Overlooker is a Gameboy Color inspired Survival Horror game created by Connor O.R.T. Linning in just under 22 days. He supplied OSV with a review copy of the soundtrack he created for the game which he describes as a top down 2D game combining elements from action and horror genres. His goal was to keep the game as minimal as possible and used it as the basis to learn about video game development. He also wrote the music for the game which I took the time to listen to this week.
The game is free to download and although I didn’t play it, I spent some time this week listening to the music. Read on to hear my thoughts on the soundtrack to Overlooker.
Hot on the heels of Lumines: Puzzle & Music is the return of another block-based rhythm puzzler, Chime Sharp. The original game launched on Xbox 360 and PC in 2010 and I’ve posted about this sequel’s development a few times over the past year. The game left Steam Early Access on July 19th and is out now with a 20% launch discount making it $11.99 through July 26th.
Just last month the team announced the artists whose songs would form the foundation of each stage’s music. Among them are several noteworthy chiptune and electronic artists like Chipzel, Magic Sword, Shirobon and Kavinsky. Are you planning on picking up Chime Sharp or daydreaming about the return of another favorite music/rhythm game? Let us know in the comments.
Everyones favorite reason to own a PlayStation Portable is coming back again. Lumines: Puzzle & Music is out now on iOS and Android in Japan and Australasia, bringing the classic tracks that made the game a hit as well as new music and visuals to a whole new generation. While the name may bring to mind the gameplay fusion of mobile titles like Puzzle & Dragons, Lumines is sticking to what it knows best: mesmerizing block dropping set to trippy tunes. Even series creator, Tetsuya Mizuguchi, is back on board to help develop this mobile iteration.
Very much like previous entries in the series, Puzzle & Music sees players rotating multicolored blocks and dropping them in place as a timeline sweeps across the screen and clears like colored pieces. As the beat pounds and pieces stack up it’s easy to fall into a zen-like rhythm as the game moves from track to track. The combination of music, visuals and rhythmic action are what made Lumines a classic and that legacy looks to live on with Puzzle & Music.
Six classic songs (spoiler: yes, “Shinin” is in here!) are joined by eight new tracks with more on the way. Japanese Indie Pop group Sekai no Owari will be joining the roster and there’s an exclusive collection of music from the Ultra Japan Electronic festival coming in September. September is also the month when Puzzle & Music is expected to hit the U.S. app stores for around $2.99. Check after the break for the game’s current track list and enjoy the brief glimpse above in the launch trailer.
This summer sees the worldwide digital release of Loose Canons 2.0, an epic soundtrack of original video game music and sounds performed on vintage 1970’s analog synthesizers.
The debut electronic music release by multi-instrumentalist/composer Steven Jaime Giacomelli, Loose Canons 2.0 is the official soundtrack to the the unrealized video game adaptation of the Loose Canons song suite, as composed and executed on Micromoog synthesizer and arranged into ten separate tableaux. In lieu of the imaginary video game representation, the listener is invited to use the music of Loose Canons 2.0 as a personal soundtrack to their favorite video game. In the event that no video game is available, the listener may perhaps use the enclosed music as an active listening pursuit, or alternately, as a soundtrack to real life.
Loose Canons 2.0 is an analog synthesizer and retro video game fan’s fantasy come to life, with monophonic Micromoog mandalas of vintage bleep bloops cascading through space and time like an 8-bit calliope of revolving sound. The album is the culmination of years of melodic electronic synthesizer experiments by multi-instrumentalist/composer Steven Jaime Giacomelli, whose dual abstract and hook-laden sensibilities were on display in multiple bands in the Gainesville FL underground scene in the early 2000’s. Chief among these was The Ohm, an instrumental four-piece with a varied m.o. of instant composition, epic noisepop psychfuzz and atmospheric environment enhancement.
A series of underground self-releases yielded new projects, new bands and new contexts, with Giacomelli stretching compositionally into classic American song forms, from doo-wop to metal to orchestral pop to country to surf rock to soul baroque pop to hip hop to americana to spoken word soundtrack to blues to ambient, all the while honing theoretical melodic approaches and atmosphere exploration that would ultimately express themselves after a chance re-discovery of the work of Californian minimalist composer Terry Riley and an embrace of a lifelong influence of Japanese video game music composer Koji Kondo.
