Remember Castlevania’s insane stalker theme? It sounds even better on a banjo if you can believe it. I can recall so many hours spent on that game just trying to move through each level without getting killed again and again. And then there were those that somehow found the pattern of the attacks and the entire game in fact and moved through it without any trouble at all. And then as the Castlevania games got more advanced and tougher as time went by I think a lot of people kind of lost interest. The game itself is fun, engaging, and not too hard when you really look back on it, but looking back at the music you start to wonder just why it seemed so entertaining when it was kind of fuzzy and droned on and on without any end.
It was what we knew back then. To better explain we really had no other basis for video game music back in the day and didn’t envision anything other than the stock music created for each game. In some cases it was pretty cool, it set the tone and fit with the game fairly well. But looking back at it now it’s kind of hard to imagine getting into it again for anything save nostalgic purposes. This banjo sound however is something fairly new and it’s impressive enough that one can almost imagine that putting it into the old game, or the new game, would be kind of awesome. It might not fit as well but it’s fun to listen to since it had to have taken at least a little while to get it down.
Music in video games was kind of ho-hum back in the day it seems. The tracks were really just long, repetitive pieces that didn’t have a lot of meaning and were used more as window dressing so that there was some sort of background noise that could accompany the action. There might have been more to it than that but to the average player the background music was just there, it wasn’t anything particularly special or even well-developed, it was just there. Of course now that a lot of us have gotten older we hear that music and our minds go back to a simpler time when we were sitting in front of the NES trying our hardest to kill one monster after another in order to get to the next boss fight.
Nowadays music in video games is about the same as music in movies and TV. The same tracks are used, the same quality is produced, and it makes the game more like a feature film than the old school games that a lot of us are used to. It’s cool in some regards but it also distracts from the game now and again since you want to listen to the music but then forget to play the game. Maybe it’s just me that happens to.
Ah well, listening to the banjo version is pretty cool, it’s just too bad it wouldn’t make it into a game.