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Awesomenauts

Awesomenauts' PS4 release chance this year 'slim to none'


Still waiting on approval from Sony
Dec 09
// Chris Carter
Ronimo Games has confirmed to Destructoid that the chances of the PlayStation 4 release of Awesomenauts are "slim to none" in 2013. According to the developer, the studio handling the PS4 port, Abstraction Games, has sub...

The PS3 is porn console king, 360 is indeed for Teens

Dec 05 // Steven Hansen
Top 10 categories by Console vs. regular Traffic Rank Xbox PS3 PS4 Nintendo Wii Regular Traffic 1 Teen MILF MILF Hentai Teen 2 Lesbian Ebony Teen Lesbian MILF 3 Ebony Lesbian Ebony Teen HD 4 MILF Teen Lesbian Ebony Lesbian 5 Squirt Squirt Big Tits MILF Mature 6 Hentai Big Tits Ass Squirt Squirt 7 HD Ass Mature Big Tits Amateur 8 Big Tits Mature Squirt HD Anal 9 Ass Anal Hentai Big Dick Big Tits 10 Mature Hentai Anal Anal Big Dick Wii users really like their hentai (also, cocks; see: #9), Xbox users are wading in the creepy "teen" category, while PlayStation users are apparently into older women.
Console porn breakdown photo
Teen, MILF, MILF, Hentai: What does your console of choice say about your sexual fetish?
Shortly after the PS4's launch, Pornhub announced that it was the first porn site to fully support the PS4. Destructoid reached out to Pornhub following the announcement and got a load of interesting facts and breakdowns of c...

Hawken photo
Exclusive on Destructoid
Adhesive Games has given Destructoid the first exclusive look at the latest map coming to Hawken. Called Wreckage, the new map is based around a crash-landed derelict cargo ship. Wreckage ties into the backstory of the series...

Big Steel Wheels photo
Big Steel Wheels

Download a free track from C-jeff's Big Steel Wheels


C-jeff's 'A Thousand Bridges' coming through your CB radio
Nov 14
// Darren Nakamura
Ubiktune has impressed us in the past with its chiptune bundles and its various other published albums. As it turns out, the founder of Ubiktune Dmitry "C-jeff" Zhemkov is not just the Ubiktune founder; he's also a membe...

Super Mario 3D World composers talk cats, dogs, and more

Nov 06 // Jayson Napolitano
On the game's cat theme and how that influenced the scoreMahito Yokota: I worked on a lot of pieces with fun, energetic themes to them, fitting for a "cat" running all over each stage. A lot of the tracks were performed live for this game as well, and there are a few electric-guitar and trombone sequences meant to imitate a cat's meowing.On their specific roles on Super Mario 3D WorldMahito Yokota: I was the sound director and main composer. Outside of Koji Kondo, the other composers were Toru Minegishi and Yasuaki Iwata.Koji Kondo: I worked on two tracks for the athletic and seaside courses.On whether we'll be hearing arrangements from Super Mario WorldMahito Yokota: Sadly, there isn't any remixed music from Super Mario World. However, this is a game where you take control of four characters, each with different abilities. Does that remind you of Mario 2 at all? You might just find some musical rearrangements from that game here.On the differences between Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario 3D WorldMahito Yokota: With this game, too, there are naturally a lot of tracks performed live. The game chiefly takes place on terra firma, so there isn't the majestic or floaty feel of the Mario Galaxy series; instead, the music has a more rhythmic atmosphere, something you'll want to dance to. Like you at Destructoid have noticed, we're arranging the music with a big-band feel, taking advantage of a full horn section with trumpets and saxophones, as we try to differentiate the music feel here from the Mario Galaxy series.Dogs get a lot of attention in Japan (Nintendogs!), but this game is all about cats. After working on this game, which do you prefer?Mahito Yokota: I like dogs! I had to run Cat Mario around a lot during development, but I don't think that changed my opinion at all!Koji Kondo: Sadly, I like dogs more too, although I do like cats.A message to Mario music fans as they play through Super Mario 3D WorldMahito Yokota: We've changed our musical aims here from the Mario Galaxy series, but I'd like to know what you think about this kind of Mario sound. It's the first multiplayer 3D Mario game, so hopefully you'll be enjoying this music while having a blast with your friends.Koji Kondo: There are a lot of fun tracks here, a good match for all the variety in the stages and all the new ways to play. It's a new soundtrack for the Mario series, a lavish one with some live performances, and I hope you can enjoy it with family and friends as you play on a big screen.
Super Mario 3D World photo
Interview covering influences for the game, references to past soundtracks, and cats vs. dogs
We mentioned a few days back that we had an interview with Nintendo composers Mahito Yokota and Koji Kondo regarding their work on Super Mario 3D World in the works. Well, here it is! The two take the time to share with us how cats influenced the game, their thoughts on the great cats vs. dogs debate, and some surprises that we'll hear when it comes to the game's soundtrack.

