Seekers of Adoulin is the latest expansion for the long-running MMORPG Final Fantasy XI; the music, as with the four previous expansions, is composed by Naoshi Mizuta. I have to admit, Naoshi Mizuta is relatively unknown to me. Looking though his discography, I realize that I’ve not played any games where he is the sole composer (Street Fighter Alpha, Parasite Eve II, etc) and he hasn’t stood out for me when collaborating with Final Fantasy veterans Nobuo Uematsu and Masashi Hamauzu. So this review will be based entirely on the soundtrack, without any context of how the music worked in the game.
In 2011, I started an ambitious project: to collect every audio CD published by the developer/publisher CAVE (Deathsmiles, Dodonpachi, Espgaluda, Mushihimesama, etc). I completed this project earlier this year.
And now, even as I face the dreaded possibility of having to sell that very collection, I was able to glean so much knowledge and enjoy so much great music from a bevy of amazing Japanese composers. The man who introduced me to the quality of music from CAVE, Don Kotowski, joined me in a 3-hour audio recording wherein we listen to two songs from each album and give our commentary. My commentary tends to be focused around critique of the music, while Don has tons of expert knowledge about the music’s origins, having interacted with many of the musicians who worked on these albums.
It’s taken me 4 months since the audio recording with Don took place, but I’ve put together an eight-part YouTube video series (playlist here) corresponding with that audio recording for a full-on A/V experience to learn about this game company and their music. Most of their games are “bullet hell” shmups, though they stray into other, even more niche territory (such as the visual novel Instant Brain).
Don and I wanted to provide this video series as a method for game music fans to get up to speed on one very specific set of music, one whose fans tend to be even more hardcore than, say, fans of Nobuo Uematsu or Falcom Sound Team jdk.
I suspect that when Disasterpeace started this remix project he got more of a response than he bargained for. Considering the popularity of FEZ and the high praise the music received, I’m not surprised that a remix project ended up spanning two “virtual” discs. FZ: Side Z is the second remix album based on the music from FEZ and released shortly after FZ: Side F. It follows along the same tradition with a multitude of remixes, a mix of DJs, performers and game composers; and, once again, it contains a huge variety of styles and genres, exceeding the previous album by seven tracks.
For my thoughts on the album, and links to purchase this bad boy, follow along after the jump! (more…)
Editor’s Note: Hey everyone, Patrick here. After announcing that OSV would be going into a state of inactivity, I got an influx of support in the mailbox, including a lot of requests to write for the site. No one willing to take up the mantle of managing editor, mind you, but still plenty of great people with plenty to offer.
One of the people to write in was British composer/arranger Richard McDonald. I was excited by his passion, his thoughtfulness, and his taste in music.
So without further ado, I present to you Richard’s first of, hopefully, many articles on OSV. What we have here is a brief review of “FZ: Side F” (the first of two arrange albums for FEZ). Enjoy it, after the jump! (more…)
If the words “Retro Swords & Sorcery Gaming” don’t appeal to you, then you very well might be a lost cause. When Conan the Barbarian meets 8-bit, the pixels themselves may be small, but the old-school feel makes it much bigger. The original Tiny Barbarian may have been released in 2011, but it’s still running on plenty of steam with the new iteration; Tiny Barbarian DX. Though still simple in it’s game mechanics of “Press X to attack, Press Y to jump”, it’s the soundtrack that really gives the game the extra push into generating some good ol’ NES feelings.
Composed again by the very talented Jeff Ball (Astroman, Mass Effect 3), the album title is actually Tiny Barbarian DX: The Serpent Lord. Despite the mouthful of a moniker, the soundtrack is chock-full of chiptune beats that could easily be mistaken for the hybrid stepchild of Mega Man and Castlevania (seriously, it’s even listed as such) straight out of the late 80′s. Combining action-oriented melodies with the occasional creepy slow track, the music speaks to Ball’s experience as a composer for other like-minded game soundtracks such as Astroman, but also his dedication as a retro gamer.
Boasting some incredibly catchy electronic tunes that will make you feel like an 8-year-old in front of your Nintendo again, Tiny Barbarian DX: The Serpent Lord is as fun a musical adventure as it is a hack ‘n slash game. Both available for a listen over at Ubiktune, as well as at the ever-wonderful “Name Your Own Price” tier on Bandcamp, so there’s no excuse not to enjoy the miniature musical muscular magnitude!
Throughout the years that I have written here, the one thing that became synonymous with my entries onto Original Sound Version was my many reports from concerts across Europe, most notably the productions of the German company Merregnon Studios. As we all develop and grow older, our time and place in life changes and as such, my time at Original Sound Version came to a close with new opportunities a few years ago. However, I never said my good bye to this little place which I called home and cherished, never tipped my hat to those who read my reports and reviews with great enthusiasm and support. So today, I say my good bye with a show that fittingly ended a great era, yet sparks new life into the world of orchestrated video game music.
*All art assets, including the above logo, are work-in-progress and may not be representative of the final product
In my last post, I hinted at a reason as to why I could no longer act as managing editor of OriginalSoundVersion. Today, I reveal what that reason is: I’m throwing my hat in the indie game ring.
