Every time I boot up my Vita, I get into an elevator. This elevator takes me to all kinds of cool places—fun games, great graphics, really cool online features, and a highly functional and enjoyable PSN experience. But there's a catch: on this elevator, they're playing incredibly tedious background music. It loops over and over until I'm ready to head for the emergency hatch and take my chances climbing cables.
Welcome to "Menu Music," a regular Kotaku Melodic feature where we'll be listening to the best (and worst) video game menu music out there. Today, we'll be listening to the PlayStation Vita's cheery, awful background music.
Man, this menu music is bad. The background music for the home screen can, thankfully, be turned off in the settings menu. But there's no escaping the background music for both the PlayStation Store or the less-offensively scored but still not great Near.
I don't mean it's poorly-written—I'm sure the composer is a very talented musician, and was just doing his or her job. But still… this stuff is the very definition of pap, of bland easy listening. It's worse than the stuff that plays on the Weather Channel!
Let's take a listen:
When I first booted up my Vita, I was greeted by this music. It was refreshing, and sleek—it sounds like the music that plays while they're demonstrating a futuristic car in a 1980's sci fi film. It was nice.
Then, about five minutes passed. It played every time I went to the home screen, and usually while I was wearing headphones. The damned clarinet noodling, the way the keyboard pans left and right. It's enough to drive a person crazy! Thankfully, you can hop into the settings menu and turn it off.
Argh. I think that the Vita will fundamentally change the frequency with which I use the PlayStation Store, particularly if Sony adds the ability to download games and demos from my PS3 and automatically set them to download the next time I boot it up. (Just saying! You can have that idea for free, Sony.)
But this music is the worst of the three. Something about the awful repeating plinky clarinet line, after a while, it becomes like hypnotic hell-music, forcing you to buy, buy, buy! "You want Escape Plan," it says… "Buyyy Escape Plan…"
The music for the "Near" feature is easily the best of the three we've got here. It's not without its problems, partly just because I still think browsing Near for any extended period of time would probably be better without it playing.
But it's got a nice little groove happening, a sort of cheesy second-line thing that approximates a much less-hip version of the amazing theme song from Parks and Recreation. So, not poorly done!
Damn it, that Parks & Rec theme song is so good. Okay fine, here's the whole thing:
And I'd be remiss if I didn't also include the oh-so-grooving theme to…
I'd watch that show.