Game Music

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Super Metroid Symphony (Review)

Email This Post Share on Facebook Super Metroid Symphony (Review)Tweet This Post Print This Post 09.22.14 | | Comment?

A while back, I wrote an article on Blake Robinson and his Symphonic Orchestra albums. Specifically, I had issues with the branding of his albums; that of “symphonic.” You can read the article HERE. I felt that his albums played on people expectations of orchestral game music and capitalized on its popularity. All his albums include orchestral instruments and the word symphony on their covers, which lead you to the impression that this is orchestral music. Considering that all the albums use samples, Blake does use the term “synthetic orchestra,” I find the premise of his music to be, at best, troubling, and at worst, outright deception. However, this is not to say that I haven’t found enjoyment in his full orchestrations of Chrono Trigger and Banjo Kazooie, although, they are overly long. I have also never played a Metroid game and there are few orchestrations out there to listen to, a track here and there. So; I am very curious about this album and how it will measure up, in terms of quality, with Blake’s other albums, with the original compositions by Kenji Yamamoto, and whether re-creating the entire soundtrack actually works. Find out what I think after the jump.

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Game Music, Indie Music, Software

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Check Out Band Saga, a Music-Generated Roguelike

Email This Post Share on Facebook Check Out Band Saga, a Music-Generated RoguelikeTweet This Post Print This Post 09.18.14 | | Comment?

A roguelike that uses sound generation and music sequencers to create a game environment? Okay, that will certainly get our attention. Band Saga is a game that is currently looking for funds through Kickstarter to aid its development. The project is headed by a team of two, Roger Hicks and Hillmon Ancrum. The duo is hoping to turn their current game prototype into a full game for Mac, PC, Linux, and iOS.

Band Saga is, as mentioned, a music generated roguelike. Each item, enemy, and level is tied to a specific element of the music. As you explore and unlock new sounds, characters, and items, you can manipulate parts of the soundtrack through a sequencer to change the game world. The game’s art style sticks to a 16-bit graphic aesthetic, while the music that is generated takes its cues from the FM synth sounds of the Sega Genesis. You can see and hear this all in action in the demo video below.

As a nice little bonus, the soundtrack for Band Saga is already available on Bandcamp. The soundtrack is primarily written by Rekcahdam (aka Roger Hicks), but also features a number of guest artists. These include some familiar game music names like Laura Shigihara, Disasterpeace, Stemage, and Danimal Cannon. The project has less than two weeks left. If a music based roguelike sounds like your idea of a great time, check out the Band Saga Kickstarter and be sure to take a listen to the released soundtrack.

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Game Music

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The Wonderful 101 Receives an Official Soundtrack

Email This Post Share on Facebook The Wonderful 101 Receives an Official SoundtrackTweet This Post Print This Post 09.16.14 | | Comment?

Back in 2013, Platinum Games released The Wonderful 101 on the Nintendo WiiU. The game has earned itself a sizable following, which has continued to grow with the help of this past summer’s Mario Kart 8 game promotion. Now, just about a year after the game’s launch, The Wonderful 101 soundtrack has now received a full digital release!

The complete soundtrack contains over 120 tracks, which have all been remastered. It’s enough music to fill up five CDs. In addition to improved sound quality, there is also a new version of the title theme “The Won-Stoppable Wonderful 100,” which features an actual ending rather than having the music continuously loop.

The soundtrack is split into two volumes, which each cost $10. You can of course just buy the individual tracks that you like for $0.99 each, if you don’t want the entire soundtrack for your game music library. The Wonderful 101 OST Volume 1 and Volume 2 can currently be purchased on Sumthing.com and on iTunes.

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Game Music, Japanese

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Diggin’ in the Carts Chronicles the History of Japanese Game Music

Email This Post Share on Facebook Diggin’ in the Carts Chronicles the History of Japanese Game MusicTweet This Post Print This Post 09.12.14 | | 2 Comments

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.

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Featured, Game Music

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Interview with Ragnar Tørnquist re: Dreamfall Chapters & its Music

Email This Post Share on Facebook Interview with Ragnar Tørnquist re: Dreamfall Chapters & its MusicTweet This Post Print This Post 09.09.14 | | 1 Comment

A little over a week ago, OSV ran a story regarding Red Thread Games, the studio behind the upcoming Dreamfall Chapters, and a fan-requested music submission contest they had put together. We posted this article based on incomplete information; it didn’t take long before a storm hit our comments section, some sharply criticizing our site, others doubling down in an ill opinion of Red Thread Games.

