There’s been a lot of excitement about the remake of Square Enix’s Final Fantasy VII. I myself am cautiously optimistic about the game, but I’m still quite excited. To help celebrate the announcement of the long requested remake, I thought we’d take a look at a Final Fantasy VII cover for this week’s Arrangement of the Week.
There are of course tons of covers, remixes, and arrangements of Nobuo Uematsu’s original soundtrack. With so much to choose from, it was definitely hard to pick out a favorite. This week’s arrangement is called “Still More Fighting” and comes to us from guitarist Brian Autumn. The cover is of the Final Fantasy VII boss fight theme, “Fight On!” aka “Those Who Fight Further.”
The video does a great job of showing off Brian’s skills at electric guitar and bass, and features footage from one of Final Fantasy VII’s boss fights. Oddly enough, it’s not a boss that actually uses “Fight On!” for its battle music. While it’s very common to find rock guitar arrangements of this piece, this arrangement goes beyond being a pure guitar cover, with inclusion of organ, synths, and string pads. It all fits well with the style of the original piece and with the original game footage. Uematsu’s battle themes do have a strong rock influence, particularly in Final Fantasy VII, so this cover stays very true to the original in terms of tone.
The source material is broken up by occasional but brief deviations and improvisations. For example, at around 1’30” he launches into an impressive series of rapid arpeggios on the lead guitar. My favorite moment though is the sudden switch to an orchestral arrangement at 2’30” for the summon in the battle. It’s a cool switch up that, in addition to matching the battle on screen, gives the cover a little more variety.
This was a nice little find from Brian Autumn. This actually appears to be his only videogame music cover, and an excellent one at that. If you’d like to listen to or download a copy of “Still More Fighting” that doesn’t include the video’s battle sound effects, you can do so at the artist’s Soundcloud page.
Have you heard any interesting new arrangements, remixes, or covers this week? Let us know in the comments below.
It seems our friends over at Arecibo Radio will be closing down their active status by the end of the week, according to a recent tweet and confirmed to me by the station’s management.
Yes, Arecibo Radio will shut down on July 4th. Hosts who still wish to keep doing their respective shows will move to 8BitX. I can’t think of a better place for Arecibo hosts to go, many of us are friends and have worked and partied together at MAGFest and other music related events. With 8BitX absorbing Arecibo, our listeners will have one single and robust internet radio station they know they can go to and enjoy.
Arecibo Radio has been a staple in streaming video game music, chiptunes and hosting listening parties for the past 6 years. Be sure to tune in for its last days in operations and give it a fitting send off and some much-deserved love, and also change over your bookmarks to 8bitX to continue listening to several staple Arecibo hosts as they make the trek to their new home.
After being delayed back in May, those Vocaloid vixens from the long running Hatsune Miku series are finally coming to the Nintendo 3DS this September in the U.S. and Europe. Unlike the mainline series — which is console exclusive to Sony platforms — Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX renders the cast of characters in a style that Sega likens to the popular Nendoroid figures. The game will also introduce 19 new songs, 28 returning favorites and unique voice tracks that bring the total up to 79 full length songs.
Project Mirai DX may be the most customizable entry in the series allowing players to change which character performs each song and even adjust the size, color and behavior of the rhythm icons. The game also promises to let fans focus on their favorite characters through companion-based events and a theater mode. In theater mode all those distracting icons disappear and you’re free to watch, fast forward, and rewind through any performance and use the “Jam Along” mode to add your own musical flare. You can even pick up other fans’ custom scrolling messages via StreetPass and SpotPass that will show up as you watch.
It sounds like a pretty perfect mix of gameplay and fan service for anyone who’s into the series. Are you excited for this 3DS debut? Did you burn out on the franchise years ago? Or do you simply look on in amazement at the utter cuteness?
A little history is required here before we get to the actual musical news. Back in 2011 Sony announced PlayStation Mobile, a development platform built on Android that would let games run across supported smartphones and PlayStation Vita. Long story short, it didn’t go well and in July Sony is officially shutting down PlayStation Mobile. Amidst this turmoil is Necrosoft Games’ Oh Deer! Alpha, a game that will only be available to purchase for four weeks before the marketplace is retired.
