The Year In Music At Kotaku

The Year In Music At Kotaku

Nietzsche once said, “Without music, life would be a mistake.” Imaginary philosopher Richard Riemenschneider once said, “People who begin articles with Nietzsche quotes are the worst.” Let’s agree to meet somewhere in the middle. And with that, let’s look back at the best of Kotaku Melodic this year.

From critical essays to retrospectives to features to interviews to Carly Rae Jepson fanmail, we shared all sorts of writing about the worlds of music, video games and beyond. I hope you had as much fun as we did.

Here now, the best of Kotaku Melodic, 2012.

The Best Video Game Music of 2012

Let’s start with our look back at the best video game music of 2012. There was a lot. It was great. Give it all a listen. More »

Gameplay and Story Are Exactly Like Music and Lyrics

The first and last thing I’ve had to say about the gameplay vs story debate. This is an idea I’d been chewing on for a long time, and one I was very happy to finally articulate. More »

The Silly Bulls*** of Censored Soundtracks in Sports Video Games

Owen looks at the silly practice of censoring sports-game soundtracks. More »

This Amazing Credits Anthem Mostly Plays at Night. Mostly.

Up close and personal with one of the most amazing credits anthems of all time. More »

Some Video Games Are Better Without Music

Sure, we write about music. But some games are better without it. More »

Mass Effect 3‘s Musical Secret

Hidden in the background of Mass Effect 3 lay a small, wonderful love-letter to series fans. More »

I Don’t Usually Like ‘Guy With Instruments Playing Video Game Music’ Videos, But This Shit Is Amazing

Of all of the “check out this video” posts we ran this year, this one might be my favourite. Sick. More »

Let This Street Fighter II Song be Your Gateway to Shirtless Keyboard Fun

Of course, not all ‘guy in his room with instruments’ videos need to demonstrate chops like that last one. They can be wonderful in other ways. Luke shows us how. More »

I Can Predict The Entire Halo 4 Plot, Using Only The Halo 4 Soundtrack

An attempt at discerning the entire plot of Halo 4 using only the track-listing from the soundtrack. Not entirely accurate, but surprisingly so. More »

The Case for Video Games as Music

Sure, video games have music. But in a lot of ways, they are music. What the heck am I talking about? Let’s explore. More »

Good Lord, Computer Gaming World Had Some Hip Menu Music

Believe it or not, the bundled CDs that came with CGW had some fabulous original music. More »

A Game Design Legend, Still Chasing The Video Game Musical Of His Dreams

The legendary designer Warren Spector dreams of making a video game musical. Hopefully, one day he will. More »

Turns Out Max Payne is a Decent Piano Player. Who Knew?

A look at a hilarious musical easter egg that turned up in an unlikely place. More »

Chiptunes, Schmiptunes: Embracing The Human Side of Video Game Audio

Chiptunes are great, but some amazing video game sounds have been made using only the human voice. More »

Olympic Gymnast Uses Zelda Medley During Performance

The Zelda medley heard ’round the world, literally. More »

The Rise of the New Music Games

As our coverage this year has borne out, we’re at an exciting time for musical games. Here’s a rundown of the latest trends. More »

Guitar Hero 7 Was Going To Have Six-String Guitars, No Drums, No Singing. Was Cancelled In 2011.

Sources gave us all sorts of info on the now-cancelled Guitar Hero 7, which sounds like it was a real disaster. More »


The Mind-Numbing Music of the PlayStation Vita

The first of our “menu music” features took a look (and listen) at/to the boring-ass music that played in the Vita’s menus. More »

The Many Melodies of the Nintendo 3DS

As a follow-up, we also took a look at the (much better!) music that plays in the 3DS’ menus. More »

Morrowind Really Did Have The Best Elder Scrolls Music, Didn’t It

Suddenly it hit me. Morrowind really had the best soundtrack. More »

May The Incredible Music of Final Fantasy Live On Forever

Jason looks back at the amazing music of the Final Fantasy games. More »

From Uematsu to Lucasarts: A Kotaku Melodic Mix-Tape Roundup

Chris Person put together an incredible collection of a/v mixtapes for us, and this post rounds up most of them. More »

This Game Will Make Your Epic Sax Guy Dreams Come True

We all want to be Epic Sax Guy. Pippin Barr’s game let us understand what that would be like. More »

Geeks and Gamers are Taking Over Hip-Hop

Patricia took a look at backpack rap, and the various ways gaming and hip-hop are and have collided. More »

Choosing The Perfect Victory Music For Life’s Little Triumphs

It’s important to choose JRPG victory music for the triumphant moments in your life. So, we did. More »

Jonathan Blow’s The Witness is an Exercise in Symphonic Game Design

A game can work like a symphony, and Jonathan Blow’s upcoming The Witness feels more symphonic than most. More »

Why the Chrono Cross Soundtrack is My Favourite

We ran a lot of short pieces about various writers’ favourite video game music, but this one by Leigh Alexander is still my favourite. More »

I Can’t Stop Listening To This Portal 2 Dance Remix

Another favourite among the “Here, listen to this” posts. I still listen to this track. More »

Somehow The Video For The Song From Robot Unicorn Attack Is Even Weirder Than Robot Unicorn Attack

Worth keeping in mind. More »

The Many Samples and Sound-Alikes of Earthbound

Chris put together a fantastic video assembling the many musical echoes in the Earthbound soundtrack. More »

Video Games are the New Best Way to Make a Living Composing Music

A look at how video games offer a fantastic new way to make a living composing music. More »

Non Game-Related Stuff

In addition to video game music, we also covered a fair bit of non-game-related music. When there was something that needed to be said, sometimes it got said here. And when there were harp-playing blonde twins that needed to be recognised, that happened too.

Blonde Twins Playing The Elder Scrolls Theme On Harps While Standing In A Forest

Other times, the headline still says it all. More »

Blonde Twins Playing Final Fantasy Music On Harps While Standing Next To A Lighthouse

Yet other times, the headline continues to say it all. More »

Avishai Cohen, One of the Great Composers of our Time

I was happy to share the wonderful music of bassist Avishai Cohen with a few new listeners. More »

Antônio Carlos Jobim, The Great Romantic Melodist

Ditto A.C. Jobim, a composer everyone should know. More »

The Band That Made the Scott Pilgrim Movie Like 300% Better

I continue to be in lesbians with Metric. More »

Miles Davis Hated Everything

Everybody loves Miles, but Miles hardly loves anything. More »

This Gloriously Cheesy MIDI File Was Windows’ Greatest Hit

Canyon.mid! Canyon.mid! More »

A Hidden Gem on the Greatest Jazz Album of All Time

Sometimes you just have to geek out about “Flamenco Sketches” and modal jazz. More »

And at last, we come to the end, where I’d like to recognise what I’ve come to think of as, just for me personally, the Coolest Musical Thing That Happened All Year: the TV series Kids on the Slope.

Here are two articles; one about the show, and one about the music.

From The Creators of Cowboy Bebop, a Dreamlike Ode to Youth, Love and Jazz

I loved this show so much. More »

A Listener’s Guide to the Music of Kids on the Slope

I loved the music on this show even more. More »

And that’s that. Thanks for reading, and for bearing with us as we explored the wild and wonderful world of music.

I’ll leave you with a final thought from Mr Albus Dumbledore:

“Ah, music,” he said, wiping his eyes. “A magic far beyond all we do here! And now, bedtime. Off you trot!”


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