WTF is wrong with game soundtracks?

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I've been listening to Fuse VGM Radio online for a while and keep hearing "Kick the rock! ...For Wild Canyon" from Sonic Adventure 2. The part that catches my attention is this
There you are, c'mere little thief
Think you can fly and get away quick, uh-uh
Give up the emerald or die, I don't love you

"Give up the emerald or die, I don't love you" ...um yeah I totally want my young child playing SA2 when its got lyrics like that. I'm not saying that the song is F'd up or that it makes your kids serial arsonists etc but come on!

Another one that gets me is Metropolis Street Racer with tracks like "Holding On", "Show Me Your Love" and "Llets Get It On Tonight", the last, if I remember correctly is a song about taking some red dress wearing babe back to your place, wining and dining her then banging her brains out, "Holding On" (to me) is a song about not letting the person you love leave and "Show Me Your Love" sounds like a euphemism for either a striptease or voyeurism...

So, yeah WTF is wrong with game soundtracks

The thing that threw me off about a game's soundtrack was hearing 30 Seconds To Mars at the end of Dragon Age.

I read more disturbing poems and fairy tails than this.

What is wrong with you is a better question.

I'm sorry, I can't hear you over the awesomeness.

See, I can make massive sweeping statements based around a couple of examples too!

Ok, so either this is a shameless attention grab or the OP was marooned on an uninhabited with no access to any mass media for the past 20 years. Seriously, Sonic songs are so cheesy and tame even a Victorian era governess would think so.

Captcha: shaken not stirred
Now I really want a vodka-martini

Don't worry OP. For the one or two bad apples of gaming soundtracks there are entire orchards of awesomeness that have sprouted:

TheKasp:
I read more disturbing poems and fairy tails than this.

What is wrong with you is a better question.

This.

Seriously, we get kids cartoons talking about death, and even films that insinuate sex. I just watched Bugsy Malone with my little sister, and the song Talula, whilst not in itself about sex, is quite implicit (as are some of the shots of the woman dancers and Jodie Foster.

Some parents let their kids listen to heavy metal at a young age, and it doesn't affect them in the slightest.

Anyway, I would do as the above and post some of my favourite game soundtracks, but that's not what this is about.

That being said, I will put it out there that very few video game soundtracks with English speaking lyrics are much more mature than the Sonic Adventure ones. Only 'You Were There' from the Ico OST springs to mind.

To be honest, I never really understood what the guy was talking about in that game's soundtrack, apart from City Escape.
God damn I love City Escape.

Navarone9942:
"Give up the emerald or die, I don't love you" ...um yeah I totally want my young child playing SA2 when its got lyrics like that. I'm not saying that the song is F'd up or that it makes your kids serial arsonists etc but come on!

I don't understand how that is unsuitable for children. There are cartoons more "violent" than that line, and I'm not talking about mature stuff - Loony Tunes and Tom & Jerry level cartoons.

Navarone9942:
"Holding On" (to me) is a song about not letting the person you love leave and "Show Me Your Love" sounds like a euphemism for either a striptease or voyeurism...

I can't speak of the other tracks, well frankly I haven't heard those two either, but why would it be unsuitable for children to hear "Holding On" if it is, indeed, about keeping your loved one? What is there to disturb the kids?

As for "Show Me Your Love" - yes, that is a fair assumption based on the title[1] but why do you think children will understand the euphemism? For all I know, it could be an euphemism for genitals. Or be about actual feelings. If it could be used for both, but children cannot get the "wrong" meaning, how is that unsuitable for them?

EDIT: To illustrate my last point (heh-heh - illustrate) think of "Show Me Your Love" - it can mean something unsuitable for children or not.

However children only see the dolphins there. Or usually at least.

[1] Google showed me that too many people have wrote a song with he same name, so I don't know what the actual lyrics are

Some of my favourite music comes from game soundtracks:




and many, many more.

one lousy lyric doesn't change the great work that goes into most video game soundtracks.

Navarone9942:
"Give up the emerald or die, I don't love you" ...um yeah I totally want my young child playing SA2 when its got lyrics like that. I'm not saying that the song is F'd up or that it makes your kids serial arsonists etc but come on!

I'm sorry, what about that is "f'd up?" Children's cartoons from the 1950s are more disturbing than that lyric. I've seen worse stuff come out of Dr. Seuss's stories.

I think you're looking way too hard for innuendos. Yes they're there, and a lot of them were probably intentional. But kids aren't going to know that. Hell, look at this scene from Freakazoid.

So really, if those songs disturb you, then you must either lead a very sheltered life or you try very very hard to seek out these things.

Here is my solid counter argument:

Some game soundtracks are odd, while others are completely in tune with a game's style. For example, it would be odd while playing Forza Motorsport 4 (a racing game) and hearing Beethoven as you're pushing speeds of 200mph. Most of the time when a song is put into a game, the style and bpm have a lot do to with the choice. Faster paced games like FPSs and Racers may want faster paced songs to get the player in the mood, while slower games like RPGs and some strategy based games may prefer slower tracks with a more 'epic' feel to them. With most sonic games nowadays, there's always some song with a catchy guitar riff here and there with cheesy lyrics thrown into it, and usually the choice is awesome and called for.

The Wykydtron:
I'm sorry, I can't hear you over the awesomeness.

See, I can make massive sweeping statements based around a couple of examples too!

Well, now I'm buying that game. It's like sex for my eardrums.

And I'm going to join in on the "Good game music" sharing with:

And the almighty:

I'm sorry to interrupt...

... but Crazy Bus had one of the greatest soundtracks of all time!

... of All TIME!

Navarone9942:
snip

1) Your kid won't be paying attention to the lyrics.

