Tag Archives: Music

Shin Megami Tensei IV Original Soundtrack Soon To Be Released In Japan

BeGPw-6CIAAB-EYShin Megami Tensei IV‘s soundtrack. Damn what a soundtrack that was. From getting hyped by that Boss Theme, to shitting your pants fighting an Archangel, the music of SMT IV was intense and unrelenting. And now you can finally have it! Atlus has announced that the Shin Megami Tensei IV Original Soundtrack is set to release in Japan on February 26, 2014, courtesy of Mastard Records. The music will come in four CDs, complete with kickass cover art (pictured left).

If you haven’t gotten the game yet or missed out on the first print, you’re probably wondering what all the hubbub is about if we got the soundtrack already. What came with the game in both the U.S. and Japan wasn’t the soundtrack to the game, but instead an 8-song tribute CD containing updates of older mainline SMT music using modern instruments, save for Nocturne’s prelude which is simply a remix with SMT IV instrumentation. So anyone trying to look for cleaner SMT IV songs on Youtube had one helluva wait on their hands as the songs uploaded there were mainly gamerips — many of which are already compressed to accommodate for space in the game.

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Things I’ve Learned From Christmas Music

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!

Oh Christmas music.  How it always seems to almost never change, with the exception of the occasional new edition to the genre (which nowadays is like what, maybe one or two every couple of years?).  It seems like the genre is inundated with covers and rehashes of older songs.  I’ve spend a fair amount of time each season for as long as I can remember (I’m a very old man) listening to Christmas music.  From listening to it while riding in the car with my mother, to hearing it at every shopping center beginning in what seems late October, and even hearing it on my morning commute to work,  I’ve listened to A LOT of Christmas songs.  And after a while, I realized I started to analyze the lyrics to different Christmas songs.  So anyways, here’s what I’ve learned from Christmas music!

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Night-Time Listenings Wrap-Up: Week of 8/20/12

Continuing Composers’ Month, we dived into the music of Yoko Shimomura. We fought Ken in Street Fighter II. We talked to townsfolk in Super Mario RPG. We looked toward the Mana Tree in Legend of Mana. We fought some Heartless in Kingdom Hearts. And finally we fought on the plains of Bionis in Xenoblade Chronicles.

If you want to see the music as it goes up (and not wait every Saturday for these wrap-ups), remember to go to our Tumblr page and follow it. Music for Night-Time Listenings goes up every weekday at 10PM

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Night-Time Listenings Wrap-Up: Week of 6/25/12

This Week on Night-Time Listening, we went oldschool, like we always do. But we went handheld oldschool as this week, it was all about the Game Boy. First up we listened to the sounds of Final Fantasy Legend III. Then we went back to kill Dracula with Castlevania Legends. We traded cards with Pokemon Trading Card game. We saved Pauline in Donkey Kong ’94. And finally, we traveled to Goldenrod City in Pokemon G/S/C.

If you want to see the music as it goes up (and not wait every Saturday for these wrap-ups), remember to go to our new Tumblr page and follow it. Music for Night-Time Listenings goes up every weekday at 10PM

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Night-Time Listenings Wrap-Up: Week Of 5/14/12

“Great Scott, he finally did one song per day!” Yep, I managed to stay up ’til ten. I do kinda wish Facebook had a schedule system where I could write up something and schedule it to post on its own at certain time (like we have here). Anyway, this week on Night-Time Listening, we kicked off with a bit of Machinae Supremacy and their song Death From Above from Jets N Guns. Then we listened to a fine remix of Lockjaw’s Saga from Vincent Rubinetti. Afterwards was chiptune artist Fighter X and his song R07. We went a little obscure oldschool with the Main Board Theme from Jaki Crush. And finally, we ended the week with some Chrome Gadget from Sonic 3.

Remember to like our Facebook page to get updates from TWF, and to see the music posted without waiting for these wrap-ups. Again credit goes to the fine people of The Spriters Resource (SkyLights specifically) for the background to Chrome Gadget.

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Night-Time Listenings Wrap-Up: Week of 4/30/12

This week in Night-Time Listenings, we listened to music from Rival Schools, SEGA Saturn classic Burning Rangers, obscure arcade game Ollie King, and Xenoblade Chronicles. Again, there’s only four here to due an event I had to attend. Remember to like our Facebook Page to listen to the music as it’s posted.

