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Scene: an idyllic cabin on the wooded hilltop, piled high with fresh snow. Inside, the glow of a fire illuminates festive nerds surrounded by bearskin rugs, wooly blankets, mugs of mulled cider, and a pile of video game music on vinyl. Their highly-tuned ears mistake the light sounds of snowfall for surface noise on their records, and they fastidiously brush nonexistent imperfections from their prized vinyl in the quest for audio perfection which can never be achieved. And yet all is merry and bright, because the Video Game Grooves podcast is back for the final episode of 2022!

While we look forward to tabulating our favorites of the year in coming months, we are joined by Tom Quillfeldt of Laced Records to recap the numbers and preside over the facts and feelings about the year that was. But before we do, we discuss a couple of releases that we just have to blab about. First, Anthony features Streets of Rage 4: Mr. X Nightmare, by Tee Lopes, which is the over-the-top banger-filled musical expansion to the brawler’s recent revival. Everyone thrills to the fact that the soundtrack is nothing but hero tracks, but we somehow find a way to single out a couple to feature and we discuss Lopes dynamism, the “maximalist” style used in this release, and speculate where that kind of approach might also be used in the video game music scene. We slide over next to Traveler: A Journey Symphony, by Austin Wintory, which is a Wintory-on-Wintory adaptation of the celebrated thatgamecompany Jawa simulator from a decade hence. But does everyone celebrate it, or are our Journey feelings more complicated than that? We explore and make our way toward the distant mountain… of feelings.

Finally we get to the number-crunching and backward-looking for this year. Although we do not pick our favorites (yet), we take a look at some of the trends in genre, publisher, franchise, and other little statistical extractions that we make, thanks to some help from We hope everyone has a wonderful close to 2022 and we’ll see you in 2023!

Outro: “Aerial Justice” – Streets of Rage 4: Mr. X Nightmare, by Tee Lopes

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