Monday, December 5, 2005

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High Score: Michael Giacchino's Medal of Honor

Ever come home from a really good action or war movie, and then immediately want to jump into your favorite game to recreate all those cool action scenes you saw? To pretend you're the hero? Come on now, don't be embarrassed. You're amongst friends here. We've all done it before.

But have you ever tried listening to the film scores from those movies while playing a game? If you haven't, you might want to give it a try some day. It can be pretty fun, and provides a more immersive experience. Most online games have no background music playing as you play. By playing film scores during gameplay, you can add more emotional weight to the in-game events, which is exactly what these scores do for films.

A new regular feature of this blog will be High Score, where I present some of my favorite film and game music to play games with. Each feature will come with an audio clip that will be in low-quality 64 kbps sound and clipped for length.

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Today's feature is from Michael Giacchino's Medal of Honor soundtrack. Michael Giacchino composed the soundtracks for three Medal of Honor games, Call of Duty 1, many other popular games, as well as films like "The Incredibles". People like to compare him to John Williams (Star Wars composer), and I hear Williams may have been his mentor at some point, so it's no surprise. I love Giacchino's music, and try to listen to every composition of his.

This is one of my fav Medal of Honor tracks and has a "locomotive" feel to it. It goes great with FPS games, but especially WW2 games. The Indiana Jones-style heroics style doesn't fit quite as well with the more modern era war games, though. I think this has something to do with how more modern wars are presented to our minds in the media: as somehow less noble, just, and pure than what WW2 was about. Whether or not you agree with that judgement, that kind of presentation is commonplace and can rub off on you.

Most of the Medal of Honor tracks don't go too well with fantasy themed games, either, as they tend to mix in some kind of industrial/mechanized sound (like the train motif of this track). So don't go trying to play MOH music during a game of Warcraft or Neverwinter Nights.

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