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!
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.
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.
Fans of the Final Fantasy spin-off Dissidia fighting game will be getting the soundtrack to both versions of the arcade game, according to Square Enix’s website, on April 27th.
The Dissidia Final Fantasy Arcade Soundtrack album will feature original compositions from the brawling game, as well as a slew of arranged pieces from several Final Fantasy games, all done by Takeharu Ishimoto, Tsuyoshi Sekito, and Keiji Kawamori (Dissidia 012: Final Fantasy). The soundtrack will be on sale on Square Enix’s store, Amazon Japan and the Sony music shop, all for around 2,800 yen ($24.65 USD). You can also pre-order on YesAsia.
Check out the Dissidia website for more information.
One of the huge performances to be hitting MAGFest 2016 won’t be just one performance, but will in fact be two! The sound team from Inti Creates, who are the minds behind Mega Man 9 & 10, the Mega Man Zero series, Azure Striker Gunvolt, and the upcoming Mighty No. 9 game’s musical scores, will be attending MAGFest and putting on their first concerts outside of Japan.
As you may have saw from our big announcement the other day, we are VERY excited to be attending MAGFest 2016! This will be our sound team’s first ever event appearance outside of Japan, and with the two huge concerts that we have planned (Lumen Super Live 2016 and Inti Creates 20th Anniversary Special Concert), it’s going to be an event for the ages! – Matt; Internal Affairs Coordinator, Inti Creates (via the Inti Creates website)
Headed by composer Ippo Yamada (Mega Man Zero 1-4, Mighty Gunvolt, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night) and accompanied by Godspeed, Yamajet, Luna Umegaki, Megu Sakuragawa (Lumen), and other special guests, the sound team will be putting on two concert: One entitled Lumen Super Live 2016 on Thursday night at 8pm featuring music from Azure Striker Gunvolt, and the other being a special Inti Creates 20th Anniversary concert Friday night at 9pm, featuring music from games they worked throughout their history such as Mega Man Zero.
The team will be joined at MAGFest by Mega Man designer and Mighty No. 9 director Keiji Inafune as a guest speaker and representative of Comcept, as well as legendary Mega Man composer Manami Matsumae.
MAGFest begins this Thursday, February 18th and tickets may sell out beforehand, so if you plan on attending, get your tickets now!
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.
Koichi Sugiyama may not be a familiar name to a lot of gamers in the West, but he is a very well known figure in Japan. He is the man behind the music of the Dragon Quest series (originally released as Dragon Warrior in the West), which despite having only achieved an overall modest success in the United States, is very popular in Japan. Koichi Sugiyama’s style for the music that he writes for the Dragon Quest games is very unique, and it has been a significant influence on other video game music composers as well. I’ll be going through some of his work on the primary games of the Dragon Quest series and taking a look at what makes his music uniquely his, and how his style has changed over the course of the series.
The Inti Creates sound team will be attending this year’s MAGFest event to perform two concerts. One will be dedicated to Azure Strike Gunvolt titled Lumen Super Live 2016, and the other being a special Inti Creates 20th Anniversary concert featuring music from games worked on throughout their history including Mega Man Zero. Performers include Ippo Yamada, Godspeed, Yamajet, Luna Umegaki, Megu Sakuragawa (Lumen), and other special guests who will take to the stage during MAGFest 2016.
“The members of the Inti Creates sound team are legendary in the videogame music community, so it’s our pleasure to be able to welcome them as guests at MAGFest. With MAGFest’s main focus being fan and community creations, it’s always a privilege to show the original creators in-person just how much we appreciate their work.” – Nicholas Marinelli, MAGFest Chief Operating Officer
MAGFest 2016 will be held at the Gaylord National Harbor Convention Center, Maryland from February 18th – 21st, and already has other performers and guests lined up such as The One Ups, Ninja Sex Party and a tons more. Tickets are still on sale individually for $70 or $60 for group discount.
If you happen to be in the Tokyo area this coming weekend and have 2,500 yen free, you might want to check out Tokyo Game Music Show 2016. Boasted as the premier game music fair for lovers of game music, the event celebrates its fourth year with an incredibly impressive list of game music composers both new and old that will be showcased as either performers or at their own booths designed to interact with game music fans. Among those exhibitors in attendance will be Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy), Hiroki Kikuta (Secret of Mana), Masafumi Takada (No More Heroes), Yuu Miyake (Katamari Damacy) and a lot, lot more! (Full List under the cut.)
Castlevania and Skullgirls composer Michiru Yamane has released her first original album ever! Titled “Chiruru’s Music”, the album is a dedication to her beloved pet cat who passed away early this year, and features a diverse selection of different styles of music for each track.
“Chiruru’s Music” – Michiru Yamane
All nine tracks of the album are instrumental and based around a different concept and is sure to tug at your heartstrings. Clocking in at just under a half and hour, the album can be purchased on iTunes for under $12 USD or Amazon Japan for 1800 yen.
DariusBurst: Chronicle Saviours — the greatly expanded home version of 2011’s DariusBurst: Another Chronicle EX — was released last week on Steam, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita. Along with a new story mode with hundreds of stages, 4-player co-op and support for dual monitors, fans will be getting a new soundtrack from legendary Taito sound team, Zuntata.
The game is on sale now for $60 on PlayStation 4 and $40 on Vita and Steam (regularly $50) but if you’re really just after the music you may want to hold off just a little longer. Dariusburst Chronicle Saviours Original Sound Track is slated for release on January 13th in Japan featuring twelve new songs from Chronicle Saviours as well as tracks from previous entries, Another Chronicle, Another Chronicle EX, and Second Prologue. The new vocal theme, “Freedom”, is also included and can be heard in the trailer above. Check the rest of this post for the full tracklist, read up on Chronicle Saviours at the official English site or catch up on the series’ music with some of our previous coverage.