Game Music of the Day: Way of the Samurai 3

Welcome to GamesRadar's daily blast of all things pertaining to the ever-growing field of game music. Each post will introduce new sounds, games, composers and fan-made remixes of gaming's greatest aural achievements.

July 23, 2010

Game: Way of the Samurai 3

Song: Normal Battle

Composer: Noriyuki Asakura

Above: Normal Battle from Way of the Samurai 3

Way of the Samurai 3 isn’t for everyone. Its graphics look last-gen, its game world is relatively tiny and most of its appeal comes mostly from seeing the drastically different ways its brief story can unfold, depending on the choices you make. But if there’s one area in which the game excels, it’s music, thanks to the efforts of composer Noriyuki Asakura. Known mainly for scoring the first few Tenchu games and the anime Rurouni Kenshin, Asakura’s weird fusion of traditional Japanese sounds and rock/hip-hop influences is a big part of what makes playing WotS3 such a memorable experience.

Above: Fights like this feel a whole lot more badass when you add that music

WotS3 has an overall great soundtrack, but given how often it erupts in fights, the Normal Battle track is the one that’s guaranteed to stick in your head if you play it for any amount of time.  Like a lot of the game’s other drum-and-guitar-heavy songs, it starts off sounding almost era-appropriate (and a little repetitive), but then mutates several times into something completely different, at points giving over to surf-rock and blaring horn riffs. It’s a surprisingly stirring accompaniment for what might otherwise have been rote hack-and-slash battles with dumb sword-wielding goons.


Another track that goes through similar permutations is my personal favorite, the music that plays whenever night falls. Nighttime in WotS3 has more interesting possibilities than its days; you might see a ghost, be attacked by a wandering homicidal maniac or stumble onto a piece of the secretive plot unfolding around you, and the music fits the mood perfectly. Especially after the 2:20 mark, when it gives way to a pretty warble from some kind of wind instrument, backed up by a wistful-sounding acoustic guitar; it’s perfect stargazing music, and more than enough to give the game’s nights a special significance that they wouldn’t have otherwise.


Game music of the day: Cel Damage
Lunarcy by Egg Plant Productions



Game music of the day: Read Dead Redemption
Far Away by Jose Gonzalez



Game music of the day: Alone in the Dark
Who Am I? by Olivier Deriviere 



Game music


  • stizzybeatbonk - July 27, 2010 8:54 p.m.

    This game got some heaters. I've been known to loss past issues with the game, if the beats was on point.
  • philipshaw - July 26, 2010 9:10 a.m.

    Some qualtiy music but like you said the game wasn't for me
  • Craza - July 25, 2010 12:04 p.m.

    There also seems to be a bit of a Spanish influence in the music, with the stringed instruments.
  • GamesRadarMikelReparaz - July 24, 2010 8:03 a.m.

    Glad you weighed in, MitsuharuSan. I actually love Way of the Samurai 3 (and 2, and 1), but I also recognize that a lot of people (including most of its reviewers, if Metacritic is any indication) don't feel the same way. So my remarks about its flaws are a concession to that, and also a way of saying, "Look, it may have these problems, but you should really listen to the music anyway because it's awesome." That's all. Not trying to knock the game.
  • MitsuharuSan - July 24, 2010 6:47 a.m.

    You're telling me the game didn't excel at anything else??? I thought that game was amazing. Who cares about the graphics... The game itself is pretty good if you only put some time in it. Collecting swords, following different paths, etc, etc. It's a great game.
  • CH3BURASHKA - July 23, 2010 8 p.m.

    The flute reminds me of MGS3's Alert Mode music. It's pretty bad-ass.

Showing 1-6 of 6 comments

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