Category:  Gaming culture

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 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, 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 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

By Patrick Kulikowski, March 20, 2014 0 Gaming culture, News

What do Sugar Ray and Mega Man have in common? Just a little bit, apparently.

A recent YouTube video by Christopher Niosi entitled “Did You Know Voice Acting?” gives an overview of all the various voice actors involved throughout Mega Man’s history. The video covers everything from the original Mega Man anime subtitled Wish Upon a Star to the 90s Ruby-Spears Mega Man cartoon and even the infamous voice acting of Mega Man 8 and X4 for PlayStation/Saturn.

The video explains how the Mega Man cartoon we got here in the US featured cameos from band members Mark McGrath, Craig Bullock and Charles Stan Frazier of Sugar Ray, who voiced Spark Man, Gemini Man and Gyro Man respectively. This also explains why their music was featured in a Mega Man-titled music CD released during the cartoon’s heyday.

As for the infamous voices from Mega Man 8 and X4? They were recorded by English-speaking voice actors in Japan, whereas most other Mega Man VOs were recorded in Canada.

Get the nitty gritty after the break, but you must first wecovah all the enewgy immediately w-Mega Man!

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

Smooth McGroove continues to bop and be-dop his way into our hearts with his videogame music a cappellas, this time tackling Koji Kondo’s “Overworld” music from the black sheep sequel of the Super Mario Bros. series.

Super Mario Bros. 2′s (or Super Mario USA, or Doki Doki Panic, whatever!) “Overworld” theme is the kind of chipper tune one belts out when just going on about his or her day. It’s been covered about a billion times by everyone from The Minibosses, brentalfloss and This Place is Haunted, but doggone it doesn’t it just make you dance in your chair and snap your fingers to the beat?

Grab a turnip, POW block or rocket ship and tune into the YouTube video after the break.   (more…)

By Maxwell Coviello, March 10, 2014 0 Gaming culture, News

Just when you thought Twitch had reached the pinnacle of crazy with Twitch Plays Pokemon, the video streaming website and Capcom have tag-teamed together to bring us Capcom Pro Tour, “the first ever Street Fighter focused fighting game league.”

Huge fighting game tournaments such as EVO are well-known throughout the gaming community, but CPT promises to unify all events into one succinct circuit.
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By Patrick Kulikowski, March 6, 2014 0 Gaming culture, News

Sound your favorite victory jingle, another collaborative effort among videogame composers and musicians has been successfully funded on Kickstarter.

Entitled “Just Fun,” the album is headed up by none other than Deus Ex lead composer Alexander Brandon, and features original work by over a dozen collaborators, including Jake “Virt” Kaufman (Double Dragon Neon, Retro City Rampage), Danny Baranowsky (Super Meat Boy), Erik Peabody (Viking Guitar) and Grant “Stemage” Henry (Metroid Metal, LONELYROLLINGSTARS).

Brandon, who has also worked on the music for games like Unreal Tournament, Jazz Jackrabbit 2 and most recently Dust: An Elysian Tail, sees “Just Fun” as an opportunity to create a 45-minute album spanning several genres, including pop, rock, jazz and 8-bit chiptune.

The album has actually been finished for some time, but Brandon desired to amass funds in order to do a “proper” release of the album that can give it a more widespread reach across his fellow collaborators’ audience.

While the Kickstarter campaign only initially asked for $6,000, that number more than quadrupled by its end to $25,054. The campaign has achieved several stretch goals, including a bonus second album, a “Making Of” documentary and a professional remastering of the entire project.

I must say that this increase in collaborative albums by some of my favorite game composers (see: In Flux) is a joy to see. What other composers do you hope to see in future projects such as these? I’d personally like to see Yuko Takehara (Breath of Fire IIMega Man VII) come out of the woodwork again to compose more videogame music.

By Patrick Kulikowski, March 4, 2014 0 Gaming culture, News

What happens when the work of Western game composers gets meshed together with those from the East? In Flux happens.

Brave Wave Productions (formerly known as Koopa Soundworks), which previously brought game music fans two compilations of remix albums in the form of World 1-2 and World 1-2: Encore last year (my review here), have just released a new album entitled In Flux.

Described as “an East-meets-West music album that merges the two oceans together in an unprecedented way,” the album features returning Japanese composers like Manami Matsumae (Mega Man, Mighty No. 9), Akira Yamaoka (Silent Hill) and Keiji Yamagishi (Ninja Gaiden, Captain Tsubasa), who join forces with Western-based musicians such as Eirik Suhrke (Spelunky, Ridiculous Fishing) and Grant “Stemage” Henry (Metroid Metal) to provide several original tracks spanning various genres.

The digital album is on Brave Wave’s Bandcamp page for $10, while a physical CD release will run you $15 plus shipping.

Read on as I review the album track-by-track and get immersed in its diverse sound waves.

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By Allain Richard, March 2, 2014 0 Gaming culture, News, PC

You’d be hardpressed not to find someone who has seen at least one Studio Ghibli movie, the Japanese studio behind many groundbreaking beautiful animated features including Princess Mononoke, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind and of course, Spirited Away.

Thanks to one special developer, we can take the next step and relive the Boiler Room scene from Spirited Away in virtual reality with the Oculus Rift.

Developer Nick Pittom has been hard at work recreating the heavy details the Boiler Room, from the skyhigh drawers of miscellaneous chemicals to the large machine feeding the fires in the boiler. Strap on your Oculus Rift and step into the shoes of Sen as you walk around and watch the soot sprites feed coal to the furnace while Kamaji keeps the bathhouse up and running.

Pittom, who has plenty of 3D modeling and animation experience,  translated director Hayao Miyazaki’s 2D world into an amazing 3D experience. Everything you see is topped with a painted texture that keeps it as close as possible to its original rendition.

Released in 2001, Spirited Away became one of Japan’s top grossing films of all time. Studio Ghibli films continue to enjoy Disney level popularity in Japan and across the states thanks to the publishing power of Disney.

If you have an Oculus Rift, you can download the demo here to try it yourself. If you don’t, make the jump to see it in action.

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