If you’ve ever been frustrated that you can’t listen to a wide variety of the works from some of your favorite Japanese game composers due to the difficulty and high cost of importing from Japan, then this will be a little treat. Several composers have gotten together to create an original album of music specifically for their fans in the West.
IMPORTED features a top-tier ensemble of music composers from all walks of gaming, including:
Tenpei Sato (Disgaea series)
Hideyuku “eiceph” Fukusawa (Street Fighter IV)
Go Sato (Raiden series)
Hideaki “Dr. COVA” Kobayashi (Phantasy Star Online and Sonic series)
Takayuki Nakamura (LUMINES series and Rodea The Sky Soldier)
Yu Shimoda (Mega Man 9 and 10)
Jupiter-B (DARIUSBURST series)
Takahiro Izutani (Metal Gear Solid and Bayonetta series)
Marusho (F-Zero GX and Yakuza series)
Yuu Miyake (Katamari Damacy series)
Akira Ueda (Super Mario RPG game designer)
“I grew up listening to soundtracks for games like Street Fighter II, Metroid Prime and Sonic Adventure 2,” reflects producer Kevin Pescoran. “But when I tried to get my hands on more recent soundtracks like Sonic Unleashed, VANQUISH, or Bayonetta, I could only find them for $80 to $100, and realized there was a need for an easier way to get this music to fans around the world.”
Scarlet Moon Productions
The greatest part of the entire album is that it is completely free to download from Bandcamp for all international fans to enjoy. Go grab the album and be sure to check back for further updates.
If you were hoping for an official soundtrack from the game Splatoon, you’ll at least be able to get your hands on an fan arrangement album while you wait for the official release. The group GameChops have gone ahead and released Splatunes!, which features 14-tracks of remixed goodness from group founder DJ CUTMAN, as well as fan arrangement artists such as bLiNd, Benjamin Briggs, Ralfington and more. What’s more, it’s fully licensed by Joypad Records, so no Nintendo law patrol will be after our fine GameChops friends.
SPLATUNES is a celebration of Nintendo’s new video game SPLATOON! The GameChops “Squid Squad” came together to create this mixtape of remixes and re-imaginations of some of our favorite tracks off of the Splatoon soundtrack.
The album is currently “Name Your Price” up on Bandcamp and is sure to keep appetites satiated.
In this edition of Game Soundtracks For Your Soul I am looking back at two personal favorite Sony Playstation soundtracks from the PSOne, and PS3. The first soundtrack is on Sony Playstation was composed by Noriyuki Asakura, and whenever I hear the main theme I find myself air plucking. The second soundtrack from Playstation 3 was composed by Joe Hisaishi and is stunning orchestral masterpiece, but my favorite themes in the game may not be what you expect.
These are my thoughts on the music from Tenchu: Stealth Assassins and Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch.
Welcome to another entry in Arrangement of the Week. This week’s selection comes from a series that’s been on many people’s minds recently. With the success of Koji Igarashi’s Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night on Kickstarter, it’s clear that there’s still a great amount of love for classic 2d action games like Castlevania. Even if you’ve never played the Castlevania series, you’ve probably at least heard the piece “Vampire Killer.” The arrangement we’re featuring today comes from artist Nostalvania, who puts an interesting twist on this classic game tune.
This arrangement is titled “Swing When You’re Killing” and is a catchy jazz ensemble interpretation. Consisting of an upright bass, piano, guitar, and vibraphone the mix was quite a pleasant surprise to my ears. I’m used to hearing rock or orchestral rock versions of this piece, so this really felt like a refreshing and unique take.
The piano and upright bass take a majority of the spotlight for this track, with the piano in particular providing some interesting variations on the main theme. Around the 2’41” mark the vibraphone and electric guitar take over for an improvisation section. It’s an enjoyable change up, giving us some new material before returning to the original theme with the full ensemble.
I like that his arrangement steers itself towards being its own thing, rather than trying to represent a track that could be heard in any of the games. It did however conjure up an amusing image in my head of Simon Belmont and Dracula chilling out at a jazz club. With all of that said, “Swing When You’re Killing” was an enjoyable and interesting find, and I hope to see more unique arrangements like this.
Did you discovered any interesting game music arrangements, remixes, or covers this week? Let us know in the comments below. You can listen to and download Nostalvania’s “Swing When You’re Killing” on OC ReMix.
