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By Patrick Kulikowski, April 17, 2014 0 Gaming culture, News

It’s been a long wait for any news on an official soundtrack release for last year’s Capcom, Disney and WayForward-produced retro revival of DuckTales Remastered, but it’s finally got a release date.

The digital soundtrack, slated for release on the North American Amazon MP3 Store, is comprised of 47 tracks, spanning 90 minutes. It includes all of the remixed music by Jake “virt” Kaufman (Double Dragon Neon, Retro City Rampage) in addition to Hiroshige Tonomura’s original 8-bit tunes.

Those of us who thought that an official release of the game’s soundtrack would never see the light of day thanks to publishing complications with all the companies involved may be pleasantly surprised. Speaking on Twitter, Kaufman described everyone at Disney as “super chill + friendly,” with the length of time between the release of the game and the soundtrack being attributed to a ton of details that needed to be worked out, albeit with “zero drama.”

While there is a listing already available for the soundtrack on Amazon, there’s no price attached to it. Your guess on that one is as good as mine, but hopefully it won’t dry up our money bins.

And I know it’s a bit of shameless self-promotion, but I’m suddenly reminiscing on my cover of the DuckTales theme from back in September. Good times.

Hit up the break for the entire album’s tracklist.

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By Patrick Kulikowski, April 17, 2014 0 PAX East '14, PC, Preview

I don’t normally find myself enticed by a racing game at a convention like PAX East, but Refract Studios’ Distance for PC, Mac and Linux stood out enough with its sci-fi-infused sleekness to grab my attention.

Billed by Refract as a “survival racing game,” Distance’s single player mode doesn’t feature any opposing racers, but rather pits the player up against a track that breaks apart and wants to send you down into the abyss to meet an explosive demise.

After a semi-long intro in which the camera slowly moved around the futuristic and shiny car that I was about to control (car porn enthusiasts will love this part), the car’s interior computer booted up and I started a drive through a lonely city that clearly wanted me and my ride pulverized.

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By Patrick Kulikowski, April 15, 2014 0 Industry, News

Having worked on major game soundtracks like Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII and God Eater 2, Video Game Orchestra has made a name for itself in the industry in recent years.

Less than an hour ago, the group’s Berklee-trained frontman Shota Nakama announced the creation of SoundtRec Boston, a production company that he reportedly hopes will advance creativity in film, games and other mediums moving forward.

According to Nakama, who made the announcement less than an hour ago, the new company will work to provide musical accompaniment for future projects on a contractual basis. He also cited a need to bridge the perceived gap between Eastern and Western composers.

“We can coordinate any instrumentation from a soloist, string quartet to full orchestra, choir, rhythm section or even big band in any style of music with the most highly acclaimed musicians,” Nakama wrote on VGO’s Facebook page. “Upon your request, we can also provide supervisors, composers, arrangers, orchestrators, engineers and lyricists to help accomplish your projects.”

Nakama went on to say that he hopes to facilitate collaborations between as many musical talents as possible and to heighten the presence of recording opportunities in Boston.

Ultimately, SoundtRec Boston would provide a more accessible way for would-be filmmakers and game creators to combine their talents with composers, according to Nakama.

Combining the sensibilities of both Eastern and Western game composers has worked out exceptionally well in the past. Brave Wave, a Tokyo-based production company, has already released several albums featuring the likes of Manami Matsumae (Mega ManMighty No. 9), Keiji Yamagishi (Ninja Gaiden), Grant Henry (Metroid MetalLONELYROLLINGSTARS) and Eirik Surhke (Spelunky).

At the moment, SoundtRec Boston is accepting contact information for prospective clients.

By Patrick Kulikowski, April 8, 2014 0 Gaming culture, News

Videogame metal supergroup Metroid Metal has pulled a surprise twist on the game music scene today with the release of a new album entitled “Other Album.”

The album, whose title is an obvious tongue-in-cheek reference to the Wii’s Metroid: Other M, features 40 minutes of metal covers of tracks from Metroid Fusion, Metroid Prime 2, Metroid Prime, Metroid 2 and Super Metroid. While previous albums, such as 2010′s “Expansion Pack” were recorded and heavily edited, this new entry is full of live takes and unedited drums sans replacements. Because of this approach, the band states that they consider it the “most visceral, pounding and dark album [they've] done.”

As a bonus, the album also contains a cover song from Vince DiCola’s Transformers: The Movie soundtrack, because why the hell not?

The digital album will run you $6 on Bandcamp, with the physical digipak going for $8. You can get a load of their trailer for the new album after the break (protip: turn up your speakers).

So, who will I see rock out with me to this band on Friday at 8:30 p.m. EST at PAX East this weekend?

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By Patrick Kulikowski, April 8, 2014 1 3DS, News, Wii U

Nintendo’s latest Super Smash Bros.-oriented Choksetsu Direct livestream aired at 6 p.m. EST, bringing with it a whole slew of new information regarding the game.

Super Smash Bros. Director Masahiro Sakurai kicked off the stream by announcing that the 3DS version will be releasing before the Wii U edition. The former can be expected this summer, with the Wii U release slated for Winter 2014.

The stream announced a plethora of details about both versions, including the fact that the 3DS version will be running at a solid 60fps even with the 3D turned on. Fighters with alternate forms like Zelda/Sheik and Samus/Zero Suit Samus will now be divided into separate characters.

