The Beep Movie was officially released on September 30, 2016. I’ve watched the film, which is just short of two hours and a wonderful examination of the history of sound in video games. This includes a look at how music and sound design evolved from the penny arcade era to the modern era of gaming today.
Although I been writing for Original Sound Version for close to two years I still consider myself a bit of a N00b when it comes to game audio. Most of my game audio experiences have come from playing games, and listening to soundtracks. Until now, I did not have a decent understanding of the behind the scenes of the game audio world and Beep pulls back the curtain for its viewers. Read on to hear my full review of the film and the Blu-ray release.
It’s that spooktacular time of the year again when we Americans overdose on Halloween. We’ve done our part in years past to feature appropriately spooky video game music and so have composers and remixers. One of this year’s offerings comes from Ben Prunty, the composer of FTL, Gravity Ghost and StarCrawlers. Described as “Halloween electro-funk”, the album is actually the soundtrack to upcoming indie brawler FrankNJohn but is rebranded here as ElectroCrypt in celebration of Prunty’s favorite holiday.
“The music was inspired by Danny Elfman, the old Super NES game Zombies Ate My Neighbors, and the gleeful indulgence of OCRemix, a community of game music rearrangement artists that I love,” Prunty explains.
You can check out the full album on Bandcamp and pick it up for $5 if so inclined. Prunty adds that the sales from the album are going towards getting his live shows up and running.
Oscar Araujo, best known as the man behind the most memorable part of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow — the music — is returning to the video game scene again for Raiders of the Broken Planet. Araujo is reuniting with MercurySteam, the developers of Lords of Shadow for the asymmetrical 4-vs-1 sci-fi adventure game that’s currently in closed Beta testing.
“I feel very comfortable working with my friends at MercurySteam once again and I’m so excited by this world of adventure they are creating in Raiders of the Broken Planet”, remarked Oscar. “It’s really making me approach my work in a new way. My hope is that the game’s music will bring a stylish sense of adventure to the game.”
A “stylish sense of adventure” is how I’d describe the game’s main theme preview track above. The song sets the theme on acoustic guitar, builds it up with electric punch and breaks it back down for a sweeping ride in just a few moments’ time.
Are you looking forward to Raiders of the Broken Planet or a new score from Araujo? Let us know in the comments below.
It’s been awhile since I last checked in with Lance Boyle and his cohorts at ZOOM but they’ve been surprisingly busy on the music front. For those who don’t remember the name, Lance was the star of the niche 90’s FMV combat racing series Megarace, and ZOOM has been working on a reboot for the last few years.
The original game from 1993 was a unique mix of pre-rendered backgrounds and score-based combat racing. Accompanying the CG raceways was full-motion video of Lance Boyle, the sleazy emcee who chides and goads players for their performance. While I remember the game being moderately well received it was the music that stuck with a lot of folks.
Created by French composer Stéphane Picq (KGB, Dune), the music isn’t what you’d expect from the melange of cheesy FMV and futuristic cyber sports but it is quite enjoyable in and out of the game. Grungy and thumping, its melodies are belted out by scratchy synths but there’s always a softness to the MIDI backup that keeps it from grating. Over this past Summer and Fall, ZOOM has cleaned up, re-recorded and rocked out the music of Megarace for three different albums releases.
In July they released Megarace Reboot Soundtrack: The Max Petrosky Sessions, a totally updated rearrangement of the original game’s 6-track soundtrack (iTunes, Google, Amazon, CDBaby). While working on new music for the upcoming Megarace Reboot, Stéphane released an album in August with first-ever stereo remasters of the original soundtrack (iTunes, Google, Amazon, CDBaby). It doesn’t sound like much at first but hearing the new and old tracks (from the 2009 GOG.com release) back to back was really a treat.
Finally, after a YouTube teaser earlier in the year, ZOOM released Megarace Reboot Soundtrack: The Steve Crane Sessions, Newsan on September 29th featuring multi-instrumentalist Steve Crane (iTunes, Google, Amazon, CDBaby). The album features a studio recording of Crane’s completely rocked out version of “Newsan”, Megarace’s most familiar track. The rest of the album contains individual tracks for each instrument.
I’d love to see an update on Megarace Reboot itself but these album releases are a sign that things are coming along and sounding better than ever. If all of this has you intrigued about what Megarace looked and played like, have a look at my video of the GOG version from a few years ago.
Available at: http://www.randombeats.io/
The initial run of Brave Wave’s Street Fighter II: The Definitive Soundtrack on vinyl sold out incredibly fast when it was released last November. Nearly a year later, though, the label has announced that Big Wax will be their distributor for all upcoming vinyl releases and the partnership kicks off with a new pressing of Street Fighter II. Pre-orders are available now for the 4-LP box set for roughly $75 which will begin shipping in December.
Brave Wave has also partnered with Mondo who will be carrying Street Fighter II and other upcoming Generation Series releases on their store including next week’s Shovel Knight vinyl. You can pre-order Street Fighter II: The Definitive Soundtrack from Mondo and read up on our previous news story about Shovel Knight’s vinyl release here. And if that Street Fighter album is a little hazy in your memory you can always refresh yourself with our review of the CD album.
While boning up on the blues for my Mafia III review my searches led me to the fantastic Music Respawn! program from WSHU radio out of Connecticut. Created by Kate Remington, the station’s classical music director, the show is just nearly a year old but has already chatted with some major names. Michael Salvatori on Destiny, Austin Wintory on Abzu, Jason Graves on Farlands, Grant Kirkhope on Yooka-Laylee. Remington has also spoken with performers whose creations combine classical music and video games like The Videri String Quartet, the creators of A New World: Intimate Music from Final Fantasy and even the Los Angeles Jewish Orchestra.
