OSV originally brought news of Wilbert Roget II’s kickstarter campaign to fund the mastering and release of his anime inspired Beyond Libra back in November of last year. The Kickstarter campaign was a success slightly doubling its modest goal of $1500. So what is Beyond Libra? Simply described by the composer Beyond Libra is a massive collaboration album inspired by Japanese anime composers such as Yoko Kanno and Joe Hisaishi. Pop, orchestral, and world influence. The album which was 8 years in the making featuring a stunning amount of talent and songs in over 5 different languages.
So come hear my thoughts on Beyond Libra in my full review of the physical album 13 track album which was released on March 4, 2016.
Today I learned: Japanese composer and multimedia artist, Baiyon, wasn’t already an employee of Q-Games. After years of friendships and collaborations with the Kyoto based game studio Baiyon has officially joined the full time staff as a Creative Producer. He initially worked with Q-Games as art and sound director on the studio’s trippy plant-former, PixelJunk Eden, in 2008. He then returned for PixelJunk 4am in 2012, helping the studio create a player-controlled music synthesizer and visualizer. In between he contributed music to LittleBigPlanet 2 and more recently provided music and art for indie titles Panoramical and Fotonica.
“For nearly 15 years I’ve acted as a freelance artist, but now I’m taking on the challenge of being a Creative Producer at Q-Games,” Baiyon says of the new position. “I’ve had the privilege of collaboration with many other artists and studios from around the world and accumulating the experience and knowledge that comes with that, but was starting to feel that fully utilizing those as just one person had become difficult. I felt like I needed a place that I could call home in order to do things right.”
No projects were announced with the news but as Q-Games’ latest title, The Tomorrow Children, nears completion Baiyon will most likely be fully involved in whatever comes next. Today I also learned that we’ve got loads of Baiyon coverage right here at OSV! Patrick dedicated a whole week to him back in 2012 so if you’re interested in what might come next from Q-Games, have a look at some of our fine featured posts.
What would you like to see Baiyon and Q-Games do next? The studio has been all over the place from top-down racers to side-on shooters, tower defense and soup capitalism simulators. How about a MOBA?
Brave Wave has officially cast their spotlight on another legendary video game composer having launched pre-orders for Terra Magica from Saori Kobayashi. The 12-track album is a wholly original creation that fans of her work on Panzer Dragoon Saga and Orta will surely appreciate. A “love letter to her fans”, the album doesn’t accompany a new Panzer Dragoon game but the sound and artwork invites listeners to envision their own dream sequel.
Adding to the Dragoon vibe are a slew of collaborators on the album including Eri Ito and Yumiko Takahashi who provided vocals for Orta, Saga and Suikoden 2. Bringing new flavors to Kobayashi’s familiar Dragoon sound are guitarist Takahiro Izutani and Castlevania composer, Michiru Yamane. Even the cover harkens back to Panzer Dragoon having been designed by series illustrator, Manabu Kusunoki.
You can sample two tracks from Terra Magica right now (both of which I’ve had looping all morning) or pre-order a digital or physical copy. Both will be released on April 13th with the digital album going for $13 and the limited edition CD at $16. The CD version is limited to 500 copies and features liner notes from Kobayashi, most of the collaborators and even Panzer Dragoon series director, Yukio Futatsugi.
That Dragon, Cancer is described by it’s creators as an immersive narrative video game that retells Joel Green’s 4-year fight against cancer through about two hours of poetic, imaginative gameplay that explores faith, hope and love.
I have not played the game but have read several reviews about the experience including a very detailed account of the game by Wired magazine in their article titled “A Father, a Dying Son, and the Quest to Make the Most Profound Videogame Ever” which you can read here. Since learning that the soundtrack was available I had to listen to it. Read on for my review of the game’s music.
Shift by WASD is a metal album that is a solid tribute to early PC era video games. WASD is an obvious reference to keyboard shortcuts. For me listening to the album took me back to a time that I had long forgotten about, the age of 3 and 1/2 inch floppy bootdisks, and 4X to 8X CD-Rom drives. The band’s mantra is “Console games are dead. Long live the personal computer.” If you grew up with early PC games, this is an album you will appreciate.
So come take the trip down PC game memory lane with my review of the album.
The Blake Robinson Synthetic Orchestra has just released the soundtrack to Portal Knights. Portal Knights is now available on Steam Early Access and is an action-packed crafting adventure across dozens of sandbox islands connected by ancient portals.
I have been a huge fan of the Blake Robinson’s work ever since the release of the Super Metroid Symphony and my personal favorite, The Chrono Trigger Symphony. His work on Portal Knights is nothing short of excellent and features an exceptional orchestral sound. You can sample the soundtrack above and watch the trailer to the game below.
Have you played Portal Knights? What do you think about the music?
One of the most popular posts on OSV over the past several weeks has been the article detailing the Swedish inspirations within the soundtrack to the critically acclaimed game Unravel. I have been following chatter about the soundtrack on twitter and several users have tweeted to the game maker to ask if they can buy the soundtrack, or if it is going to be coming out soon.
Twitter user iNanas asked and got a response which I’ve embedded below.
@AnanasUA We currently don’t have any plans, but we definitely hear you.
— Unravel (@unravel_game) February 17, 2016
The music was composed by Henrik Oja and Frida Johansson, and is so far one of my favorite video game soundtracks that have been released this year. If you think that the soundtrack should get an official release I would take after iNanas and tweet to Unravel‘s official twitter account to let them know!
