Audio in video games is an interesting beast to tackle. You’ve got background music to set the mood and enhance the environment. You’ve got sound effects for the actions players and characters perform within the game. You may even have voice acting to consider as well. It’s a lot to think about and although it’s only a piece of the game design puzzle, it can be one of the most important. The audio of a game can be what draws players in or drives them away.
Anyone who has ever played Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 will never be able to hear the words “I Wanna Take You For A Ride” without having flashbacks to the iconic audio loop that pounds away on the character select screen. Perhaps it is intended to make you select your character faster, because instead of making a careful and calculated decision you’re likely to just pick the first character that has some appeal and get into the fight – anything to get away from that song and avoid the oncoming headache. The same can be said about the music in the main menu for Cruis’n USA. You just want to pick your car and get going, to spare you any prolonged exposure to the horrible noise that is escaping your speakers and invading your ears.