The Legend of Legacy is one the recent JRPG offerings available on the Nintendo 3DS. Released in January 2015 in Japan and just last month in North America, it’s touted as being the spiritual successor to the SaGa series. The soundtrack was composed by Masashi Hamauzu, and fans of his music will be happy to hear that this soundtrack comes with all of his usual flair and style.
Be it hedgehogs, firefighters or dancing penguins, Yuji Naka’s games frequently feature soundtracks just as memorable as the games themselves. The same holds true for his Prope studio’s latest release, Rodea The Sky Soldier. Released on November 10th for Wii U and 3DS, Rodea features a soundtrack from Takayuki Nakamura and his Brainstorm sound studio.
Back at the end of July Brave Wave announced the Generation Series that aims to remaster beloved, out of print and incomplete game music in excruciating quality. The first (and so far, only) album announced is Street Fighter II: The Definitive Soundtrack which is planned for release before the end of the year.
Since our original post Brave Wave have gone on to reveal some more details on the release. The album art has been updated (seen above), the playlist will include a staggering 100+ tracks encompassing the CPS1 and CPS2 versions of the soundtrack and the CD release will come on three discs. As previously reported, both the CD and vinyl versions will feature liner notes from original composer Yoko Shimomura and Polygon.com’s Matt Leone.
More importantly, they’ve released the eight comparison tracks embedded above that should give you an immediate appreciation for the work they’ve put into the album so far. On their vision for the new sound of Street Fighter, sound engineer Marco Guardia told Polygon, “We were trying to strike a balance between staying true to the song and it being authentic. We didn’t want to go overboard and mess with the sound to a degree that it sounds nothing like it used to.”
Take a listen for yourself and check out that Polygon article while you’re at it; there are some insights into Brave Wave’s process and the story behind the album’s origins.
A tribute arrangement album titled Prescription for Peace has been released by Scarlet Moon Records and features the renowned duo of Metal Gear Solid composer Norihiko Hibino and AYAKI, also known as Gentle Love, paying musical respect to the late Nintendo President, Satoru Iwata.
“It’s with great sadness and respect for the recently departed that Scarlet Moon Records makes available a soulful musical tribute to late Nintendo President and CEO Satoru Iwata and renowned musician from the Niigata region of Japan Eiki Oshimi. Prescription for Peace: A Tribute to the Departed features GENTLE LOVE, the musical duo comprised of Metal Gear Solid series composer Norihiko Hibino and pianist AYAKI, and covers the Onett theme from EarthBound–also known as Mother 2 in Japan–a title that Mr. Iwata had a significant role in developing. The second track, “Sincerely Yours,” pays tribute to Mr. Oshimi, a musical mentor to the Hibino family who passed within a few days of Mr. Iwata.The tribute is being sold for $1 to cover licensing fees to Nintendo with any additional revenue generated to be donated to the American Cancer Society. It’s available now from LOUDR and from other digital retailers”
Capcom is giving Japanese Monster Hunter fans a head start on their latest adventure with a special “Hunter Note” package that includes a mini album. Releasing on November 13th — ahead of the launch of Monster Hunter X on November 28th — the book includes three chapters of notes on the game’s four new main monsters, fourteen types of weapons and some strategies for working with other players. It also includes a two-sided poster and a four-track music CD, presumably featuring the themes of the four new headlining monsters.
The tracks will likely be included on the upcoming Monster Hunter X OST but the Hunter Note version will surely be a hard to find collector’s item as it’s only available through Capcom’s loyalty store, E-Capcom. Think of it like Club Nintendo and then get ready to pay a hefty markup on eBay, if these things even make it out of the hands of Japanese MonHun fans.
Motoi Sakuraba has been writing video game music for many years, and he is among the most prolific composers in the video game world. His body of work spans games released over a period of more than 20 years, and includes a wide variety of genres, from Japanese RPGs to sports and action games. A lot of his work is his own compositions for various games, but he has also done some work as an arranger and as a producer.
Since his work spans so many games, Motoi Sakuraba is adept at adapting to different styles suited for different genres. But there are many elements of his style that you can see across his different compositions as well. I will be going through some of these elements briefly, and attempt to shed some light on what makes Motoi Sakuraba’s music sound like Motoi Sakuraba.
Not content with just one musical memorial to celebrate Super Mario’s 30th anniversary, Nintendo has announced a live performance to be held in Osaka and Tokyo on September 20th and 21st. The live shows will feature original arrangements of Super Mario Bros. themes performed by the “Super Mario Special Band”. And what a special band it is!
According to the translation the members include anime composer Sasaji Masanori serving as music director and keyboardist, with numerous Japanese jazz musicians filling all the seats. Just a few of the members include Tanaka Shingo, from T-SQUARE on Bass; Asa-Chang, from Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra on Drums; Asari Katsuhisa, from Jazz Trombone Quartet VOLTZ on Bass Trombone; famed Japanese violinist Sayaka Shoji; and many more.
You can get a taste for the show’s style in the rehearsal promo above but surely Nintendo will be releasing a recording of the full performance at some point. Much easier to acquire is Nintendo’s other anniversary offering, the two-disc 30th Anniversary Super Mario Bros. Music album which was released on September 13th.
