MAGFest 2017 is only two days away and we’re furiously prepping ourselves for the event festivities. For those also attending, full announcements and a guidebook for the event are now available. Beyond the music artist lineup we announced earlier, you can check out the list of guests, MCs and a whole lot more gaming music-related information. Highlights include:
Guest composers, including Alexander Brandon (Dues Ex), Davis Wise (Donkey Kong Country, Yooka-Laylee), Austin Wintory (Journey, The Banner Saga) and more.
Game Voice Actors, such as Ellen McLain (Portal), John Patrick Lowrie (Team Fortress 2), Matt Mercer (Resident Evil 6, Overwatch) and others.
The full guidebook for the event can be found here or on the main MAGFest website. Currently the Gaylord has a few extra rooms opened up, so if you are thinking of pulling a last minute attendance, you should jump on that now. Additional information can be found streaming regularly leading up to and during the event on the MAGFest Twitter and Facebook pages.
See you at the show! (Unless you sadly must miss it, in which case you can find the show streaming on Twitch!)
You may have caught some links to Luminist’s analog synth remake of the original Metroid soundtrack in October when he began releasing single tracks. I was also going to share the work-in-progress but decided to wait for it to be completed, and now it is. Capping off the year is the full 12-track album which you can listen to (and watch) on Luminist’s YouTube playlist or download for $5 on Loudr.
“My initial interest behind doing this was thinking that if the technology were available back then to put hi-fi recordings into a videogame, they might have done it this way with Metroid,” Luminist told Kill Screen. “I’m just interested in bringing out more of the inherent alone-in-space factor that the original gave us with bleeps and bloops.”
The entire album is just over 15 minutes in length but it’s definitely worthy of playing on repeat. Luminist nailed it on adding to the “alone-in-space factor” with the despondent synths and thrumming bass. Take a listen above and let us know what you think of this fresh new (and old) sound in the comments.
Although 2016 will be remembered as a year that the world lost so much, for me one positive thing that I can say about this year was that it was an incredible year for video game music. I did not play a lot of games in 2016, but I did listen to a lot of video game music, and arranged albums.
What I sincerely enjoy about Original Sound Version’s Ost of the year is that all the authors for this site have different choices. I am a huge film score fan, and love sweeping symphonic scores which led to my choice for Ost of the year. I also highlight some arranged and inspirational albums too.
With 2016 nearly over, it’s time for our tradition of highlighting our favorite game music of the year. For me, there was a lot of great material in this year’s releases. For whatever reason, I ended up listening to a lot more of the music coming from the indie game section of the industry. There were definitely soundtracks from bigger games that caught my curiosity, like Doom and Dark Souls III, but the music that I kept coming back to listen to were from this year’s smaller titles. (more…)
This year was not a very good one for me in terms of a whole lot of gaming. I couldn’t tell you if it was the drudgery of the year in general or what, but the cloud of 2016 hung over me a fair amount and as such I didn’t get too much under my belt in terms of playing anything. Fortunately I did get some exposure to awesome video game music overall; enough so to cast my votes on what I think stood out this year in terms of original game soundtracks and VGM arrangement albums.
It’s short and sweet, but I think they’re worthy of their titles.
OSVOSTOTY is our annual rundown of our picks for best game music, indie music and more from the previous year.
You might find it disconcerting to read that I, as a video game music writer, didn’t find that much music in 2016 that set my heart on fire. While I penned nearly 90 posts for OSV and heard loads of great music there were only a handful of albums I’ve stuck to with a passion. I’d be hard pressed to sort out a Top Ten list but thankfully the OSVOSTOTYs are a much simpler and personal selection.
So click on in, dear readers, and find out what music from 2016 was special enough (and weird enough) to penetrate my curmudgeonly old hide.
In terms of video game music I think a lot of us were first introduced to Loudr by way of their annual Game Music Bundles. The group has become one of the go-to sources for clearing cover song licensing quickly and affordably but their digital storefront was never a great place for discoverability. As such, Loudr announced in March that it would be passing its sales business over to CD Baby and has just confirmed some important end-of-life dates for customers.
Check the full article inside for the dates, details and some tips on a few deals.
If you didn’t win one of our copies of the Klang soundtrack back in October you’ve got another chance to get it, well, close to free. Both the game and the soundtrack are 50% off on Steam and Bandcamp (with coupon code klang50) now through January 2nd. If you need a refresher, just take a listen to the thumping soundtrack above from bLiNd and see how it sets the pace of the challenging rhythm-platforming in some gameplay footage.
