2021 TechRaptor Awards - Best Soundtrack

Published: December 21, 2021 12:00 PM /


2021 techraptor awards best soundtrack

Nothing can better accentuate the emotion of a moment, whether that's to highlight something awesome that happened on screen or give weight to something serious, than a game's music. An uneasy feeling, the thrill of victory,  and everything in between is made better by a game's music. Here's our nominees and our winner of the Best Soundtrack award for outstanding overall score.

Our nominees (all other award categories can be found here):

Readers' Choice Winner - Persona 5 Strikers

Developer: Omega Force and P-Studio | Release Date: February 23, 2021

Outside of gameplay, the series' music is what Persona is most well-known for, and, no, of course they did not sleep on it when it came to a spin-off to Persona 5. The hits keep on rolling and Persona 5 Strikers is made the better for it.

Third Place - Halo Infinite

halo infinite

Developer: 343 Industries | Release Date: December 8th, 2021

Written By Austin Suther

With Martin O’Donnell following Bungie to work on the Destiny series (and later departing from the studio), this legendary composer’s absence still leaves a void in the Halo series to this day. That’s not to discredit the work of any composers working on subsequent Halo titles, but O’Donnell’s legacy is just that prominent.

With Halo Infinite, you can hear O’Donnell’s heavy influence in its soundtrack. Since Halo Infinite plays, feels, and looks like older Halo titles, it’s a smart choice to go after the same sounds that made Halo famous in the first place. You’ll immediately notice signature tracks make a return, revitalized and refreshed for Halo Infinite. The Gregorian chants are very much there, as is heavy use of drums, piano, and more. Everything about this soundtrack says “Halo,” and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Second Place - Neo: The World Ends With You

neo the world ends with you

Developer: Square Enix | Release Date: July 27, 2021

Written By Samuel Guglielmo

The most impressive achievement of The World Ends With You isn't the game's slick art, innovative combat, or interesting story. It's the soundtrack. This is something I plan to stand by until the day I die. When Neo: The World Ends With You was first announced, I was excited for one thing: the soundtrack. Thank God it delivered.

The Jpop and Jrock heavy soundtrack fit Shibuya so well it's almost insane. Before long I found myself bopping along to some of the best ones. Tracks like "Last Call," "Three Minutes Clapping," "Your Ocean," and others are jams that not only fit the game but have gotten a place on my playlist outside of the game. Since this is something The World Ends With You related, there's also a mandatory remix of "Twister." It's probably the best version of the song yet.

And yes, I did try singing along to some of the songs. No, it did not go well. I don't want to talk about it.

Winner - Persona 5 Strikers

persona 5 strikers

Developer: Omega Force and P-Studio | Release Date: February 23, 2021

Written By Robert Scarpinito

Persona 5 Strikers arguably stands as one of the most stylish musou games to date, and a big part of that charm comes from its soundtrack. Music was handled by Atlus' Atsushi Kitajoh and Koei Tecmo's Gota Masuoka and Ayana Hira, but the Persona 5 energy from composer Shoji Meguro can still be felt, despite the drastic shift in gameplay. Strikers leans far more into hard rock and metal compared to its precursor (like the remixed version of "Blooming Villain"), but bits and pieces of Persona 5's DNA can still be heard.

For example, the iconic "Last Surprise" gets a Strikers remix; the BPM stays the same, but everything gets louder -- and more raw. The more aggressive energy feeds into what musou games are all about: mindlessly slaying a horde of no-name baddies. However, Persona 5 Strikers plays a little differently, allowing you to freeze time to use spells and think about your next move. The music follows suit, taking the energy down with the funky essence of the original game's energy. For example, everything still stops for the classic hook ("You'll never see it coming"), while the second verse takes a groovy, low-key detour.

Not to be outdone by Meguro's work, Strikers' original songs find the pocket right between funky and heavy. Songs like "Counter Strike," which plays during a major boss fight, features heavy guitars and drums that make you want to bang your head. On the flipside, Lyn Inaizumi's soulful voice soars above the guitars, infusing the track with a swinging melody, particularly in the verse. This juxtaposition that matches the gameplay is the perfect example of why Persona 5 Strikers wins our Best Soundtrack Award for 2021. One moment, you're moshing while slaying demons. The next, you're grooving to the rhythm, thinking about your next move.

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