Talking about F2P & Phantom Army with Zombie Studios head

Oct 25 // Steven Hansen
"You lost me at free-to-play," some say. I frequently find the same voices that bemoan the free-to-play pricing system also damn cyclical sequels in the same breath. Why? There's nothing inherently wrong with the free-to-play model, but a lot of shoddy implementations have conditioned people to cast aspersions on the phrase. Of course, those are outnumbered by, say, Riot's legion of League of Legends fans, for example. "You're supposed to put out new stuff," Gerritzen said, talking about the freedoms of the free-to-play model. You're not supposed to put it out there and let it sit. You don't have to put out a new game every year, just make sure the game is constantly evolving." It's the same kind of development cycle people wish certain genres, like sports, would head to. I asked, why a new shooter rather than a new Blacklight. One answer was that Blacklight: Retribution isn't done; Phantom Army comes from a separate team in the studio. "We still believe Blacklight has many, many more years and we have plenty more ideas.We wanted to make another franchise we believed in the way we believe in Blacklight." And this is true. Retribution is coming to PlayStation 4, still totally free-to-play, for example. The other answer was that this game occupies a different space. No mechs and rail guns. Phantom Army is more grounded, with familiar weapons like AK-47s. It's also in third-person, with an action-figure-inspired visual and a focus on positioning and movement. "It's very fast," Gerritzen explains. A clamber system allows you to see your character leaping over barricades and ducking into holes while sprinting around the map in ways that bring Brink to mind. The game is about getting to position, finding cover, and strategically moving yourself based on positioning and the varied ranges of the weapon you choose. Couple with changing maps, it could make for a dynamic system. "'Fast to action' is what we want to try to do, but because of the cover system it allows you to get to the action, then chess/checker your way around." Before a bout, one team chooses one L-shaped map portion, the other team chooses theirs. A random square in the middle completes the map, which comes together "almost seamlessly." Gerritzen explains that once players in competitive shooters learn a map, "they just run their routes." He's hoping that the ever-changing map system will keep players from getting bored because, "you run across a border and you change your play style." The focus is pared back on nailing the meat and potatoes of running and shooting, though players can nab specific abilities and power weapons will be available on the maps that can turn the tide of battle. Gerritzen is unveiling the game at the Brasil Game Show, which is happening this weekend. "It's really interesting how Brazil has really exploded for the PC market -- well, for the gaming market," Gerritzen said. "We joined with SmileGate, who has honestly made one of the biggest first-person free-to-play games in the world, in order to make a game that is for the world market, not just western territories "I don't think a lot of people really think about it...it took me literally going to all these different places to understand that. Brazilian players are just as hardcore [as Americans], same with Australia and Shanghai and Singapore and Korea. It’s kind of that western mentality of 'the US is the biggest, the US is the best.' There’s a lot of other territories growing and thriving so well that it's stupid to not pay attention to them." It's true. I spotted (and groaned at) banners for Crytek's Warface over two years ago. It's finally launched in the West, but boasts millions of players in Russia, China, and elsewhere. Just look at World of Tanks' success. "Doing free-to-play is not easy -- figuring out a monetization plan that works, that isn't just pay to win," Gerritzen explains. "'Let's charge the fans for this premium gun' - I hate that mentality." Gerritzen says that some of the less fair, pay-to-win, and arguably broken systems of free-to-play have come into contention as the price model has become popularized in North America. Gerritzen says some of the more unfair and unsavory practices have started to come into question elsewhere, as well, as players echo American complaints. We'll see if Phantom Army becomes a competitive shooter juggernaut that stands side by side with CrossFire. Coupling the company behind CrossFire with Zombie, which has done very well with free-to-play and Blacklight, the change of pace third-person shooter should prove interesting.
Phantom Army interview photo
Blacklight: Retribution dev teams up with makers of the biggest F2P FPS for a new, third-person shooter
Last night, we brought you the first look at Phantom Army, the upcoming (2014) free-to-play third-person shooter from Zombie Studios (Blacklight: Retribution, Daylight) and SmileGate, makers of the massively popular CrossFire...

Zombie Studios photo
Zombie Studios

Exclusive! Zombie Studios announces Phantom Army


New free-to-play cover-based third-person shooter
Oct 24
// Rodimus Prime
Update: We have an interview! Like '80s comic books?  You're gonna dig this -- Destructoid just received an exclusive look at Zombie Studios' next game: Phantom Army, a free-to-play third-person cover-based shooter with ...

Critical Hit all-star game cover band led by WoW composer

Oct 23 // Dale North
Above, you'll find their very first music video featuring Angry Birds main theme. And below, you'll find the full track for your listening pleasure. I think you'll agree that it's a very nice first outing for the group.  [embed]264053:51029:0[/embed] Their debut album, Critical Hit: Volume One, will ship on October 31. It features 12 arrangements from popular games such as World of Warcraft, Super Mario World, The Legend of Zelda, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Halo, Final Fantasy, Call of Duty, and Metal Gear Solid,to name a few. This album is available for pre-order now on their official website, where you'll also find information on upcoming performance dates.. The full track listing for Critical Hit: Volume One is as follows: 01. Tetris: "Main Theme" 02. Angry Birds: "Main Theme" 03. World of Warcraft: "Legends of Azeroth" 04. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: "Zelda's Lullaby" 05. Halo 2: "Main Theme" 06. Pokémon: "Main Theme" 07. Super Mario World: "Bowser's Castle" 08. Final Fantasy X: "To Zanarkand" 09. Kingdom Hearts: "Hikari"10. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3: "Battle for New York" 11. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: "Streets of Whiterun" 12. Metal Gear Solid 2: "Main Theme" 
Critical Hit band debuts photo
Exclusive: Critical Hit's debut song, from Angry Birds
World of Warcraft composer Jason Hayes and VGMarket founder Michael Gluck (remember Piano Squall?) head up new band Critical Hit. This all-star band performs and records their own arrangements of videogame music themes. All-...

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You can date Lolo from Klonoa in Namco High


Destructoid Exclusive
Sep 21
// Dale North
Shifty Look's upcoming browser-based dating sim Namco High will welcome recurring Klonoa character Lolo to the cast. She has broke out to make guest appearances before (PS2 game Namco x Capcom), but now she's going to school ...
Chrono Trigger Symphony photo
Chrono Trigger Symphony

Sneak peek at Chrono Trigger Symphony fan album


First volume of three-part set releases tomorrow
Aug 21
// Tony Ponce
On August 22, 1995, Chrono Trigger released in the US and changed the RPG paradigm forever. Exactly 18 years later, Blake Robinson is paying tribute with Chrono Trigger Symphony: Volume 1, the first in a three-part set celebr...

