In a game series known for its sex, drugs and violence, it’s hardly surprising that Saints Row the Third follows tradition. However the crime game genre is pretty shallow; so in a world filled with serious games, there was a game series which decided to stop being so serious. They decided that they had gone through their serious era and were now ready to enter the realm of the bizarre. Welcome to the strange city of Steelport.
Oh boy, did I ever make a mistake with the wording behind this Top 10? I mean, let’s face the facts here, I wanted to make this Top 10 Music in Gaming, but I accidentally said Top 10 Songs in Gaming. Joel found this oh so funny, that I of all people would use an incorrect word. So instead of sneakily changing this over to Top 10 Music in Gaming, we thought we’d take the word mistake on the chin and do Top 10 Songs in Gaming.
The difference between a song and some music is that a song has words within it. Music however doesn’t have words, but is the actual arrangement of instruments to make a noise. Okay, a bit of rhythm helps, but that’s really the jist of it. So how many games are out there that actually have songs, y’know, the lyrical kinds? Joel and I set out on a voyage to see if we could make a boat befitting a god… Or maybe I just wanted Joel gone… Either way, this is our Top 10 Songs in Gaming!
10 – Sailors Song, Black & White
Oooh, we’ve got this notion that we’d quite like to sail the ocean. Ah, I seem to have been caught singing along to this little ditty once again. Damn it, I guess I’ll have to hand in my manliness badge (I had one..?) and I should just go jump on the boat for myself.
But in seriousness, this had to get in. Sooo many people found these guys annoying, but I honestly thought they were a breath of fresh air. Black & White was well known for its brilliant blend of humour in amongst an otherwise amazing god game. Before this, you only really had Populous, which I guess is fitting as Black & White is designed by the guy who made said franchise.
You heard this song in several parts… And then, surprisingly if you actually help them out and get their boat out there to sea, they reappear once again near the end of the game and oh boy, is it ever worth hearing their song one more time!?
Taking from a YouTube Comment in the above video:
9 – Charlie Mops, Bard’s Tale
Is it really a surprise that within the first few minutes of a game about a Bard is filled with bawdy songs? The first place you walk into and the merry drunks are singing a song about beer and the man who invented it, a surprisingly long song but enjoyable number sung at full volume in accordance with tradition.
It’s one of many songs in the game and indeed in the series, and though I’ve only played the one – the Android version which is awesome, amazing quality for a mobile app – it’s a song that sticks in my head like a earworm. I love it, it’s cheery and bouncy and really sets the tone for the rest of the game, a rolling parody filled with daft comedy.
8 – LocoRoco
Gather your friends, start a choir, sing your way into the secret places and fight out evil invading tentacle monsters. In LocoRoco you take the role of a planet, rolling and bouncing your last great defence around the your surface. Doesn’t matter, they’re adorable, and the songs are amazing.
The songs are in a language very similar to Simolian, a put-together mash of syllables oddly representative of any and all languages, but they’re even composed in many different genre styles; reggae, brit-rock, blues. LocoRoco is a fun little game, sure, but it’s an even better listen.
7 – Master Onion’s Rap, Parappa the Rapper
Most people at some point of owning a PlayStation likely came across the Parappa the Rapper demo. This was the song that was on that demo, which was also the first level from Parappa the Rapper. The little rapping dog has to grow up pretty quickly through the course of the game and he does everything though the medium of rap. Joel and I have a little soft spot for geeky raps, as we’ve covered before (Try our Top 10 ERBs!)
However, the unique selling point to the songs in Parappa the Rapper is the fact that you actually make an impact on the songs. You see, as you play through the game, you get involved with the raps. So in this, you have to say the words: Kick, Punch, Chop, Block, Jump, Turn and Pose. By pressing X, ⬜ , ◯ or △, you end up with Parappa saying one of the words at the right times. A very unique game that earns a soft spot with me, but it also shows that you can make songs the entire point of a game… And that’s not including things like Rock Band or Guitar Hero, where you can be the singer. Very cool for its time and definitely a classic!
6 – I Am Murloc by Level 70 Elite Tauren Chieftain, World of Warcraft
A lot of you reading this may be feeling a little bit cheated with this one.
“But Timlah,” I hear you start, “That’s an actual band who made a song because of a game, not made a song for a game. It was just a song that made these guys famous!” You’re absolutely 100% correct too. This was a song that was made because these rockers were serious fans of World of Warcraft, to the point that they made an entire song about being a Murloc. I mean that’s pretty damn cool unto itself, but there’s another part of this story…
See, Blizzard saw this… and they also saw the popularity of L70ETC. Blizzard let them be a live performer at Blizzcon, but to top this off, they even included in-game performers of L70ETC and the song, I Am Murloc was added into the World of Warcraft. This is proof that if you’re just that geeky enough and you have that really fun little idea, uploading a video can get you into the thing you’re most interested in.