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Night-Time Listenings Wrap-Up: Week of 4/23/12

This week marked the returned of Night-Time Listenings. I thought that it wouldn’t be fair for a lot of people without Facebook accounts to miss out on these songs. However, if you don’t want to wait for the weekend to see these wrap-ups, you can still like our Facebook Page and listen to the songs the moment they go up! Since Night-Time Listenings  re-started on a Tuesday, there’s only four entries. And due to Sakura Matsuri, I couldn’t post this yesterday. Anyway, hit the jump and listen to the music.

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Night-Time Listenings Returning To Facebook

Hey, remember that almost daily musical segment I did when I ended The Wired Fish on LiveJournal and moved to WordPress? Of course you don’t, which is why I’m bringing it back. However, there will be a few things changed to the format of those Night-Time listenings. for starters, there will probably be only one song per night. Not saying it’ll only be one song a night, but that the probable amount will be just one a night. Second, I really don’t have the energy to analyze every little thing on a song like I used to do back during those segments. My energy ran out pretty quickly then, so most listenings will be reduced to one or two sentences from me.

And finally, these listenings will be on Facebook. It all started on Facebook as status updates I did on my personal Facebook. Then I moved them over to TWF. And now, I’m bringing the segment back and to the format that started it. You can catch all all of the listenings on the official Facebook Page of The Wired Fish. And do remember to like the page as well to get all the updates on the articles and the music! I would like to warn you that there will be days missed. But We’ll try to do this as often as possible.

Nightly Listenings will be posted as status updates (hopefully) everyday between 10:00PM to 12:00 midnight EST.

Retro Weekends – Mega Man II

And here we are, the last Mega Man game for Mega March (sorta). This weekend, we go back in time to talk about the game that many Mega Man fans herald as the best of the series; the pebble that started the avalanche. Whether it was for its gameplay, its music, or its weapons, Mega Man II has found its way into many top ten lists, music remixes, and tons of fan art. And so, we end off Mega March with the last game I’ve played so far, Mega Man II. Why is it the last so far? Well, hit the jump to find out.

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Retro Weekends – Killer Instinct

Welcome to Fighting February! This month, we’ll be covering four retro fighting games. As they say, what’s love without pain. So sit back, relax, grab a loved one, and promptly break up because you’re being a cheap-ass with the hadoukens. Trust us, it’ll make us feel less lonely :)

The year is 1994. The fighting game craze is in full swing with Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat, King of Fighters, and many others are duking it out for the most quarters and carts at home. While the more niche enthusiasts of fighting games had a plethora to choose from, the mainstream crowd sided with either Street Fighter II or Mortal Kombat. Nintendo, and by extension Rareware, saw this as an opportunity to jump into the fray. With a new console on the horizon and some sick-ass hardware to work with now, Rare was ready to level the playing field and offer a viable third option for players looking for that Killer Instinct.

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Video Game Music w/ the James Episode 9 : Simple NES Music

This article came out a little over a week ago (probably two by the time of publication), and I both loved and hated it so much, I knew I wanted to use it as the inspiration for some of my musical discussion.

The author tells a familiar tale of how video game music just isn’t what it used to be and takes a stab at explaining one reason why : limitation.  The underlying principle, one that I somewhat agree with is that some of the greatest game music came out of composers doing the best that they could do with the sound resources they had available; in the early days of gaming, this amount was very little.

While I agree with the principle, it’s no excuse for the direction game music is taking.  Gregory admits that there are exceptions to the rule especially in the realm of Japanese gaming, but why is that?  The soundtrack for Super Mario Galaxy 2 uses an orchestra as big as many other modern games for instance, and yet its music falls far from the “disposable” category.

I started thinking a lot about the state of game music, what happened to change the nature of such music, and what we can do as composers and/or listeners to keep video game music relevant even today.

And thus I decided to go on a journey exploring different generations of game music.  Who knows, maybe there’s something to learn from all of this.

Part 1 : Simple NES/Gameboy Music

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Xenoblade U.S. Trailer and new Title Design

Not too long after the reveal of Xenoblade coming to the U.S., a new trailer was posted. The trailer reveals that the U.S. release will be based on the PAL version, meaning that there will be British voices a-plenty. One thing that has been changed is the title design, which now has “Chronicles” in smaller font and under a line (ignore the IGN thumbnail). I actually like this new design as it’s less busy than the PAL version and downplays the “Chronicles” part of the title (something that many gamers saw as an unnecessary subtitle). You’ll also notice many of the songs that are in the game that are really stunning. I’ve been listening to some of the music all weekend, and it’s really good! Yoko Shimomura (Kingdom Hearts, Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story) and Yasunori Mitsuda (Chrono series, Soma Bringer) are the composers for this game, so you know this is going to be an amazing soundtrack. Xenoblade is set for release in April 2012.

