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2:00 PM on 12.30.2013

Top ten game music tracks to get you pumped for the gym

Like our last issue of The Sound Card, which focused on music to sleep to, this has also been on my back burner for some time. I have over 300 tracks on my exercise playlist in iTunes, and a lot of that is game music. I thoug...

Jayson Napolitano


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Top ten game music tracks to sleep to photo
Top ten game music tracks to sleep to
by Jayson Napolitano

This one's been on the back burner for way too long. While most recent editions of The Sound Card have focused on a single game franchise, I've been wanting to get back to the good ol' "What's on your playlist" kind of posts. I always get people asking me what kind of game music I cram into my general purpose playlists (sleep, gym, relaxing, etc.), so I thought I'd start by listing my top ten favorite tracks to sleep to, since there's so much great music to consider.

I'll admit that this was really tough, as I have hundreds of tracks on my playlist. I decided to go with original soundtrack versions as opposed to digging into arranged tracks (many arrangements are made to be relaxing and sleep-inducing, and could make for a whole new post).

Join us as we count down, and please, chime in with some of your favorite picks for your favorite game tracks to sleep to!

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The top ten Contra songs OF ALL TIME photo
The top ten Contra songs OF ALL TIME
by Tony Ponce

Castlevania. Mega Man. And finally, Contra. With this, my holy trinity is complete.

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the greatest run and gun videogame series ever, Allistair Pinsof ranked the top five Contra games. But what is a game without a kickass soundtrack to back it up? Nothing, that's what!

Contra games are balls hard, so the music needs to fill you with the strength to tackle impossible odds without fear or hesitation. From electronica to hard rock to symphonic orchestrations, every note imbues you with confidence -- and maybe a little bit of bravado as well.

Get ready to attack aggressively with the top ten Contra songs of all time!

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Sound Card 011: Ten awesome, underrated Mega Man songs photo
Sound Card 011: Ten awesome, underrated Mega Man songs
by Tony Ponce

If it wasn't obvious from the many musical references throughout the series, the Mega Man games are as much about excellent tunes as they are about tried-and-true action gameplay. He's not called "Rockman" for nothing!

But despite the ocean of quality jams spanning two and a half decades, people tend to only talk about the soundtracks of the more popular games, especially Mega Man 2. Do we seriously need another "Dr. Wily Stage 1" from Mega Man 2 arrangement? C'mon, guys! Expand your horizons!

With that in mind, the erudite Jayson Napolitano and I put our heads together to compile a list of ten awesome tracks from ten games that aren't Mega Man 2. Or Mega Man 3. Or even the first Mega Man X. Instead of a definitive "best of" list, we would like to offer up our choices as a primer to the expanded wold of Mega Man music.

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Sound Card 010: Top ten game music tracks for Christmas photo
Sound Card 010: Top ten game music tracks for Christmas
by Jayson Napolitano

It's the most wonderful time of the year! And I truly believe that. While Thanksgiving is easily my favorite holiday, Christmas is a close second, and I've always made an iPod playlist with tons of holiday music that I roll out the day after Thanksgiving.

Recently, I had people ask me what kind of music I put on my Christmas playlist, and I realized I had a lot of game tracks! So what better way to kick off the Christmas season than with ten of my favorite holiday themes from videogames!

As usual, we can't include everything in a short top ten list, so feel free to chime in with some of your favorites as well, and together we'll hopefully have a pretty sizable list of music to enjoy this Christmas season!

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Sound Card 009: The top ten Castlevania songs OF ALL TIME photo
Sound Card 009: The top ten Castlevania songs OF ALL TIME
by Tony Ponce

This Halloween, you might feel like turning down the lights and cranking up the frights with a run through of a classic game like Resident Evil or Silent Hill. But for my time and money, nothing beats the premier name in action horror -- Castlevania!

Castlevania may not be the first thing you think of when someone says "horror," but there really is no greater poster child for the genre. This is a series that originally drew inspiration from old Universal and Hammer monster movies, paying homage to icons like Frankenstein's Creature, the Wolf Man, and of course Dracula. Over the years, it started to incorporate monsters and myths from cultures the world over. Castlevania is really just one giant hoedown with nearly every ghoul and foul hellspawn from all of human history.

