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Aaron Waite Aaron Waite
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Bit Tunes With Brain

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Musing underappreciated game soundtracks

5. DuckTales' - NES

Brain: Aaron, no one else played this game as a kid. No one.

Waite: I know of at least two others.

B: Your siblings don't count.

W: Anyway, most of this game would meet your exact expectations for a Nintendo game based

on a Disney Saturday morning cartoon. The gameplay is bizarrely unrelated to the cartoon

(Scrooge's attacks consist of bouncing on enemies with his cane). However, the strange and pleasant surprise came in the form of the game's fantastic music.

B: You mean the Moon stage.

W: ...I mean the Moon stage. And that's all I need to put it on this list.

4. Halo 3: ODST' - Xbox 360

W: While fan opinion was split on this iteration of 'Halo'...

B: 'Waaaa! Why is there no Master Chief? Why wasn't this released as an expansion pack for 1,600 Microsoft points instead of forcing us to pay 60 bucks? Why do I have to be stealthy?'

W: Brain, be nice to the nerds. Those forums house their only neckbearded friends.

B: Apparently, 'Halo' fans had no sense of 'exploring a universe from a different perspective.'

W: That different perspective drove the entire soundtrack. Dark, moody, and a heaping dash of noir-flavored mournful brass, this underappreciated gem is one of Martin O'Donnell's finest works of sonic mastery.

B: Not only did it allow beta access to 'Halo: Reach,' it had real crushed fanboy complaints in every box!

W: I think 'Duke Nukem Forever' had that as well.

B: You're confusing it with crushed fanboy hopes. Two different things, Aaron.

3. Super Meat Boy' - PC, XBox 360

W: Please don't let Brain know we're talking about this game. He's still mad about it.

B: Mad about what?

W: It's nothing, Brain. I just wanted to mention that Danny Baranowsky knows how to write track upon track of pulse-pounding and nerve-enhancing technologically-flavored rock.

B: Wait a minute. Baranowsky. I know that name. He wrote the soundtrack to...

W: Aw, crap.

B: 'SUPER MEAT BOY!?'

W: Aaaaand here we go.

B: RAGE.

W: He's gonna be stuck this way for awhile, folks.

B: RAAAAAGE.

W: We should probably move on to the next game.

B: RAAAAAAAAAGE.

2. Castle Crashers' - Xbox 360, PS3

W: Nothing brought back the beat-em-up genre back to its roots quite like 'Castle Crashers.' Isn't that right, Brain?

B: RAGE.

W: (sigh) Anyway, 'Castle Crashers' combined a 'Streets of Rage' battle system with RPG stat-building and loot for one of the best co-op experiences of any generation of consoles.

B: Fun fact: Behemoth Games got their start on Newgrounds, and subsequently opened up to the community and asked them to create the music for 'Castle Crashers.' All of these different artists were brought together to form a cohesive yet varied whole that spans multiple genres.

W: OK, why can you remember that, yet completely forget what our fiancee asks us to do to help with wedding preparations?

B: Something, something, groomsmen, cake, perhaps an apartment? I don't know, she says a lot of words, and she's very pretty! You can't expect me to remember every bloody detail.

W: What's the Konami Code?

B: Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A.

W: I rest my case. You have no excuse.

1. Bastion' - PC, Xbox 360

W: Brain and I, we love us some 'Firefly.'

B: Gorram straight, we ruttin' do!

W: Brain! Language!

B: But it's the best show in the Verse!

W: Of course, it is. And that's one the main reasons we enjoyed the Bastion soundtrack so much. It's heavily laden with Southern sensibilities and glass slides that bring Joss Whedon's short opus to mind while also infusing it with earthier instruments like harps and strings.

B: That, and it made us cry.

W: Seriously. If you're not emotionally prepared, Bastion's music will catch you off-guard and suddenly, onions. What part of you forces me to enjoy mournful acoustic ballads so much?

B: The same part of me that makes you sing Queen songs at the top of your lungs.

W: For whatever reason, I'm not even remotely surprised.

B: HAVIN' A GOOD TIME, HAVIN' A GOOD TIME!

Someone found Aaron Waite somebody to love.

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