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Notorious BGM – The Best Game Music of September 2016

Welcome to Fandom’s totally subjective list of the best game music of the month! Let’s face it, there are a lot of games out there with great soundtracks that slip through the cracks. That’s still gonna happen, but we’re here to make sure it happens a little less!

With the big holiday releases just around the corner, there couldn’t be a better time to plunge back into Destiny one last time before quickly remembering why you gave up in the first place! We kid, it’s still fun even if the grind is a drag. As usual though, there’s a lot of gold to be mined out of the smaller profile releases and we found some pleasant surprises. Check ’em out!

Destiny: Rise of Iron

“Rise of Iron”
Skye Lewin, Michael Salvatori

To steal Kotaku writer Jason Schreier’s template, Destiny is a game where you shoot the same five aliens over and over for a chance to get sprayed with the engram hose. This lovely orchestral piece is filled with a huge horn section and a driving choir that really captures the epic feel of the Iron Lords and their cool as heck furry armor with wolves etched all over it. You could also imagine a bunch of tiny clockwork cities popping up on a map from a land that rhymes with Besteros to this track.

Pac-Man Championship Edition 2

“Pac Jump Up!”
Taku Inoue, Toshio Kai, Akitaka Tohyama, Hiroshi Okubo, Hiroyuki Kawada and Junko Ozawa

Packed to the gills with the “oontz oontz” we all know and love, Pac-Man Championship Edition 2’s OST is a super strong collection of dance, dubstep and chiptune tracks laden with SFX and throwbacks to iconic Pac-Man games. The use of Pac-Man’s signature wakka wakka as a rhythm section is pretty genius. Super high energy and perfect for a workout or caffeine laden cram session.

Mother Russia Bleeds

“Black Racers”
Fixions

Mother Russia Bleeds is a grizzly, ultra violent, pixelated beat ’em up designed to be exceptionally gross and nasty. The lurid pixel art is accompanied by an equally brutal synthed-out soundtrack as is the Devolver Digital tradition. Fixion’s work on this one ranks right up there with Carpenter Brut, Scattle, and all your other Synthwave faves. Check it out on Bandcamp and throw ’em a couple bucks!

Batman: The Telltale Series

“[Results] Credits”
Jared Emerson-Johnson

This moody, slightly dissonant track doesn’t have the traditional Batman bombast of the main theme, but its delicate creepiness is a lot more enticing. The strings and keys leave me waiting for a sad Mr. Freeze monologue about his frozen wife.

Virginia

“Roadhouse”
Lyndon Holland

I haven’t played Virgina yet, but it seems pretty open about its influences, and this track’s Twin Peaks inspiration is clear. If you haven’t seen the tale of Agent Cooper, Laura Palmer, and the Log Lady, get on it post haste. Then watch Fargo. Or just play Virginia if you don’t have like 50 free hours.

Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice

“Porta Vista”
Hyper Potions

The Sonic Boom series may not have the best reputation, and this song may not necessarily be from the in-game soundtrack, but it was used in the trailer so it juuuust barely qualifies. It’s also a fun chiptune track with a touch of Anamanaguchi in it, which is always a good thing.

Yo-Kai Watch 2

“Battle Theme”
Kenichiro Saigo

Whether you think it’s Pokémon with ghosts or Digimon with ghosts, Yo-kai Watch has some pretty great music. Reminiscent of the 2Spooky haunted house toons from Luigi’s Mansion, the main battle theme from Yo-kai Watch 2 has the same mash-up of ghostly sounding synthesized theremin noises and organs mixed with a more upbeat tempo. The combo results in a punchy, fun little tune that brings to mind the Ghostbusters theme.

Did we miss any of your favorites from this month’s releases? Let us know @getfandom on Twitter by using #NotoriousBGM! (And a special thanks to VGMDB for help identifying some of the Japanese composers!)


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