5 – A Pirate I Was Meant To Be, The Curse of Monkey Island
The fact it takes Guybrush Threepword the word Orange to progress the game after this shanty begins is absolutely superb and comedy genius. But of course, fans of the fantastic adventure game series, Monkey Island, would hold this song dear to them in their own little way. I must have only been about 10 years old when I first heard this song… and I still sing along to it to this day.
It’s catchy and it shows the predicament our hero is in. He’s gotten himself a crew of would-be adventurers (or pirates as he’s referring to them). They are so ecstatic about being officially called pirates, they can’t help but to just break down in song and dance… And the expressions on Guybrush’s face are a sure fire sign that he’s not really digging the fact his crew are so carefree about their singing.
Guybrush, how could you spoil this amazing moment in gaming? You’re as repulsive as a monkey in a negligee!
4 – Melodies of Life, Final Fantasy IX
The Final Fantasy franchise is full of songs which are worth listening to. Of course, everyone remembers One Winged Angel, but when you look at the actual words it’s kind of… Lame. I’m sorry, but when the lyrics of the song are literally saying about how Sephiroth is full of rage, you kind of just want to say “nope!” In Latin it sounds great though. So what about Final Fantasy 8’s Eyes On Me? It’s a beautiful song after all… But now we’ve gone from rage to “I love you!” It’s touching, it’s almost as good as…
Melodies of Life. A song that really discusses the whole game that you’re about to play before you even get to play it. Not only that, it’s a recurring song (like Eyes On Me) and guess what? Nobuo Uematsu, the composer for the Final Fantasy series, has said that this is his favourite track from the Final Fantasy IX soundtrack, which is full of some fantastic music. If you’ve not heard the soundtrack, I urge you to look it up, as it’s just fantastic. It’s composed beautifully and it’s downright sweet to listen to.
Yes, you literally can understand the whole game through this one song… But had I also mentioned that it was used in a lot of other media? Performed live all over and this even appeared in a Coca Cola advert which was also advertising Final Fantasy IX, it’s been around! Move over One Winged Angel, this is the truest Final Fantasy song. Pah, full of rage.
3 – Dovahkiin, Skyrim
For the first time, the Elder Scrolls theme has lyrics, along with an epic tempo, blasting orchestral score, and OH it’s all written in draconic script! It’s become known as the Skyrim theme, but the same tune (at different tempos, keys, but the same melody) is used in Morrowind and Oblivion. It’s Skyrim that we all remember!
Interesting fact: A choir of thirty people recorded the song Dovhakiin three times to sound like a much bigger ensemble, they had to work to a common pronunciation and emphasis of an entirely invented language, although one that obeys common linguistic rules. The anthem of the Dragonborn is one of the modern masterpieces, not just in games, but in pop-culture of the decade. But not number one?
2 – Katamari Damacy
The song for rolling up large chunks of planet to redecorate the sky. It’s fast paced, uplifting and oddly heart-warming. I’ve never really picked up the ability to memorize japanese lyrics like many anime and gaming fans have, but you can’t help but join in the chorus. It’s got a real party feel that just can’t be beaten, you just have to “roll with it”! Hah! Sneaky pun near the end of the list.
1 – Want You Gone, Portal 2
We debated this. One or other of the Portal songs was going to make the list, they’re beautiful, so why Want You Gone over Still Alive, or even the Aria of the Turrets?
Portal 2 may not have quite so many distinctive and memorable memes to its’ name, but its’ cultural impact was so much more explosive. Seizing upon the fame of its’ predecessor, its’ imagery, its’ music, its’ characters spread further and faster than that of any other game. It was endemic, and in a way Want You Gone was the perfect finale to it all.
Both songs were written by Jonathan Coulton, famous comedy musician whose entire personal works are in the public domain (at least they were last I heard) and performed by GLADoS actor, opera singer, and generally lovely woman, Ellen McLain. If there’s one reason to hope that Portal gets a third instalment, it’s that these two may never compose together again.