2) There are plenty of games with decent soundtracks.

I know they're used a lot but still... Halo:

I think some peeps have misunderstood what I was getting at. Metropolis Street Racer (hints in the title) is a Racing game that focuses on making the player feel great since they are winning a race and performing sweet drifts and sweet jumps and other "sweet" car related things... not a romance game or a Japanese visual novel but a RACING game and after hearing the tracks on Fuse a number of times, don't seem to mesh well into a racing soundtrack. As for Sonic Adventure 2 and the "Give up the emerald or die, I don't love you" line, its not really the tone of the song or even the style, its more the "Baby's first Gangsta Rap" subtext given by the fact the line states "hand it over or DIE" when its featured in a game that centers on a blue hedgehog and his neon woodland entourage that seems weird.

I didn't suggest that these songs would in anyway mess up anyones kids and know that people read books and manga, watch cartoons, films and play games these days that deal with far worse and or weird content more than any other time, I mean just look at Human Centipede and Texas Chainsaw. Its kinda like splicing Amy Smarts death in Mirrors into the middle of Tremors but with a more subtle effect.

I imagine that most if not all readers have seen episodes of Zero Punctuation and my point would be comparable to how Yahtzee lists several things out of context in Super Mario Galaxy and more specifically in Psychonauts, a brain harvesting dentist, telekinetic bears and roasted squirrel.

ps. Oh yeah as for stuff that does mess people up, I'll leave it with the fact the most people descibed Ted Bundy as a "nice guy" until cops began finding the bodies...

So uhhh, two games have lyrics that may be ever so slightly threatening to the weak mind of a child and now you declare that all game soundtracks have something wrong with them?

Okay, I'm just going to go back to listening to the awesomeness that is the Dynasty Warriors 4 soundtrack.

Asura's Wrath has the best soundtracks I heard in so many years

Navarone9942:
I think some peeps have misunderstood what I was getting at. Metropolis Street Racer (hints in the title) is a Racing game that focuses on making the player feel great since they are winning a race and performing sweet drifts and sweet jumps and other "sweet" car related things... not a romance game or a Japanese visual novel but a RACING game and after hearing the tracks on Fuse a number of times, don't seem to mesh well into a racing soundtrack.

... are you implying that all the songs in a racing game have to actually be ABOUT racing?

Navarone9942:
I imagine that most if not all readers have seen episodes of Zero Punctuation and my point would be comparable to how Yahtzee lists several things out of context in Super Mario Galaxy and more specifically in Psychonauts, a brain harvesting dentist, telekinetic bears and roasted squirrel.

Except he's listing actual features that exist, you're taking lines that you'd see in any kid's show or theme song and saying they're somehow messed up. Come on, if you think about it Sonic games are all about death. What's he doing? He's running really fast through Mobius, ripping all of these robots apart. And what are all these robots and Robotnik himself trying to do throughout every single second of the game? Kill him. They want Sonic dead. Not knocked out, not incapacitated or captured. Stone dead.

ps. Oh yeah as for stuff that does mess people up, I'll leave it with the fact the most people descibed Ted Bundy as a "nice guy" until cops began finding the bodies...

Who is that and what does he have to do with any of this?

endtherapture:
The thing that threw me off about a game's soundtrack was hearing 30 Seconds To Mars at the end of Dragon Age.

I second that. There was a severe lack of neo-classical metal.

Are you kidding me? Almost all the music on my MP3 player is a video game song, remixed or OST.
Video game soundtracks can add greatly to the emotion of the game if done correctly. My personal favorites:



I'm not going to post music, it's silly because if you DON'T realize that 2 out of millions is a sign of a problem and you AREN'T a troll and you really believe that those lines are bad there's really just one response.

Your standards are way, way too high.

I fail to see how your examples are even remotely screwed up (but then I listen to pop music where that kind of lyric is common). If you want to complain about soundtracks that are screwed up, pick ones that are ACTUALLY screwed up. My example above is a lot more disturbing (if you know the context) than anything you got freaked out by.

When i think of good game soundtracks with emotion lately i think of the ending theme to Portal. Still alive, it shows emotion by using an emotionless robot to sing a song.
Its amazingly simple but i cant stop listening to it.


OT:Honestly there's much worse stuff out there than that besides music can add a lot to a game
and you do know that you can probably turn the music off in the options most (if not all games) let you do that

I like how this has just turned into a "Favorite video game songs" thread.

Eh, we don't even need to go into game soundtracks to talk about explicit lyrics or anything. Just look at the last five years of mainstream pop culture music, all the rap and hiphop and r&b with lyrics talking bluntly about sex, sodomy, BDSM, murder, and whatnot. And you can't avoid hearing that stuff anywhere you go that has 'lounge' music.

Okay, so maybe a game like Sonic shouldn't have lyrics like that, but eh, not too many kids listen to the games at all. It's the adult audience that pays more attention to such details.

Dude, it's a Sonic game, what did you expect?

DoPo:

However children only see the dolphins there. Or usually at least.

I had to look SOOO hard to actually see those dolphins. What does that say about me?

Since this basically just seems to have turned into a "Favourite video games songs" thread I shall add a couple of my own that I don't think have been added yet.

On a side note, they need to make a sequel to Mirror's Edge.

What's wrong with video game soundtracks you say? Well, as you've probably already noticed, not all that much, but more to the point, what sort of video game soundtracks are you listening to? In my experience, the VAST, OVERWHELMING majority of video game soundtracks have NO LYRICS WHATSOEVER, and most of those are totally innocent, and a fair few of the ones remaining are totally incomprehensible. Nice sweeping generalization there, but I don't buy it.

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