Star Trek: Music from the Video Games
Composed by: Various Artists
Produced and Arranged by: Dominik Hauser
Distributed by: BuySoundtrax Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
The popular science fiction series Star Trek has been involved in the video game genre since it began. Its earliest video game incarnation was a text-only PC game written in Basic. As the video game industry involved, themes and characters from Star Trek were found in new adventures on various gaming platforms. Video game music at the time was raw with quite a few beeps and boops, but, in recent years, that has changed and video game scores are becoming as complex as the games they are being created for. Recently, BuySoundtrax Records released Star Trek: Music from the Video Games, an homage to the Star Trek video game scores written over the past two decades.
Produced and arranged by Dominik Hauser, Star Trek: Music from the Video Games contains scores written from the late 1990s until now by various composers, including Dennis McCarthy, Kevin Kiner, Ron Jones, Kevin Manthei, Danny Pelfrey and more. Containing music from thirteen video games, the album contains over one hour of music.
Not being a huge Star Trek fan and never having played any of the video games, I can't say that the music on this album is exactly like the music found in each video game. I can say that I recognized original score snippets from Alexander Courage and Jerry Goldsmith, used in the movies and television series and borrowed for the video game scores. I marveled at the difficulty not being able to use these original score bits presented to other Star Trek video game score composers like Danny Pelfrey. Those guys had to create a score that sort of sounded like Star Trek without using the original themes, giving the players the feel of the series as best as they could.
From what I could hear, those composers were pretty successful in their attempts, creating scores that not only captured the action and adventure, but also the mystical and dramatic style of the science fiction series. There was that hint of the unknown and adventurous aspect of the characters, "seeking out new worlds and boldly going where no man has gone before." There was also a hint of danger and action as a variety of enemies are met in battle in these video games.
All-in-all, I think that fans of the Star Trek video games, both multiplayer online PC games and those created for gaming platforms like XBox and Playstation, will enjoy the compilation of music found on Star Trek: Music from the Video Games. Even those folks who have watched the series but never played the video games, like myself, could find some enjoyment in this album. Star Trek: Music from the Video Games is an album well-worth the listen. Now, if BuySoundtrax Records could come out with a Star Wars video game score compilation - boy, would I be happy!