Now, we at OSV generally don’t hold Masters or PhDs in Communication or Journalism, but we do pride ourselves on getting the story straight, even if that means having to give it a second go. It’s within that spirit that we now present to you our interview with Ragnar Tørnquist, director of Dreamfall Chapters and founder of Red Thread Games. I urge you to read it, especially if you were disappointed by the music contest’s existence and/or cancellation and all the rumors floating around it. We hope to set everything straight in this interview. (more…)

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Chip Music, Film, Game Music, Indie Music

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Check Out ‘The Players’ Score: A Videogame Music Documentary’

Email This Post Share on Facebook Check Out ‘The Players’ Score: A Videogame Music Documentary’Tweet This Post Print This Post 09.06.14 | | Comment?

This seems to be the time of year for game music Kickstarter campaigns. In addition to the previously covered Beep game audio documentary, another full length film titled The Players’ Score: A Videogame Music Documentary is looking for support through a Kickstarter campaign. Unlike the Beep documentary, The Players’ Score will be focused specifically on the music by game composers, chiptune artists, and videogame music cover artists. The documentary will also be taking a look at the culture and community surrounding game music.

The primary goal of the Kickstarter is to help fund the film team’s expenses as they travel to locations like MAGFest (Music and Game Festival) and to international locations in order to interview composers and artists and to cover game music events. Hitting the first stretch goal will allow the team to fly out to Japan for even more interviews.

Cast members in the film include Austin Wintory, Jesse Buddington, Nate Horsfall, and bands like Urizen and The Megas. The documentary is being narrated by Arin “Egorapter” Hanson and will have an original soundtrack composed by Jake “Virt” Kaufman. Backer rewards for the project include physical copies of the soundtrack, Blu-ray copies of the film, and special Skype calls with the cast and crew. If a documentary on the community and culture of videogame music sounds interesting to you, definitely take a look at this Kickstarter project.

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Game Music

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The Super Smash Bros. Soundtrack Will Be Available Through Club Nintendo

Email This Post Share on Facebook The Super Smash Bros. Soundtrack Will Be Available Through Club NintendoTweet This Post Print This Post 09.04.14 | | 1 Comment

The newest iteration in the Super Smash Bros. franchise will have an official soundtrack for Club Nintendo members. Nintendo is a company that has been notoriously stingy when it comes to releases of their game soundtracks. This is particularly true if you happen to live in North America. But with the release of Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS this fall and the WiiU version at a later date, Nintendo is promoting a special offer for North American and European fans. If you purchase and register both versions of the game, you will be eligible to receive a promotional two disc soundtrack.

Nintendo has released a few details about the two disc album, including contributing arrangers of the music. The list of composers is as extensive and as varied as the games that are represented in the Super Smash Bros. games. Composers include Yuzo Koshiro, Hideki Sakamoto, Yoko Shimomura, Mahito Yokota, and many more. Nintendo has also released some sample music from the soundtrack. The full track list has yet to be released, but definitely keep your eyes on the Club Nintendo site for future announcements.

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Chip Music

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Chiptunes = WIN: Volume 3 Now Out & Full of Awesome!

Email This Post Share on Facebook Chiptunes = WIN: Volume 3 Now Out & Full of Awesome!Tweet This Post Print This Post 09.03.14 | | 1 Comment

Do you like chiptunes? How about a massive amount of chiptunes all compiled by some of the scene’s diverse blood? How would you like 50+ assorted tracks all bundled together at a price you get to determine?

You just basically got the gist of Chiptunes = WIN: Volume 3 that just came out this week. Comprised of a slew of the chip community’s bigger names and even some newcomers to the scene, the album delivers a grand assortment for your listening pleasure. Directed by Brandon “President Hoodie” Hood with art by Nate “FoxxDragon” Horsfall, Volume 3 also features additional merchandise and a whole bunch of antics and tomfoolery.

Details about the album can be found on the ChipWIN Blog, and the album can be grabbed for whatever price you want on the group’s Bandcamp page, along with all of the previous albums. I definitely recommend checking the compilation out and dare you not be shaking certain posterior body parts while doing so.