Enjoy these Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft music samples

Aug 20 // Jayson Napolitano
[embed]259767:49948:0[/embed] Eric Dodds (Blizzard Entertainment)Role: Lead DesignerPast Works: A 16-year veteran at Blizzard Entertainment, he's touched nearly everything On the team's approach to the game's soundtrack "We wanted to make sure the music in Hearthstone perfectly complemented what we were trying to do with the game. I think everyone working on the direction for the music was on the same page in that we needed music that was familiar, and at the same time had its own unique feel and signature. Ultimately, we wanted the music to convey three important things -- Warcraft, whimsy, and warmth -- to reflect the lighthearted nature of the game, and to make players feel as though they were sitting in their favorite tavern from Warcraft. I would love to say that I brought something special to the mix, but I think that right from the start everyone was on the same page about what the game needed." On bringing in composer Peter McConnell to score the music "Working with Peter has been fantastic! When we first started working with him, we gave him the assignment to create music that combined Warcraft themes with something whimsical and mysterious.. He delivered a sample track that captured that, and we were very excited to move forward in that direction. Then the magic happened, and when we started working on the final music, Peter took it in an entirely different direction from the initial tracks. In the end, we felt that this new style -- which is what you hear in the game now -- really nailed the combination of themes we were looking for. We think Peter really knocked it out of the park. The team has listened to a lot of different variations of what could have been our music, and we are really happy with what Peter came up with." On why fans should care about this soundtrack and about a soundtrack release "For us, the focus has been on making great, fast-paced, energetic music that complements a game intended to be played in shorter bursts. Releasing that music in the form of a soundtrack is really just a cool bonus for the community. In the end, if you’ve been playing the game for a while, and you’ve been enjoying the music the whole time, then I would chalk that up as a win. I think Peter has delivered music that’s well-suited to that." Jason Hayes (Blizzard Entertainment)Role: Trailer music, in-game singersPast Works: StarCraft franchise, Warcraft III, World of Warcraft On "Hearthstone Revealed" [embed]259767:49949:0[/embed]"The moment I saw the trailer, with the inclusion of all these classic heroes, I knew the team was going for something that would evoke a sense of myth, magic, and limitless adventure -- the promise of a Warcraft experience. At least, that's the way the beginning had to feel. But at the end of the trailer we wanted to pull the rug out from under the viewer, and reveal that all the buildup is just about having fun playing a collectible card game. We wanted it to have a decidedly more lighthearted tone than some of our other epic gaming experiences. "It was a challenge trying to figure out the logistics of how the surprise twist with this music would take place. We knew that the shot in the tavern would be the pivotal moment, when the dwarf says, 'But of course, you could forget all that and just have FUN!' The question was how to express musically that this was a stark departure from the expected. We decided that the logical choice was to switch to a type of 'tavern music,' but we also didn't want to lose momentum as we headed to the final scene. So I kept the tempo going at the same speed, and left in part of the orchestra in the form of some rhythmic strings and brass to carry the viewer through this moment with energy. To achieve a huge contrast, I added in the sound of an accordion, a hard drum, and the very piercing signature sound of a penny whistle. When you hear a jaunty melody played on that instrument, it immediately connotes a fun traditional Scottish feeling and sounds right at home in a tavern. "I had a lot of fun mixing in a couple of Warcraft thematic elements into the music, albeit in a somewhat hidden way that might not be obvious. First of all, I used the climactic motif from the piece 'A Call To Arms' during the tavern scene. And on the last shot when the cards fly in the box, the lead french horn melody from that same theme plays right before the logo appears. Even if it's not consciously detected by everyone, I think that touches like this add a nice continuity that puts this trailer in the Warcraft universe."In addition to the trailer, I worked on numerous musical stingers for Hearthstone along with Glenn Stafford. These are short pieces of music that last about five seconds each, and happen when you play 'Legendary' cards in the game. Peter McConnell did a great job setting a nice bouncy mood for the music in the game, as if you are hanging out in a tavern with some friends enjoying a casual card battle. But because we still wanted a sense of importance when you cast big spells or summon powerful minions, these special card stingers infuse the gameplay with moments that feel satisfying and add a little extra epic punch." Peter McConnellRole: ComposerPast Works: Sly Cooper series, Brutal Legend, Psychonauts, Grim Fandango On "Bad Reputation" [embed]259767:49950:0[/embed] "When I first started to work on Hearthstone, there were lots of discussions with the team about music style and direction. We eventually honed in on the idea of a small ensemble, capturing the feel of a bar band that might actually be playing in the tavern where the game is taking place. At the same time, we didn't want to be too literal about this, because the music also needed an ambient quality to support the mood of the gameplay without overpowering it. "With all this in mind I had to answer the question: What sort of sound and instrumentation is really going to get across what it feels like to play Hearthstone? Beyond the fact that I knew there would be some pub-friendly instruments like guitar and fiddle, I thought a lot about the attitude I wanted to project -- tough guys and bar-room brawls with a round of cards in the tavern twist. This led me to come up with the unlikely pairing of celtic and early instruments, and blues rock. Like what if ZZ Top or Golden Earring had been transported back in time to the Middle Ages? What would they play? The music would have a swagger, and an attitude, and a certain groove -- a bluesy-ness without being overtly the blues. "So I started riffing around with a triplet guitar groove, and 'Bad Reputation' was what I came up with. The piece has a Celtic flavor, especially in the instrumentation with the guitar, fiddle, and harp, but the Celtic triplet rhythm is transformed into more of a steady blues groove. The wind instruments, especially contrabassoon, give an ancient flavor, and the piece also has a lot of space, so that you have time to feel the mood without being overloaded by melody as you play the game. When bits of original Warcraft themes do appear, they are meant to work like little cheers, as if they are from the player's faction, or taunts from the faction the player is facing. 'Bad Reputation' really set the precedent for the whole score, including the game's title music. "This score has been a wonderful opportunity for me to play instruments I love -- guitar and violin -- and in a spirit of fun, to pay homage to music that I greatly admire. To me, it feels like a jam in my living room that ties into a larger world we all love."
Hearthstone music photo
Exclusive tunes along with commentary from the sound team
It's been a while since we've talked about the Warcraft card game spin-off, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. Blizzard Entertainment is currently taking beta sign-ups, so I thought it would be a good time to find out what's go...