The above songs are in game, for sure, but hey, these ones are also in game… So they count still, right? Maybe, but these certainly aren’t on the same level as the above. Never the less, we thought we’d give a nod to these, as they kind of deserve it…
Guitar Hero / Rock Band
Literally you’re picking up plastic guitars, or picking up drum sticks, hey even the microphone or a keyboard… And this is the whole game. Unlike Parappa the Rapper where you are given freedom to be creative with your songs, even hitting the notorious COOL Modes, Guitar hero and Rock Band are requiring you to be as accurate as possible. The giants of the rhythm game genre…
Oh what’s that? Great Aunt Mable is over? Great, she can be our vocalist. Mum, get on the bass guitar, dad get on the drums and everyone stand aside for me, the greatest guitar hero player ever. *Clunk, clink clunk!* Oops, I missed a few, now that song sounds dreadful…
Covers by characters, various games
Just because someone’s a character in a game doesn’t make them any less human, they like to butcher songs in the radio just like the rest of us. Cruising around Saints Row with the radio blasting, who could resist the urge to pick up the tune and do worse things to it than you ever could pedestrians.
And of course, let’s not forget this cheery little ditty. Let’s never… ever… forget.
That’s all we’ve got for this weeks Top 10. Hopefully you found our lyrical content to be just the right blend of funny, epic and awesome… Or you just really liked listening to them sailors singing about their boat. Joel and I sure as hell know we do! But it’s now time for you to join in once again and let us know what you think our next Top 10 really should be. My personal opinion is that every single one of you should click Top 10 Music in Gaming right now, so we can actually settle this one and for all. Go ahead, click it. I mean you could press the others, but where’s the fun in that? Please vote for Top 10 Music in Gaming…
As always, what did you think of our list? Did you enjoy the songs we’ve included here, or do you think we fell just a little bit flat? If you think we were off key, then please let us know where you would have placed our entrants, or if you think we should change our tune entirely, what songs would you suggest for the Top 10 Songs in Gaming? Please leave your comments below, over on Facebook or Twitter!
Have you ever played a game that you really enjoy, where suddenly you see this really odd thing in the game?
No, I don’t mean an odd pair of socks, or even an odd number of teacups in the game, but instead a really odd weapon? We have and we’ve compiled a small list of the oddest weapons in video gaming. These are in no way a comprehensive list, but these are our top-picks for odd weapons in gaming.
10. Holy Mackerel – Team Fortress 2 (Scout)
Have you ever heard of the phrase “You look like you’ve been slapped by a wet fish”? Well the Scout takes it to the next level by literally slapping you with a wet fish!
To make matters worse for everyone who gets slapped by this most holy of all mackerels, there’s a unique kill-icon for the fish – only it counts how many times you get slapped by the wet fish! Seriously, what a nasty slap to the face that is for you and your team.
9. Scalpel – Guilty Gear (Faust)
First of all, I’d just like to point out that Faust is humongous. I mean he barely fits on the screen, that’s how tall this guy is. So why on earth would he choose to fight using a scalpel? Well it’s simple really: He’s a doctor who’s shamed himself by killing a patient. After having the lust for blood, he’s now realised the errors of his ways and wants to make amends…
… By being a good doctor… Who… beats people up with a giant scalpel. Not only is it a giant scalpel, he uses it as a pogo stick, amongst other things at that. A pogo scalpel. Right, that’s enough Guilty Gear for one day.
8. The Morningstar – Borderlands
They do say we’d all game better if we played like our mother was watching over our shoulders. 2K games has Mum’s back though, and delivers us a sniper rifle that offers pearls of wisdom with every shot:
“If you were a better shot you wouldn’t have to reload!”
“Wonderful shot! Murderer!”
“Just wait until I tell your father!”
Thanks guys, we needed to hear that, and we’re better people thanks to the Hyperion Morningstar range!
7. Hand Cannon – Dead Space 2
Isaac Clarke battles through The Sprawl in Dead Space 2, a massive space station overrun by the Necromorphs. To survive he’ll use a variety of high-tech weapons, from laser cutters to machine-guns and grenade launchers, and beyond those is the single most devastating weapons of them all: the amazing Hand Cannon, a GIANT FOAM FINGER!
Aim this powerful weapon at any enemy and Isaac will shout, “Bang, Bang!” or “Pew Pew Pew” at the enemy, who will subsequently explode into tiny little bits. No more frantic firing trying to dismember the creatures, just point the finger of doom at it and it’ll be gone in tiny little bits!
6. Lulu’s Dolls – Final Fantasy X
Lulu is a master spellcaster, throwing out Firagas and Blizzagas left and right, and clearing everything in such a dazzling spectacle you’d almost fear she’d get sued by ILM. But even she has to get physical at some point, and one look at her and you’d think she’d use one of the many belts that make up her bodice or a wand or staff as is expected of a sorceress.
Well, you’d be wrong. Lulu fights in cute cuddly and at the same time creepy style. Her weapons of choice are dolls. From teddy bears to Moogles, these cute little plushy toys will jump out of her arms, run at the enemy and give them a good whack before coming back to mommy!
