If you’re a Jimmy Fallon fan, you probably caught Shigeru Miyamoto suddenly pop up with hip-hop group The Roots to play the theme from Super Mario Bros., and if you didn’t you can now!
To help showcase the Nintendo Switch being debuted on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, the Mario legend was the night’s musical guest along with The Roots, strumming away as Fallon acted appropriately.
Next month marks the 15th year of the main iteration of MAGFest; the music and gaming festival that started in 2002 and has blown up into a series of multiple nerd music culture events since. Returning to Nation Harbor to the Gaylord National Hotel from January 5-8th, the event is expected to sell out of badges, so if you were waiting on the full announcements of who will be performing this year before jumping on registering, we’ll help you out.
Last week marked the final music performance announcements for MAGFest 2017. Over the past month, video game artists and bands, chiptune artists and nerdcore performers have been steadily revealed for the upcoming event. If you hadn’t been keeping up, here’s the full lineup:
I’ve been playing a lot of Dragon Quest Builders lately and while the music is delightful — especially for fans of the series with loads of rearranged themes from previous titles — it’s kind of killing me. Most sandbox crafting/survival games follow in the Minecraft mold with minimal and atmospheric soundscapes, if they incorporate music at all. Spending hours meticulously placing blocks and scavenging for resources doesn’t require a galant fanfare or sugary melodies with short loops. Without the distraction of life-threatening combat these tunes have quickly invaded my consciousness and I find them banging around in my head for hours after I’ve stopped playing.
I know what you’re going to say, “Shawn, just turn the volume down”, and in any other game that would totally work. But, you see, for unfathomable reasons you can only turn the music in Dragon Quest Builders down, never off. It’s kind of become a sticking point for some of us on the game’s subreddit and the only consolation I can think of is to ask for similar stories from our dear readers here at OSV.
Are there any soundtracks that started out great but quickly got on your nerves? A town tune or shop music that sent you running for the overworld map? Maybe a main menu theme that you left idling for too long? Share your pain in the comments below.
Happy Halloween (to those who subscribe to the holiday)! We’ve shared some of our personal favorites over the past weeks and years and now we want to hear some of your own. Truly terrifying or playfully macabre. Squirming out of ancient PC sound hardware or freshly
released deceased. Or anywhere in between.
Share some of your favorite spooky game music in the comments below and if you need a little inspiration here are a few of our recent and popular Halloween themed features:
Available at: http://www.randombeats.io/
Saturday Morning RPG, the original soundtrack by Transformers composer Vince DiCola and his partner Kenny Meriedeth which features a bevy of guest musicians, will be receiving a limited release on vinyl as of today! The limited pressing will be available exclusively from Limited Run Games to be sold in two batches on September 16, 2016 at 9:30am Eastern and 5:30pm Eastern.
“Growing up as we did in an era when it was the main and most popular format in which to purchase our favorite music, Kenny and I are excited that our Saturday Morning RPG soundtrack is being released on vinyl. Special thanks to Jayson Napolitano at Scarlet Moon Records and Josh Fairhurst at Mighty Rabbit Studios for making this happen!” – Vince Dicola
If you’re familiar with Alex “Roetaka” Roe, you’d know he’s been a artist in the arrangement scene for a while, dating back a good decade. Almost two years ago, he released an album inspired by the FromSoftware game Bloodborne, which at the time was not quite released but Roe loved the concept enough to create ‘Borne in Blood’ to celebrate it’s upcoming debut.
Evidently the game made such a lasting impact on Roe, he decided to make a second original album inspired by Bloodborne (Not that I blame him; Bloodborne’s music is some of my favorite of recent years and was my OSVOSTOTY pick for 2015).
‘Night of the Hunt’ is my new original album inspired by Bloodborne. When I made ‘Borne in Blood’, I was writing it not knowing a lot about what the game actually was or what its music was quite going to be like. Now that I’ve played the game a ton and my skills have increased so much since that album, I was quite excited at the prospect of returning to the world of Bloodborne and writing something which is both fitting and quintessentially me. – Alex Roe
‘Night of the Hunt’ will be released on August 15th on Roe’s Bandcamp, as well as Spotify, iTunes and Amazon.
Special thanks to Shnabubula for the heads-up on this album. From what I’ve heard in the trailer, it sounds exactly what you’d hope for some a Bloodborne-inspired album – gothic, orchestral goodness.
Ever want to really turn up the immersive experience with your tabletop gaming? How about having custom soundtracks to provide background sounds to your RPGs? That’s the focus of Syrinscape – a sound design app that adds a variety of background sound to your tabletop gaming.
Syrinscape uses a powerful audio engine and complex algorithms to produce ever-changing soundscapes and rich encounter specific music. SoundSets are made up of numerous independently controllable ‘elements’, each representing a component of the audio environment. Each ‘element’ distributes randomly chosen samples into the 3D environment surrounding the listener. All this works together to create immersive sound with no annoying repetitions or patterns.
As the product’s website and the introductory Youtube video highlight, you can use samples from a variety of landscapes and settings including fantasy, gothic, cyberpunk and more. The Syrinscape player itself if free to download, and you purchase individual soundsets in their store or purchase a monthly subscription to access all soundsets in their library as well as any future releases as they come out. Some soundsets are for specific tabletop games, as their most recent release, A Song of Silver SoundPack, is the “complete audio solution for the fourth chapter of the Pathfinder RPG Adventure Path: Hell’s Rebels.”
