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60 of 67 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2011
Format: MP3 Music
Listen to the samples, you will know immediately if this is for you. The real standouts are the classic 8-bit tunes, Zelda, Mario, and Tetris, but the rest are fun too. The bonus Dead Space track is very spooky (wait, there was music in Dead Space? I just remember screaming and metal clanking sounds.)

I'd love to see the London Philharmonic do an album of CLASSIC video game music someday, just focusing on great 8-bit tunes; Castlevania, Megaman, Metroid, Ghosts n' Goblins etc.
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112 of 142 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2011
Format: MP3 MusicVerified Purchase
I've listened through the entire album, and while it's actually not bad overall and worth the 2.99 I paid, I do have some problems with it. Entitling an album Greatest Video Game Music would seem to imply that it features the Greatest Video Game Music, and while that is certainly something that is hard to examine objectively, I just don't think this fits the bill. I think the album better sits somewhere between Most Recognizable Video Game Music, and Video Game Music From the Best Selling Games ever. This is a bit of a problem, as some of this music just doesn't translate well into something that can stand on it's own. There are probably 3 groupings I'd put the music into.

Music that shouldn't be there but works.
The angry birds theme normally wouldn't fall anywhere near my list of greatest video game music ever, but the version included in this album is very well done, and is played around with enough that, while I dislike the game, I really enjoyed the piece. The Tetris theme is the only other song I'd put into this category, although it likely has some more merit in it's own right, the version included is surprisingly fun to listen to.

Music that should be included.
While this is just my opinion, the pieces from Advent Rising, The Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, Mario, Uncharted, Mass Effect, Halo, Elder Scrolls, and metal Gear all work fine. They are either iconic enough, or simply translate well enough into orchestral pieces to work, although some work better then others.

Pieces that just don't fit.
These are the problem pieces, the pieces from Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, World of Warcraft, Battlefield, Bioshock, Fallout, and Dead Space. I actually enjoy some of the games these pieces originated in, but the pieces just don't stand up that well on their own. Many were simply too repetitive to be that entertaining, and even though I've played the games they were sourced from, listening to them they just sounded like generic video game background music and I'd be hard pressed to know where they came from.

While I understand that these pieces were included because their source material is so well known, it would have been much better if the album contained either some of the slightly more obscure, but far superior video game pieces, or had simply loaded up on more iconic pieces, like some sonic or castlevania medleys. As is the album is okay at best.
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29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2011
Format: MP3 MusicVerified Purchase
The Tetris arrangement is worth $3 all by itself. Don't even think about it; just buy it. Unless you really need those $3 for an order of french fries today.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2011
Format: MP3 MusicVerified Purchase
The tracks on this album are from an extremely diverse library of games. In lieu of staying to a complete classical theme, elements such as synth and a drum set (adding snare and hi-hat noises) are utilized to give some songs a more modern classical feel. The arrangement of Angry Bird's theme, the Super Mario theme, and the Uncharted theme are worth the $3 by themselves. Really.

All in all, an amazing collection. There will be people griping about whats missing, such as a track from Shadow of the Colossus in my opinion, but that just gives you a chance to check out buying that album on its own!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 8, 2011
Format: MP3 MusicVerified Purchase
The most exciting songs are those where the original version was not already symphonic in nature (i.e., Super Mario Bros, Zelda, and Tetris) and thus are given a new spin. Songs like those from Call of Duty and Uncharted don't sound terribly different from the original and in fact, as is often the case with movie soundtracks, even lose some of their magic when listened to outside the context of their source. Such songs can be exciting to listen to in a live performance, similar to what the Video Games Live tour has been doing, but many of them seem rather dull on their own.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Overall, the quality of the recording is fairly good, and it's quite enjoyable and even a bit nostalgic to hear some of these pieces again.

That being said, some of the tracks on this album simply don't stand up to their original versions, most notably Liberi Fatali (FFVIII) and Reign of the Septims (Oblivion).

The arrangement for Liberi Fatali left me very much disappointed. Originally a bombastic, intense and sweeping work of art, this version comes across as rather "tinny" and very much lacks the punch. Some of this was due to the choir being severely understaffed for this kind of piece, and the arrangement which took the liberty of exchanging instruments for certain parts (tuba/trombone/french horn where there should have been piano, etc). Not that these things ruin the rendition, but while listening to this version I'm expecting it to at least equal or surpass the original in scope. Definitely not hitting the mark, and this piece was one of the primary reasons for purchasing this album.