5. Keyblade – Kingdom Hearts
This is the Swiss Army Knife of weapons. It can be used to fight, to open doors and chests and even close entire worlds; but what makes it so unique is that it can cut through anything…without actually having an edge. Just look at it, it’s round-shaped and its edge is blocky!
Over the years the number of people wielding the Keyblades has increased and while there have been edgier designs, the blade has never has never truly been sharp. You’d think it would work as a hammer, but nope, not in the Kingdom Hearts universe. If it’s a big key, it’ll cut through anything!
4. Earthworm Jim – Earthworm Jim
Earthworm Jim is a really super guy. An ordinary earthworm in an enhanced mechanical suit that grants him sentience, you have to ask yourself is the worm the hero, or the suit? Well the suit seems to know, and uses the symbiotic wriggler more as tool than pilot. In the games you can use your worm to lash onto hooks, ride zip-lines and whip your enemies into submission if your ammo’s running low.
There’s a joke in here somewhere, but I think the fact that you can use yourself as a tool is joke enough in itself. Nope, I just made it worse.
3. Dubstep Gun – Saints Row IV
The Third Street Saints, over their long criminal and media entertainment career have had a lot of weapons in their arsenal, but none as deadly, terrifying and rhythmic than the Dubstep Gun!
Simply aim and pull the trigger to unleash a hellish beat upon your enemies. They won’t be able to resist and they’ll dance to the beat to appease the weapon’s hunger until they just explode. Thankfully, for the universe, the weapon has a low ammo count.
2. Old Woman – Worms
Worms is bulging with weird and wonderful weapons; they’re invertebrates with floating hands, so this game was never going to be all uzis and shotguns. While we considered the legendary super-sheep, banana bomb, or concrete donkey, we respect and fear our elders, even if those elders are infirm, toxic-ally flatulent and explosive.
Unleash the wrath of the walking-stick wielding monster, the hunchbacked, thick spectacled octogenarian of carnage. Watch as your enemies inhale her every noxious emission before she explodes, for reasons!
1. Mr Toots – Red Faction: Armageddon
You’ve read this right and the video above really doesn’t do this enough justice… And that was the promotional video for this weapon! Yes, it is time to unleash a smelly dose of rainbows and sparkles upon your enemies in a laser-like rainbow storm.
To sweeten the deal even more, your gun is made even more magical than you could ever think possible. In fact, you get your very own Mr. Toots to help you spray butt-propelled rainbow laser beams upon your unsuspecting foes. If you’re in need of explosions, Mr. Toots the magical unicorns butt can provide this for you… And for the sake of the world.
So these are the weapons that certainly can’t be considered normal by any stretch of the imagination, however it’s worth noting that next to our top 10 list, they just aren’t odd enough!
Rather than dismiss them as the norm, we thought we’d give a special shout out to…
Cat Suit – Super Mario 3D World
We couldn’t quite get the Cat Suit as a fully justified weapon as honestly; it’s not. It’s a utility item but it’s one heck of a utility item at that!
Allowing you to climb and cling, claw and chew your way through any of the ridiculously hazardous lands of the Mushroom Kingdom, the Cat Suit is memorably for the fact it’s so damn adorable being a cat. Shame that it’s actually still a dirty, smelly plumber underneath that cat suit and not it just be an actual cat! Jump out at your opponents to make sure they know you’re not a feline to be messed with! This kitten certainly does have claws!
Bow-wow – Legend of Zelda
Koholint Island has a variety of weapons and items for Link to use on his quest to wake the Wind Fish. The most deadly, however, is Bow-wow, Madam MeowMeow’s pet Chain Chomp. Link gets to take him out for a walk around the swamp, opening the way to Bottle Grotto.
He’s an NPC, true, but he’s also the cutest overpowered weapon in the game. It lashes out to the nearest enemy and just devours them! Nothing is left of the poor victim, just loot. But as horrifying as it sounds, you can’t be mad at or afraid of that cute little razor-teeth-filled face!
Those were our top 10 odd weapons in gaming along with two more honorary mentions. We’d like to extend our thanks to Kevin of The Mental Attic and 1001-Up who joined us in writing our Top 10 list this week!
As always, please do leave a comment for us and tell us what are your favourite odd weapons in gaming? Do you think our rankings have been fair, or have we completely dismissed your favourite odd weapon which you think should be shown off? We’d love to see more!
If you want to get involved with the little chit-chat that goes behind these top 10’s, just drop us an e-mail. Alternatively, say in the comments below and we’ll try to make sure you’re included in the writing process behind one of these Top 10’s. Until next time, keep fragging with rubber duckies or whatever sort of weird weapons you like to use… I know I’m going to enjoy playing Guilty Gear and fighting people with an anchor, or perhaps a yo-yo and a hula hoop! A giant scalpel works for me, though!