playful, even exhilarating and often dreamlike musical atmosphere. We travel through a dream world in Klonoa and the game’s music leaves room for imagination and magic. The 2nd episode, Klonoa 2: Lunatea’s Veil, is coming to PlayStation 2 and it shows. The sounds are denser, the instruments sound truer and less electronic than in the previous episode. There are a lot of different sounds, style changes too, from jazzy to daring psychedelic trips!
Each soundtrack contains just over 2 hours of music, for a total of over 4.5 hours of original music. We better understand the large number of composers who participated on the project!
Unfortunately, the game’s music is not easily found officially. It’s possible to buy it on Steam, via the “Special Bundle” DLC. However, the album isn’t available yet on music platforms. Though, there are still vinyl editions for both episodes, available HERE.
F1® 22, Between Electronic and Orchestral
Composers: Ian Livingstone & Various Artists
The least we can say is that the latest F1® 22 has done well in terms of video game music! Developed by Codemaster and published by EA Sport, the 15th game of the famous Formula 1 racing franchise can boast not only having Ian Livingstone behind its official soundtrack, but also has 33 songs added to its soundtrack. These have been carefully selected from the discographies of several international artists in order to offer players a unique musical experience.
That’s a lot we’ve got going on there. But let’s start with the work of Ian Livingston. This artist is certainly no stranger to licensing and racing games in general, far from it. Indeed, we can find his composition work on F1® 21 as well as on other titles of the franchise as well. But, he’s also present on Grid Legends, Forza Horizon 5 or even several MotoGP. In addition, he has also composed for cinema and other video games.
« I was keen to capture the elegance, sophistication and beauty of these gleaming new machines by giving them the voice of sweeping orchestral strings, but also to show the contrast between the calm before the storm vs the exhilaration and drama of the final lap. At the same time, I wanted to reward the long-time F1 players by reprising fragments of my previous themes – notably F1 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2021. »Ian Livingstone, www.racinggames.gg
Between Electronic and Orchestral
On F1® 22, the composer took care to combine several musical universes, electronic with the orchestral cinematic genre. This combination of sounds offers a unique palette to the game’s music. There’s also a strong presence of string instruments, which doesn’t fail to add even more “epicness”. On this album, the Sofia Session Orchestra, recorded by FourForMusic, and conducted by George Strezov is featured. By the way, we can check out a “Behind The Scene” video shared on YouTube by Codemasters.
33 Songs, 13 Nations
But that’s not all! According to the head of music at Electronic Arts, Mr. Steve Schur, the team in charge of F1® 22 was committed to providing players with an unprecedented experience of sensations with these new songs.
To do this, an original soundtrack of 33 tracks from artists from 13 different nations has been specially designed for the game. You can find big names in electronic music like Charli XCX, Marshmello, Kavinsky or even deadmau5. Sensations guaranteed!
Xenoblade Chronicles 3, A Soundtrack for JRPG Fans
Composers: Yasunori Mitsuda, Manami Kiyota, ACE, Kenji Hiramatsu et Mariam Abounnasr.
The latest adventure in the popular Monolith Soft series is finally here! About 5 years after the 2nd episode, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 was released this July on Nintendo Switch. Critics are unanimous, the game is a real success. In addition, the soundtrack is also a wonderful gift for fans of the license and JPRG.
The music of Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is composed by the same team as in the previous game, with one exception… We once again find Yasunori Mitsuda (Chrono Cross, Xenoblade series, Edge of Eternity…), ACE (Xenoblade series, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U…), Manami Kiyota (Xenoblade series, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate…), and Kenji Hiramatsu (Xenoblade series, Infinite Dendrogram TV Series…). The new addition is Mariam Abounnasr. This name may not mean anything to you, but she was credited in the series for the Xenoblade Chronicles 2 expansion, “Torna – The Golden Country”.
All these beautiful people were hard at work to create what will probably be THE Japanese heroic fantasy soundtrack of the year. We enjoy several hours of music, to support the long journey that the game delivers, in the form of the best of epic that these composers know how to offer.
The flute, at the center of the whole musical atmosphere.
As the announcement trailer implied at the start of the year, the flute is at the center of the game’s music. It’s very present, right from the menu theme song. While the piano was king in the previous episodes, it’s a flute that welcomes us this time, with a sublime introductory melody.
The soundtrack navigates throughout its history between several musical genres, quite recognizable however for those who’ve already played the series. The general atmosphere that emanates from the music is sometimes dramatic, sometimes more exciting, but always very inspiring.
For any JRPG fan (but not only!), this soundtrack is a real gem, which it would be stupid to deprive yourself of! So of course, for the moment, the soundtrack is not officially available… But according to Yasunori Mitsuda himself on Twitter, the composer team is working hard to produce a soundtrack. We will gladly grant them this extra time, especially when we know that the soundtrack includes more than 10 hours of music! Just a little more patience then.
And this concludes our July 2022 article on video game music releases! See you next month 🙂
Thank you all!