It's the time of the year when the days get shorter, retailers stay open longer, big games are released and there seems to be a holiday every other week. Defunct Games wants to ring in this festive season with a look at the most memorable video game themes of all time. For five weeks straight, Cyril Lachel and Kevin Bailey will share their thoughts on themes from the last thirty years. Join us every day between November 22 and December 25 for The 34 Game Themes of Christmas!
Contrary to its name, Everyday Shooter isn't the violent action game you might think. Instead it's a fairly tame dual-stick shooter for the PlayStation 3 and PSP. While Geometry Wars won players over with the gee-whiz neon effects, this PSN exclusive offered a musical variation on the overhead shooter theme. Each enemy made a sound and linking kills together would help to fill in the background music. Below is a taste of Everyday Shooter.
Consider this the calm before the storm. While most of Everyday Shooter's songs are full of chaos and conflict, this theme remains quiet and collected. It doesn't let on what you'll be doing the moment you press the start button, but does give you a taste of how important Jonathan Mak's guitar is to the game. At first it sounds like seventeen seconds of practicing, perhaps a warm-up session before finding his groove. But with each repetition, the melody becomes a little easier to follow. And then it ends. Warm-up is over; the song wants you to play the game. For whatever reason, this works on me. I like the abrupt ending, almost as if Jonathan just noticed you were sitting there. This has a very clean sound, making it one of the prettiest themes we've covered this year.
I think this is the first time I've heard a theme song done on acoustic guitar. I mean, I've heard plenty of acoustic covers of theme songs, but Everyday Shooter's theme song is actually a solo acoustic guitar piece. It's really striking to me because it's so unusual. I can think of a few themes featuring acoustic guitars, but none where it's the lone or even main instrument. This theme is fairly minimal, yet also a bit more complex than it initially sounds because it's played finger-style; those bass notes sound as if they could be from another instrument, but the difference is that they are plucked with the thumb. Other than that, the song follows a fairly standard 1-4-5-2 progression in E Major and ends rather abruptly. Despite its simplicity though, it really does stand out. No other game I can think of has a theme like this.
Tomorrow is Christmas Day, which can only mean one thing: It's time to reveal the 34th and final entry on our list of the 34 Theme Songs of Christmas. Unfortunately I can't tell you what it is. What I can say is that it's a dog eat dog world, so don't feel bad if you can't figure it out.