I've been playing this as background music for the last couple of days, while doing anything except actually, you know, videogaming... and it's excessively lovely, a perfect confluence of two of my passions, gaming and classical music. These are full-on orchestral suites, beautifully arranged. As I type, Legend of Zelda is making me cry. They have an actual ocarina. I'd forgotten how much of that game allowed you to use a musical ear to short-cut the puzzles. Also, note to self, if they ever ported Zelda to PC I'd probably lose several years to playing the entire back catalogue.
The interesting thing, though, is how emotive I'm finding it even when I haven't played a lot of the games - in fact, Zelda is the first one in this sequence that I've actually played. But I still loved the other suites, Assassin's Creed, The Last Of Us, Journey and the Mario mix and all. I think this is an index of how game music is written - to be stirring, emotional, to figure the hero's journey, whether introspective or martial or whimsical, to embody the frequently beautiful landscapes of the gameworld. Like gaming itself, videogame music has to distil reality into an essentialised version of itself. Which means it packs a punch, to say the least.
The subject line is from "Beauty and the Beast", because I had to have something from the Heroes album.