5 video game composers you should know

Music is an incredibly important part of video games. Unfortunately, apart from names like Final fantasyby Nobuo Uematsu and Dragon Quest‘s Koichi Sugiyama, most game composers are not particularly well known. While it may have made sense back in the days when the medium was still young, gaming is fast becoming the largest entertainment medium in the world. As such, it seems strange that more of the musical talent behind the industry is not being recognized like film and television composers like John Williams and Hans Zimmer are.

With that in mind, it’s time to take a look at five composers who have worked in the medium and what makes their contributions unique. Some have been in the industry since the 1980s, while others are newcomers, but what they all have in common are their distinct styles and impressive musical works.

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Shoji Meguro

shoji meguro persona 5

Nowadays, Shoji Meguro is best known for crafts Persona 5Acid jazz inspired soundtrack. However, Atlus’ resident composer is capable of much more. Each new Shin megami tensei The game has its own unique musical style, and Meguro has taken on this challenge every time. Responsible for everything from the hard rock, dark vibe and militaristic orchestration present in various main games to the more vibrant and energetic themes of Character and other spinoffs, it’s fair to say that Meguro is a man of many musical talents.

Meguro joined Atlus in 1995, first composing for the original Character on the PlayStation and, rightly so, was also a director of its PSP remake. If this remains the series to which he is most attached, he also composes for Catherine, Trauma team, Shin Megami Tensei: strange journey and many other projects. He would also be involved in the next Atlus project Re Fantasy Project. What style of music this game will use of course remains to be seen, but given how good Meguro is at creating rock, jazz, classical, electronic, and orchestral music, it’s probably safe to say it will be another hit. resounding.

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Trevor Morris

trevor morris dragon age inquisition

Trevor Morris worked primarily in film and television, but branched out into video game projects throughout the 2000s. His first game soundtrack was that of EA Need for speed: Carbon, and he continued to work with the publisher on games like Order and conquer, An army of two and, perhaps the most famous of all, Dragon Age: Inquisition. Most recently, he composed the soundtrack to the excellent Netflix film. Castlevania series, and left his mark with a fantastic rendition of “Bloody Tears” and the exemplary song that plays against the series’ final antagonist.

Unlike most of the other composers mentioned here, and perhaps surprisingly given his work on more action-oriented games, Morris’s award-winning style is distinctly orchestral. It stands out better in its two Dragon age work and contributions to television shows like The Borgias. However, his Need of speed the work also demonstrated a strong mastery of more electronic sounds. Much of its music has an incredibly dark undercurrent, making it the perfect companion for political stabbing scenes or just setting the perfect mood for the seedy underbelly of a big city.

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Hitoshi Sakimoto

hitoshi sakimoto final fantasy tactic

Active in video game music since the late 1980s, Hitoshi Sakimoto has built an impressive career working on a wide range of different titles. To shoot ’em up like Gradius V, fighting games like Tekken Advance and even survival RPGs like Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter, it’s safe to say that Sakimoto’s resume is nothing to sneeze at. No wonder then that the man now has his own musical production. Since 2002, Basiscape de Sakimoto has provided music for games and cartoons, and has become one of the biggest names in game music production.

Sakimoto was influenced by techno and Japanese synthpop band Yellow Magic Orchestra, although that can be hard to say given how different his own music is. Having so many different experiences can make it difficult to pin down exactly what defines a man’s style. However, it is fair to say that he is best known for his work on strategy games. Sakimoto’s music is a large part of the lyrics by Tactical ogre, Chronicles of Valkyria and Final fantasyfrom the Ivalice series, all of which are filled with classic dramatic melodies and several other sinister tracks to highlight both the triumph of the heroes and the horrors of war.

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Motoi Sakuraba

motoi sakuraba dark souls

If you’ve watched a JRPG so much over the past 20 years, there’s a good chance you’ve heard Motoi Sakuraba’s work as well. Sakuraba is best known for his distinctive progressive rock style, which comes out best in the thrilling battle themes of games like Ocean star and that of Bandai Namco Tales series. However, his magnum opus is generally regarded as his work on the Baten kaitos series, which is full of hard rock combat music, classic tracks and many more experimental tracks.

If he has not always managed to show the extent of his talent, Sakuraba is also a follower of more traditional styles. Eternal Sonata presents many softer pieces as well as fantastic interpretations of the work of composer Frédéric Chopin. His work on the Dark souls franchise, which began shortly thereafter, exemplified this part of his talent. From the glorious terror of Ornstein and Smough’s theme to the iconic “song without a name,” the Souls series has proven once and for all that Sakuraba’s music is more than fancy guitar riffs.

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Inon Zur

inon zur fallout new vegas

Like Trevor Morris, Inon Zur began composing for film and television. However, he is arguably much better known for his work in video games. Entered the industry in 2000 with a number of Star Trek games, Zur continued to compose for franchises like Fall, Baldur’s Gate and even a Naruto game on Xbox 360. Some of Zur’s most memorable works to date also include the first two Dragon age games, where his music perfectly captures the franchise’s blend of heroic and dark fantasy using both mellow and otherworldly pieces and more dramatic war hymns.

Zur’s work is often orchestral, and he cites Beethoven and Russian classical composers like Sergey Prokofiev and Igor Stravinsky as his inspirations. In one interview 2017, he described his philosophy that video game music should be ‘felt’ more than heard, explaining that ‘when you play video games, you don’t need to notice the music, but it has to be part of it. of experience on an emotional level “- and this is a perspective that shines through in her work.

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