Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Midweek Music Box: World of Goo

Faster and faster!

 Higher and higher!


Yes, it's World of Goo by Kyle Gabler and Ron Carmel, the team at 2D Boy.  I remember hearing good things about those goo balls when the game was first released, and I was intrigued by the trailers.  The music in particular for the trailer really grabbed me and sent a surge of excitement through me in a way that few games ever have.  But getting it for my Wii would mean the only way to get it was through download.  I was a bit more hesitant to do that.  After all, what if the early buzz was just hype?  If I downloaded this game simply based on how well put together the trailer was and how pleasant the music was and it turned out it was shovelware...I wouldn't even have a physical copy of something to sell away and get any money back for my folly.  Well, I think you can pretty much guess what I decided to do in the end.

World of Goo was one of the first, if not the first game that I ever downloaded to a console, and I have never regretted for a second.  From the fantastic controls to the clever and challenging puzzles, to the unique and wonderful art style; World of Goo simply "oozes" personality in a way that no other puzzle game has to me.  Sure, Tetris will always be a classic, but to have such a definitive character and to tell an actual story as you progress..,I think I always will find World of Goo a bit of a masterpiece of gaming.  What sold me the most though was the music though, that music from the trailer, the snippets that appeared here and there were as gripping to me as some of the best Legend of Zelda music, no joke.

Here's the soundtrack in it's entirety if you've never checked it out, but I would recommend hunting it down and downloading a copy for yourself, it just makes such fantastic background music for any and all occasions:

Much of the music feels like Danny Elfman himself could have composed, or are even better that some of Mr. Elfman's work.  Then there's other tunes that set a bleak mood without that Elfman-esque feel such as "Cog in the Machine," a slow moving, soliloquy of a song that has mournful echoing metal guitar strains, powerful drums beats, and nice synthesizer padding.  You get a sense of someone relentlessly trying their hardest to overcome an insurmountable goal.  I can almost picture a driving rain as a hero plods along streets more than I can stacking balls of goo into bridges.

"Cog in the Machine"

The entire soundtrack has incredible gems that are constantly in my music rotation, and I always know in an instant when I'm listening to a track from World of Goo without having to look at my computer's music library.  However, one sound track in particular, to me at least, epitomizes the "World of Goo Experience" as a whole.  And that's this one here:


Like a carnival calliope gone mad, the music touches something deep inside you.  The track entitled "Tumbler" makes you feel compelled to do all things faster.  You need to type faster, work faster, play faster, speed along before everything comes crashing down...much like it can in the game.  Not only was the soundtrack that buzzed along in the background of the trailer while showing you gameplay, but it provided such a strong emotional hook that it was incredible to me.  If you had trouble trying to describe the game to somebody, all you need do is point them to this track in particular and it should tell them all they need to know.  Your mind buzzes and flits around with possibilities of what can be done and what needs to be done during the game.  You rush frantically around from stage to stage hurriedly completing each task and then...and then there's a feeling of deep melancholy when you realize that you've finished not just the end of the stage, but the end of the game itself.  No more goo balls to rescue, no more bridges to build.  Just an end sequence to watch, and the hope that somewhere, deep in space, more goo balls are out there...

"Ending Theme"

Kyle Gabler gave the adorable little goo balls a distinctive voice, and I don't just mean that cute little squeaky one from the game.  I can't imagine World of Good would have been nearly as memorable as an experience without the fantastic soundtrack.  It's well worth downloading and deserves more praise than I can give it.

-and don't forget the Sign Painter

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