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Videogame Soundtrack Reviews2

Videogame Soundtrack Reviews2

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Published by: Diane_Evert_6298 on Aug 17, 2012
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Videogame Soundtrack Reviews: Saints Row III, Red Orchestra 2, Kingdoms of AmalurReckoning, and Deus Ex

Part 2: Kingdoms of Amalur- Reckoning
Not everyone is into the notion of magical, medieval worlds full of fierce wild creatures and epic quests fraught with danger, faeries, and dragons that are all part of a grand destiny that can not be avoided. There is usually a very complex backstory to each element, a full and detailed history of the realm, and sometimes even complete languages for different the races of creature. It can be overwhelming to have to take in and remember so much detail in order to follow the plot of a film, let alone maneuver through that world as a character yourself! It can also take a very serious time commitment. While I enjoy that type of fantasy, I’ve never been terribly into RPGs. So while I haven’t played it myself, I have seen others play it a few times and have heard good things about Kingdoms of Amalur- Reckoning. I’m a fan of Todd McFarlane’s artwork and the game’s settings and characters are all stunning. They’re very rich and detailed and require accompaniment that is equally complex, which is what we are provided with. The soundtrack is performed by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, contains 35 tracks, and is a little over an hour long in total. With additional music provided by Mark Cromer, the game’s score is composed by GoldenEye and Perfect Dark soundtrack composer; the legendary Grant Kirkhope. When asked about the project, Mr. Kirkhope had this to say about it: "Reckoning was a huge undertaking, as I knew from the start the scale of the game was going to be BIIIIIIIG!," said Kirkhope. "I wanted to make sure it was strong thematically so that the player could make real associations with characters and places; I've always tried to do this with all the games I've worked on. There's a good two and a half hours' worth of full orchestral score in Reckoning ranging from huge boss fights to smaller ensemble pieces for dungeons and cities. I wanted the score to have a dark fairytale kind of feel that was full of magic and danger at every turn just like the game. The team here at Big Huge Games created such a beautiful looking world that it was such a pleasure to score!" There is most assuredly a very strong main theme that runs throughout the entire score. It can be heard in various incarnations in all of the major pieces and is thoroughly established in the first five or so tracks. These are easily among my favorites in the bunch as some of the songs later in the soundtrack I found repetitive and boring to the point of irritation. “Klurikon” and “Alabastra” are two such tracks and honestly I could’ve done without them. I enjoyed the more darkly whimsical pieces that utilize woodwinds and strings in light but complex melodies and variations on the main theme. “Dalentarth” is a fine example of this and may be my favorite track of the entire CD. It reminds me of the

accompaniment to a ballet; you know it’s telling you a story, even if you don’t know what its saying. There are several booming battle songs with crashing brass and thunderous drums. These may appeal to some but I didn’t find them to my liking, though that’s just my personal taste. For the most part they were no less intricate and interesting than the lighter toned themes; I just don’t enjoy that type of orchestral music. “Gadflow” and “Tirnoch” are among the best of those type of compositions, and I found “Niskaru” to be fairly enjoyable. There are also a few tracks that are very brief- under a minute long- that I wish were longer! “House of Balads, Gardens of Ysa,” and “Scholia Arcana” are the top three in my opinion. I would have to say that this soundtrack would really only appeal to fans of the game or fans of Mr. Kirkhope. Perhaps people who enjoy classical music would also enjoy this, but as far as consumption by the general public goes I think it is too gamespecific to be universally enjoyable. It’s a wonderfully composed score and suits the game perfectly, but as a standalone album my opinion is that it’s market is limited to what I listed above. Track Listing: 1. Reckoning Main Theme 2. The Age of Arcana 3. Dead's Dead 4. Well of Souls 5. Troll 6. Dalentarth 7. House of Ballads 8. Warsworn 9. Mines and Caves 10. Gardens of Ysa 11. Niskaru 12. Titarion 13. The Plains of Erathell 14. Scholia Arcana 15. Rathir 16. Fight! 17. Detyre 18. House of Valor 19. Adessa 20. The Erathi Ruins 21. Conflict 22. The Ships 23. Mel Senshir 24. To War 25. The Strongholds 26. Balor 27. It Ends Here 28. Klurikon 29. House of Sorrows 2:00 1:53 2:26 0:54 2:32 4:09 0:39 0:37 3:34 0:46 2:15 1:51 3:59 0:39 0:45 2:19 4:03 0:22 0:45 3:38 2:10 1:07 0:30 0:49 3:37 2:42 1:30 3:37 0:54

30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35.

Fae Hollows Alabastra Bhaile Gadflow Heart of Amethyn Tirnoch

3:36 3:17 0:35 2:13 2:28 2:27

Kingdoms of Amalur- Reckoning The Soundtrack is composed by Grant Kirkhope and performed by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra under the Conductor Nic Raine and distributed by Sumthing Else Music Works in collaboration with Big Huge Games- a subsidiary of 38 Studios LLC. © 2012 Sources?

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