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.
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.