It’s no secret that we’re a big fan of gaming soundtracks here at CheckpointXP. We’re strong believers that music elevates games. It can make a bad game bearable, and a good game great. This is one of our favorite categories, so here’s the nominees.

Cadence of Hyrule – We joke about Death Stranding being award bait, but if there was ever a game designed to win a category, this is it. Cadence of Hyrule is a Legend of Zelda rhythm game. If you just said that to me in the abstract, I’d look at you like you were crazy. But having actually played a bit of it, it’s really fun. More importantly, the soundtrack is amazing.

Death Stranding –

Devil May Cry 5 – Say it with me. PULL MY DEVIL TRIGGER! Yes, I know. There’s way more to the music of this game than that one line. But when you hear DMC5, it is what jumps to mind first. Devil May Cry shares a lot in common with its cousin Bayonetta, and amazing soundtracks is definitely one of those things.

Kingdom Hearts III – I would destroy this game in the audio design category purely on the grounds of having to hear Donald say “this looks like a good place to get some ingredients” 20 million times. However, this is the soundtrack category and to be fair, KH3 has a great one. I’m not a fan of the franchise, but I never mind hearing the songs.

Sayonara Wild Hearts – So this isn’t a game I had played. I had to look up the soundtrack and take a listen. And holy cow, I’m glad I did! It’s an outstanding OST. If I had a criticism, it would be that most of the songs sound pretty similar. Don’t get me wrong, lots of games stick to a theme, but this goes a little too far with that. Very enjoyable however! And major props for the Clair de Lune homage.T

Who will win – Cadence of Hyrule – I think Nintendo notches one in the belt here. It almost feels unfair for a rhythm game to win the category. If a rhythm game has bad music, the game is just bad. Nevertheless, Cadence of Hyrule does a great job remixing classic Zelda music into crisp gameplay.

Who should win – Cadence of Hyrule – And I think Game Awards gets it right. Lots of good soundtracks nominated this year, but this one is such an integral part of the game that I think it’s hard to ignore.

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