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ST. PAUL, Minn. —
In the 1980s, I begged Mom for quarters every time we were anywhere near an arcade so I could play "Spy Hunter."
I adored driving games when I was younger, and the pumping soundtrack and fun vehicle effects kept me entertained endlessly.
Initially rolled out as an arcade game, it eventually showed up on all kinds of consoles and computers, like the Atari 2600, Commodore 64, Apple II and the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).
Indeed, the arcade classic used Henry Mancini's theme to "Peter Gunn" as its soundtrack.
Warner Bros. recently relaunched the game for two handheld machines - the PlayStation Vita and the Nintendo 3DS.
Composer Ryan Shore reimagined "Peter Gunn" for the new Spy Hunter, maintaining the live big band aspect of the original with an electronic makeover.
"Spy Hunter" is the first game scored by Ryan, although he's written scores for dozens of films across many different genres. Many of his scores catch my attention, and here is another favorite of mine:
You can hear my conversation with composer Ryan Shore on the new episode of Top Score from Classical MPR, also available on iTunes.
Classical Music and Video Game Music
My first love has always been classical music. Maybe cats. But probably classical music. A runner-up would be video games. I feel like I got pretty lucky once games started recording orchestral soundtracks. I remember the first time I heard...