[AudioCade is recurring feature in which we gush over a video game soundtrack by analyzing not only what makes it a pleasurable listening experience, but its overall significance as well. This time out we listen to the Anamanaguchi-scored Scott Pilgrim vs. The World:The Game (Original Video Game Soundtrack)]
Suits only dream of this type of polymorphic, multimedia cross-pollination. This AudioCade highlights Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game (Original Video Game Soundtrack), a chiptunes score to a 16-bit styled video game that served as a tie-in to Edgar Wright’s 2010 film adaptation of the nerd-popular Bryan Lee O’Malley comic.
That’s a lot of dots to connect, but the ties aren’t important. This is: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World The Game captures the best parts of retro game music–nostalgia, infectious melodies–and filters it through contemporary audio techniques. The result is a thrilling score that works as a standalone album and the appropriate backing for old school, 2D beat ‘em up action.
Anamanaguchi, NYC-based hipster darlings and owners of one of the Web’s most irreverent Twitter feeds, is the group behind the chiptunes soundtrack. It’s very fitting that Anamanaguchi scored the throwback game, because it makes throwback music: chiptunes, bleeps and bloops fused with indie rock. The songs aren’t particularly lengthy (the longest one clocks in at 2:41), but these tracks are meant to play and loop as you pound fist fodder. Note: The Youtube clips I link to sometimes loop the tracks to make them longer than they actually are on the official soundtrack.
“Leave The Past Behind” is the track that exemplifies Anamanaguchi. This song, with its driving melody, could easily double as a song ripped from a Mega Man title–except for the strong drums that reveal its modernity. In fact, “Techno Man,” the album’s 21st track, points toward Mega Man 2‘s Bubble Man stage music (and others Mega Man games!) as inspiration.
The most mellow track is “Cheap Shop,” a composition led by a soothing guitar that sound equally good playing in your MP3 player as it would being performed on a tropical beach.
“Cheap Shop”‘s complete opposite is “Bollywood.” It grates on the ears with boss battle-like music that annoys more than it pleases. Which, of course, may be the point when listened to within the context of the game. “Vegetable Rock” is a far more enjoyable danger theme.
“This Is The End” is, fittingly, the final track. The relatively slow-paced composition is the album’s 24th track, and like Outrun‘s “Last Wave” has a victorious, yet somewhat melancholy vibe where the sadness is birthed from the realization that your incredibly fun trip is over.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game (Original Video Game Soundtrack) is available for purchase at Amazon and iTunes for just shy of $10. If streaming audio is more your bag, you can also listen free of charge at Slacker. But don’t get lost in the act of getting it…simply get it. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game is an outstanding pickup that will quickly become “heavy rotation” material among retro gaming fans. Anamanaguchi captures the audio magic of the 8- and 16-bit eras and gives them a proper 2012 treatment which makes them not only callbacks to yesteryear, but relevant contemporary product that deserves your ear.