Hopefully this entry will be better than the last one.
Sound, I find is one of the most useful tools in the entire game in creating atmosphere and tension etc. It is also useful to set the mood of the game for example the music for the Sims *shudder* will be completely different to Manhunt.
I’ve also found that some games use sound to tell u something as well. Again in manhunt when your "spotted" the music changes to tell the player. Again in Devil May Cry 3 the game doesn’t have music until the fighting starts.
Other games like Soul Reaver have music all the way through like background music. This works well only if it’s not off putting to the player. this also applies to the other games above if the game is tense like manhunt then permanent background music is not a good idea, unless it blends in, (which is why I think that soul Reaver is such a good game, as it manages to be quite dark and not have off-putting background music). But if is light-hearted like the Sims or other games like animal crossing then it is better and adds to that games charm or appeal.
Unfortunately I’ve never played on Halo so I haven’t heard the music that Nile Rodgers/Bernard Edwards created so I can’t comment on it personally. However this extract taken from http://www.apbspeakers.com/resources/speakerpdf/1002111.pdf seems to suggest that those pieces of music were quite important: Today, Rodgers finds himself at the helm of the next craze: the rapidly growing video game soundtrack industry. Recognizing that music is becoming "as integral to the game experiences as soundtracks are to movies," Rodgers is the go-to guy responsible for recent hits such as Microsoft Xbox’s Outlaw Volleyball, and Halo, along with the next pop phenomenon, Halo 2, being released in April, 2004.
This extract also suggests the same thing:
Nile is also the first African-American to own his own music distribution company – Sumthing Distribution. Sumthing recently formed a joint venture with Bungie and Microsoft and released the soundtrack to “Halo Combat Evolves”. Sumthing is now a leader in the distribution of video game soundtracks.
So basically now, probably because of that soundtrack his music distribution company is a leader in that field so the halo soundtrack must have been good.