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on November 10, 2012
The first volume in what I hope will be a long-running series, "The Greatest Video Game Music", was focused on two major types of music, with one foot in whimsy ("Tetris", "Angry Birds") and the other firmly entrenched in the martial melodies of military shooters like Battlefield and Call of Duty. With the second volume, the tone steers away from both, moving towards the recent video game trend of the "angelic female" vocalist, as evidenced on tracks such as "A Future for the Krogan/An End Once And For All" and "Assassin's Creed - Revelations: Main Theme."

A wide range of games are still covered, touching on some classic themes, such as Chrono Trigger and Super Metroid. Most of the arrangements work well; they're slavishly faithful to the originals, so they don't make many mistakes along the way. The lone clunker is "Still Alive", which doesn't really work with the vocalist chosen. I've heard the original version of the track, Jonathan Coulton's own voice, and the version he released on his latest album, sung by Sara Quin from Tegan and Sara, and this interpretation is easily the worst rendition. The song simply isn't designed to be sung the way it is here. It's designed to be silly and a bit small. "One-Winged Angel" also lacks some of the dynamism of the version from the album "Final Fantasy S Generation", though it would be hard to match that harrowing and dramatic arrangement.

The recording quality is strong, and aside from a few minor flaws, it's a solid album that does a good job of covering the many niches of gaming, from classics to modern titles, big-budget blockbusters to little indie efforts. With the breadth and depth of the entire field available, I can't wait to hear what music is chosen for the next volume.
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on January 16, 2015
Look at the cover. Look at how its idea of juxtaposing "Video games" and "music" is to us a violin to represent the latter and a bland gray military fellow. As anyone who actually plays video games--specifically, the games whose tracks are orchestrated on this CD--can tell you, that simply isn't accurate. This decision feels phoned-in, as if the people behind this collection didn't really care about their product--and the same is true of the music.

It really feels like the London Philharmonic Orchestra was just handed sheet music and told to play it. There's little in the way of creative remixing, no notable re-imaginings.

So what do we have? A collection of relatively high-quality re-orchestrations of music from popular games. Some are actually good (Like the Chrono Trigger and Arkham City ones) and some are just mind-blowingly awful (Whose idea was it to remove the chiptune bits from Fez?). Most, however, just sound mostly identical to but slightly worse than their original in-game pieces.

Ultimately, the three stars says it all: There's some quality work here, but you're better off going to OverClocked Remix and finding more creative renditions.
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on December 27, 2012
This album and its predecessor are both fantastic! The creative arrangements made by Andrew Skeet of some of the worlds most iconic video game music are absolutely stunning and the London Philharmonic Orchestra as always does a phenomenal job performing the music to its highest musical degree!

Looking forward to future sequel releases of this album and other product releases from X5 Music Group!
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on February 9, 2013
As a huge fan of video games, I originally got the album because of the Luigi's Mansion theme. As I listened to it, more and more caught my ears' attention. The Metroid medley could rival a Star Wars theme, Assassin's Creed has beautiful melody while the theme for Sephrinoth is downright creepy. Of course, it is hard to muck up a Chrono Trigger song (or a Final Fantasy one) when Nobuo Uematsu supervised the composer; it's one that would feel right at home on the game itself. The one song that takes the cake, pun totally not intended, is Still Alive from the game Portal. It's gorgeous and creepy and completely fun to hear.

So why get it? One, it's done by a prestigious musical group. Two, there's some really cool songs on the album. And three, the music sounds modern and classic at the same time. For me, I love to listen to this when I'm driving home after a long day--especially when leaving classes.
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on February 16, 2013
Bought this for my Middle school students. Some of them liked it so much they bought the CD! They always got really excited when they recognized the songs. I would recomment this to any teacher, or gaming fan.
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on November 6, 2012
I purchased this album for $3.99 because I really enjoy the music in video games and the previous installment of this series. Video games have some of the most immersive and mesmerizing soundtracks nowadays, especially the tracks on this compilation. Although some tracks aren't exactly like the originals, the Icarus Main Theme for example, the interpretations are still fantastic. Personally, the tracks on this album, and other video game soundtracks, help me concentrate a bit more, relax, and often help me sleep (especially the enchanting tracks like Fez: Adventure). The albums has epic tracks (the Arkham City Main Theme and Icarus Main Theme), charming tracks (Dragon Roost Island and Fez: Adventure), Sci-Fi/erie tracks (a Symphonic Poem and a Future for the Krogan/An End Once and For All) and much more; my point: there is plenty of variety. These tracks also either spark my interests in games I haven't played, or motivate me to revisit some of my modern favorites.

This album packs plenty of variety and plenty of recognizable tracks for fans; and, fans of Orchestral music may enjoy it without prior knowledge of the video games. I personally enjoyed most of the tracks, and the $3.99 price point is perfect to own this small collection.
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on May 18, 2013
I bought this album expecting it to be better than the first, but it dissapointed me a bit. Once again, they don't really include more obscure scores and basically go for the more mainstream games. Some of the tracks here are a bit of a dud, like the portal song. Others are brilliant like Halo Never forget. But overall half of these are forgettable.

I also didn't understand the constant use for vocals. It appears in a bit of tracks and some aren't used that well.

Still, I like the soundtrack, but the really need to ditch the vocals and add more obscure games (Total war, shadow of the colossus, the witcher 2).
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on November 6, 2012
Another great production from the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Like their first production, they use real instruments to great effect to flesh out the theme, while still throwing in the synth/effects to bring back the in-game feeling from which the themes were extracted. The singing of "Still Alive" is especially special because it moves away from the symphonic material of the album and starts with the light contemporary rock sounds of the orignial, and the singing makes it seem like GLaDOS got an upgrade to human vocalization (by the way, if anyone knows the names of the people doing vocals on this album, please let me know!). A bonus track with the new orchestrations utilizing the original GLaDOS pronounciation and voice would have been nice, though, just for comparison's sake.

I would recommend this album, especially if you wax nostalgic for the game, and get it fast; I missed out on the 3.99 price on the last one when it was first released, changed my mind, and overpaid later!
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on August 10, 2014
This introduces me to game music in a way I never expected. Dark and light-hearted all the music works well together, and had this been a vinyl record the grooves would have all been worn with the amount of times I listen to it.
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on January 27, 2013
I have to say, I was pretty disappointed with the first Greatest Video Game Music album. The tracks in that one I expected to be really good, like the Zelda Suite, were pretty lame and repetitive, and the ones I didn't expect to be good, like the GTA IV track, was decent.

This volume completely blows the first away, though! The only track I didn't enjoy was the very first. I think my favorite would have to be the Super Metroid poem - absolutely fricken awesome!

Buy this, please!

Here's to hoping they'll make a third volume with some SNES Starfox tunes!
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