Some metal heads won’t delve into the video game department much because they’re too busy head banging at gigs or spending their money of albums, records and music DVDs, but those who do enjoy a play from time to time will know there have been some awesome games released over the years which featured a kick-arse soundtrack. This list comes to mind because for just over a week now Guitar Hero Live has been out and can I personally say it is FUCKING AWESOME.
The whole dynamics of the game have changed as they’ve lost the 5 in a row buttons on the guitar controller and opted for the 3 above, 3 below concept which may seem piss easy at first but it’s turned the game on it’s head and even the best of the best have to now learn a completely different game, thus taking you from a Guitar Hero to a Guitar Zero. But the thing that makes this game series so great is the ability to “play” your favourite songs and in this new edition we can jam to the likes of Beartooth, Blink-182, 36 Crazyfists, Slipknot, Of Mice & Men, Pantera, Audioslave, Megadeth and Tenacious D just to name a few. However the visual concept has changed with Guitar Hero Live (Career Mode) as you perform your way through festivals you have a live action crowd cheering (or booing) along as you play the song. This is humiliating and encouragement enough to make sure you don’t stuff up the song as it really looks like you’re on stage getting pelted with bottles and hurled with abuse (this must be how Nickelback feels).
In closing this version of the famous game is more closer to teaching you how to play a real guitar due to the combinations of the upper and lower buttons and also “Power Chords” you have to master while smashing out you favourite songs. I highly recommend it, mainly due to it’s diverse range of tracks to play, BUT that got me thinking about all the other games I’ve played which had a killer soundtrack to support it…
#7 – Doom
Arguably one of the best first person shooters to get released wayyyyy back in 1993, it wasn’t just the experience of shooting demonic demons from hell that got you fired up, but it was your first experience with something close to metal on a video game. The heavy-metal background noise was composed by Bobby Prince who was the man behind the background music for other video games such as Duke Nukem II and 3D, Wolfenstein 3D and Doom II. So if you played this game at a young age and consider yourself to be a proper metal-head, you can thank Mr Prince for your introduction to Metal \m/
#6 – Need for Speed: Underground
Released back in 2003, this version of the popular car game really changed the future of the whole series and is probably the reason you wanted to take your non-turbo automatic Silvia out on the streets to take part in illegal drag racing. Out around the time the original Fast & Furious movie was released (before they went on to make another 30 of them) the soundtrack for this game featured the likes of Rancid, Rob Zombie, Static-X and Story of the Year. But the real winner of this game was Lil Jon & the Eastside Boyz who’s track “Get Low” took over the globe shortly after it’s release and sadly gave Lil Jon enough money to continue a horrible career of auto-tuned rap bullshit.
#5 – Guitar Hero 3: Legends of Rock
There was no way I wasn’t going to include a Guitar Hero game (or two) in this list, now it was hard to decide on which of the earlier editions would be the best representation of the game and how hard it was to master. That was until I remembered how a group of mates and I first discovered this little, relatively unknown band by the name of Dragonforce from London, England and their FUCKING UNBELIEVABLY DIFFICULT SONG to finish on Expert mode “Through the Fire and Flames“. Quite literally this song was impossible to achieve 100% on unless you left school/work in 2007 to focus on practicing it all day, every day. It also boasted other bands such as Queens of the Stone Age, Rage Against the Machine, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Disturbed and more. Check out the bullshit of Dragonforce below
#4 – Crazy Taxi
Just before we set foot into the new millennium and the threat of the Y2K bug was imminent, Crazy Taxi was released in 1999 and in comparison to other gaming systems, it’s graphics were well ahead of it’s time, especially with it’s release on the ill-fated Sega Dreamcast console. A fan favourite in arcades back in the day too it’s soundtrack featured two of the greatest punk bands around that time Bad Religion and The Offspring. For those who were old enough to drive back then, I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to get in your car shortly after playing and try to NOT speed though the streets like a maniac listening to “All I Want“.
#3 – Grand Theft Auto V
It was hard to determine which of the Grand Theft Auto games should get a mention (mainly because gangster rap/hip-hop seemed to be the main priority on some of the radio stations throughout) but Channel X on 2013’s 5th edition had some incredible bands such as Off!, Black Flag, The Descendents, Agent Orange and Suicidal Tendencies. The hardest thing was always changing the radio station the minute you stole a new car and if you’re anything like me when I played this game, that was once every 2 minutes. In a totally unrelated video (mainly because I couldn’t find any gameplay with the above artists playing) some legend has made his own version of Blink-182‘s “What’s My Age Again” video clip featuring the characters Michael, Trevor and Franklin. This was doing the rounds like week, but it’s too good not to give a mention to here!
#2 – Burnout 3: Take Down
I’ll admit, I wasn’t interested in the idea of the Burnout series, until I read that you get points for smashing your car into a traffic jam and you can also race (and get more points for crashing into cars and objects). But I’m glad I did because the soundtrack for this game literally set me up with some of the best hardcore/alternative bands that I hadn’t even heard of around the time it was released in 2004. Featuring bands such as Atreyu, Jimmy Eat World, Funeral for a Friend, Pennywise, Rise Against and My Chemical Romance it quickly became a favourite after school delight as I’d (at times) be more interested in the background music than the game itself.
and the winner is….
#1 – Guitar Hero: Metallica
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, how could a game involving Metallica get number one? Well it’s because you actually GET TO FUCKING PLAY METALLICA (and friends) SONGS. There is not one metal head alive who hasn’t wondered what it would be like to shred like Hetty, Kirk, Lars or Robert and this was your opportunity to do just that. Featuring a somewhat “Greatest Hits” line up of songs as well as new tracks from Death Magnetic this was the ultimate 2009 party jam game which I spent days upon days upon weeks playing. What’s the best song you might ask? I couldn’t go past “All Nightmate Long” on Expert (show off I know) but also nailing the hammer-ons, while only using one hand at the start of “For Whom the Bell Tolls” will go down in history as one of the best moments I’ve ever felt like a rockstar.
So there you have it, the Top 7 Video Game Soundtracks that you may or may not have realised. If you think we missed a few games, let us know!
Until next time, rock the fuck out