Music is the pulse of the soul. Music is the beat of your actions.
Music is what drives the curves and straights of the track, the force that becomes the heart and identity of what makes a racer. Every driving game I’ve ever loved can be identified by their soundtracks. Ridge Racer’s deep danceable electronic beats slip into the drifts of each mastered curve. Outrun’s breezy open air melodies and vocal crescendos call me to freedoms of its endless roads. Wipeout’s electric trances keep me focused as I feel the tight turns of the tracks and deal with aggressive opponents.
Games are repetitive by nature, and racers exemplify this. A good racer has a strong identity, definable elements that separate it from the pack. That’s where games like Gran Turismo, Dirt, and Need For Speed have failed me. Their identities are either over-engineered or schizophrenic; the best racers assert their identities will ferociously impossible ease.
As I once again trace those curves in my mind I remember the places I’ve forgotten. The faceless vistas of racers void of the spark and personality of my standbys. Ghosts, on the horizon of memory.