G4 TV (April 10, 2010)
8-Bit Bear – The Dark Void Zero Soundtrack Review
With the release of the soundtrack for Dark Void Zero, I am now firmly convinced Bear McCreary is either a genius or a time traveler. McCreary has so uncannily captured the feeling and tone of the mid-1980’s game scene with this 8-bit soundtrack, that you would swear his name is just a pseudonym and he is actually a member of the Konami Square Wave Club of composers, who has come forward in time to remind gamers of their sonic roots. Ok, that’s not fair, because as we all know he is a highly accomplished composer in his own right. However, the music for Dark Void Zero is another reason why we should hope he treads from the film and TV score world, back into the realm of game music, sooner rather than later. Click the time travel link below and listen why.
When I reviewed Bear McCreary’s soundtrack album for Dark Void earlier this year, I pointed out how I hoped the inclusion of an 8-bit rendering of his theme for the game wouldn’t over shadow the orchestral music he created. And while his music for Dark Void is some of the best sounding game soundtrack material released so far this year, McCreary’s 8-bit sounds for Dark Void Zero are even more magical in their own retro-tastic way.
Where the Dark Void soundtrack’s 8-bit version of the game’s theme was very short, with Dark Void Zero, we get a glorious, nearly two minute version of McCreary’s theme song. If you haven’t heard it before now, you would be forgiven for thinking this was found in some dusty vault in a game studio in Japan.
Next up we have “Valley of Doom” which is an upbeat piece, incorporating the overarching Dark Void Zero music motifs, just as McCreary did in the music for its parent game. The shuffle of the percussion supports the shifting melodies quite nicely.
“Scientific Complex” sounds like it could trace its inspirational roots into the early iterations of the Castlevania series. What starts off slow, quickly builds into a high speed arpeggiated 8-bit sci-fi romp.
If you haven’t played Dark Void Zero yet, it is a heck of a lot of fun on the DSi and now PC, iPhone and iPad gamers get a chance to go retro with the game starting Monday. Even better news is Bear McCreary’s ludicrously awesome soundtrack for the game is available for download from Sumthing Digital for a measly $1.99! Since the music of the 8-bit era was so important to video games, here is hoping Dark Void Zero developer Other Ocean brings back Bear McCreary (or at least someone with his passion for this sound), should they decide to release more games like this.