Now making his home among analog synths in Silicon Valley, with Loose Canons 2.0 primed for placement, Giacomelli continues to work on his next opus.
Loose Canons 2.0 by Giacomelli is available now at iTunes, Tidal, Spotify, Amazon, Google Play, CD Baby, and all other major digital outlets.
Rhythm RPG, The Metronomicon has quite the news to celebrate today but if you — like me until 15 minutes ago — had never heard of it, here’s a quick primer. The Metronomicon combines rhythm games and RPGs in the same way Puzzle Quest infused Match 3 gameplay with combat and quests. Similar in style to Guitar Hero and Rock Band, you’re hitting colored notes as they fall down the screen. Instead of racking up points though, you’re building up abilities and buffs across 8 different characters to whittle away the Hit Points of fantastically nonsensical enemies. Winning battles and completing quests rewards you with gear and experience points to customize your team.
All of this is set to an expanding soundtrack of licensed songs from DJ Cutman, Perturbator, J-Punch, YACHT, Shiny Toy Guns and as of today, Mega Ran, whose track “Miss Communication” will be joining the setlist. Developer Puuba also announced today that your existing Rock Band and Guitar Hero guitars will be compatible with the game as well as custom-built dance pads coming from Precision Dance Pads.
Take a look at the latest devlog above to see the shiny new dance pads in action and hear Mega Ran vibin’ along to the game. The Metronomicon is launching later in 2016 with the help of Kasedo Games and will be making its next appearance at GamesCom in Germany next month. Expect an update with some more musical announcements around the show.
Anew: The Distant Light is an upcoming indie game for PC and various consoles being developed by Resonator Games. Wilbert Roget II who was behind the wonderful anime inspired album Beyond Libra, will be composing the music.
We have the amazingly talented Wilbert Roget, II scoring the game (Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, Dead Island 2, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Monkey Island Special Edition). Will is writing an amazing 20th century orchestral-inspired score for us, so if you are into Bela Bartok, John Adams, and Jerry Goldsmith – you’ll appreciate it. We recently won the Audience Choice Award at the Developer Showcase at Phoenix Comicon, and were also accepted into the Microsoft and Sony developer programs earlier in the year. The game is still in development and is planned for an initial launch on PC later next year.
Art, Animation, Sound, and Narrative Lead
Resonator Games has also posted an incredible Pre-Alpha Gameplay trailer that to me looks like Earthworm Jim, Super Metroid, and Image Comic’s Black Science had a baby.
What do you think of this first excerpt of the soundtrack? Is Anew: The Distant Light a game you’re looking forward to next year?
Groupees’ Chiptune + Charity Bundle returns for the 10th time this Summer to spread music and money to benefit the Children’s Cancer Association’s MyMusic Rx program. For a minimum of $2 you’ll get ten chiptune albums and soundtracks featuring Jake “virt” Kaufman, tiasu, ToyCompany, DJ Cutman, Jamatar, coda, bignic, Please Lose Battle, BigGiantCircles and Kubbi.
Highlights this time around are the entire Retro City Rampage soundtrack from “virt”, “Norrin Radd” and “Freaky DNA” and an exclusive EP album from DJ Cutman featuring original music. Mystery albums are added as donations hit $1,000 levels so there’s more bonus music to come, the first of which will be the ToyCompany album Playroom Vol.2.
GameChops has announced the release of their big Summer album Hopes & Dreams by Arcien with an accompanying music video. Hopes & Dreams is a remix album dedicated to the indie fan favorite, Undertale. Unlike the label’s previous Undertale album — Undertale Remixed by Holder — Hopes & Dreams takes a different approach to the massive amount of music from the game.
“While Holder focused largely on character themes, Hopes & Dreams sets out to adapt the setting and story of Undertale in a musical form. From the future house intro, “Once Upon a Time,” to the 80’s synthwave “Thunder Snails,” to the dark, drum and bass boss battle “Your Best Nightmare,” Arcien hits all the major plot points of the Undertale story. Thoughtful transitions make the album a joy to listen to, front to back.”
Hopes & Dreams is available to purchase on Loudr, iTunes, Amazon and Google Play or can be streamed on Spotify. You can also check out the music video above for the track “Your Best Nightmare” to get a feel for Arcien’s interpretation of Undertale’s music.
