Video game licensing has come a long way. It seems as if the days are gone (or at least going away) where games were filled with only garbage from the likes of The Ataris, Puddle of Mudd, and wannabe-Nickelbacks. This is a rather recent development, which I enjoy a lot – especially in my favorite type of game, sports games. Something about the right music puts you in the adrenaline-filled mood to play a good sports game, and this past week I picked up Need For Speed Shift and NHL ’10, and am thrilled with the gameplay and soundtracks for both. I’ll leave the gameplay review to the experts, but both are getting near unanimous praise -definitely worth picking up.

I’ll start with NHL ’10 and its use of Earl Greyhound’s “Oye Vaya.” While the game does feature some lame artists (Papa Roach, Nickelback) the surprise selection of Earl Greyhound just about makes up for it. For those unfamiliar, Earl Greyhound makes hard-hitting, straight-up rock n’ roll, the likes of which has been missing in the mainstream for a LONG time. No gimmicks, no unnecessary tricks. Just rock. I first discovered Earl Greyhound thanks to My Old Kentucky Blog’s Laundromatinee sessions, and you can check out the rad performance of that song below, as well as some NHL ’10 gameplay :

Earl Greyhound on MySpace

I’ve been playing the Need For Speed series since about 1997 – in fact, Need For Speed was the first game I owned on the original Playstation. Now that we’re in a Blu-Ray, HD, PS3 world, it’s obvious that the game has come a long way. This is the first Need For Speed on a next-gen system I’ve played, and the physics and graphics are off the hook…compliment that with the great track “Under Control” by Rootbeer (which features previous blog favorites, Pigeon John) and I couldn’t be happier. Check out this great fan-captured live performance of this ultra-smooth song below:

Rootbeer on MySpace