The Japanese Role-Playing Gamer

Playing unique games, new and old

Video Game Playlists: A Retrospective

Leave a comment

Working dudeAs I wrote in a previous post, I haven’t kept up with this blog as often as I would have liked. My schedule is much busier than it was years ago. I’ve been working on a variety of projects. I program the website for my church. I now write for a magazine in my neighborhood. I’m taking classes on computer information systems.

I hardly have time to play big-budget games these days. I mostly play portable games, because I don’t have enough time to sit in front of a TV to play. So I really haven’t caught up with as many games these days.

So instead of playing video games, I just compile together my own video game playlists.

Elder Scrolls 4 troll photo


Let me explain. I’m not talking about a whole list of games that I have to play. I’m talking about music that I listen to while I’m playing video games. I started doing this one or two years ago, because many of my Xbox games don’t have good music. Believe me, I’ve tried all sorts of games, from Battlefield 3 to Assassin’s Creed 2. The music for these games is okay, at best. However, the current soundtracks just doesn’t thrill me in the same way as the video game soundtracks in the 90s and the early 2000s.

I’m sure that the new game developers intended to focus on the new systems’ graphical capabilities. Unfortunately, the developers are spending less time on the more entertaining parts of a game. I still don’t understand why the shooter genre can’t come up with some actual good music, like that awesome opening tune in Doom.

Thankfully, the Xbox 360 lets people play their own music playlist to replace the soundtrack of the game. While the game is paused, players can press the Xbox button on the controller and choose their own custom playlists from the music menu. This is my favorite feature of the Xbox 360, because it lets me choose good music to replace any boring soundtracks in a video game. The 360 system even lets me rip other music CDs for music to listen to.

When I started making playlists, I figured that I’d just make playlists for whatever mood I was in at the time. I figured that the current-gen games would have enough good music to keep me from using this feature. Unfortunately, the original soundtracks for most of these games are disappointing. For example, Elder Scrolls 4 has some boring flute melody that keeps repeating all the time. There are some slight variations, but for most of the game, I was listening to the same damned thing over and over again.

That’s why I started making my own custom music playlists. I felt bad that I was using music from the Arcade Fire in place of the game’s soundtrack, but I didn’t really have a choice. When I’m sitting down playing a video game, I also need really good music that immerses me in the moment of that game. I could either listen to the original soundtrack loop over and over, or I could listen to music that I actually want to listen to.

I know that this is a long introduction, but I thought everyone else should know how my weird projects came about. In my upcoming posts, I’ll show everyone just what I came up with in the last decade or so.


Author: jjoyama

I am a freelance web designer. I have written articles for the Gardena Valley News, the Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot and I frequently contribute to, a video game website. I have also contributed to and

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s