Brave Wave has announced the next entry under their Generation Series label and it hits the same nostalgic center of the brain as their previous offerings. Following their lavish treatments of Street Fighter II and Shovel Knight, the team at Brave Wave is now working closely with composers Keiji Yamagishi, Ryuichi Nitta and Kaori Nakabai on a double album release focused on vintage Ninja Gaiden.
Ninja Gaiden Vol. 1 features both the original arcade version of Ninja Gaiden and its NES counterpart. As you’d expect, Ninja Gaiden Vol. 2 continues the timeline with both Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos and Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom. Both albums will receive the same elaborate vinyl and CD treatments as previous releases with archival art and liner notes featuring interviews and essays by game historian Ray Barnholt.
The production will once again be based on new digital recordings from original hardware with supervision this time by NES lead composer, Keiji Yamagishi. Yamagishi also created the sound driver for the NES series and has brought in Ninja Gaiden II and III composers, Nitta and Nakabai respectively, to shoot for authenticity on these releases.
More details on price, tracklist and the inevitable lavish packaging will be revealed soon.
If you’ve ever read any of my posts on OSV you’ll know that I am Compact Disc (CD) man, in my opinion it is the definitive physical media. However, with the abundance of titles coming out on vinyl in gorgeous packages I am starting to wonder what I would do if my favorite game album did come out on LP?
So simple question, if you’re a CD or digital music fan. Is there an album that, if it was release on LP would make you consider getting a record player?
For me there’s two possibly scenarios that would push me over the edge.
Scenario 1: AZEL: Panzer Dragoon RPG (Panzer Dragoon Saga) by Saori Kobayashi and Mariko Nanba got an official LP release. The above image is something I threw together quickly, but I think it would be a pretty sweet album cover.
Scenario 2: Tengen makes 45 releases of their black cart game soundtracks on 45s. The package must include Fantasy Zone, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Heck, if they even sold a portable turntable that looked like a bootleg cartridge, I would surrender to vinyl.
As I don’t think either of the above options will happen any time soon, what are the dream albums that would make you jump to vinyl? Let us know!
Ian Luckey of Patient Corgi recently produced his largest compilation album of N64 covers with Tribute AlbumN64 , an eighty-seven-track album available for free on Bandcamp for any to purchase. I had the opportunity to chat with Ian Luckey, a.k.a. Patient Corgi, about his background in game music and how this massive tribute album ended up coming together.
You can’t say that the current fad of releasing video game soundtracks to vinyl isn’t having a big impact on game music distribution recently, especially when it results in previously-unreleased soundtracks exclusive to Japan ending up finally reaching our shores.
That’s exactly the case with the soundtrack to Konami’s Lagrange Point for the Famicom. Released only in Japan in 1991 and never being ported to the NES for American and European gamers, Lagrange Point is a pretty typical science fiction/fantasy role-playing game, but it has the unique quality of being the only game ever released with Konami’s VRC7 sound generator integrated circuit.
Konami’s Lagrange Point is often seen as the high technical watermark in Famicom/NES chiptune music. This Japan-only release contained a special memory mapper chip (the VRC7) that enabled the cartridge to produce FM synthesis, giving it a quality that no other Famicom/NES game can compete with. – Ship to Shore
Composed by the famous Konami Kukeiha Club, Ship to Shore managed to get exclusive rights to release the Lagrange Point OST for the first time in North American to three different variant vinyl editions; each for around $25.00. You can check out the variants and more about the Lagrange Point OST on the Ship to Shore page. Here’s hoping for more oddities and unique VGM releases from them in the future!
Tetsuya Mizuguchi may be behind some of the most stylish music/rhythm games but I can’t think of a time when his most famous titles (Rez and Lumines) have crossed over. Until now of course. Available worldwide on November 21st is the Rez Pack for Lumines: Puzzle & Music, the latest entry in the series for Android and iOS devices.
With Rez Infinite continuing to be one of the best received offerings on PlayStation VR it’s not a big surprise that the cross-promotion is finally happening but it’s a welcome one. There aren’t any more solid details yet on price or content but Lumines’ previous add-on albums have all contained 4-6 songs. The screenshots above at least confirm that “Rock is Sponge” and “Boss Attacks (Remix)” are included and there’s a good chance the newly created “Area X” from Rez Infinite will also be in the playlist.
Have you played Lumines: Puzzle & Music? Are you tempted to pick it up or get back into it for this Rez crossover? Let us know in the comments.