New Wii U bundle photo
Blue and red 3DS XL bundles with Pokemon X & Y also coming
Destructoid has learned of Nintendo's upcoming plans to release a new Wii U bundle and new 3DS XL bundles. The information was revealed to us by a source at Target, a major North American retailer, where they were able to sho...

A la cartridge: Dragon's Crown pork monster

Aug 16 // Steven Hansen
Dragon's Crown pork monster Ingredients: Salt, pepper Pork shoulder (on the bone) 1 white onion 1 carrot 1 celery stalk 1 small can of tomato paste 1 cup of red wine Minced garlic 2 cups of beef stock Instructions: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Rub your meat with salt and pepper, coating evenly. Heat up a pan. Sear the meat for about one minute on each side. Remove the meat from the pan. Pour wine in the pan, scraping up burnt on bits of flavor. Let the wine boil for a bit. Add carrot, celery, onion, all chopped to equal proportions. Cook the vegetables for about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic, tomato paste. Mix. Add beef stock. Transfer the liquid and vegetables into a large, oven safe receptacle. Submerge the pork as deeply as possible. Let it cook in the oven for 2 hours. Side option: Rosemary potatoes Ingredients: Potatoes Olive oil Minced garlic Minced rosemary  Salt, pepper Instructions: Cut the potatoes into equal-sized pieces. Quartering works for small potatoes. Toss in a mixture of olive oil, minced rosemary, minced garlic, salt, pepper. Place on a pan and put in the oven for 1 hour, or until potatoes are a desirable softness on the inside. To brown the outside, you can set the oven to broil and cook a bit longer, but be mindful they don't burn.
 la cartridge photo
Come see my Dragon's Crowning achievement: A dumb cooking show
Food is good. Videogames are good. Food inspired by videogames are doubleplusgood. It's simple science. Science and art. I would like to humbly present the first episode of Steven Hansen's À la cartridge, a straightfo...

Secret of Mana photo
Secret of Mana

Celebrate 20 years of Secret of Mana with fan remix album


Your ears are ready to be invaded
Aug 14
// Jayson Napolitano
It's really been 20 years since Secret of Mana was released. I still listen to the game's amazing soundtrack composed by Hiroki Kikuta on a weekly basis, so it's great news that a group of musical masterminds have combin...

Debut trailer for the social sandbox game, Windborne

Aug 13 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
Story wise, Michael tells us that there's "an evolving single-player mystery that players can choose to investigate at their own pace, and you can continue to invest time in your island or guide it towards a self-sustaining state in order to focus more on exploration, interaction, and collaboration with other players." That said, you can "just completely ignore the quest lines and just build, and at any point you can take your single-player world online." As for the crafting system, Michael wasn't ready to talk specifics on that but did tell us that gathering resources will play a big part of the system. You'll need blueprints to build things of which you can find on quests or through researching them. Those Jin characters we mentioned before will be able to help you build masterwork items too. Hidden Path will continually update the game through Steam with more content, which will be free. Additionally, Michael told me that they "plan on leveraging Steam Workshop, Steam Trading, and Steam Community Marketplace so players can create new blocks and blueprints and sell them to each other, and possibly even new biomes or player-created dungeon types." Lastly, I asked Michael about the dragons you can get. While you can have many dragons, there will be one that's special to you. "We want the relationship with your dragon to be really special but not limit you to how many you can train and hatch, so one dragon will be your constant companion (where it enables special moves), and the others will do things that are interesting to them on your island.  They are not just different skins, but have favorite foods and locations they enjoy, so observing your dragons is part of the fun." We'll have more details on Windborne when we go hands-on with it later this month at PAX Prime.
Windborne photo
Explore the story, or just go create things with other players
Last week, Destructoid brought you the first real details on Windborne, the next game from Hidden Path Entertainment heading to Steam on the PC. Now we can exclusively debut the first gameplay trailer showing off the game's ...

Build, create, and share your own world in Windborne

Aug 06 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
Part of your story will involve guiding creatures called Jin, where you will have to teach them, defend them, build them homes, and in turn they will help you in many different ways. Plus, there are dragons that you can breed that will unlock special abilities for you such as flying. There's a big emphasis on community, and players will be able to see other player islands floating by. You'll be able to visit them to trade with their owners, join up with friends to help build stuff, and even attack other islands. Don't worry though, you're only attacking a copy of the island, so players won't actually lose anything here. You're merely earning points and putting a player's island to the test. Windborne is planned for Steam on PC at the moment, and will be available on Steam Early Access. There will be achievements, leaderboards, cloud saves, Steam trading cards are in the works, and best of all, there will be no DRM. Hidden Path is also looking into mod support, but we should expect that after launch. For now we have some exclusive artwork to share, and we'll be bringing you a more detailed looked at Windborne soon. Plus, those of you attending PAX Prime later this month will be able to go hands-on at booth #3330.
Windborne photo
The next big game from Hidden Path Entertainment
Hidden Path Entertainment, makers of Defense Grid: The Awakening, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Age of Empires II HD, have exclusively revealed to Destructoid their next project, Windborne. The new title is a social s...

