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Game music of the day: Final Fantasy XIII

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

March 30, 2010

Game: Final Fantasy XIII

Song: Pulse de Chocobo

Composer: Masashi Hamauzu

Above: Not your typical VGM

If you know the name Masashi Hamauzu, we probably don’t need to tell you the dude’s a genius. But for those of you who don’t play RPGs, or the other obscure Square titles he aided in composing, you really should to check out the music of Final Fantasy XIII. No, this isn’t a history lesson, nor is it a pretentious audiophile getting preachy… But with all the emo butt rock and purportedly “epic” synthetic scores gamers have had to endure in the digital age, you might be surprised to hear what a high-quality composition - five years in the making, brought to life by dozens of real instruments, and a shitload of money - actually sounds like. I know I was.

Above: "Your theme is the bestest, Chocobo!"

I choose the jazz-tastic lounge serenade “Pulse de Chocobo” precisely because it (seemingly) has no purpose on a video game soundtrack. Not only do its old-timey sensibilities make it stand out like a gifted thumb on a palm of well-groomed masterpieces, more importantly, you genuinely get the feeling that the song is being played by a room full of enthusiastic musicians… and not a couple of cynical contract keyboardists bridging together a bunch of FPS crescendos.

It’s quite charming, isn’t it? Sort of like if Perfect Strangers had a battle theme!