Who doesn’t appreciate a good viking story? How about one that’s a little less on the fantastic side and a bit more realistic? Well, that’s what you get with Burly Men at Sea.
Burly Men at Sea, developed by husband-and-wife team Brain&Brain, is described as “A folktale about a trio of large, bearded fishermen who step away from the ordinary to seek adventure.”
The indie adventure game isn’t your typical viking romp, however. It’s a tale you craft from the story choices presented to you, or rather the Beard Brothers, based on something as simple as a chart stuffed in a bottle you happen across that starts the whole thing in motion. The game surrounds itself with stylist art and a subtle soundtrack that appeals to the wayfarer in all of us.
The music, done by Chicago studio Plied Sound, is simplistic yet appropriate for the equally simple and charming construction of the game. Plied, whose work includes commercials and sound design for companies like Apple and Google, make their first foray into game music composition and uses their previous experience with stylistic sound design to bring the story of the Bearded Bros to life.
“Adventurous Deeds” – Burly Men at Sea (Plied Sound)
Brian&Brian along with Plied Sound went the way of making it so all of the sound effects in the game is comprised of vocalizations. While sound effects are emphasized over the background music, the soundtrack is no less captivating in its creativity. Acoustic guitar and individual flute work highlight a good amount of the music featured in the game, with other more native-sounding instrumentation being featured to bring about a sense of an adventure on the not-so-high seas. While a good portion of the music features a unique classical take on northern European music, some of the more creative sounds featured in the game’s music invoked the slightest bit of a Scandinavian twist on some of the sound from Katamari Damacy with a bit of a Disney cartoon flavor thrown in for good measure. This is a compliment to Plied Sound, as in a world of indie music, it’s never a bad thing to be a bit different.
“Maelstrom!” – Burly Men at Sea (Plied Sound)
The vocalizations woven within the game’s sound to help emphasize the music truly help to bring a folklorish-tint to the overall sound of the soundtrack as a whole. It captivates the player as they venture through the storybook settings and basic gameplay without getting too heavy or clashing with the feel of the game.
Burly Men at Sea is currently available on Steam and the Humble Store, as well as for mobile platforms, with the Maestro Beard Edition netting you the game’s soundtrack alongside the game. You can also pick up the soundtrack separate on Bandcamp.
Who here like Undertale? (Cue metaphorical sea of hands outstretched begin popping up as far as the eye can see.) Well how about the Prescription for Sleep video game lullabies music albums from Metal Gear Solid composer Norihiko Hibino and Etrian Odyssey pianist AYAKI? Then you’ll all probably be very happy boys and girls come December 1st.
Prescription for Sleep: Undertale is a two-disc relaxation album from the aforementioned duo also commonly known as GENTLE LOVE and produced by Scarlet Moon Records. The album is fully licensed and is planned for release on December 1, 2016 in digital and limited edition physical formats from Bandcamp and other digital retailers. Even better news is that you can pre-order it now for $10.00 digital, and $25.00 for the limited edition physical release.
Undertale’s themes of friendship, sacrifice, redemption, and of course, determination, are all beautiful attributes that play well into what Norihiko Hibino is trying to do with his unique brand of healing music. Plus, Toby Fox’s score is so amazing and memorable, how could we not do an entire volume dedicated to it? – Jayson Napolitano, Scarlet Moon Records
The limited edition physical release of the album will only have 1,000 copies, and will feature 6-panel digipak with silver foil print on the cover, two discs of music, and a 20-page booklet containing featuring the character of Undertale in four comic strips and four stickers illustrated by artist Maximo Lorenzo.
You can check out more from the Prescription for Sleep: Game Music Lullabies on their website.
Mass Effect music lovers are finally being treated to the vinyl treatment for their franchise’s soundtracks. It was recently revealed on the BioWare Store that pre-orders are now available for the Mass Effect Trilogy Vinyl Soundtrack.
The soundtrack package includes 4 deluxe discs all encased in a collectible box with original artwork:
The original Mass Effect (Classic Black 180 Gram Vinyl)
Mass Effect 2 (Colored White 180 Gram Vinyl)
Mass Effect 3 (Colored Red 180 Gram Vinyl)
An LP of Bonus Tracks (Transparent Orange 180 Gram Vinyl)
The cover of the Mass Effect Trilogy collection is designed by acclaimed artist and designer, Hydro74. Joshua M. Smith, known as globally renowned artist Hydro74, works in Orlando, Florida as a designer and artist. Through his sixteen years of published work he is known for pushing the boundaries of contemporary art. He is passionate about breaking new ground and expanding his artistic influences with the peers and brands in which he collaborates.
