Square Enix finally loosened the wraps on the previously announced NieR: New Project at Paris Games Week by revealing its official title and the gameplay teaser above. NieR: Automata is the name and if you couldn’t immediately tell from the footage, PlatinumGames is working on the combat.
“NIER struck a chord with many passionate gamers. It was something so special that we felt compelled to heed the fans’ call for a follow-up,” said producer Yosuke Saito. “To create the ultimate action-RPG, it dawned on me that a collaboration between PlatinumGames and SQUARE ENIX would be a dream come true.”
Of course, the other big reveal from the trailer is a new piece of NieR music from returning composer Keiichi Okabe. The sound effects are graciously minimal so you can really focus on the otherworldly vocals and that fantastic percussion. NieR: Automata is coming exclusively to PlayStation 4 but one thing Square Enix hasn’t announced yet is a release date. Check out a few more details on the starring heroine, 2B, and the story of Automata from the press release after the cut.
There’s never a bad day to listen to NieR! With the recent unveiling of NieR: New Project at E3 it seems extra appropriate today to check out a new music video created and performed by vocalist Jillian Aversa and percussionist Doug Perry. The duo have performed “Song of the Ancients” on the international stages of Video Games Live but now, with the help of director Lando Donoho, they have created their own moody and atmospheric music video to go along with it.
“Song of the Ancients” is an incredible piece no matter how you perform it but the arrangement here is made even more soulful by the accompaniment of Perry’s vibraphone and layered percussion. The video and song are made available today by OverClocked Records and marks their first foray into the official licensing of video game music singles.
“I’m very excited to see OverClocked Records taking a big step towards focusing on licensed VGM arrangements,” comments OverClocked ReMix founder David Lloyd. “Jill and Doug have done a fantastic job capturing the magic of NieR with this transporting and beautiful arrangement and video. As the first arranged VGM single on the OverClocked Records label, the bar has certainly been set high!”
The video was fittingly filmed at the National Harbor during MAGFest, Maryland’s annual game music convention. The sculpture The Awakening serves as a simple and brooding backdrop that draws viewers into the mysterious world of NieR.
“We decided to shoot the music video in front of an enormous statue of a man ‘drowning’ in the sand nearby,” reflects Aversa. “Doug wore all black (including a mask painted on his face) and I created my own ghostly white ensemble.”
“We thought the statue was very reminiscent of NieR,” adds Doug Perry. “Like a relic of this once-great civilization that had fallen victim to the passage of time. Wheeling my vibraphone down the streets of National Harbor in the freezing cold made for quite an amusing scene, though!”
You can watch the video embedded above or over on Jillian Aversa’s YouTube channel and download the single directly from OverClocked Records. If all this has sparked your interest in NieR, or rekindled your old passion, be sure to check out our extensive coverage of the game and its stellar soundtrack.
Yesterday I presented you with a list of the first five of my top ten anticipated soundtracks now that E3 2015 has come and gone. Today I share my thoughts on what I think are my remaining most anticipated soundtracks. The top five were selected based on my impressions of not what will be the best games, but will give us some of the best new video game music – so keep that in mind.
Come on and read about what future soundtracks made the top of my list!
Earlier this week, to kick off the release of Piano Collections NieR, Square Enix again held an event featuring team members from MoNACA and arranger/performer Kumi Tanioka performing a couple pieces from the album and talking at length about it and the original NieR soundtrack.
After hearing Keigo Hoashi’s piano arrangements from the 15 Nightmares & Arrange Tracks album, I think everyone had the desire for a NieR piano collections CD tucked away in the back of their minds. When we were told there was a secret NieR project in the works to be released after NieR Tribute Album -echo-, I know several people, myself included, suspected that it may be a piano arrange album. And here it is!
Eleven tracks, five arrangers, and four performers later, has it been worth the wait?
While Kai was able to provide an amazing writeup of the SQ Party LEVEL1 concert that took place less than a month ago, he unfortunately wasn’t able to attend the NieR night follow-up performance that took place this morning, so I’m filling in based on watching the live stream on Ustream. I know it’s not ideal, but it’s the best we’re going to get!
So, what was performed, who was there, and will you regret not tuning in?
I guess the SQ Party LEVEL1 event was a success. I tuned in with 3,000 others to watch the performance, although we also had a correspondent there who will be providing impressions soon. It looks like Square Enix is following-up the event on October 28 with SQ Party LEVEL2 -NieR NighT-, which will apparently be dedicated to the recent NieR Tribute Album -echo- with both Go-qualia and world’s end girlfriend (and more) in attendance.