After the jump, I’ll provide some initial details about this project, including the key asset developers (art/music) and a rough timeline. But for now, let me make the following statements as the two key reasons why I can no longer be an active part of OSV:
1) Time management. I can only devote so much time to playing games and writing about games if I am also simultaneously trying to make a game (this also explains my waning activity on my personal blog Gameosaurus).
2) Conflict of interest. Those of you who go on to read this full article will see that many of the people I’ve recruited for this project are people whose works have been evaluated in the past (generally in a very positive light). To continue writing about their works, or the works of their professional colleagues and (real or perceived) rivals, would be inherently biased in a whole new way, since I am now working with them on our own project.
Again, OSV will continue to live on. But my focus for the coming months and years (should it take that long) will be on this exciting new Visual Novel game project. Details after the jump! (more…)
You’ve probably popped in on our site a few times in the last few months, expecting new content but getting virtually nothing.
“What gives?” You might say to yourself, exasperated by the disparity in content regularity from prior years to this year. “Is OSV dead?”
Well … not exactly. Some quick history:
In late 2011, Jayson Napolitano accepted a position as a music-focused editor at Destructoid. At that time, I (Patrick Gann) accepted an “Interim Managing Editor” position. Throughout 2012 I wrote 70% of the posts of OSV myself and worked with some great new writers such as Brenna Wilkes and established OSV bloggers such as Audun Sorlie and Gideon Dabi.
But I told Jayson that the “Interim” in my job title meant something. There was a ticking clock, and a line in the sand where I would need to stop generating regular content. The reason why will be revealed in my next post here.
So, the site has gone leaderless. There was talk of merging OSV content with other sites, or vice versa, but that all fell through.
Here’s the deal: OSV will continue to exist with its legacy of great content (seriously, I’m so proud of all we’ve done here in the last 5 years!). All of our writers are free to post here as needed, but there will be no scheduled content or expectation for regular posts. We are open to guest posts, and if there are responsible writers out there interested in taking up the mantle, just contact myself or Jayson; we’re willing to hear your case!
Before I finish out this little announcement post, I would like to say that among the great music released in the past 6 months that we haven’t had the chance to review, I’ve very much enjoyed the following on a personal level, in no particular order:
Me and My Dinosaur 2 OST
Fire Emblem: Kakusei OST (5 discs, easily the best Fire Emblem soundtrack yet)
FZ Sides F and Z (the new FEZ arrange albums coinciding with the PC/Steam release of the hit game)
The Binding of Isaac Piano Collection
Final Fantasy XI Seekers of Adoulin OST
Final Heaven: A Melancholy Tribute to FFVII (among many other Joypad releases, this has been my favorite from the Spring season)
Ginga Force Complete Soundtrack
MONACO soundtrack / “Gentlemen’s Private Collection” (hurray Austin Wintory!)
Okay, so maybe only briefly. Skip to 1:30, and you’ll hear how similar the chorus sections are. Not that the melody from Mega Man 2′s “Flashman” is groundbreakingly original, but after hearing this song several times on the radio and thinking, “Man, this sounds like Mega Man,” I thought I’d share.
What do you think? Know much about smooth jazz artist Mindi Abair? She’s all over the radio lately despite having been at the smooth jazz thing for awhile.
[Disclaimer: I, Jayson Napolitano, was hired by the Max Steiner Agency to prepare and distribute a press release regarding "The Northerner," but I'm also sincerely passionate about it being funded on a personal level]
In case you weren’t aware, Jeremy Soule launched a Kickstarter campaign last month to fund his first classical symphony, “The Northerner.” You should care not only because Jeremy Soule is one of the most talented game composers working in the industry, but also because “The Northerner” channels a lot of the energies Soule visited while working on Skyrim just by the nature of its far North theme.
I ran a feature over on Destructoid with exclusive commentary from Jeremy Soule himself on the project as well as a preview on YouTube (above) and SoundCloud. Check them out, and support this project towards reaching its stretch goal of $100,000 to record at a prestigious recording studio before the campaign ends in just three short days!
Do you see this as a potential way to fund classical music in the future? Let us know if you’re on board for “The Northerner!”
The sole (lyrical) vocal track from Module’s original album Imagineering (released last year, reviewed here), entitled “The Pieces Fit,” now has a music video. I am psyched out of my mind to watch it.
For those who don’t remember, Jeramiah “Module” Ross is the New Zealand-based musician who was also responsible for the hit soundtrack for the game Shatter. If you’ve never seen it, that soundtrack also has its own music video, for the song “Amethyst Caverns.”
Want to get your finicky game lover a really unique Valentine’s gift? For 7 days only, all 6 soundtracks from the BIT.TRIP games will be on sale for only $1 in the exclusive “Lover’s Bundle”!
Gaijin Game’s BIT.TRIP game series features a slew of different game archtypes with colorful displays and catchy chiptune beats that drive you forward, such as the side-scrolling “Runner” and the pong-like rhythmic “Beat”. Simple yet engaging games with simple yet fantastic soundtracks. How could you go wrong with parting with $1 for all that goodness?
There’s also further tiers for those willing to part with a few more of their precious dollars and really give themselves or their sweetheart a treat, such as access to the soundtrack to the upcoming “Runner 2″ and even the full game itself! Top donators get pooled into the running for even more goodies! Donate, get great stuff and feel good for helping contribute to great games with fun music!