The app can be run on PC, Mac, tablet or even smartphone and custom tailored for specific sound experiences within individuals tabletop games. You can check out more on their website or Facebook page.
For the next installment of the Community Question we want to take things back a ways. How far back? All the way. Back to your first video game music soundtrack purchase or acquisition, if it happened to be a gift or maybe a “steal”. We’re not judging. For the sake of this one we’ll put aside homemade recordings or rips; that’ll make for a nice follow up question down the line. Let us know what your first game music album was (and if you still have it) in the comments while I get things started.
I’d forgotten the details behind how I got my first official album and had to do some quick Googling just now. It turns out that Sonic the Hedgehog Boom was my very first game music album and pre-order bonus. By clipping a coupon from the ad above (scan courtesy of Dinosaur Dracula) and heading to Toys ”R” Us you could put $10 down on Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and get a copy of the album when the game launched on February 2nd, 1994. I’m not sure why the coupon was necessary but I’d do whatever it took to grab a legitimate video game soundtrack released to the US. It didn’t hurt that I was already going to get Sonic 3.
The album itself is both noteworthy and a little strange. For a Sonic 3 pre-order bonus you’d think it might contain at least one song from the game but the tracklist features 23 songs from Sonic CD and Sonic Spinball instead. These aren’t just ripped right from the source and slapped on a disc either. The first 19 tracks include some extended versions of Sonic CD’s US soundtrack and the music from Sonic Spinball is completely rearranged. I’m happy to say that unlike a lot of games I’ve owned, I still have every soundtrack I ever bought, including this one. The case is pretty worn after years of shoving it into storage racks and taking it on drives but it’s still intact and surprisingly unmarred by scratches.
What about you? What was your first game music album and do you still have it? Let us know below.
I am not a fan of the increasingly crowded “clicker” genre but I am a sucker for games that tweak your music collection into gameplay. Those are the genres that Animoca’s Groove Planet straddles which is out now on Android after a successful launch on iOS this past December. It’s also free so there’s not a whole lot to dissuade you if you’re on the fence about another Clicker game or another your-music-is-the-game game.
Groove Planet is pleasant enough to look at with stylish and vibrantly colored structures that you place on the surface of a giant vinyl record planet. After a very brief tutorial you’ll start adding and upgrading those buildings which rapidly increase the number of notes (read: money) that are constantly being generated. Challenges motivate you to make specific upgrades and watching an ad or two rewards you with temporary boosts to Note production. It’s all very typical Clicker stuff with exponentially expensive upgrades requiring more taps to refill your coffers.
This is where the music game aspect comes in. Like other Clickers you can tap the screen as wildly as you like and watch a few Notes add to your pocket or you can tap along to the beat of the song and start building up a combo. Naturally, the combo multiplies the amount of notes to wild degrees as long as you can keep it going. The beat matching seems a little off at times but there’s no penalty to missing other than starting your combo over again. It’s nice to purposefully go off the beat and tap along to a drum roll and not feel punished for a little freestyling. A couple other nice touches include the skyline that changes color based on the chord of the chosen song and the Key of the song appearing on your main base tower (if the game can figure it out). They even pop up little tips on the “mood” of different chords.
As a music player Groove Planet is a little lacking. You can only browse a big dumb list of all the music on your device and there’s no way to limit the search to artist, track or album. Artwork is also mostly broken for me but the songs do start playing right away. Whatever beat analysis that’s going on happens very quickly which is appreciated. You can also use it as a music visualizer if you’d like. After 20 seconds of inactivity the menus fade out and your planet begins to spin, subtly reacting to the music as buildings animate and characters scurry around.
If you’re the kind who loves watching profits skyrocket into the octillions or if you just like to tap along to your favorite songs Groove Planet is worth a shot. It’s made for a decent little mindless diversion while listening to music and it’s free afterall. Grab it for yourself on the Google Play Store or the iTunes Store.
Drool Game’s “rhythm violence” game Thumper is set to be released on Steam, PS4 and Playstation VR later this year, and now you can check out a trailer for one of its more advanced levels – Rhythm Hell.
“No cuts, no overdubs. Just one minute of uninterrupted gameplay from one of Thumper‘s advanced levels. Thumper’s gameplay is simple, stripped down and accessible for both hardcore rhythm gamers and casual action game fans. But as you delve deeper, it won’t be easy. Our focus on simplicity lets us push speed and physicality to extremes never before felt in a rhythm game. Our latest trailer offers a glimpse of the unrelenting “rhythm hell” in store.” – Marc Flury – Thumper Co-developer
The game itself is set to be showcased at the MIX Patreon Developer Showcase next week in San Francisco, and both Marc and fellow Thumper developer Brian will be at this year’s Game Developers Conference to share more info about their game and offer demos.
Now that most of us have had our chance to call out some favorites from 2015, it’s your turn. This time around we narrowed down our categories to:
Let us know your top picks in the comments and feel free to throw in any special categories or mentions of your own. If you need some inspiration or missed them the first time around you can always check out our OSVOSTOTY picks for 2015: Michael, Brenna, Patrick, Ryan and Shawn.