EarthBound photo
EarthBound

Nintendo comments on EarthBound's pricing


Pricing is done on a case-by-case basis
Jul 22
// Jonathan Holmes
[Art by Zac Gorman] The cult classic SNES game EarthBound was released on the Wii U Virtual Console last week for $10. That's $2 more than most SNES Virtual Consoles games cost. A couple days later, we posted a feature on wha...
Castlevania photo
Next Castlevania will have to come from new team
Speaking with producer Dave Cox at San Diego Comic Con about Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, we found ourselves surprised by the candid response we received when we asked about the future of the franchise: "I’ve always ...

Archie Mega Man photo
Archie Mega Man

The world has been shut down in Mega Man #31


Peek at the cover art for Mega Man's latest "super adventure"
Jul 09
// Tony Ponce
I've been so busy diving into Sonic and Mega Man's "Worlds Collide" comic mini-series that I've neglected to talk about Mega's post-crossover story arc. How do you raise the stakes after a dimension-bending war against both D...
Teenage Pokemon photo
It survived on instnict
[Update: Slight delay! The new season is now set to start on June 23rd, with an episode about depression and E3. That's this Sunday! Max Scoville as Spiky-eared Pikachu! Anthony Carboni as his trainer! Eric Stuart as Brock! ...

Etrian Odyssey photo
Etrian Odyssey

Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millenium Girl coming our way


You heard it here first
Jun 11
// Dale North
Destructoid has confirmed the rumor that Atlus will be localizing 3DS Etrian Odyssey remake Shin Sekaiju no Meikyu: Millenium no Shoujo for North America. They are, and it's coming our way this fall, renamed Etrian Odyss...
Mirror's Edge 2 photo
Characters and setting details
We won't say where these character details come from. But we're pretty sure they're from an upcoming EA game, Mirror's Edge 2. And if they're not, they're from a big franchise game from the same publisher.  The details w...

Psychonauts photo
Psychonauts

Feel doubly fine with Adam WarRock's Psychonauts single


Download "Basic Braining" for free exclusively on Destructoid
Jun 07
// Tony Ponce
Asian sensation Adam WarRock is a pretty chill dude. Our own Tara Long of course loves him to pieces, but it was I who managed to score a brotastic fist bump at last year's Nerdapalooza in Orlando. He's so skilled, he can tu...
Castlevania hip hopera photo
Castlevania hip hopera

Preview Mega Ran's Symphony of the Night hip hopera


Castlevania: The Nocturnal Cantata on sale June 4
Jun 03
// Tony Ponce
I gotta give it up for my man Mega Ran, without a doubt one of my favorite nerd music acts around. He's got quite the spread, from Mega Man to Final Fantasy VII and even to River City Ransom. And next on the block is the tur...
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Cart Life dev reveals new game, is humble and lovable


Get to know the people that make great videogames
May 18
// Jonathan Holmes
I'd like to pay Richard Hofmeier to talk to me about videogames. During last week's Sup Holmes (now on iTunes), he told me about so many great things, like the free online "game" Geoguessr, surrealist interactive text auteur...
Banjo-Kazooie Symphony photo
Banjo-Kazooie Symphony

Preview the upcoming Banjo-Kazooie Symphony


Blake Robinson's new orchestral tribute releases on May 31
May 16
// Tony Ponce
Abridged soundtracks to Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie were recently released online for free, and Banjo composer Grant Kirkhope has been popping his head seemingly everywhere. Is it just me, or is the classic Rare platforming...
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Confirmed: Game sequel in development right now


Devolver Digital CFO spills the beans
May 14
// Jim Sterling
Today, Devolver Digital has confirmed that a sequel to a game you like is in development as we speak. This exciting news, delivered by CFO Fork Park via Twitter, could be taken as absolute confirmation that Shadow Hearts IV i...

Remember Me exclusive music samples, composer commentary

May 07 // Jayson Napolitano
[embed]252904:48471:0[/embed]On his overall approach to Remember Me"The main goal was to digitalize a live orchestra to manipulate and transform it to reflect the game universe and the confusion of Nilin, the main character. There is no synth in these tracks except for the lead sound. This music had to feel alive, a struggle to get the memory back that Nilin has lost." On "Nilin The Hunter"[embed]252904:48472:0[/embed]"This is the main theme, during its first half it represents Nilin, a strong female character whose memory has been wiped out. The main melody is performed by a morphed sound between a synth and a voice. Throughout the whole cue you can hear "Remember Me" several times in the far back (listen carefully: five times). The second half is more about Neo Paris and the echoing sounds of memories. The last part is back to Nilin’s reconstruction up to the end. During the entire game the main melody is exposed piece by piece (as Nilin is reconstructing her memory) and this track is played at the very end of the game, when Nilin gets her full memory back." On "The Fight"[embed]252904:48473:0[/embed]"This music plays during some big fights. It's mostly hand-to-hand and the music reflects that with the punchy orchestra. The full cue is completely dynamic and reacts to the player's behavior. Its real length is about nine minutes to make sure all the situations are covered. I wanted the music to support as much as possible how the player will apprehend every situation. The final part of the track is when the player succeeds in doing many successful combos in a row, it's like a perfect play! (Once again, a lot of "Remember Me" hidden)" On "Hope"[embed]252904:48474:0[/embed]"Although Remember Me is an action game there are a lot of emotions throughout the whole adventure. One of them is hope. With the help of her old but new friends to her, Nilin gets support to continue the fight. This track is one of the most natural and truly cinematographic."
Remember Me Soundtrack photo
Sample the upcoming soundtrack with commentary from the composer
Are you looking forward to Remember Me next month? I've been looking forward to the game's soundtrack, composed by Olivier Deriviere, who some may know from Alone in the Dark and Of Orcs and Men.We're now getting a sense of w...

