Game Music

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Video Games Live to Start Another Album Kickstarter

Email This Post Share on Facebook Video Games Live to Start Another Album KickstarterTweet This Post Print This Post 10.10.14 | | 1 Comment

According to a Facebook update, it sounds like the touring video game music group known as Video Games Live will be starting another Kickstarter project to fund a new album, Level 4, on October 20th.

The album is going to feature symphonic arrangements from games such as Donkey Kong Country, Final Fantasy VI (Opera), BioShock, Uncharted, Earthworm Jim, Resident Evil, Metal Gear Solid 3 (“Snake Eater”), Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor, Zelda: Ocarina of Time, League of Legends, Assassin’s Creed, Cave Story AND MORE! As well as a brand new Chrono Trigger/Chrono Cross Piano Arrangement bonus album!

Last year the group funded their latest album, Level 3, through Kickstarter as well. The image above is stated to be a mock-up of the potential album’s artwork, provided it meets its as-of-yet-released goal. Those interested should keep an eye out on October 20th to find out more about this new album.

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Game Music

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Grant Kirkhope Releases the Ultimate Banjo-Kazooie Album

Email This Post Share on Facebook Grant Kirkhope Releases the Ultimate Banjo-Kazooie AlbumTweet This Post Print This Post 10.07.14 | | Comment?

Back in April of 2013, the official Banjo-Kazooie soundtrack received a digital release on Grant Kirkhope’s Bandcamp page. If you are familiar with either the game or soundtrack, you’ll know that the music in the game changes dynamically. Depending on where you were in the game world, the instruments and music arrangement would change in real time. Unfortunately, many of these variations were not available on the official soundtrack. It seems that Grant Kirkhope has taken it upon himself to give fans access to those alternate versions and missing tracks with Banjo-Kazooie: Everything and the Kitchen Sink!

Every piece of music that was ever in the game is on this soundtrack. There are also a handful of unused bonus tracks included. Even quick jingles/cues like “Collect Jiggy” and “Collect All Jingos” are present on this album. This includes variations of the music for when you’re underwater, the variations of “Gruntilda’s Lair,” and the arrangements for the various seasons in the Click-Clock Wood level. This is an absolute must-have for the Banjo-Kazooie music purist. As if the collection of all of this previously unreleased content wasn’t enough, the album is available for a pay-what-you-want price. So if you are a big fan of the the original Banjo-Kazooie soundtrack, definitely check out Banjo-Kazooie: Everything and the Kitchen Sink!

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Chip Music, Featured, Game Music

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Super Smash Bros. Tribute Album ‘Harmony of Heroes’ is Available for Download

Email This Post Share on Facebook Super Smash Bros. Tribute Album ‘Harmony of Heroes’ is Available for DownloadTweet This Post Print This Post 10.06.14 | | Comment?

If you’re a big Nintendo fan, then chances are that you spent most of this past weekend playing the latest Super Smash Bros. game on the 3DS. To celebrate the newest installment of the franchise, a number of talented game composers and remixers have released a massive arrangement album for free. Here’s a little sample of their work below.

The album Harmony of Heroes covers music from the Super Smash Bros. franchise and the music from the games represented in the series. It’s a large and diverse library of game music to cover and this collection delivers. The album is a colossal 101 tracks of music. Styles range from light jazz and rock to electronic and orchestral. There’s over 7 hours of music for you to listen to and enjoy. You can check out the album at the Harmony of Heroes site, or grab it on their temporary torrent link, since the main site has been having issues due to the high levels of traffic.

Source: Harmony of Heroes

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Featured

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Boston Festival of Indie Games 2014 Recap

Email This Post Share on Facebook Boston Festival of Indie Games 2014 RecapTweet This Post Print This Post 10.06.14 | | Comment?

Over the past few months, there were a fair number of gaming conventions and festivals being held. MAGFest had a new event with MAGFest 8.5 in Washington DC; Portland, Oregon had the XOXO Festival, covering arts and technology; and of course PAX Prime was held at the end of August in Seattle, Washington. There was however another small festival that took place on September 14th in Boston, Mass. This was the Boston Festival of Indie Games.

This was the third year that the Boston Festival of Indie Games has been running. Held only on one day, the event is focused on board games and digital games from the local Boston indie game scene. The event also hosts lectures on various industry subjects, with a diverse collection of guests. This year had plenty of great stuff to see and do. While it was impossible to see and cover absolutely everything that happened this year, I would like to give a brief overview of the event. So with that said, let’s take a look at what the festival had on offer this time around. (more…)

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Chip Music, Game Music

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Meow Meow & Bow Wow (Review)

Email This Post Share on Facebook Meow Meow & Bow Wow (Review)Tweet This Post Print This Post 10.02.14 | | Comment?

