Annual Game Music Awards 2014 – Audio of the Year

arealmreborn

We are proud to present the winners in the ‘Audio of the Year’ category of the Annual Game Music Awards 2014. These panel-voted, officially-recognised awards provide a thorough and wide-reaching recognition of achievement in game music over the last year. The panelists have selected their choices by carefully considering the merit of the game music created this year — as art and entertainment, as part of in-game experiences and as part of stand-alone albums. Congratulations to all winners, runners-up, and nominees.

Outstanding Achievement — Cinematic Music

Destiny

Destiny offered everything most ask for when it comes to cinematic music: elegantly woven thematic elements, a mixture of instrumental textures, and powerhouse symphonic performances. But above all, Martin O’Donnell and co.’s score presented unified vision not just of a world, but a whole fictional universe. 

destiny

Runners-Up

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor
inFamous: Second Son

Other Nominations

Assassin’s Creed: Unity
Bayonetta 2
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow II
Divinity: Original Sin
The Walking Dead: Season Two
Wolfenstein: The New Order
World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor

 

Outstanding Achievement — In-Game Music

Mario Kart 8

Under the direction of Kenta Nagata, an ensemble team of Nintendo newcomers pushed the often-lagging music of the Mario Kart series back into pole position. Boasting diverse stylings, vibrant performances, and even some tributes to fan favourites, Mario Kart 8’s music was a fast, fun accompaniment to the race tracks.  

mariokart8

Runners-Up

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth

Other Nominations

Bayonetta 2
Dragon Age: Inquisition
Far Cry 4
Hyrule Warriors
Entwined
LittleBigPlanet 3
Transistor

 

Outstanding Achievement — Music Production

The Banner Saga

The Banner Saga combined tutti from the Dallas Wind Symphony with solos from revered musicians such as Taylor Davis, Malukah, and MB Gordy. Throughout, Austin Wintory ensured the performances, recordings, and post-production were top-tier and brought the very most out of his compositions. 

bannersaga

Runners-Up

Ar nosurge
Etrian Odyssey Untold 2: The Knight of Fafnir / SPATE (tie)

Other Nominations

Destiny
inFamous: Second Son
Halo 2: Anniversary
Guilty Gear Xrd: Sign
The Elder Scrolls Online
World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor

 

Outstanding Achievement — Music Licensing

LittleBigPlanet 3

Thanks to excellent sound direction, the soundtrack of the LittleBigPlanet series seems to get better with each instalment. LittleBigPlanet 3’s soundtrack brightened up an already-bubbly game with a varied, balanced, and of course quirky assortment of original and licensed music. 

littlebigplanet

Runners-Up

OlliOlli
The Walking Dead: Season Two

Other Nominations

Asphalt 8: Airborne
Forza Horizon 2
KickBeat
Pro Evolution Soccer 2015
Sunset Overdrive
Wolfenstein: The New Order
WWE 2K15

 

Outstanding Achievement — Sound Design

Alien: Isolation

As so many classic films have demonstrated, audio is often more important than visuals in creating a truly horrifying experience . This too was true for Alien: Isolation, which used sound design realistically and artistically to depict the encounters of two living, breathing creatures in a barren space station. 

alienisolation

Runners-Up

Transistor
The Evil Within

Other Nominations

Bayonetta 2
Broken Age
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
Dragon Age: Inquisition
Mario Kart 8
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

 

Outstanding Achievement — Voice Dialogue

South Park: The Stick of Truth

The creators of South Park: The Stick of Truth managed to translate the ‘charm’ of the cult television series into a critically-acclaimed role-playing video game. Wittily-written and boisterously-acted, the voice dialogue was particularly effective and sets the bar high for all future comedic video games. 

southpark

Runners-Up

The Walking Dead: Season Two
Bayonetta 2

Other Nominations

Assassin’s Creed: Unity
Broken Sword V: The Serpent’s Curse
Divinity: Original Sin
Far Cry 4
Ryu ga Gotoku: Ishin!
Sunset Overdrive
Transistor

 

Outstanding Achievement — Main Theme

D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die – Theme of D4

The main theme for D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die combines smoky jazz styles befitting a noir detective with unforgettable melodies and drum parts depicting the iconic lead. Composed by Tomomi ‘MANYO’ Teratani in collaboration with Yuji ‘TECHNOuchi’ Takenouchi, “Theme of D4” encapsulates both the game and its soundtrack. 

d4

Runners-Up

Valiant Hearts: The Great War – Little Trinketry
Shovel Knight – Main Theme

Other Nominations

Angry Birds: Transformers – Main Theme
Civilization: Beyond Earth – The Future of Mankind
DriveClub – Be Here Now
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U – Main Theme
Terra Battle – Main Theme
The Forest – Main Theme
WildStar – Main Theme

 

Outstanding Achievement — Vocal Theme

Bayonetta 2 – Moon River (Climax Mix)

A cover with a difference! Naofumi Harada reinvigorated Henry Mancini’s sleepy 1960s hit with an over-the-top Bayonetta-styled arrangement featuring snazzy jazz-pop stylings, seductive vocals from Keeley Bumford, and extended instrumental interludes and solos. 

bayonetta2

Runners-Up

Octodad: Dadliest Catch – Nobody Suspects a Thing
Ar nosurge – Class::CIEL_NO_SURGE

Other Nominations

Chaos Rings III – Even if the World is Our Enemy
D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die – Only Love
Destiny – Hope for the Future
Final Fantasy XI – Forever Today
Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth – Maze of Life
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter – Valley of the Blinding Mist
Transistor – Paper Boats

 

Posted on February 4, 2015 by Chris Greening. Last modified on February 4, 2015.

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About the Author

I've contributed to websites related to game audio since 2002. In this time, I've reviewed over a thousand albums and interviewed hundreds of musicians across the world. As the founder and webmaster of VGMO -Video Game Music Online-, I hope to create a cutting-edge, journalistic resource for all those soundtrack enthusiasts out there. In the process, I would love to further cultivate my passion for music, writing, and generally building things. Please enjoy the site and don't hesitate to say hello!



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