Meet the StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm sound team

May 03 // Jayson Napolitano
Glenn Stafford (Blizzard Entertainment)Role: Audio Lead / ComposerSelected Past Works: WarCraft II, StarCraft, World of Warcraft series, Diablo IIIOn being the “Terran” guy and leading the StarCraft II sound team“Yes, you’re probably right that I’m most known for the StarCraft terran music—but players seem to like it, so I suppose that’s a good thing! It may not be as well known that I do work regularly on other Blizzard series. For example, I composed well over an hour of music for Diablo III, and I contribute to World of Warcraft expansions and patches whenever possible. In fact, Jason Hayes and I collaborated on some tracks for patch 5.2, which came out recently.With that in mind, I’ve always considered the StarCraft team to be my home base here at Blizzard. While I enjoy all our games and franchises immensely, the RTS series of games is what I love and play the most. I previously supervised audio production and composed for Wings of Liberty, and following that narrowed my focus to music. For Heart of the Swarm, it seemed a natural progression for me to continue supervising the music production. It was very refreshing to explore new sonic territory, and I was also grateful to have Derek Duke onboard to help us evolve the zerg sound he first created for the original StarCraft. We worked closely together, discussing musical ideas that seemed unique to the zerg, and we also took advantage of a variety of Derek’s incredible eclectic and vintage gear to record strange new sounds and source material. We then both used these ideas and material as a basis from which to create more music.For the in-mission music in this expansion, our goals were to add as much new music as possible, and to evolve and expand on the zerg sound for use in different settings—primal jungles, ice planets, and so on. The zerg conform to different rules, and it might be tempting to be too musical where it isn’t called for. It’s also a big challenge to address how the music might sound in these various settings. Heart of the Swarm focuses mainly on the zerg, of course, but there are forces at play throughout the missions too. At times, you’ll notice various combinations of different racial influences in the music—maybe something not altogether zerg or terran, but exploring the spaces in between.In terms of what’s changed since Wings of Liberty, beyond the obvious changes in focus and style, we added more music than we’ve ever added to an RTS expansion. In the missions, there are more custom-scored and edited moments than ever before, with plenty of cut scenes and in-game cinematics, as well as some complex music-handling throughout missions. Having more music to work with overall, and by refining our tools and implementation methods, we can greatly extend the possibilities and refine the presentation—offering a more variable and interesting music experience when playing and re-playing missions and multiplayer maps. Even the loading-screen music has more variation now. We were fortunate enough to have Neal Acree on board once again, not only taking on the hard-hitting cinematic scores, but also adding to our in-game arsenal with new themes and variations on cinematic scores. Russell Brower reprised his role from Wings of Liberty, composing new protoss tracks as well as mission music, including some patriotic themes that come into play later in the game. Add to that some edgy tracks by veteran freelance composer Cris Velasco; and with the return of Blizzard composer Jason Hayes late in production, we even have an unexpected collaboration between he and Russell.The sound design team, supervised by industry veteran sound designer Evan Chen, brought some amazing new talent and sound design work to the StarCraft universe. I’m honored to work with such a talented group, and thankful for everyone’s unique skills and perspectives. The result is a diverse blend, and yet and it all stays true to the StarCraft universe.The music for this expansion is unique and moody. You won’t hear many big epic themes and soaring moments—but we believe it represents the essence of this expansion and the zerg well. We sincerely hope everyone enjoys it.”On his exclusive audio sample[embed]251947:48207:0[/embed]“This is a medley of a few different pieces. Up to about 50 seconds, this is a piece for a mission cut-scene involving Kerrigan and some terrans. There are two versions of this piece in the game—one without any drums and guitars, which completely removes the terran flavor. The next section up through 1:40 features legendary guitarist David Torn, who Derek and I were fortunate enough to have perform on several tracks. Following that, we hear a more strictly zerg-influenced track until about 2:40, where we revive one of the mission themes from Wings of Liberty, now recorded and remixed with a live orchestra. Then at 4:20, we wind down with a small sample of a piece designed for Kaldir, an icy moon where Kerrigan encounters the protoss.”Derek Duke (Blizzard Entertainment)Role: ComposerSelected Past Works: StarCraft series, WarCraft III, World of Warcraft, Diablo IIIOn being the “Zerg” guy and his contributions to Heart of the Swarm“Helping Glenn out with this one was a lot of fun. With so many other composers dipping into zerg territory, it really forced us to clarify a lot of what’s at the heart of zerg music. Glenn wanted to build off of the Queen’s theme, as heard in the zerg rollout trailer and in various incarnations in Liberty. Sharing certain scales and chord voicings that are particular to the zerg was also cool. It’s not always just strange sounds and textures that make zerg music.We spent time each week for a while specifically creating zerg music textures and source at my home studio, using all means of analog and digital music paraphernalia... analog modular synths, vintage synths and hardware effects, alternate controllers, and so on. We got some great 'music design' source material from those sessions. We were also able to expand upon the electric guitar vocabulary. We had the opportunity to involve guitarist and composer David Torn, who has a very unique and extraordinarily musical approach to the guitar. In contrast to the guitar and Dobro stylings used in Wings, David was in our 'infested' guitarist.”On his exclusive audio sample[embed]251947:48208:0[/embed]“This comes from a piece called “Corruptors,” written for the Skywalker Symphony Orchestra and David Torn. You’ll hear the zerg Queen’s theme featured and various nods to the zerg music from the original StarCraft. I was unable to attend the session—always a challenge—so having conductor Eimear Noone there at the podium worked out