The Legend of Zelda series plays host to a lot of great game music. A number of different composers have contributed to the franchise including Koji Kondo, Akito Nakatsuka, and Toru Minegishi, just to name a few. The first handheld Zelda title Link’s Awakening featured a few themes from Kondo, but primarily had its music written by Minako Hamano and Kozue Ishikawa. The two composers wrote some fun and memorable tunes that have stuck with many Zelda fans, so it shouldn’t be surprising that their work has inspired a remix album of the Link’s Awakening soundtrack.

The Meow Meow & Bow Wow remix album is a collaboration between DJ Cutman and Spamtron. The album’s title comes from the two chain chomp characters in the Link’s Awakening game. These two artists have worked together before on albums like Bagu and The Riverman. They each have a style that complements the other and their efforts have led to some great remixes. The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening has some great material to be covered. How do these two remix artists approach this classic videogame soundtrack? Read on to find out. (more…)

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Miscellaneous

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MAGFest 13 to feature Katamari Composers and LonelyRollingStars

Email This Post Share on Facebook MAGFest 13 to feature Katamari Composers and LonelyRollingStarsTweet This Post Print This Post 09.30.14 | | 2 Comments

After a bit of a lull in announcements, MAGFest has dropped a nice assortment of features for their upcoming MAGFest 13 event in January. Or should I say, rolled up a nice assortment.

Yuu Miyake and Yoshihito Yano, both the composers of the Katamari Damacy series and both veterans of Namco Bandai, will be featured as special guests at the festival. Miyake will be be the featured DJ during the late-night DJ dance party, whereas Yano will be a special guest speaker with a panel for all Katamari fans to gather and listen to tales of how the music of the series came to be. As if that wasn’t enough, MAG 12 performers and super band LONELYROLLINGSTARS will be featured performers during this year’s concert lineup after nearly creating a crowd katamari of their own during their set last year. (now featuring guitarist Ryan “Mega Beardo” Postlethwait  stepping in for a retired Grant “Stemage” Henry)

MAGFest 13 will be held on January 23 – 26th, 2015 with tickets and hotel rooms available, but better to get on them sooner rather than later.

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Game Music, Software

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Valve Releases the Steam Music Player

Email This Post Share on Facebook Valve Releases the Steam Music PlayerTweet This Post Print This Post 09.29.14 | | Comment?

The Steam Music Player, which has been in beta for a while now, has finally received its official launch. The program allows you to access your music through the Steam Overlay. It’s essentially a mini music player, similar to Apple’s iTunes mini player, that lets Steam users play and search through their music collection by album, artist, or track name without having to exit the game they are playing. The program can also scan the user’s computer and find music files for playback. This includes anything on iTunes libraries and any of the soundtrack DLC that has been downloaded off of Steam.

Currently the Steam Music Player only recognizes MP3s for playback. According to their announcement and FAQ, Valve plans on adding more features to the system, including support for more audio formats. This will be a much welcomed improvement, since many people, myself included, have music libraries that contain higher quality audio files, not just MP3s. Even with its current limitations, it’s nice to have easy access to your music collection, without having to exit the game or having to play the game in a windowed mode.

To help celebrate the official release, Valve has also made their soundtrack DLC available for free for people who already own the games. So if you’ve ever wanted to grab the soundtracks for Portal, Portal 2, or the Half-Life series, now is your chance. The offer on the soundtrack DLC expires on October 1st, so grab the albums while you can.

Source: Steam

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Game Music

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VGO Boston Performance to Feature World Premier Music

Email This Post Share on Facebook VGO Boston Performance to Feature World Premier MusicTweet This Post Print This Post 09.26.14 | | Comment?

The Video Game Orchestra will be having their next performance October 2nd at the Berklee Performance Center in Boston. It’s always a good time seeing VGO perform on their home turf with their full orchestra/band, including choir. This performance is special for two reasons; 1.) Capcom, Access Games and Bandai Namco are providing actual game footage for the event, meaning VGO will have full video playing while performing (akin to Video Games Live, one would imagine), and 2.) On top of having a setlist featuring gaming classics like Street Fighter, Mega Man and Final Fantasy, it will also be the world premier of music from the newly released game D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die while the game’s creator Hidetaka “SWERY” Suehiro in attendance.

Tickets for the show are reasonable ($8-$23 per) and can be purchased from the Berklee box office.

For more info on Video Game Orchestra, check them out on vgo-online.com

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Game Music

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Super Metroid Symphony (Review)

Email This Post Share on Facebook Super Metroid Symphony (Review)Tweet This Post Print This Post 09.22.14 | | Comment?

A while back, I wrote an article on Blake Robinson and his Symphonic Orchestra albums. Specifically, I had issues with the branding of his albums; that of “symphonic.” You can read the article HERE. I felt that his albums played on people expectations of orchestral game music and capitalized on its popularity. All his albums include orchestral instruments and the word symphony on their covers, which lead you to the impression that this is orchestral music. Considering that all the albums use samples, Blake does use the term “synthetic orchestra,” I find the premise of his music to be, at best, troubling, and at worst, outright deception. However, this is not to say that I haven’t found enjoyment in his full orchestrations of Chrono Trigger and Banjo Kazooie, although, they are overly long. I have also never played a Metroid game and there are few orchestrations out there to listen to, a track here and there. So; I am very curious about this album and how it will measure up, in terms of quality, with Blake’s other albums, with the original compositions by Kenji Yamamoto, and whether re-creating the entire soundtrack actually works. Find out what I think after the jump.