The performance will take place at the same venue, 2.5D, and will be streamed on the venue’s Ustream channel. It will take place on a Friday this time, and has been moved back thirty minutes to 20:30 (4:30 AM PST and 7:30 AM EST). Interestingly, the price has also gone up from 1,500 Yen to 2,000 Yen if you want to go in person! While I’m a fan of the SQ series, I’m definitely a much bigger fan of NieR, so I’m excited to check this out later this month.
Did you tune into the LEVEL1 concert, and will you be tuning in this time? Have any requests for songs to be performed?
It’s actually kind of strange that Square Enix is forgoing making announcements about some of their upcoming albums by sneaking them onto this sampler CD without much fanfare. As it turns out, the sampler CD will feature tracks from Final Fantasy XIII-2, the newly announced (and incredibly beautiful) Bravely Default, Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy (essentially confirming that a soundtrack release is in the works), and Final Fantasy XI -PLUS-.
We’re looking forward to getting our hands on the disc, and will have impressions soon, but in the meantime, which releases are you looking forward to the most? Are you surprised that Square Enix allowed these titles to be announced via a sampler CD rather than a more formal method?
While Square Enix claims to have known they had a hit on their hands with the NieR soundtrack, I’m still skeptical (even we were surprised!), but I’m happy they’re finally releasing more music from the world of NieR. This album was announced earlier this year, much to the delight of fans, and there’s yet another NieR album in the works that hasn’t been announced yet.
While I joked about this album being a NieR SQ album of sorts, this may actually be an accurate description, although I think you’ll find that the content is much more focused. With twelve tracks featuring twelve different artists, do we actually get a fitting tribute to this amazing soundtrack with –echo-?
Square Enix has released the track listings for two of OSV’s most anticipated albums of what’s remaining of this year. We talked about both SQ Chips and the NieR Tribute Album during our interview with Izumi Tsukushi and Akio Shiraishi, and also recently reviewed the sampler of the SQ Chips album.
As for the NieR Tribute Album -echo-, it does appear as though it’s turning into somewhat of a NieR SQ album with some returning arrangers although the sound is much darker and mature, which is more in line with the original score. You can check out the full track list at VGMdb and listen to samples on the official tribute album website which includes samples of “Grandma,” “Emil,” “Song of the Ancients,” and more, all of which sound amazing.
Moving on to SQ Chips, there’s quite a lengthy list of tracks which includes some surprises such as music from Einhander, Nanashi no Game, and Final Fantasy XIII among many others. The bad news? My two favorite tracks from the SQ Chips Preview Mini Album, “Crisis” from Seiken Densetsu 2 and “A Place to Call Home” from Final Fantasy IX are not on the album. I guess that’s why they didn’t have “[Demo Version]” in their track titles. Actually, Mitsuto Suzuki’s “Chips de Chocobo” also doesn’t appear, but I’m betting it’ll be a hidden track. We asked Square Enix about the missing tracks and were told that they didn’t make the deadline for making it onto the album, and may be released as a bonus on another album on a future date. Look forward to that! In the meantime, check out VGMdb for the track listing and the official website for a sound sample.
Are you surprised by anything on either one of these albums? Which one are you more excited about?
That’s right. One of the most interesting exclusive bits of information we got from Izumi Tsukushi and Akio Shiraishi this year at Comic Con was the fact that there’s another unannounced NieRalbum in the works in addition to the already-announced NieR Tribute Album -echo-. The two noted that they weren’t all that surprised by popularity of the music from the game, but have felt pressure to give the score more attention after the popularity of the 8-bit remix on the More SQ CD.
In terms of what the NieR Tribute Album -echo- is all about, we were told that it will be a multi-artist arrangement album. I asked if it would essentially be “NieR SQ,” to which the two chuckled and said, “Yes, kind of like that.” They would not confirm which artists are involved.
Are you looking forward to the NieR Tribute Album and this unannounced project as well? Isn’t it cool to see the soundtrack on sale on the floor with a placard about it being named soundtrack of the year (from OSV and other sites!)?
I’ll say right out that I never finished Drag-On Dragoon (titled Drakengard in the North America). I played the first few levels, and I didn’t really get drawn in. The music never really struck me as particularly memorable either, but the recent reprinting of the two volume soundtrack in a single package seemed like as a good a time as any to delve in and see what I’ve been missing.
With music composed by Nobuyoshi Sano and Takayuki Aihara, I can say that this is one of the most experimental and distributing soundtracks I’ve heard in a while. Maybe the disturbing portion comes as a surprise to you, but all will be revealed in our review after the jump! (more…)