When you want to listen to video game music in today’s gaming age, most people either A) order a collectors edition of a game because it’s usually included, B) go on ebay or playasia etc. to find a video game music CD, since soundtracks to games are more popular in games created in Japan, or C) they look for the soundtrack to download online in mp3 format.
There was a time when video game music wasn’t readily available in mp3. There were mostly midi’s around, or you have special emulator programs that could emulate the old console systems sound in different file extentions (such as .spc for Super Nintendo, etc.). Back then, whole Gameboy soundtracks could actually be played in Winamp in one playlist entry (strange).
There was one source for high quality video game music, and that was created in 1999. OverClocked Remix opened up and was quickly through time building a reputation for making video game music sound modern. They usually had one or two songs from the artists’ favorite games, but they put together a huge collection on Chrono Trigger for SNES. I never beat the game but I had played it, and I downloaded their whole soundtrack. In my opinion, which I admit I haven’t kept up with their work in years now, that was the best work they had on the site.
As they grew, they gave more direction to the artists that were joining the group for music. They emphasized originality – remixing the music and simply not recreating it. Each song is personally reviewed by the admins and posted up, and I recall seeing someone who tried to modernize a song without remixing it and he was encouraged to make the song his own.
They do excellent work there, and remixes certainly were great in making the old, basic chipsets turn into modern electronica. Music today have the modern sound, so I’m guessing they just put their own touch and spin on the melodys to remix them.
What is your preference – the original song rendition or a remix? Mine? I always go for the original, even with old Gameboy music. To those who don’t appreciate game music, it’s just archaic beeps. To me, it’s memories. I want the original sound so I can put myself right where I was 15 years ago holding a Gameboy Color, or whatever. Super Mario All-Stars modernized the NES games inside to SNES without remixing, which I thought was excellent! But, who can complain about a good remix? I still listen to OC Remix’s Chrono Trigger today.