If that doesn’t grab you, just let this video teaser do all the talking you need.
The Mass Effect Trilogy Vinyl Soundtrack is available for pre-order for $100 and shipping is currently estimated to start around November 29th.
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 Buildersdown, 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.
When you say “jazz fusion” and “video games” in the same sentence, I’m there. Last year’s V-Jams is still one of my anytime, go-to albums and that same meandering melange of jazz, funk, R&B and rock is present in Materia’s New Game+. Materia’s core members are Peter Kim, Julius Verzosa, Kevin Lin, and Kwesi Andoh but New Game+ is the work of a total of 27 collaborators, all of whom came together over MAGFest.
“New Game+ is an album whose scope and impetus came from our gut reaction to the faintest attention our band was beginning to receive at events like MAGFest,” reflects Materia co-founder and musician Peter Kim. “And so the album is as much of a tribute to MAGFest and the people responsible for it as it is to the friends we’ve gained through its creation, and my hope is that the listening experience captures even just a bit of the magic that makes MAGFest the best convention in the world.”
New Game+ is produced by OverClocked Records and is available to buy for about $10 direct from OC or on iTunes, Google Play or Amazon and can be streamed on Spotify, Apple Music and Soundcloud. The full tracklist is below and includes a very special 11+ minute arrangement from Chrono Trigger, the game that initially brought Materia’s members together.
“Prelude” (Final Fantasy)
“Dash” (Final Fantasy XIII-2)
“Victory Fanfare” (Final Fantasy VII)
“Light Velocity” (Gran Turismo 3)
“Image of a Hero” (Phantasy Star Online)
“Esperanto” (Mega Man Zero 4)
“Great Fairy Fountain” (The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time)
Fans of coffee table books and old computers may remember the Kickstarter campaign for Commodore 64: a Visual Compendium that was launched (and fully funded) on January 18th. Backers of the 260-page tome had the chance to snag a physical CD featuring remixes of famed chiptune composer and C64 legend, Martin Galway. The initial playlist featured remixes by another chiptune veteran, Allister Brimble. Thanks to the exuberant funding of backers the stretch goals expanded to include more remixes from fabled folks like Jeroen Tel, Mike Clarke and Chris Huelsbeck.
I didn’t tell you all of this to get your hopes up for a sweet backer reward you can’t even listen to though! Now that the book and physical CD have been shipped to the backers Brimble has released the album — The Galway Works — for everyone else’s digital consumption. Available for about $10, you can grab the 13-track album from Bandcamp, iTunes, Google Play or stream it on Spotify now.
Included are remixes of Galway’s most iconic creations from the Comic Bakery theme to his interpretation of Rambo II. Wizball, Arkanoid, Green Beret, Terra Cresta and more are also featured on the album. Brimble has also released similar remix albums for the ZX Spectrum and the Amiga which Brenna reviewed not too long ago.
Limited Run Games is back again with another ultra rare offering and a unique new twist. Usually their releases are available in very small quantities, between 2,000 and 6,500 physical copies, but for Skullgirls 2nd Encore they’ll only be producing exactly the number of copies that are pre-ordered. Furthermore, it looks like the soundtrack CD — composed by Castlevania maestro Michiru Yamane with Vincent Diamante — will only be available in this limited edition package for either PlayStation 4 or Vita (or both!).
Many of Limited Run’s soundtrack CDs have come in plain black jewel cases but Skullgirls gets the special treatment with a clear case design and vinyl record print on the disc. The “Special Selection” disc will include 19 tracks from the game, losing 9 songs from the digital versions of the album which Brenna reviewed when it was originally released.
Other niceties include a reversible cover with new artwork, an outer slipcover and a full-color manual (remember those?). Pre-orders are being accepted for $39.99 until November 14th and if 10,000 copies are sold Lab Zero will add Japanese VO to both versions of the physical release. The bundles are expected to ship out in early 2017. Any Skullgirls fans out there tempted by this unique physical release? Let us know what you think in the comments.
Gather ‘round, video game music nerds—I’m not going to let you sleep on what I’m calling right now as my favorite video game score of the year: the Owlboy OST.
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