And what better way is there to celebrate such a remarkable franchise than with a totally objective list of the best Castlevania songs of all time? From gothic jazz to vampire rock, each tune is distinct and memorable in its own way. I guarantee that, by the time you finish reading this list, you'll feel like a badass, whip-cracking, axe-throwing, superhuman hunter of the night!

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The Sound Card 008: The top ten best soundtracks at E3 photo
The Sound Card 008: The top ten best soundtracks at E3
by Jayson Napolitano

E3 is a hard place to get a good sense of music in games. The show floor is generally so noisy that you’re lucky if you can hear the attendant next to you telling you how to play the game. Fortunately, game companies are starting to realize the importance of audio in their titles, and headsets are becoming a common sight on the show floor.

I kept my ears peeled over the course of the three days of E3, and while not every game here was deserving of its own separate post, I thought a round-up of the top ten soundtracks I’m looking forward to after hearing them at E3 would be a lot of fun to put together.

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The Sound Card 007: Game music on vinyl photo
The Sound Card 007: Game music on vinyl
by Jayson Napolitano

It’s back!

It started and ended in 2008. The Sound Card, I mean. Dale North started the series many years ago, and while it had a very short run, I was always a fan of the column which featured zany lists that included “the 8 most f*cked up vocal remixes” and “the top ten most obnoxious game songs.”

I wanted to bring the series back, and while I just noted that it focused on a lot of lists, the introductory post was an excellent primer to game music, most of which is still applicable today. What Dale didn’t touch on, however, was game music on vinyl. This is where it all began, and we’ve recently been seeing a resurgence, so I wanted to delve into this long-forgotten chapter in the history of videogames and show off some release both new and old in some unboxing style videos.

Let’s give a warm welcome back to The Sound Card, and look forward to more coming soon… I’ve already got some top ten lists brewing in my head!

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3:43 PM on 09.19.2008

The Sound Card 006: The top ten rhythm games that don't use a plastic guitar

A rhythm game is a videogame that asks players to follow a beat and execute prompted actions like button presses (or guitar strums) at preset times. When you boil this type of title down to its core, they're usually not much ...

Dale North

5:36 PM on 09.12.2008

The Sound Card 005: The top ten most obnoxious game songs

Videogame music has come a long way, hasn't it? In the last several years, game music went from being noise in the background to being fully-funded, high-profile music good enough to stand on its own, sometimes rivaling even ...

Dale North

6:52 PM on 08.25.2008

The Sound Card 004: The 8 most f*cked up vocal remixes

Awhile back in an earlier Sound Card feature, we explained that the world of videogame music is vast. There's so many different genres and performance types that's its pretty hard to keep tabs on them all. Believe it or not, ...

Dale North





12:50 PM on 05.05.2008

The Sound Card Remixer Profile: Hyadain

Destructoid's weekly Sound Card Remixer Profiles highlights the works and music of the internet's game music remixers. If you've read our game music primer, you'll know that "remixers" are what the game music community calls...

Dale North

10:39 PM on 05.02.2008

The Sound Card 003: The top 7 most f*cked-up arranged game music tracks

The vast world of videogame music is scattered with plenty of really weird songs. And let's face it: there's some really weird videogames out there, like Namco's Katamari Damacy, that need equally weird soundtracks. That make...

Dale North

11:06 AM on 04.20.2008

The Sound Card 002: Interview with vertexguy

Around these parts we've always dug the work of guitarist and artist Chris Kline, better known as "vertexguy." Even in our earliest days we rocked out to his kickass versions of songs from Lords of Thunder and Contra, and we ...

Dale North

2:56 PM on 04.10.2008

The Sound Card 001: The Game Music Listening Primer

"Hey, I know this song! Isn't this from...The Legend of Zelda!?" "Wait, why are you listening to music from The Legend of Zelda?" Fans of videogame music (well, the non-closet variety) will tell you that they've been throug...

Dale North