Jukebox Heroes: The 2017 Online Video Game Music Awards


Oh, I can hear all of you out there, mewing with frustration that Massively OP hasn’t yet announced the truly important awards yet this season. Well whine no more, because the 2017 Online VGM Awards are here (here areĀ 2015 and 2016 for educational purposes)!

Not only are these the only awards that you’ll find on MOP that deal with the greatness that is MMO video game music, but these are also the only awards that are chosen solely by me. It’s a total power trip that Bree allows me once a year, and I do not squander it. Sure, perhaps I go overboard with the heralds and the flinging of glitter in the faces of my coworkers, but I need it. Oh how I need it.

Without further ado, here are the six awards that I will be handing out from my throne of speakers and keytars. Get your amazed faces ready now to save you the effort later.

Best MMO album release: Destiny 2

While the first Destiny soundtrack certainly had its highlights, the sequel definitely bowled me over with a massive assortment of tracks that demonstrated range and passion. From the quiet strains of Sanctuary to the stirring call to action in What We Fight For, Destiny 2’s album is far from an (ahem) one-note compilation. It knows when to be quiet, when to be loud, and how to craft a setting that exists more in your mind than on the screen.

Best MMO launch soundtrack: Revelation Online

Without a lot of full-fledged MMO releases in 2017, the field for the best soundtrack at launch was pretty narrow. Still, the Revelation Online OST has grown on me the more I listen to it, blending together western and eastern styles into a pleasant, attractive package. My current favorite? Emerald Falls.

Best MMO expansion soundtrack: Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind

On the other hand, there was plenty of competition in the expansion soundtrack category, but Morrowind easily clinches the win for me. It heavily leans on the classic Jeremy Soule score while adding a fresh take on it for the MMO. Definitely the best music that ESO has produced up to this point, and terrific questing themes no matter how you listen to it.

Best soundtrack discovery: RuneScape

This category is for a soundtrack that I “discovered” and listened through this year. While I’ve certainly been aware of RuneScape’s massive library of musical offerings, in 2017 I made it my mission to try to listen through all 1,200 or so tracks.

I am still not done.

However, I keep finding funny, catchy, and occasionally incredible tracks that make me boggle about how overlooked this score is. I can’t wait to hear the rest!

MMO theme of the year: Lord of the Rings Online: Mordor

While I am not that enthused about most of Mordor’s soundtrack, Aragorn’s Coronation Theme was a definite standout. It was so good, in fact, that the studio decided to make it the new login theme, which certainly gets me pumped up every time that I log in to play. It’s slow, majestic, and so very upbeat — quintessential LOTRO in its soul.

Carrying the Torch: Club Penguin soundtrack

This is a new category this year that I’m giving to game’s soundtracks that continue to carry the torch for a title that was just sunsetted. Club Penguin had its loyal cadre of fans out there who were disappointed to see Disney sunset the title earlier this year. However, the game is never truly dead as long as the music lives on, and my kids and I enjoy these toe-tapping beats!

MMOs are meant to be heard as well as seen, and chances are that music ties your memories to these games more than you might realize. Every two weeks Jukebox Heroes listens through a game soundtrack and picks out the highlights to share and discuss. And if you like this column, then don’t miss the author’s MMO music podcast, Battle Bards!
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