Is it too early to review another 100? Nah.
200 followers. Wow. I never would've expected I would reach 200 followers so soon after the one year anniversary of this account, but here we are. I guess it's fitting that I'd hit 200 followers during the Thanksgiving weekend, because I want to give thanks to each and every one of you who, on one fateful day, decided to check out the music reviews of a garden rodent. So, to celebrate, I want to revisit the classic of classic video game soundtracks, from the series I've followed nearly my whole life: the original Plants vs. Zombies soundtrack.
Though a relatively obscure franchise nowadays, at the start of the 2010's the original Plants vs. Zombies was one of the most iconic games of the year, for a variety of reasons: straightforward but addictive gameplay, a super replayable story mode and lots of extra minigames, and a colorful cast of vegetation turned into weapons of war. But as with every other indie game to become mainstream, one of the biggest reasons why the original Plants vs. Zombies was as iconic as it was was its soundtrack.
Composed by the wonderful Laura Shigihara, it features sixteen core tracks, one of them being an intro from the caricature of Crazy Dave, one being the classic closer Zombies on Your Lawn (with adorable vocals from Shigihara herself), and a bonus track, as well as alternate in-game versions of the beloved classics. Though everyone has a preferred version, myself included, I'm sure everyone can agree that at its core, the Plants vs. Zombies soundtrack is filled to the brim with bops. This may just be the nostalgia talking, but I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say that this soundtrack is one of the best video game soundtracks ever made.
Firstly, just as how the game had a variety of different minigames for the player to try out after completing the story, this soundtrack has loads of variety when it comes to its different sounds and styles. The spooky and eerie aesthetic of the world themes isn't the only one repeated throughout, as though they are all performed phenomenally and set the mood in-game very well, it'd most likely get pretty tiring after a while. So with every song you'd categorize as creepy, there'd be a banger right after. During the entirety of its thirty minute runtime, the soundtrack darts back and forth between blood-curdling and banger, which results in every listen of this soundtrack never being boring.
As I mentioned before, each theme has an alternate version that reflects what's used in-game, but the effects of these small additions are a lot bigger than you'd expect. With the two different versions of each theme, you can pretty much make your own soundtrack and customize its sound and length to your liking. The common difference between versions is that the regular version ends much quicker and the in-game versions have a much more natural progression of sound (though of course there are exceptions). Whether you want to dart between sounds and styles super quickly and get through the soundtrack in under half an hour, or sit back, relax, and soak up the vibes of the soundtrack for a little over half an hour, the choice is yours.
And lastly, this should go without saying, but each and every song here is a fuckin' masterpiece. So many memorable and iconic instrumentals that continue to define the series to this day. You could probably walk up to some random dude roaming the streets past midnight and he'd probably be able to identify Ultimate Battle, or the Crazy Dave theme, or Cerebrawl if you played it for him. It's that good.
Overall, the Plants vs. Zombies soundtrack speaks for itself, being one of the most memorable game soundtracks of the past decade. Each and every song here was expertly crafted to be as effective and as catchy as possible, and its overwhelming variety of sounds, styles, and surprising amount of customizability tip this into masterpiece territory. This is a review that is extremely influenced by nostalgia, but I can guarantee that everyone you gives this a listen will come away from it satisfied. The reason why nobody mentions the soundtracks from the rest of the PvZ games is because this one blows them out of the water, and by a long, LONG shot. And it's not like the Garden Warfare or PvZ Heroes soundtracks are bad, they're actually great. It's just that this soundtrack is so, so, SO fuckin' good.
Favorite Track(s): Crazy Dave, Grasswalk, Loonboon, Moongrains, Zen Garden, Watery Graves, Ultimate Battle, Rigor Mormist, Cerebrawl, Graze the Roof, Brainiac Maniac, Zombies on Your Lawn
Least Favorite Track: None