Reign of the Septims from Oblivion... this arrangement exhibits the same symptoms as stated above, and again this is the other track on this album I was most excited about. I would listen to the original version over this one any day of the week.

I was hoping to hear a fresh take on the Zelda theme, however the one on this album is the same orchestrated arrangement we've heard for years and years (and not as effective as the original recording of it). Suffice it to say no (or very little) effort went into this one, they simply printed the sheets and played it.

On a different note, I have no idea what some of this music is doing on an album titled "Greatest Video Game Music". The Angry Birds theme for example, is one I would have certainly left off to make room for a more iconic piece.

Altogether, it is an enjoyable album, but personally I did not find it overly so. As a musician, it's difficult NOT to notice some of these glaring differences. My expectations were not unrealistically high, in many ways some of these performances just failed to deliver.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
A songwriter friend in Nashville recently told me that the REAL money in the music writing business is now in the field of composing music for video games. After all more video games are played than CDs or albums purchased and video games are international in their scope. I'm not sure if there have been similar released to this album but this one will be hard to top in the genre.

First off, I must admit that I don't play video games and nearly all of the 20 games represented here were new to me. Surely everyone has heard of "Grand Theft Auto" and "Super Mario Brothers" (presented here twice - with the original "themes" and score from "Super Mario Galaxy". Regular "gamers" will know more of the titles - and I encourage you to add your knowledge to the comments here. I'll just concentrate on the music and the performance.

Much - though not all - of the music on the CD sounds like the score from a John Williams-scored film. And, as expected, it's energetic. No, you won't find novelties like the music from "Pong" or "Pac Man". Much of it is "serious" with a few pieces of light humor (The two "Super Mario"s and "Grand Theft Auto". I'd love to tell you who composed these "scores" but the package - which has no liner notes - omits ALL the composing credits! (How'd that happen? Don't these guys deserve credit? Even classical music standards give composers their due.).

The London Philharmonic Orchestra has recorded many other "soaring" film scores and so they are a good choice to record this one. The sound is full and yet you can hear clearly the percussion (wood blocks, chimes) that is so essential to this music.

As a symphonic album of music that sounds both a bit familiar (that Williams thing again) and new, I enjoyed it. There are virtually no slow sections and each piece is just long enough to be considered an "Overture".

While "gamers" will be attacted to it, I think those who like soundtrack scores will get a lot from it too.

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 8, 2011
Format: MP3 Music
Is it wrong for a grown man to be nearly reduced to tears by the classical take of the Legend of Zelda Suite? If it's wrong, then I don't want to be right. This is an absolutely amazing collection of music. Even if you are unfamiliar with all of the games presented here, this is still beautiful music. I have never been able to get into the Final Fantasy series, but the music from it is nothing short of beautiful. This is a must buy for video game fans, and those who appreciate classical music in general.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2011
Format: MP3 MusicVerified Purchase
This collection of songs played by the London Philharmonic is simply amazing. I was completely blown away by the quality, quantity and score selection. Fantastic covers of some really amazing songs. This is a must buy for any video game or classical fan. SO GOOD.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2011
Format: MP3 MusicVerified Purchase
I came across this album when I was searching for the "Suicide Mission" mp3 for "Mass Effect 2" (to which the score is no longer available on amazon). The sample for "Suicide Mission" impressed me enough to consider buying it for $0.99, so I clicked the album link to see what the rest sounded like in case the album proved worthy of purchase.

That's when I saw the price ($2.99!) and the numbers of tracks (21! plus a bonus track for purchasing the mp3 album so a total of 22!) and my reaction went from, "I'm interested" to "OMG I HAVE TO PURCHASE THIS NOW!"

If you enjoy video game music and have bought soundtracks in the past, there's nothing here to dissuade you from purchasing it for three bucks. Even the CD format is modestly priced at $9.99; if the mp3 album wasn't such an incredible steal, I probably would have bought the CD since I prefer to own hard copies when the price difference is less than a few dollars.

Personal favorites include "Advent Rising: Muse," "Legend of Zelda: Suite," "Elder Scrolls: Oblivion," "Mass Effect: Suicide Mission," "Final Fantasy: Main Theme," "Bioshock: The Ocean on His Shoulders," "Fallout 3: Theme," and "Bonus Track: Dead Space: Welcome."
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