With the recent news about Final Fantasy 7 being remade, having a world tour celebrating its music is a pretty appropriate measure to take in get fans hyped for what’s to come.
“PIANO OPERA : music from FINAL FANTASY” is the official piano concert dedicated to the music of the video game series FINAL FANTASY. Supervised by original composer Nobuo Uematsu, the PIANO OPERA series comes live on stage in 12 countries, and for the first time outside of Japan. Relive the most beautiful and famous music of the series through the noble and majestic sound of a grand concert piano, focusing mostly on the popular FINAL FANTASY VI, VII, VIII and IX ! To enhance the experience, a never before seen in-concert video edit of game footage will be displayed on the giant screen along with the music, portraying all the most intense moments of action and emotion of the saga ! The concert will feature belobed songs such as Ami, The Man with a Machine Gun, Roses of May, Not Alone, Liberi Fatali, Melodies Of Life, Fight On!, Cosmo Canyon and Words Drowned by Fireworks among others. A brand new musical experience filled with emotions!
The concert series itself will start in France this coming November, and make visits to London, Stockholm, Brussels, New York City and Los Angeles, just to name a few of the stops. Tickets are currently on sale on the tour’s website for these first six cities, and updates can be found on their Facebook page. In addition to the concert tour, the albums that the tour is based from are being sold together as a special edition with collector’s box for 49 Euros. ($54.92 American dollars)
So if you’re a Final Fantasy music fan and have wanted to get in on seeing Nobou Uematsu and Hiroyuki Nakayama playing some of the most iconic pieces in gaming history, this might be right up your alley.
If you’re one of the older members of our generation, you probably know what vinyl is. For the younger kids, vinyl is the older brother of the CD (compact disk) – that physical medium that predates your fancy MP3 players and iPhones. (Man, I’m old.) They’re also commonly referred to as “records”.
So now that you have had the history lesson, you might not be aware that vinyl has not exactly gone the way of the dinosaur. What used to be a neat hobby for collectors of older-style medium has seemed to have a resurgence within the past few years, and one of the things that seems to be included within this return to a simpler time of music-listening is video game music.
Welcome to our new series Arrangement of the Week. Every Friday we will take a quick look at an arrangement, remix, or cover of a videogame track. For the most part, we’re going to try to focus on some more obscure or lesser known creators for this series. We hope to share and examine a wide variety of genres, artists, and arrangement styles. With all that said, here’s this week’s track.
Our first Arrangement of the Week is “Sub-Zero” by artist Emunator. The selection is based off of the “Phendrana Drifts” track from Metroid Prime. The opening of the piece emulates the acoustic/synth hybrid sound of the original Metroid track. Ambient atmosphere effects can be heard in the back of the mix, and the piano plays the same material from the original soundtrack. However, about a minute and a half into the track, the piece transitions into something a little different.
At the 1’28” mark the piece launches into a chill dance version of the Metroid Prime tune. Many of the icy and glassy synth instruments from earlier remain, but a handful of upbeat dance beats and bass patterns kick in to give the music energy. I actually like that there’s not a big build up to the dance portion of this track. The transition is quick but smooth, and helped by the fact that the ambient/house portion is not much more intense than the mix’s previous section.
Another aspect that I enjoy about the track is the last section featuring Ergosonic on the acoustic guitar. This comes in after a wind down of the main dance mix. It’s a simple solo guitar part, with some of the atmosphere effect returning to help tie it into the rest of the arrangement. It’s a cool little surprise to the end of the track. Overall “Sub Zero” is a nice little arrangement of “Phendrana Drifts” that captures the tone of the original source material, while still transforming the track into an interesting house/electronic piece.
Are there any cool game music mixes, arrangements, or covers that you’ve heard this week? Let us know in the comment section below. You can listen to and download “Sub-Zero” on Emunator’s Soundcloud or at OC ReMix.
Yesterday I presented you with a list of the first five of my top ten anticipated soundtracks now that E3 2015 has come and gone. Today I share my thoughts on what I think are my remaining most anticipated soundtracks. The top five were selected based on my impressions of not what will be the best games, but will give us some of the best new video game music – so keep that in mind.
Come on and read about what future soundtracks made the top of my list!