After being delayed back in May, those Vocaloid vixens from the long running Hatsune Miku series are finally coming to the Nintendo 3DS this September in the U.S. and Europe. Unlike the mainline series — which is console exclusive to Sony platforms — Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX renders the cast of characters in a style that Sega likens to the popular Nendoroid figures. The game will also introduce 19 new songs, 28 returning favorites and unique voice tracks that bring the total up to 79 full length songs.
Project Mirai DX may be the most customizable entry in the series allowing players to change which character performs each song and even adjust the size, color and behavior of the rhythm icons. The game also promises to let fans focus on their favorite characters through companion-based events and a theater mode. In theater mode all those distracting icons disappear and you’re free to watch, fast forward, and rewind through any performance and use the “Jam Along” mode to add your own musical flare. You can even pick up other fans’ custom scrolling messages via StreetPass and SpotPass that will show up as you watch.
It sounds like a pretty perfect mix of gameplay and fan service for anyone who’s into the series. Are you excited for this 3DS debut? Did you burn out on the franchise years ago? Or do you simply look on in amazement at the utter cuteness?
If you’ve ever been frustrated that you can’t listen to a wide variety of the works from some of your favorite Japanese game composers due to the difficulty and high cost of importing from Japan, then this will be a little treat. Several composers have gotten together to create an original album of music specifically for their fans in the West.
IMPORTED features a top-tier ensemble of music composers from all walks of gaming, including:
Tenpei Sato (Disgaea series)
“I grew up listening to soundtracks for games like Street Fighter II, Metroid Prime and Sonic Adventure 2,” reflects producer Kevin Pescoran. “But when I tried to get my hands on more recent soundtracks like Sonic Unleashed, VANQUISH, or Bayonetta, I could only find them for $80 to $100, and realized there was a need for an easier way to get this music to fans around the world.”
Scarlet Moon Productions
The greatest part of the entire album is that it is completely free to download from Bandcamp for all international fans to enjoy. Go grab the album and be sure to check back for further updates.
Despite Sega having downsized and largely pulled out of the gaming market, that hasn’t stopped their boys in Crush 40 from making new music. The band just released the newest album, “2 Nights to Remember” on Amazon Japan.
Crush 40 is the band created by Sega and fronted by composer Jun Senoue (Sonic Games, Shadow the Hedgehog) on guitar and Johnny Gioeli as vocalist, originally for the release of the game NASCAR Arcade, and has contributed to the soundtracks of several Sonic titles, including main themes for Sonic Adventure 1 & 2 and songs for Sonic Heroes and Sonic and the Black Knight. This new original album follows the release of their 2012 album “Live!” and contains four newly-record studio tracks, as well as several live-performance tracks from the “Live!” album and various Sonic themes.
You can purchase the album on Amazon Japan for about 2,381 yen (or $19.95 dollars plus tax). You can also check out some previews on their website.
MAGFest 13 starts in just two days, and thus it’s time to bring Know Your MAG to it’s apex with one of the special guests of the event as well as performing DJ, Yuu Miyake!
Yuu Miyake, born in 1973, was interested in music at a young age. Listening to late-’70s anime themes and Yellow Magic Orchestra during his youth, he became acquainted with video games during a a childhood hospitalization and began visiting Japanese arcades shortly thereafter. When Yellow Magic Orchestra released the first album ever heard of video game music, Miyake knew that his love of games and music were something he wanted to pursue seriously. (source: VGMOnline)
Miyake joined Namco in the mid-’90s, gaining his first musical credit on Tekken 3. After working with Namco director Keita Takahashi on the video project “Texas 2000”, Miyake impressed the man so much that Takahashi assigned him full control as sound director over the game soundtrack for the puzzle-action game, Katamari Damacy. This is where Miyake gained critical acclaim for the creativity and unique style he blended together when composing the majority of the soundtrack for Katamari Damacy along with his team. (Which also included fellow MAGFest 13 guest, Yoshihito Yano) The catchy and quirky tunes that comprised Katamari Damacy‘s soundtrack gained several awards, including IGN’s and Gamespot’s “Soundtrack of the Year” for 2004 as well as a nomination for “Outstanding Achievement in Original Musical Composition” at the 8th annual Interactive Achievement Awards in early 2005. This lead to Miyake composing for future games in the series, such as We Love Katamari released in 2005 and Me & My Katamari later that same year. Between these, he also worked on compositions for Tekken 5 and Ridge Racer.
Yuu Miyake worked on several more games for Namco, including 3 more Katamari titles, until he left the company to go freelance in 2011. While traveling Japan to give lectures and working on personal projects, he also began performing live as “Acid Eutron” alongside Towa Tei, Shinichi Osawa, Takeshi Nakatsuka and Taiji Sato. He current DJ’s across Japan whilst working on freelance projects in association with Namco Bandai, as well as teaching.
You can check out the interview Jayson Napolitano had with Yuu Miyake in 2009 for more about his life and works. His DJ set will be Saturday night starting at 11:30pm, with autograph signing earlier that morning. Check out the full schedule of events for MAGFest 13 for more details, and see you at MAG!
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.