Culture Music

Album Review: Game On!

It is Game On! Tina Guo's latest album will leave you reaching for the headphones, old console, and digging out your classic games, writes Ross Brannigan.


Are you a gaming nut with a love of classical music? Even if you aren’t, how would you like to hear all the classic gaming anthems played on an electric cello in all their original glory, but with a modern spice?

Tina Guo, a cellist who has made herself known through incredibly produced YouTube videos, has released her latest album ‘Game On!’, which features old-school classics like ‘The Legend of Zelda‘ main theme, the anthemic ‘Skyrim‘ title song, and everyone’s favourite ‘Pokémon’ theme song.

Guo follows in the footsteps of Lindsey Stirling, an artist I fell in love with back in 2012 with her self-titled album. Since then, it appears the appetite for new age classical music is growing; bringing together elements of dubstep, hip-hop and dance music to the classical genre.

It is no surprise, then, Guo has paid homage to Stirling in a cover of one of Stirling’s songs, ‘Crystalize’. But as an artist who I found with her album ‘Inner Passion’ – a beautiful classical album harking to Guo’s Chinese roots – she has more than made a name for herself.

The incredible sounds that emanate from this new album are electrifying. The classic soundtracks to your favourite games have been brought to the new age with unrelenting force. There is an energy to this album that some of the original songs (although you didn’t notice) lacked.

Particularly, the ‘World of Warcraft’ cover is simply immense, and as a long-time Elder Scrolls fan, the ‘Skyrim’ revamp takes the original song to new heights.

Guo stated in an interview yesterday on BBC Breakfast her relationship with Hans Zimmer, renowned movie composer, and mixer of electronic and orchestral music. The movie giant features on this album, with a cover of ‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2’, which sends goosebumps all up your arms from the first note.

Guo also posts tutorial videos on her YouTube channel, which now amasses over 76,000 subscribers. Although not the same as Stirling’s 8.9 million, Guo is creating high-quality videos with an exquisite sound to match.

Gamer, classical music lover, or nostalgia-seeker, Tina Guo’s new album will not let you down. Her talent radiates through every note, and brings the electric cello to a wider audience.

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