Much like Bastion before it, one of the standout aspects of Transistor is the game's soundtrack. Darren Korb has returned to composing duties on this more modern, sci-fi adventure, and the music fits the game's style perfectly. From the mysterious electronic style of "Old Friends" to the more active "Forecast," Korb does his best to give the game a sound that makes it unique and memorable. That's not where it ends though, because Ashley Barrett returns once again and in a much more prominent way. For Bastion, she provided vocals for two of the game's songs and also voice acted as Zia. For Transistor, she's not providing a character voice directly as Red has no voice in the game. However, she brings her lovely, bluesy voice to five different songs and all of them are fantastic. The beginning theme "We All Become" is a brief track that acts as the intro and is a tone setter for the game. "The Spine," "In Circles," and "Signals" all help set the mood at certain points throughout the game, while "Paper Boats" masterfully tops of the game's ending on an emotional high. The combination of Korb and Barrett is one we hope to keep hearing in many more games in the future.
Child of Light is a lovely fairy tale experience captured in RPG form, and helping that is the game's whimsical soundtrack from Béatrice Martin, better known as Cœur de pirate. The soundtrack is filled with hauntingly beautiful instrumentation as highlighted in such tracks as "Path of the Eclipse" and "Magna's Heart." Other highlights are "Little Girl, Gen" and "Woods Darker Than Night" as these pieces really hit home within the game's setting. Child of Light's soundtrack is every bit as charming as the rest of the game, so it's hard not to enjoy it.
Austin Wintory has become quite the prolific composer in the video game scene as of late. His work on Journey really helped him become more widely known in the gaming scene and that's a great thing, because his work on The Banner Saga is outstanding. Wintory truly captures the Celtic vibe that The Banner Saga seeks to portray with its setting, and his work helps to make the game feel all the more oppressive. In a year with so many outstanding soundtracks, it's great to see some diversity in the gaming space and Wintory's soundtrack helps give gamers a taste of something out of the ordinary.
by Michael A. Cunningham