great for the music. She had also conducted for Wings, and really 'gets' a lot about my musical language.”Russell Brower (Blizzard Entertainment)Role: Composer / Audio Director of Blizzard EntertainmentSelected Past Works: World of Warcraft series, StarCraft II, Diablo IIIOn his contributions to Heart of the Swarm“Since Glenn Stafford founded the Blizzard sound department and, along with Jason Hayes and Derek Duke, defined the sound and musicscape of StarCraft and StarCraft: Brood War, my own musical responsibility—as the “new guy,” relatively speaking—continues to focus on staying true to the series’ roots wherever I have influence, and to suggest ways to evolve things where it makes sense in context. As composers, we also strive to cast ourselves into roles that are the best fit for our individual strengths. In the end, every Blizzard game to date contains the art of multiple composers—I believe this is part of the 'secret sauce' that makes Blizzard’s music and games timeless.For instance, on StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, I had the opportunity to write a couple of themes that covered new territory or expanded character development: specifically, melodies for Jim Raynor, Zeratul, and the 'space opera' main title piece, which was a special request from Chris Metzen. I also had a hand in suggesting that we add to the terran music vibe with virtuoso, legendary live players—Tony Levin, Jerry Marotta, Jesse Gress, and others. The terran musical composition, production, and DNA, however, are 100% Glenn, and stay very true to StarCraft tradition. In fact, the majority of the Wings score was written by the original StarCraft composition team; I wrote what made sense for me to write, and wore my administration hat for the rest of that project.This brings us to StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm: With the focus squarely on the zerg, Glenn and Derek built on their established musical vocabulary, as they’ve described, and created a spine-tingling score... and that’s really the heart of this particular musical swarm."[embed]251947:48209:0[/embed]"My musical contributions to Swarm happened in two waves. During the earliest recording sessions, the Skywalker Symphony Orchestra was so good, we realized that we were going to run out of music to record before the sessions were over, and it was too late to cancel the unneeded time. Gasp... ka-ching! This afforded me an awesome opportunity and challenge: I wrote about six minutes of additional music to leverage the remaining session time, with the clock ticking, in the control room—all while Neal Acree’s cinematic scores were booming live over the speakers. With pencil, paper, and an iPad piano sound in headphones, I wrote fast and furious during the sessions. No pressure! I’m proud of those two pieces, affectionately and nonsensically titled 'Zergs in the Banana Patch' and 'The Protoss Take Kiev.' These cues found their way into some of the later missions, and, yes, they’re big and loud... I couldn’t waste a world-class 87-piece orchestra!As the later missions’ gameplay matured, we found some opportunities for additional music, to which I contributed. Jason had rejoined the team by then, and he and I finally got to collaborate in person, on purpose, after all these years. A personal highlight is a piece called “Overdrive,” which was composed and produced by Jason and arranged for orchestra by me from his piano demo—It was such a blast to truly create something together. That experience pretty neatly sums up why I find Blizzard to be such a unique place to work, collaborate, and create."Jason Hayes (Blizzard Entertainment)Role: ComposerSelected Past Works: StarCraft, WarCraft III, World of WarcraftOn his return to Blizzard Entertainment“Being back at Blizzard is like coming home for me—I couldn't be more thrilled! And yes, it was especially exciting to arrive during the final push on Heart of the Swarm. Working on StarCraft again is so cool.” On his exclusive audio sample[embed]251947:48210:0[/embed]“I came up with the idea for 'Overdrive' while thinking of the past between Arcturus Mengsk and Kerrigan—his unquenchable thirst for power, and hers for revenge. As I was coming up with ideas, a musical theme from StarCraft: Brood War occurred to me. This was in the intro cinematic, where Admiral DuGalle abandons a group of confederate colonists to be overrun by the zerg. There seemed to be a symmetry between this and Kerrigan's situation—after all, she was also abandoned to the zerg by Mengsk. I found that by taking this musical idea and punching it up with a militaristic insistence, it could help to frame some important events to come. Collaborating with Russell on the arrangement was a lot of fun—after years of indirect collaboration with him on a number of pieces, it was great to work with him in person.”Neal AcreeRole: ComposerSelected Past Works: World of Warcraft series, StarCraft II, Diablo IIIOn being the king of cinematics and contributing in-game tracks as well“First of all, it was an absolute thrill to be involved in helping tell the continuing story musically through the cinematics. So many talented people put their hearts and souls into making them what they are, and getting to write music to that is a dream come true. What made it even more fun is that the story runs the gamut of emotions and stylistically asked for some very different things from I had done before. I felt a huge responsibility in taking on the cinematics, but it was ultimately a lot of fun and I'm really proud of the final result. Getting to work with the Skywalker Symphony Orchestra and choir was a thrill as always. They are some of the best musicians in the world, and I never get tired of recording there. I wouldn't say we did anything too wild with the orchestra but we did hire an extended low brass section for an absolutely massive sound. See if you can spot those moments in the soundtrack.As for in-game music, I had done a bunch for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria, so I was familiar with the process, which is quite different than writing for the cinematics. Though I very much enjoy the process of writing to picture, writing without it can be a very freeing experience. Writing for the cinematics takes a lot longer because the music tends to evolve as the cinematic evolves due to the collaborative process. This can result in some really cool stuff that none of us had necessarily envisioned when we started out. In the case of Heart of the Swarm, Glenn wanted me to write some in-game music that would incorporate some of the stylistic and thematic DNA of the cinematics, which was a lot of fun. I got to blend a lot of orchestra with synthesizer and get really experimental, which