Do you think the soundtrack to Unravel should get an official release?
Jon Everist recently tweeted that his soundtrack to Shadowrun: Dragonfall Director’s Cut will be coming to Bandcamp on March 1, 2016. You can preview the tracks that will be featured on the album below.
The game was released prior to Shadowrun: Hong Kong, but from what I’ve listened to the music is of the same calibre. You can read my review of Shadowrun:Hong Kong here, I also chose Jon Everist composer of the year for 2015.
I’m hoping that there will be physical release of album on CD. Stay tuned to OSV for further news on the album’s release. Have you played Shadowrun: Dragonfall Director’s Cut? What did you think of the music?
The Flame in the Flood is one of those indie games that feels like it’s been in perpetual development. I’ve had my eye on it since it appeared in the Fall of 2014 but I didn’t want to jump into another Early Access game and get burnt out by the time it launches. I’ve had it filed under “looks great, let’s wait” in my head but after listening to the powerful and utterly unique soundtrack this week I’m glad the full release is just weeks away.
The game is billed as a rogue-lite and feels like a distillation of the survival drama of Don’t Starve racing down a raging, flooded post-societal riverway. It’s represented in an isometric, overhead view with painterly art and moody lighting. Even from the name alone you can get a sense of poetry and of the American South which rolls right through the visuals and into this fantastic soundtrack.
This original, full length album was created by Chuck Ragan and features collaborations with The Camaraderie, The Fearless Kin and other special guests. Ragan has been plying his powerful, gravelly tone and poetic songwriting skills for decades across several musical genres. Through the mid-2000s he was singing and playing with the punk rock and post-hardcore band Hot Water Music. His solo albums lean towards acoustic and rock folk music. In 2005 he helped launch the acoustic collaborative event, The Revival Tour, featuring punk rock, bluegrass, and alt-country performers.
“I also wanted to invite and include friends to be a part of it, playing, writing or singing anything they wanted to add.”, recounts Regan about having recruited several of those fellow performers for The Flame in the Flood. “Cory Brannan, Jon Snodgrass, Adam Faucett and of course The Camaraderie are some of the very important collaborations on this recording that made the soundtrack what it is.”
The album has a cohesive story of its own that is equal parts accompaniment and counterpart to that of the game’s. “The Flame in the Flood is a collection of songs of survival,” Ragan explains.“Written from the perspective of a drifter, nomad and explorer, The Flame in the Flood will take you on a journey down that river in search of a safe haven. I feel so blessed to not only be a part of such a strong and active music community but to be able to share the stage, write with and learn from the people that I work with is such a healthy and revitalizing way to work.”
The album is available now on iTunes ($8.99) and from Amazon ($8.99 mp3, $9.98 CD). Developer, The Molasses Flood, just revealed at the NY Game Awards that The Flame in the Flood will be out of Early Access and onto full release for Xbox One, PC and Mac on February 24th.
You might remember hearing about 8Bit Music Power last November. The collaborative chiptune album has the distinction of being released exclusively for the Famicom console. Though not an official Nintendo product, Japanese accessory manufacturer, Columbus Circle, has matched the real deal with a gorgeous full color box and reproduction cartridge.
The 12-track album contains original songs by several Japanese game and chiptune composers under the direction of producer and illustrator, Riki. Contributors include Omodaka (Ape Escape), Masahiro Kajihara (Triggerheart Excelica), Takeaki Kunimoto (Star Soldier), Yuriko Keino (Dig Dug), Saitone, Hiroaki Sano (Triangle Heart), Nobuyuki Shioda (Summer Carnival ’92), Professor Sakamoto, Tappy (Tokimeki Memorial), Hally (Mighty Gunvolt) and Keishi Yonao (Asuka 120%). The cart’s pixelart graphics were created with the help of Hiroshi Ono, artist on some of gaming’s classic arcade titles like Pac Man, Galaga, Dig Dug and Mappy.
We’ve known the details for a while but the big news of the day is that 8Bit Music Power… is out. The first thousand cartridges produced are on sale now through Amazon Japan and Play-Asia will have them ready to ship worldwide on January 31st. Click inside to check out the full tracklist, a preview of the album and more.
Jon Everist, who has composed the music for Shadowrun: Hong Kong and my choice for the composer of the year in 2015 has just released six tracks from his score to the upcoming Indie Game Necropolis. Necropolis is a gorgeous looking game of brutal combat and survival, set in a magical deathtrap that shifts and reconstructs itself around you. It’s tag line is: “Will you find the exit, or die trying?” I have listened to all six tracks and have to say that I can’t wait to hear the rest of the score, it’s dark, intriguing, and at times mesmerizing. My personal favorite track so far is the groovy “Official PAXEast Trailer Music”.
You can watch the trailer to the game which is made by HarebrainedSchemes below which reminds me a bit of Dark Souls meets The Legend of Zelda: The Windwaker.
Jon Everist has more of his music available on his Soundcloud page which I recommend you check out. I exchanged emails with Jon Everist after I bought his Shadowrun: Hong Kong CD Soundtrack, he said that his next big project is scoring the music to Battletech and working with a 66 piece orchestra. You can follow the status of both of this upcoming games on the HarebrainedSchemes website.
What do you think of the first six tracks from Necropolis?