(more…)

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Game Music, Indie Music, Software

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Check Out Band Saga, a Music-Generated Roguelike

Email This Post Share on Facebook Check Out Band Saga, a Music-Generated RoguelikeTweet This Post Print This Post 09.18.14 | | Comment?

A roguelike that uses sound generation and music sequencers to create a game environment? Okay, that will certainly get our attention. Band Saga is a game that is currently looking for funds through Kickstarter to aid its development. The project is headed by a team of two, Roger Hicks and Hillmon Ancrum. The duo is hoping to turn their current game prototype into a full game for Mac, PC, Linux, and iOS.

Band Saga is, as mentioned, a music generated roguelike. Each item, enemy, and level is tied to a specific element of the music. As you explore and unlock new sounds, characters, and items, you can manipulate parts of the soundtrack through a sequencer to change the game world. The game’s art style sticks to a 16-bit graphic aesthetic, while the music that is generated takes its cues from the FM synth sounds of the Sega Genesis. You can see and hear this all in action in the demo video below.

As a nice little bonus, the soundtrack for Band Saga is already available on Bandcamp. The soundtrack is primarily written by Rekcahdam (aka Roger Hicks), but also features a number of guest artists. These include some familiar game music names like Laura Shigihara, Disasterpeace, Stemage, and Danimal Cannon. The project has less than two weeks left. If a music based roguelike sounds like your idea of a great time, check out the Band Saga Kickstarter and be sure to take a listen to the released soundtrack.

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Game Music

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The Wonderful 101 Receives an Official Soundtrack

Email This Post Share on Facebook The Wonderful 101 Receives an Official SoundtrackTweet This Post Print This Post 09.16.14 | | Comment?

Back in 2013, Platinum Games released The Wonderful 101 on the Nintendo WiiU. The game has earned itself a sizable following, which has continued to grow with the help of this past summer’s Mario Kart 8 game promotion. Now, just about a year after the game’s launch, The Wonderful 101 soundtrack has now received a full digital release!

The complete soundtrack contains over 120 tracks, which have all been remastered. It’s enough music to fill up five CDs. In addition to improved sound quality, there is also a new version of the title theme “The Won-Stoppable Wonderful 100,” which features an actual ending rather than having the music continuously loop.

The soundtrack is split into two volumes, which each cost $10. You can of course just buy the individual tracks that you like for $0.99 each, if you don’t want the entire soundtrack for your game music library. The Wonderful 101 OST Volume 1 and Volume 2 can currently be purchased on Sumthing.com and on iTunes.

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Game Music, Japanese

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Diggin’ in the Carts Chronicles the History of Japanese Game Music

Email This Post Share on Facebook Diggin’ in the Carts Chronicles the History of Japanese Game MusicTweet This Post Print This Post 09.12.14 | | 2 Comments

As enthusiasts about video game music and everything attached to it, a good majory of those in the community have a incredible sense of nostalgia for the old days of gaming and how it influences all of our lives. Documentaries that delve into the media itself and its background are a hot topic because of this nostalgic desire, with several being kickstarted to help really dive into the nitty-gritty of game music.

“Diggin’ in the Carts” is actually a unique entity for two reasons: 1.) It’s sponsored by Red Bull Music Academy; yes, as in the energy drink but it’s actually a world-traveling music workshop that focuses on today’s “musical landscape”. 2.) The series is specifically about the origins of video game music in Japan with Japanese composers and the history of companies like Namco and Konami.

Diggin’ In The Carts is a new series from Red Bull Music Academy about the untold story behind the most influential music to come out of Japan. Check back each Thursday, from September 4th to October 9th, for new episodes, mixes, and bonus interview footage.

So far two of the six, 15ish-minute episodes have been released and I have to say that the work behind the series is phenomenal. Having people like Anamanaguchi and Haruhisa Hally Tanaka explain the influence of game music and things like the history of the VRC6, and then featuring what I can only describe as delightful interviews with the likes of Masashi Kageyama (Gimmick!), Junko Ozawa (Galpus, The Tower of Druaga) and Hirokazu “Hip” Tanaka (Metroid) just to name a few, is beyond wonderful. I admit I got misty-eyed through parts of each episode (especially ep.2) and it’s so refreshing to see Japanese composers who otherwise might go without knowing the impact their games had on so many of us as children and beyond getting their spotlight.

Diggin’ in the Carts will be released every Thursday for the next month, so be sure to tune into each episode. I dare you not to feel some form of excitement while watching it.

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