Ryan Richko who is fairly new as a composer to the video game music scene has just composed two fun brief soundtracks to the mobile games Memory Match and Catch and Dragon Drop. I absolutely adored Ryan Richko’s work on the music for Telepath Tactics which you can read about here. Since then I have been eager to hear more, and although these two soundtracks are brief I was not disappointed.
So come read about Memory Match and Catch which is available now, and the soundtrack to Dragon Drop which is coming soon.
Sometimes you stumble upon a fascinating fandom, dip a tentative toe into their murky waters and then seize up in uncertainty, unsure if you’re ready for the plunge. Maybe it’s the world of Persona or a MOBA but for me it was Fire Pro Wrestling. A couple years ago I picked up Fire Pro Wrestling Returns because it was a PlayStation 2 game with sprites and that seemed uncommon. I’d heard the name and seen some scuzzy VHS dubs of Japanese wrestling in the 90’s but that was all the exposure I had. Bewildered by the game’s complex mechanics I turned to the internet and that’s when my toe hit the chilly surface of the Fire Pro waters.
First appearing in 1989 and with a library of 30+ titles steeped in the mystery of Japanese Pro Wrestling — saying nothing of the fan communities that have grown around them — I found myself frozen. “It wasn’t a lake,” I repeated the words of Alan Wake, “it was an ocean.” I shied away and haven’t invested myself in the game since but every now and then I think about the series. So when I was perusing Bandcamp last week and saw Fire Pro M: Volume One I couldn’t help but take a tentative look inside.
The album is a re-release of a 2009 collaboration from various Fire Pro communities and boldly states that it’s “for Japanese wrestling game enthusiasts by Japanese wrestling game enthusiasts”. Despite that warning and the numerous names I’d not heard of — SonnyBone, Jason Blackhart, DJKM, RapidFire, Wackydeli, R’lyeh Liberation Front, OctoberRaven, Wonderland — I continued listening. I don’t think I understand Fire Pro any better but I’ve now spent more time with this album than any of the games in the franchise and think it’s worth a listen: fan, fanatic or not.
If you haven’t had a chance to check out A Fox In Space yet, you can watch it below. It is an impressive fan-made animated parody based on Nintendo’s Starfox created by Matthew Gafford. The music for the original SNES FX chip enchanced cartridge was composed by Hajime Hirasawa, and the creators of the unofficial animated series have created some wonderful arrangements of the classic themes from the original game. The playlist has been available on YouTube for a while but it’s worth checking out. The intro music reminded me a bit of Yoko Kanno’s work on Cowboy Bebop, but really it’s just some smooth jazz at work – all performed by the show’s creator Matthew Gafford.
You can watch the excellent first 13 minutes of A Fox In Space here:
You can follow all the latest news about the series including upcoming episodes and music on the show’s tumblr.
What do you think of the music in A Fox From Space? Is there a theme from the video game series you would like to hear get a jazzy arrangement in a future episode?
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?