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Chip Music, Game Music

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For Shovelry! Shovel Knight Arranged (Review)

Email This Post Share on Facebook For Shovelry! Shovel Knight Arranged (Review)Tweet This Post Print This Post 08.26.14 | | Comment?

As originally reported on, the fantastic soundtrack for Shovel Knight by Jake “Virt” Kaufman (with contribution’s by Mega Man composer Manami Matsumae) has been out and available for download at a Pay-What-You-Want price on Bandcamp for a little while now. The the music, as well as the game itself, has been described by most as both a a love letter to the NES and Genesis-era of video games, though it’s probably more appropriate to say the music and game are faithful evolutions of the retro-gaming genre. The inspirations from popular past franchises is evident in every nook and cranny of the sidescrolling platformer’s construction, but it does well enough on its own that the term “cookie-cutter” would not be giving the game enough credit, nor the music.

And there is a significant amount of music, and an additional album of arranged music by various artists on top of the original soundtrack’s ensemble as well. Shovel Knight may have had those who pledged to the game’s Kickstarter biting their nails in anticipation, but it certainly did good on its promise to deliver….in spades! (sorry, I’ll keep the puns to a minimum) Today, I’ll finally be focusing on Strike the Earth! Shovel Knight Arranged.

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Chip Music, Indie Music

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The Glory Days Remixed Releases This Week

Email This Post Share on Facebook The Glory Days Remixed Releases This WeekTweet This Post Print This Post 08.25.14 | | Comment?

Back in February of this year, composer Jimmy “Big Giant Circles” Hinson released a Kickstarter funded album titled The Glory Days. A spiritual sequel to one of his earlier albums, Impostor Nostalgia, this new project featured original music written in the style of chiptunes and old-school videogame music. Part of the original Kickstarter stretch goals included the eventual release of a remix album, which the Kickstarter achieved.

The time has finally come for the release of this extra album. Each remix track comes from members of the game music community. Artists contributing on the album include Stemage, Chipzel, and C418. The Glory Days Remixed is set to launch on August 27th and you can pre-order it on the Big Giant Circles Bandcamp page.

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Chip Music, Featured, Film, Game Music, Indie Music, Music Production

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Game Audio Documentary ‘Beep’ is Looking For Backing on Kickstarter

Email This Post Share on Facebook Game Audio Documentary ‘Beep’ is Looking For Backing on KickstarterTweet This Post Print This Post 08.25.14 | | 1 Comment

Creators of a new game documentary have launched a Kickstarter. The project titled Beep is intending to take a look at the history of game music and sound. Everything from the old school sounds of arcade games all the way to the games of today. The focus isn’t just on the music of these games. The documentary will also be an exploration of audio design, voice work, and the use of chiptune and other game sound technology outside of the gaming medium. A book will also accompany the documentary to supply more detailed information about the various subjects covered in the film.

There are already plans for interviews with major members of the game audio community. Raising money through Kickstarter will aid the creators in being able to travel and interview composers and sound designers. Several composers have already been named for interviews including Tommy Tallarico, Winifred Phillips, Shota Nakama, Peter McConnell, and many more.

Rewards for backers include copies of the documentary, book, soundtrack, t-shirts, and many other physical rewards. The Kickstarter has already raised over $15,000 of the needed $40,000 pledge goal. If this sounds like a project you’d like to see made, definitely check this Kickstarter out.

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Miscellaneous

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VGM Band and Chiptune Artist Map

Email This Post Share on Facebook VGM Band and Chiptune Artist MapTweet This Post Print This Post 08.21.14 | | Comment?

Ever wonder if any video game music bands, nerdcore artists or chiptune peeps are in your area? Well, for your stalking pleasure, you now can find out where your favorite artists hail from! (note: please no actual stalking; nobody likes a creeper)

First Lady of Chiptunes, Erin “Ryn” McQuisten of Chiptunes = WIN has created a Google Map documenting the locations of a hefty list of the current scene’s video game bands, Nerdcore Artists, Visualists and Chiptune Artists from around the globe! An interesting little piece of valuable info if you happen to have some musical artists near you that you may have never known about. (I never knew that chiptune band The Revengineers were right near me!)

You can check out the VG Artists map here – Artist Map/List

Many thanks to Erin for her hard work at acquiring this expansive list for the community to enjoy!

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