When we last checked in with Chime Sharp it was racing towards its Kickstarter goal last July. Having been fully funded the game was launched on Steam Early Access in November and will see its final release on Steam by the end of this month. Today, publisher Chilled Mouse and Chime co-creator, Ste Curran, have announced the full list of artists whose music will be at the core of the game’s fifteen stages. The list looks to hit a good mix between electronic and acoustic styles with contributions from the following artists:
For those that don’t remember the 2010 original, the team sums it up perfectly as a “crossover between a music sequencer and Tetris”. Utilizing a sweeping time bar Chime hits that same hypnotic, rhythmic euphoria as the classic music puzzler Lumines as players slot pieces into formations to clear them from the screen in time with the music.
Chime Sharp offers new modes, new music and a sharp (whoops, didn’t see that coming) new visual presentation to bring its classic gameplay up to date.
Antoine Vachon, a Canadian composer who we profiled last year has recently released three tracks to the upcoming game Mages of Mystralia which is releasing next year. The gorgeous tracks feature Laura Intravia on flute, Mathieu Côté on violin, David Bouchard on Cello and Antoine Vachon on piano. The music very engaging and my personal favorite is the lengthy track just under minutes long titled “Dark Tower”.
Accompany Zia as she strikes off to train and learn to control her magical abilities that had her exiled. Journey across the lands to meet other exiled mages and uncover runes with magical properties that can be combined into millions of different possibilities, letting you come up with completely new and incredible spells! The story is being written by bestselling author Ed Greenwood, creator of the Forgotten Realms fantasy world for Dungeons and Dragons.
The studio is working on developing its first original innovative game that you will have never seen before in 2017.
After hearing these first tracks from Mages of Mystralia I can wait to hear more. The preview album is available now on bandcamp for name your price. You can read more about the game on it’s official website. What do you think of the music so far?
If you’re not a guru of the Japanese game music scene, then you might not yet heard of the group Basiscape. The group is comprised of nine composers and sound designers and headed by Hitoshi Sakimoto (Final Fantasy XII, Valkyria Chronicles). Sakimoto created the group, along with Masaharu Iwata (Ogre Battle, Final Fantasy Tactics) and Manabu Namiki (Bloody Roar, Contra ReBirth)
Basiscape provides complete sound and music production services for all digital mediums including video games, television series, film and television commercials.
With our artists and staff carrying out projects of any scope and size, Basiscape delivers the utmost excellence in quality and creativity, while keeping with the usual tight deadlines of the industry.
The group has been responsible for a huge amount of video game soundtracks over the course of the past decade, including Odin Sphere, Muramasa: The Demon Blade, Dragon’s Crown and more. The mobile game Metal Saga: The Ark of Wastes, the fifth game in the Metal Max series, was composed by Basiscape and Yoshimi Kudo (Tekken 6). Grand Kingdom will also see its soundtrack released on June 23rd by Basiscape and composer Mitsuhiro Kaneda. Valkyria Chronicles Original Soundtrack was recently released in its full orchestral glory as well.
“Main Theme” – Valkyria Chronicles
However, they’ve been making the rounds on the indie game music scene recently. The recently launched Kickstarter for the indie rogue-like adventure game Death Story by Team Neko features a stretch goal which would bring Sakimoto and Iwata on to compose the main theme for the game, so fans can contribute to see to it the game receives a fantastic contributing score.
Don’t be surprised if you see Basiscape’s name continue to pop up in the near future, so keep an eye out for Sakimoto and his team on upcoming titles!
The soundtrack for the new indie RPG strategy sandbox game Kenshi has now dropped for your listening pleasure!
Available on Steam in early access, Kenshi is a free-roaming RPG with squad-based combat and several class types for you to group up and roam the open-world environment with your team. The soundtrack of the game is equally diverse, being composed by Kole Hicks (Pixel Privateers) and featuring some unique style in its composition.
The music system in Kenshi has been designed in such a way, that as you play through the game the engine randomly selects from a handful of different musical elements to create new compositional excerpts. It is this ambient approach and “non-player interactivity” of the music that reinforces Kenshi’s indifferent tone. – Kenshi Bandcamp Page
The music does indeed seem random in its style, but it’s not jarring or off-putting as one might think. Although the title might make one think the music would be Asian-inspired, rest assured that the soundtrack has a good blend of several styles, including a title that actually makes me think a little bit of Diablo‘s “Tristram”, which is never a bad thing.