is the most fun part for me—there’s definitely a lot of zerg-specific stuff in there.”On his exclusive audio sample[embed]251947:48211:0[/embed]“This is a standalone version of a theme written for Kerrigan and Raynor that underscores some of the cinematics in Heart of the Swarm. It's a slow-building piece that is somber and tragic with an epically heroic yearning... I hope that's not reading too much into it. It's not your typical love theme, but this isn't your typical love story. My inspiration for it was the story and the characters who have a lot going on beneath the surface. It was really cool to be able to write something like this for a game. It also features vocals by Laurie Ann Haus, who was a big part of the Kerrigan sound on both Wings of Liberty and Heart of the Swarm.”Cris VelascoRole: ComposerSelected Past Works: God of War series, Darksiders, Borderlands series, Soul Calibur VOn being brought on to contribute to Heart of the Swarm and his love for StarCraft“StarCraft is one of my all-time favorite games. I cannot even begin to count the number of hours I put into the original one. A couple of friends and I used to pull all-nighters, just building our units up, and then having a massive 3-way battle that would ultimately crash the computers. So even though I didn't have a huge role this time around, I still consider it one of my favorite projects to work on simply because I couldn't believe how amazing it was to be writing music for this franchise."[embed]251947:48212:0[/embed]"Writing for the zerg let me be really experimental with my music. There was a definite dark slant to it, although not necessarily horror. I did some fun things like taking the sound of an insect, slowing it way down, pitching it down a few octaves, and then using it as a percussion bed. Another fun one was taking the sound of a heartbeat, reversing the sound, then lowering the pitch again and adding a touch of distortion. I used this sparingly as a percussive hit. These kinds of things felt in line with how creepy, weird, and insectoid the zerg are.”Evan T. Chen (Blizzard Entertainment)Role: Sound Design LeadSelected Past Works: Diablo III, Starhawk, Killzone 3, Dawn of the Dead, FuturamaOn the scale of StarCraft II’s sound design and the unsung heroes who undertake it“I'm just one of many sound designers on this project. The other members of the StarCraft audio team did all of the heavy-lifting with the support of the audio department at Blizzard and a myriad of other amazing talent. Here's a sound design montage that offers a glimpse of our collective work, which includes contributions from sound designers Jonas Laster, Ed Cerrato, Pedro Seminario, JP Walton, Paul Menichini, and Alex Ephraim.[embed]251947:48213:0[/embed]I'm relatively new to Blizzard and started on the project fairly late in the game, so a big challenge was acclimating to this new environment in a way that respected the legacy of Blizzard, the StarCraft series, the aesthetic precedence of Wings of Liberty, and what had already been created for Heart of the Swarm... while simultaneously trying to chisel a unique and appropriate sonic thumbprint. Collaborating with the StarCraft development team in creating the soundscape was fantastic because they embraced our ideas and helped us achieve them—there are so many development team members not directly on the audio team that play crucial roles in what the player hears, including producers, programmers, data specialists, technical gurus, and—naturally—all of the artists and animators.One memorable moment involved a request to have a visual for the Medivac's new ability, Ignite Afterburners, added to complement the sound of them turning on. I made the case that the audio by itself was too disconnected and might easily be misunderstood during gameplay without some sort of associated visual. This was extremely late in the development, so every possible addition needed to carefully considered, but I heard back later that my argument helped pushed the case for this late addition through. It just goes to show how everyone's instincts as a player are valued here, and that there are many ways to contribute outside of your immediate responsibilities.We also made lots of under-the-hood improvements in audio. There's better headroom and dynamic range now, meaning things can get louder when needed without distortion. We completely revamped the dialog-processing workflow. We also improved the automatic mixing parameters and did more scripted mixing in-mission, which all translates into being able to hear important things more clearly and distinctly. It used to be when certain objectives were completed in a mission, everything would often happen simultaneously: lots of things would explode, the Objective Complete stinger sound would play, other sounds would be ducked to make room for this stinger, new dialog would announce your next objective, music would change, you'd get an achievement alert. In extreme situations, this can be pretty incoherent. We did a lot more sequencing so things don't happen all at once but rather more serially for the sake of sound, to let the audio breathe and be more informative and emotionally satisfying.There were plenty of other sound-related challenges, too. We had several big boss fights, and we did some epic, bombastic sounds for those. We introduced a new physics system into the game, so designing a tasteful, uncluttered sound system for that was a challenge. There were nearly 100 non-prerendered, in-engine cinematics to edit and mix, and we strived to make them sound as good as the prerendered ones. We also made more use of the audio engine's DSP effects, so you'll hear a wider variety of reverb and real-time filtering in this game. We took more advantage of surround-sound speakers systems too, and those with the equipment will hear some specific spectacular moments in the LFE channel and the surrounds.As far as subtlety goes, some of the world ambient sounds are more detailed, layered, and peppered with perspective and depth, and in general, our philosophy was to make the sounds feel more 'in the world.' Finally, listen carefully to Swarm hordes—I won't give too much away, but suffice it to say, this is just the tip of the iceberg for this tech. There are also some great audio easter eggs to find, but you won't hear them—pun intended—from me!”
StarCraft II Music photo
Over 20 minutes of exclusive audio mixes included
Maybe you played StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. Maybe you enjoyed the soundtrack disc that came packed in with the collector's edition, or perhaps you simply enjoyed it in-game. With this expansion focusing on the Zerg, I ...







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