I Stand On My Soapbox: The DKC3 Soundtracks

I Stand On My Soapbox is a series of editorials that cover more specific topics in the games industry and community. These articles are a little more extreme than normal editorials published here, and could just degenerate to outright ranting. Have fun and enjoy the show!

Ah Donkey Kong Country 3. Many consider this game the Super Mario Bros. 2 of the Donkey Kong Country series, the sort of outcast that not many people remember. I mean, it came off the heels of Donkey Kong Country 2, and was released the same year the N64 came out. Like its following and fan reaction, its soundtrack was met with… okay ratings. While there were some memorable tunes from this entry in the series, it was obvious that some was… missing. Maybe its because Eveline Fischer did most of the composing and not David Wise (no offense to Fischer). Maybe it’s the relatively new setting for the Kongs.Years later, facing audio issues for the GBA, Nintendo saw this and brought back David Wise to redo the entire soundtrack of DKC3 for its GBA release. And then… a fanbase split ensues!

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The Legend of Zelda + Lady Gaga…Ummm…

I’ll try to keep my opinions about Lady Gaga’s music to myself. But I think some of you might find this amusing. I will say though, the use of Zelda footage here is really just a backdrop for what is otherwise a pseudo 8-bit remix of Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance (and just view-whoring to rake gamers in). I say “pseudo” because this is being done on GXSCC. Now this would be real 8-bit if it was being done on something like Famitracker (of even LSDJ). Really not a fan of GXSCC’s sound, but nice try for the creator.

via BuzzFeed

Video Game Music w/ the James : Assorted

Howdy everybody!

This time on Game Music w/ the James, I bring an assortment of tracks that I can’t stop listening to.  Most of these games deserve individual attention that might come over time, but for now they’re in an assortment of tracks that I can’t get out of my head for one reason or another.

What better place to start than… Mega Man 10?

I’ve run a game music presentation arguing with moderate success that Mega Man 10 has a superior soundtrack to 9 and deserves a little more attention than it seems to get.  Not only is there a lot of good music, but it seems to have more variety as well.  Take this track for instance, it has that little bit of heart put into it that gives it luster.

Our old friend, the high square wave with its flute-like timbre naturally gets the soprano treatment and almost feels like a vocal-soloist, especially in the last passage of the loop where it’s just gushing in its high notes and stealing the show.  The accompaniment in lower register is brilliant, and while it never overpowers the soprano or tries to steal the spotlight, it provides a great counter-melody of its own.  The same passage where the soprano is going all out has the accompaniment taking a more rapid, guitar like presence.  The precussion/bass are cool, but what really shines is the interaction between the two top voices.

Typically I dislike remixed video game music.  It loses a lot of the original flavor in the conversion and sometimes the new music sounds dull and lifeless.  Then again, I’ve never really been an orchestral music kinda guy either until understanding it better.  Regardless, this track, formerly in the SNES version of the game is given an amazing orchestration and is also part of one of my unforgettable gaming experiences.

The first time you hear this track on the battlefield is in the middle of a thunderstorm.  When played connected to my TV, the thunderstorm with its loud booming and flashing made the battle more dramatic than it needed to be, but I loved every second of it.

The brass is what really sticks out, setting the flavor of the overall piece as well as dishing out the main melody, with phenomenal support from the strings.  The woodwinds play a bigger role in the parts that bridge the main theme such as in the mysterious flute section, but what really gets me pumped is whenever the brass comes in, main melody and between.

My game of the year last year, Nier was great in story, presentation and especially the music.  I remember the first time I heard this song, I was still measuring whether I loved or hated Nier.  I had no expectations for it and only bought it because Kmart had a really good sale going on for the game.  It was the middle of March and I just caught the flu.  Somewhere in my fluctuating consciousness, I came across the area where this song played and I drifted off in sickness, thinking I was dying or something.  I came back to Earth shortly after, but whenever I hear this it feels like my soul is slowly drifting away and… blah, this ain’t the place to get poetic.

The layered presentation of this piece is amazing.  Beginning with light then heavy percussion, then adding in either a cello or a double bass and an electronic instrument before bringing in the Ooooo’s in the vocals and finally the main vocal melody where the entire ensemble stays in until the end.  The soundtrack version kinda cheats by taking out the percussion for the final iteration of the main verse and giving it a proper ending, but it doesn’t happen like that in game.

Enjoy, and See you next Video Game Music w/ The James!