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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

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 composerNoriyuki 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.

After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.