"Sound Shapes," released today for Sony's PS3 and handheld system Vita, isn't the typical video game score. The game uses previously unheard tracks from the likes of Beck and Deadmau5, among others, to create a universe where the songs explored are dependent upon a user's movements.
Like last year's "Portal 2," which featured music from Jonathan Coulton and the National, "Sound Shapes" brings a little pop cred further into video game culture. They're not the only games to have winning scores. Here's a few recent examples worth investigating.
"Journey." Austin Wintory's score for this PS3 game comprises 18 relatively short pieces, many of them mixing orchestral flourishes with ambient electronics. There's hints of Eastern mysticism, and these string-based arrangements are the stuff of Hollywood epics.
"Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP."Canadian singer-songwriter Jim Guthrie struck a wondrous tone for much of the score of this mobile game. His electronic flourishes aren't quite retro, but wouldn't be out of place in an electrical parade at a Disney theme park, either.