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Play It Again, Manny: Grim Fandango Remastered OST

Can you hear the sound of us not talking?

Rare’s the day we post about game soundtracks here, because by sheer coincidence every member of RPS was born without the ability to enjoy music at the same time as watching pixels flash, but I’ll make an exception. Why? Oh, a combination of this one being a little bit special and my being hopelessly mired in the past, I guess.

In two weeks’ time, the re-recorded orchestral version of Peter McConnell’s Grim Fandango score will see a standalone release. The big, characterful music was one of the highlights of the recent Grim Fandango Remastered to my mind, especially given it was such a mixed bag on the visual front. Brass bands, jazz, Mexicana, there’s all sorts in there, and it’s a genuine companion to the visual flair and variety of the game’s art.

The original soundtrack was partially MIDI based, a victim of digital compression and generally not as big as it could have been, but for the new one McConnell brought in the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra as well as assorted jazz players. It sounds marvellous. A 37-track cut of the soundtrack will be available from “standard digital retailers” (me checks Spotify anxiously; feels guilty about how little this may help the artists), while Sumthing.com will have a Director’s Cut with 14 extra tracks. Wot, no vinyl?

The week prior to that – i.e. next week – Broken Age is getting the same treatment. I can pretend to be excited about that if you like. Really? You sure? OK, well, uh, wheee, yay? (I’m sure Broken Age’s music is perfectly fine, but because I didn’t especially connect to the game I guess it didn’t make anything like the impression Grim’s did).

So there we are, a soundtrack post on RPS. Stranger things, and all that. What are YOUR favourite game soundtracks, soundtrackineers?

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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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