Jam of the Day: Wild Street (The King of Fighters XIII)
Having just reviewedThe King of Fighters XIII (and thus spent an entire weekend marathoning it), I couldn’t help but notice the game’s music. With games like Street Fighter IV mostly switching to hard hitting electronica (which I admittedly love in its own way), it’s nice to see The King of Fighters focus on very catchy melodies. Like the beautiful 2D art that stands out in this 3D-centric world, this soundtrack feels like it’s from a bygone era, and I mean this in the most positive way.
Of course, instrumentation and production is a bit more modern than its quarter eating predecessors, but the spirit of the arcade shines through brightly.
Jam of the Day: White Devil by Rio Hamamoto (Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Limited Edition Music Soundtrack)
I haven’t really followed the music (or games for that matter) of the Ace Combat series. But after hearing the soundtrack to Ace Combat: Assault Horizon, I think I probably should.
Assault Horizon’s score has a very full sound that’s a hybrid of full orchestral performances, heavy metal, choral sections, and even bits of electronica and world music. This diverse set of elements works fantastic together and really took me by surprise.
No single song can capture all the OST has to offer, but “White Devil” is a great example of the orchestral and metal combination at play.
Composition & Performance: Rio Hamamoto Orchestra Arrangement: Jonathan Sacks Orchestra Performance: Northwest Sinfonia
Jam of the Day: Casino Night Remix by SEGA (Sonic Generations)
I find myself actually looking forward to Sonic Generations. It’s a weird feeling. Colors was decent and the Generations demos seemed promising (minus a gripe or 2) despite my scrutinizing.
But what I’m really looking forward to is the soundtrack. Well, maybe like one third of it anyway. What I’ve heard of the modern remixes of classic songs has been pretty great so far and Casino Night (which is technically DLC of some sort) is no exception. The spirit of the original is perfectly captured while adding plenty of wonderful little tangents. It’s a real pleasure to listen to. Unfortunately, I don’t know who to credit for the arrangement at this time. I’m sure the info will be readily available after the inevitable official OST.
Jam of the Day: Song of the Ancients / Devola ~ Song of the Ancients / Popola by sasakure.UK (NieR Tribute Album -echo-)
I haven’t really had time to keep this blog active lately. Hopefully that will change again.
The NieR Tribute album just released this month and it has some truly great stuff on it. It shouldn’t really come as any surprise since the source material was already incredible. Still, tribute albums from various artists can be a gamble.
I always love when a remix completely changes the tone of a track and turns it into something new. It can be especially fascinating on vocal tracks like this one.
Jam of the Day: A Violent Encounter ~Battle With the Colossus~ by Kow Otani (Wander and the Colossus Original Soundtrack: Roar of the Earth)
Though I didn’t know it at the time, I was first introduced to Kow Otani’s music in Gundam Wing and the 90’s Gamera movies. But it wasn’t until a decade later while hearing his Shadow of the Colossus score that I really took notice.
One of the things I love about the SotC soundtrack is that every Colossus has its own unique theme. I had a really hard time picking just one of them to share because they’re all so enjoyable. It was the bits of chorus sprinkled throughout that really sold me on choosing A Violent Encounter. This game could not have a more fitting soundtrack. I can’t wait to play the upcoming HD version.
Jam of the Day: Untitled Track (Final Fantasy XIII-2)
There’s a lot of uncertainty in today’s post, but after hearing it I just had to share. This track was posted by XIII-2 Synth Programmer Keiji Kawamorion on the Square-Enix Music Blog. While he mentions everybody involved in the performance, I haven’t been able to confirm the composer. Masashi Hamauzu is the game’s main composer, but I didn’t see him referenced in the post. I am told this will be a battle theme for a Bahamut fight, but I haven’t seen that confirmed through official channels either.
If this is an indication of what Final Fantasy XIII-2’s soundtrack will be like, I am on board. I love to see a series branch out to other musical styles when it works. Coincidentally, I was just thinking about that while listening to the Crystal Bearers soundtrack earlier today.
Performance Credits: Guitar: “Mr. Shigekazu” (I’m assuming Shigekazu Kamaki) Bass: Kentaro Nakao Drums: Takashi Kashiwakura Violin: Mr. Hiroshi Manabe Piano: Takuro IGA Engineer: Mr. Seigo Sugai
Jam of the Day: Little Fugue in G Minor remixed by Shoji Meguro (Catherine Sound Disc)
The soundtrack to Catherine can essentially be divided into 2 sections, both of which are handled by Persona series composer Shoji Meguro. The first is an original score that plays in the background to the real world. The second is an assortment of classical remixes that play during the games nightmare stages.
While the original material certainly does its job, I find the latter far more interesting, not just because of the quality of the time-tested compositions, but because of how odd it is to hear them arranged this way and placed in this context.
The arrangements vary in style and are consistently enjoyable, but Meguro’s take on J. S. Bach’s Little Fugue in G minor hits me in all the right places. Perhaps it’s the infectiously heavy beat or the source’s use in another game I love. Either way, it’s my favorite track featured in the game thus far.
Jam of the Day: Karma by Akitaka Tohyama (Tekken 6 Soundtrack)
I love fighters, but I’m really not much of a Tekken guy. In fact, most of the fighters I enjoy are 2D. Still, I can’t deny Tekken 6’s awesome music. The official OST is pretty large for the genre, spanning 3 discs by tons of different artists. A lot of it is really high energy electronica which is something I’m quite partial to. Akitaka Tohyama in particular is responsible for some of my favorites including Karma (featured above) and Hacked. It’s definitely an OST worth checking out.
Jam of the Day: The Warg by Oscar Araujo (Castlevania ~Lords of Shadow~ Soundtrack)
My reaction when I first heard that Michiru Yamane wouldn’t provide the soundtrack to Castlevania: Lords of Shadow was less than favorable. Afterall, since 3D Castlevania games don’t have a good track record, I looked forward to the soundtracks more than the games themselves.
Oscar Araujo’s score is definitely different. The entire OST is easily mistakable for a movie soundtrack. And it’s not just the overall style of the music that gives me that impression. Mostly, it’s how prominent a central “main theme” seems to be throughout a large number of tracks. I’m instantly reminded of the repeated use of a central “Batman” theme in Danny Elfman’s score of the Tim Burton movie.
Calling it similar to a movie soundtrack isn’t exactly a negative thing to say. I think the music is quite enjoyable, though I have yet to hear it in the context of the game to determine how “fitting” it is. But there’s no getting around the fact that it is very different from anything Micheru Yamane would have done.
Would I have liked a score by her better? Probably. But sometimes it’s nice to shake things up.
Jam of the Day: Magoichi Saika’s Theme by Kow Otani, Masahiro Aoki, Chamy Ishi, Rei Kondoh, Yasutaka Hatade, and/or Sara Sakurai (Sengoku BASARA 3 Original Soundtracks)
This is one of those instances where a lot of people are credited for a soundtrack, but I can’t actually find who is responsible for each specific song.
I just started playing Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes, a game based on Japanese history, but with magic and robots. Much like the how the game’s concept meshes real history and absurd fantasy, the soundtrack blends traditional Japanese instrumentation with more modern styles of music.
Throughout the soundtrack, you’ll find classic Japanese styles mixed with rock, electronica, jazz, and in this case, flamenco. It creates some interesting hybrids that are worth checking out.