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.
GamesRadar is the premiere source for everything that matters in the world of video games. Casual or core, console or handheld - whatever systems you own or whatever genres you love, GamesRadar is there to filter out what's worth your time and to help you get even more from your games. We deliver the best advice, the most in-depth features, expert reviews, and the essential guides for all the top games.