While Sakurai remained mum on 3DS/Wii U connectivity, he did outline both games’ online multiplayer, which will include fights between friends and random match-making. The stream closed off with the reveal of two new entries in the roster: Charizard, who is now a separate playable character and presumably replacing the Pokemon Trainer and newcomer Greninja.

For all of the minute details from the stream (as well as an image gallery), hit up the list after the break. Super Smash Bros. fanatics may want to strap on an oxygen mask.

And might I add that the lack of ANY mentions of Ness or Lucas in this stream is incredibly disconcerting?

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By Patrick Kulikowski, April 3, 2014 0 News, Wii U

After promising them for more than a year, Nintendo’s finally released its first batch of Game Boy Advance titles today on the Wii U Virtual Console.

So has it been worth the wait? I decided I’d find out by purchasing Advance Wars, one of the three games made available today (the others being Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga and Metroid Fusion). I’ve put up a little YouTube video showing you how GBA games work and look on both a TV and the Wii U GamePad.

Check that out, along with a full list of what GBA games one can expect to get in the month of April after the break.     (more…)

By Patrick Kulikowski, March 31, 2014 0 Gaming culture, News

If you feel the need to take a break from pressing ‘Up’ to raus, you may opt to press ‘Play’ on the Luftrausers Original Soundtrack, which has just been released on Bandcamp.

The Vlambeer-developed PC/Linux/Mac/PS3/PS Vita indie shoot-em-up’s music was composed by Jukio “Kozilek” Kallio and features an interesting blend of snare-driven, militaristic anthems crossed with chip electronica.

While the OST sports nine tracks, the Bandcamp page explains that the in-game soundtrack consists of several layers that change depending on what weapons the player’s airplane is equipped with. Using that logic, the soundtrack would have 125 song variations. To make it more convenient for listening purposes, this album comes with five original songs along with other tunes used within the game.

As a bonus, fans who buy the OST get all of the game’s individual music layers as a sort of “remix” pack that’s perfect for those looking to make their very own Luftrausers mixes. This novel idea reminds me of how Payday 2 composer Simon Viklund gave listeners stems that they could use for remixing his tunes. More game composers need to do this.

The soundtrack can be yours for €6, which is $8.28 using today’s currency exchange rates.

Oh and eff that blimp. That is all.

By Patrick Kulikowski, March 27, 2014 0 News, PC, WTF?

Remember the movie My Girl with Anna Chlumsky, Dan Aykroyd, Jamie Lee Curtis and Macaulay Culkin?

I certainly do. It was the quintessential tearjerker drama film of the early 90s and it left my child self feeling pretty terrified of bees. And now in the Year of Luigi 2014 it apparently has a browser-based sidescrolling platformer made after it.

According to the game’s creator, Mark Lehand, My Girl the Movie – The Video Game has you “play as Thomas J and live the world of My Girl.   You see and do everything he does in this beautiful interactive experience.”

You can play the game yourself right here. Your arrow keys and the ‘I’ key are all that are required. Good luck with those bees.

I’m still trying to come to terms with what the heck I just played. “Put on his glasses! Put on his glasses!” Jeez.

By Patrick Kulikowski, March 25, 2014 10 Features, Staff Musings

(Editor’s Note: Patrick’s views are his own and do not reflect on Pixelitis as a whole, but we expect everyone to be kind and remember Wheaton’s Law. Also, this article contains heavy spoilers for Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes and mentions of disturbing sexual violence.)

Leading up to the last week’s release of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, both Konami and series creator Hideo Kojima stressed that it would ruffle a few feathers with its grittier style of storytelling.

After playing through Ground Zeroes, it dawned on me that he really wasn’t kidding.

During a preview event for MGSV in Tokyo, Kojima said he was “already thinking about sensitive things” during the writing process for MGSV.

“If we don’t cross that line, if we don’t make attempts with what we want to express, if we don’t go beyond that, we won’t be able to achieve what movies or novels have achieved,” Kojima said. “It’s trying to go beyond what the original media was supposed to be. If we don’t go this far, games will never be considered as culture.”

And the nine-minute long E3 2013 trailer for The Phantom Pain gave us a glimpse into the controversial themes that we can expect: child soldiers, torture and ruthless executions.

While the release of MGSV’s prologue has given us an early glimpse into how dark the series can get, it was one moment of jaw-dropping, sexual violence that personally left me with chills as the credits rolled. (more…)

By Patrick Kulikowski, March 24, 2014 0 Gaming culture, News

Now that the entire ten-disc digital version of the Japanese Mega Man soundtrack compilation (entitled ROCKCAN Sound E Can -Rockman 25th Anniversary overseas) is available on Capcom’s online store, the publisher has decided to set their armcannons to blast off with four OSTs from the series.

The Mega Man X, X2, X3 and X4 soundtracks are all available to download for $8.95 apiece and appear to be MP3 rips from the official 12-disc Rockman X Sound Box that released in Japan this past December.

The soundtracks were originally composed by a myriad of cherished composers, ranging from Mega Man X’s Yuko Takehara (Breath of Fire IIMega Man 6), Mega Man X3′s Kinuyo Yamashita (Castlevania) and Mega Man X4′s Toshihiko Horiyama (Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney) among others.

So, I ask you: what’s your favorite song from Mega Man X1 through X4? It’s quite a toughie, but I’d have to go with “Boomer Kuwanger,” “Overdrive Ostrich,“Gravity Beetle” and “Opening Stage X” from each respective game.

Source: Twitter