What do Secret of Mana composer Hiroki Kikuta and the development game RPG Maker have in common? Well, an art contest evidently. Degica, the publisher of RPG Maker has announced a collaboration with the legendary composer involving art and music.
This exciting collaboration will bring two of Kikuta’s incredible music albums to RPG Maker – as DLC to complement your project or to give rise to your next grand game! Inspired by both classic and modern fantasy, the two albums feature Hiroki Kikuta’s memorable style and flowing melodies.
The contest starts on 16th Dec 2016 and ends 16th Jan 2016. Winning art will be used as both cover art and feature art for the albums, and winners will receive a physical copy of the albums – signed by Hiroki Kikuta himself!
Not a bad gig for those more artistically-inclined than musically. The contest also offers monetary prizes for the top three winners. You can check out the details on the RPG Maker Contest website.
Upcoming MAGFest 2017 Final Fantasy tribute band Knight of the Round is getting a leg up on their impending performing with the release of their new EP “SIN”.
Already having 3 full length albums under their belts, Final Fantasy metal titans Knight of the Round just released their new EP, “SIN”, containing 4 re-imagined tracks from Final Fantasy X. After “forming” the project in 2008, the band broke into the VGM scene in 2013 and features former members of See You Next Tuesday and Iscariot. Catch Knight of the Round live on their winter tour dates with Machinae Supremacy, Urizen, and Danimal Cannon as part of the “MAGFest: Expansion Pack Tour”
Following up the start of their tour at MAGFest 2017, you can catch the band on the following dates:
1/5-1/8 – Washington, D.C. – MAGFest
1/9 – Brooklyn, N.Y. – Saint Vitus
1/10 – Pittsburgh, PA. – Cattivo
1/11 – Warren, MI. – The Ritz
1/12 – Crest Hill, IL. – Bada Brew (with Psychostick)
1/13 – Valparaiso, IN. – Big Shots (with Psychostick)
1/14 – Dayton, OH – Rockstar Pro Arena
You can pick up the four-track EP “SIN” on the KotR Bandcamp for $5, and be sure to check them out at MAGFest performing on Saturday, January 7th.
Side Slider is a free to play mobile game available on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. The arcade style game was the brainchild of Long Island University Post graduate students and was designed to jog your Geometric memory. Gameplay involves sliding shapes off of your screen and getting a set target down to zero. Side Slider hearkens back to a time when striving for high scores was all-important.
The music for the game was composed by Eric Guadara using LMMS, using an open-source music-making tool available at lmms.io. I have listened to the full soundtrack and was pleasantly surprised with the overall sound which is engaging and large. This is the type of sound I would expect to find in an arcade cabinet game. Listening to the music at times took me back to my teenage marathon sessions of The Next Tetris on Sega Dreamcast.
You can see a brief clip of the game in action in the video above. The a soundtrack runs just under 20 minutes, but contains a solid amount of music for a mobile phone game. My favorite track is “Heart BeepBop” which sounds a bit like a Marble Madness tribute, which I think might be one of the composer’s favorites after I visited their personal website.
You can grab a copy of it on bandcamp for $3 which should buy at least one cup of coffee for the composer, as it’s one of their album release goals.
Now that the original 8Bit Music Power album is out on CD it’s time for Riki and crew to unveil their next limited edition album-on-a-Famicom-cart. 8Bit Music Power Final will be released in late March of 2017 in Japan and will once again be playable exclusively on a Famicom console. The cart will include 18 tracks this time with songs from past collaborators and some exciting old school names. NES era composers like Manami Matsumae and Motoaki Furukawa along with more modern composers like Junya Nakano (Threads of Fate, Dawn of Mana) and Ippo Yamada (Mighty No. 9, Azure Striker Gunvolt) are now on board.
An original album of music built for the Famicom is great but one sticking point raised by Attract Mode is that the console only outputs audio through its scuzzy RF connection. That may make for an authentic sound but for those who prefer to hear the music directly from the hardware there’s a new peripheral you can get bundled with the album.
The 8Bit Sound Adapter looks like a miniature Famicom controller (namely the Player 2 side) and plugs into the console’s expansion port. It offers a volume slider, power light and 3.5mm port to plug in headphones or external speakers. It also adds about $25 to the price but it’s still a lot cheaper than the vintage Famicom S.D. Station. The bundle on Amazon Japan is currently around $70 with the cartridge alone at $46.
For now all we have are some early photos and the temporary tracklist to go on which you can check out after the jump. Hopefully Riki will grace us with another video preview as the album gets closer to release.
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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