Episodes are typically 30-40 minutes in length, include plenty of music clips and sound just as well produced as any of the NPR shows that WSHU broadcasts. Each episode’s page is also fleshed out with a synopsis, images, videos and more music clips. Most recently she’s spoken with Darren Korb about his work with Supergiant Games, Greg Edmonson on going from Firefly to Uncharted and Chad Seiter’s soundtrack to ReCore. You can follow Music Respawn! online or subscribe through iTunes.
What are some of your favorite game music podcasts or interview shows? Let us know in the comments.
OCTOBER 6, 2016 – Black Screen Records will release Jonah Senzel’s amazing soundtrack of the critically acclaimed indie game Pony Island on vinyl this November. The bubbling 8bit soundtrack will come on limited edition 180 gram clear and audiophile 180g black vinyl. The artwork was exclusively designed by the game’s creator Daniel Mullins. The soundtrack comes with a free Steam code, which can be used to download full game as well as the mp3 version of the soundtrack on Steam.
“Pony island is a game with two distinct faces: the cheerful outer facade, and the evil lurking under the surface. Most of the soundtrack is based around this idea of the “devil within” that’s present throughout the game. The most fun part of writing the soundtrack was composing really over the top cheerful cutesy Tracks for the cheery sections and then turning around and getting as gritty and evil sounding as possible for the devil sections. For the happy sections I channeled my inner children’s TV composer using fun, light and bouncy melodies played on old school 8bit synths as well as real instruments like the ukulele. – Jonah Senzel; Developer & Composer
A trippy and unique experience that will make the player desperate and stunned at the same time. Pony Island is probably most enjoyable when played without knowing what to expect. Without giving too much away, it can be said that the game works mostly on the meta-level and it will take some time to figure out where the story is heading. A marvelous game for long and sleepless nights that will leave you pondering and amazed, while enjoying it’s varied music that perfectly fits the constant ups and downs of cheerful and vicious moments. For more information on the game visit www.pony-island.com
Pre-order the soundtrack for Pony Island now at WWW.BLACKSCREENRECORDS.COM
Source: Black Screen Records
On October 7, GameLark will be releasing Mog’s Mixtape; a loving tribute to the Final Fantasy series featuring over 30 artists and 2 hours of covers. The album features music from every main game in the series, from Final Fantasy I to XIV, and even Final Fantasy Tactics. Listeners will enjoy some of the most popular tracks from the series as well as some of the more obscure. With a vast array of genres represented, Mog’s Mixtape is the most dynamic and eclectic album that GameLark has released to date. In fact, the variety and volume of music required a different approach to the album arrangement.
“Given the sheer amount of music on the album, it made sense to separate this into two distinct musical journeys,” says Allen Brasch, GameLark creator and manager. “Disc 1 is a more light-hearted affair with battle themes and beautiful soundscapes. Disc 2 presents a more arduous journey and ends with the Game Over theme. Each disc stands on its own and can be experienced individually or together. It’s really the listener’s choice.” No matter how you decide to listen to this album, the works of Nobuo Uematsu and other composers will come to life in captivating ways. Final Fantasy is a series revered for its music, and with Mog’s Mixtape, we hope to honor that legacy.”
Source: GameLark Remixes
Earlier this week, we had the opportunity to catch up with everyone’s favorite Irish musical duo. Okay, maybe not everyone’s favorite … there are probably loads of Irish musical duos out there. But if we narrow it down to Irish VGM duos, it might be safer to say that Chris Geehan and Dan Byrne-McCullough of HyperDuck SoundWorks top the category.
In the past few years, their work on Dust: An Elysian Tail and Penny Arcade’s On The Rain-Slick Precipice Of Darkness 4 have defined their sound and given them a strong fanbase. In the following interview, we get set for what’s to come, as well as how you can win a free digital version of the upcoming Cosmic Star Heroine OST when it arrives (digitally, via Bandcamp) on December 7th of this year. (more…)
If there’s a genre of music I don’t hear often enough in games, it’s the blues. A few titles come to mind that have borrowed the style for a single level or licensed a blues song for a cutscene but very few go all the way with their soundtracks. Even fewer big budget titles these days would dare reach beyond the safety of orchestral bombast that has become the norm. That’s what makes Mafia III (Expanded Game Score) extra special. It comes from a mainstream AAA title in a series whose orchestral soundtracks were already well regarded, bucking the trend of what even fans may be expecting. It’s also an exceptionally listenable album with highs and lows to accompany the drama and action but with a graceful, consistent feel overall.
Shadow Warrior 2 — the all-new sequel to the 2013 remake of the 1997 original — is coming to PC on October 13th and Devolver Digital has whipped up a very special vinyl EP to accompany the game. Produced by Laced Records, Warrior EP contains the new song “Warrior” from Stan Bush, the man behind rock classic “The Touch” heard in the 1986 animated feature The Transformers: The Movie.
If “Warrior” gets you in the mood to rock out to “The Touch” again, never fear, it’s conveniently located on the same 4-track record. Bush’s “Never Surrender” is also included as is a special rendition of “The Touch” featuring the voice of Shadow Warrior’s star, Lo Wang. Since the album is only four songs long the B-side of the vinyl features a special full-sized screen print, all nestled inside the card sleeve designed by Polish comic artist Michal Sledzinski.
Warrior EP is available for pre-order now from Laced Records for $60 in Deluxe and limited-quantity Gold editions, both of which include a Steam code for Shadow Warrior 2 Deluxe to be delivered upon the game’s release, October 13th. Vinyl will be shipped out in November.
Any Shadow Warrior or Stan Bush fans in the crowd ready to pick this one up? Or did you have your fill with the SoundCloud tracks above? Let us know in the comments.