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11:00 AM on 12.16.2013

So much great game music was released this past month

You know the drill: another month, ten more game soundtracks to review. We usually have a pick of the month, but there was so much great music released this time around, I decided to recognize four separate releases as our to...

Jayson Napolitano


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Super Mario 3D World soundtrack is another masterpiece photo
Super Mario 3D World soundtrack is another masterpiece
by Jayson Napolitano

Coming to the end of the year, there's always a lot of great game music releases planned. Top honors go to Super Mario 3D World, and there are so many reasons why that you'll read about here in a second.

We've got reviews of a lot of other great soundtracks as well, including the recent re-release of the Castlevania: Lords of Shadow soundtrack, and finally a release for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate, but also an amazing Sonic the Hedgehog album, Club Needlemouse, a BlizzCon exclusive StarCraft II CD, a Mega Man 25th anniversary project, and much more.

As always, enjoy some streaming music courtesy of the Destructoid SoundCloud account and Bandcamp.

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I'm convinced: Final Fantasy VI is Uematsu's best work photo
I'm convinced: Final Fantasy VI is Uematsu's best work
by Jayson Napolitano

Okay, so we've featured a lot of Final Fantasy in Note Worthy lately, in part thanks to the recent remaster soundtracks. Looking at Final Fantasy VI this month, however, finally brought me around to accepting that this is truly Nobuo Uematsu's best work.

We also delve into the soundtrack to BEYOND: Two Souls, Spectrum of Mana, and the new Final Fantasy XI band, Nanaa Mihgo's. Plus we check out Disgaea D2, Square Enix's annual Tokyo Game Show sampler disc that lets us know what all is in the works from their label, and more!

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I never realized Final Fantasy V's OST was this good photo
I never realized Final Fantasy V's OST was this good
by Jayson Napolitano

Another month, another batch of ten soundtracks to cover in our monthly Note Worthy feature. We've got a lot of great music in this issue, including the Final Fantasy V Remaster Version, six hours of music with Before Meteor: Final Fantasy XIV, a preview of Random Encounter's upcoming album which isn't out until September 26, and a bunch of other soundtracks from the past month.

As always, enjoy samples courtesy of Destructoid's SoundCloud account, and I've tried to include samples from elsewhere whenever possible. Enjoy, and chime in with your favorites from this past month. 

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Nobuo Uematsu's return to form with Blik-0 soundtrack photo
Nobuo Uematsu's return to form with Blik-0 soundtrack
by Jayson Napolitano

Last month's Note Worthy featured some of the best music I've heard this year. It's interesting then, that this month, we have a lot of shorter releases, including several free-to-download albums, which is good if you broke the bank buying everything last month.

Top honors to go Nobuo Uematsu's first e-book and accompanying soundtrack, Blik-0, although we also touch on the surprising Rockman Xover, the atmospheric Remember Me, and the nostalgic Halo: Spartan Assault and Shadowrun Returns, among others.

We have a lot of samples from the Destructoid SoundCloud this month, so dig in, enjoy, and let us know which ones are your favorites. 

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Why Final Fantasy VI: Balance and Ruin blew my mind photo
Why Final Fantasy VI: Balance and Ruin blew my mind
by Jayson Napolitano

Okay, let me first say that this installment of Note Worthy features the best collection of ten soundtracks ever featured in this series. That's why I won't be breaking down the albums into "Top Picks" and "Other Releases" this month. It all deserves your immediate attention (how's Jake "virt" Kaufman, stemage, Yuzo Koshiro, Nobuo Uematsu, and more for a lineup?), but thankfully for your wallet, our favorite release of the month won't cost you a thing.

I refer, of course, to Final Fantasy VI: Balance and Ruin, which was easily our pick of the month. I admit I've felt some of the super ambitious efforts like this over the past couple years have fallen flat, but this album is magic from beginning to end. But we'll get to that in a bit.

Check out our rundown below and let us know which albums are your favorites.

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Tiny Barbarian DX is a retro soundtrack that you must own photo
Tiny Barbarian DX is a retro soundtrack that you must own
by Jayson Napolitano

Our top pick for this month's issue of Note Worthy is the NES-flavored soundtrack for Tiny Barbarian DX, composed by Jeff Ball. There's a variety of styles presented, but all of it is super catchy and melodic, and fans of retro game music need to check this one out. Top honors also go out to the new IMERUAT DVD and A_Rival's TRUTHCANNON.

We also dig into a number of other popular franchises, from Gears of War to Kingdom Hearts. We even have some The World Ends With You love to share this month along with some great music out of Korea. All of this and more in our latest installment of Note Worthy! 

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Game music on guitar like you've never heard before photo
Game music on guitar like you've never heard before
by Jayson Napolitano

Top honors for this month's Note Worthy go to a new guitar duo, The Altered Beasts, who you may recognize as the guitar players from the best game music cover band out there, The OneUps. The two team up for their debut album, Transfiguration, bringing smooth and laid-back guitar arrangements of some of the best tracks from across gaming. This one is definitely a must-have.

We've also got the powerful BioShock Infinite and the dark fantasy Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen, along with Austin Wintory's Monaco, Star Command, and Soul Sacrifice, among others. Check out below and enjoy streaming music samples while you read!

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Halo 4 OST Volume 2 is everything I wanted out of Halo 4 photo
Halo 4 OST Volume 2 is everything I wanted out of Halo 4
by Jayson Napolitano

Welcome back to Note Worthy, our monthly soundtrack round-up. This issue marks one year of Note Worthy, and I'm changing up things a bit with formatting. In the past, I've featured our ten monthly reviews in alphabetical order, giving each album equal weight, but I want to experiment a bit with this format and present it in a way that lets readers sift through and pick up on the most important releases of the month first with a more in-depth look.

With that said, Halo 4 Original Soundtrack Vol. 2 gets top honors this month, as it provides everything that was missing from the first volume in terms of ambiance and bad ass soundscapes. Other notable releases include Magical Chase and Final Fantasy XI: Seekers of Adoulin.

As always, enjoy streaming samples courtesy of our SoundCloud account and let us know what you think of the new format! Here's to another year of Note Worthy! 

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Note Worthy 013: StarCraft, Metal Gear, and Tomb Raider photo
Note Worthy 013: StarCraft, Metal Gear, and Tomb Raider
by Jayson Napolitano

Welcome back! We're looking at recent soundtrack releases, and there are a number of big ones this month. We've got impressions of the StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, and Tomb Raider soundtracks along with a number of great releases from Square Enix, Taito, Gravity, Q-Games, and more.

It's interesting to note this month that many of the releases are "Not for sale," and are instead limited edition bonuses. I guess that says a lot for where the industry is going... is there really no money to be made from selling game music these days? That will certainly be a sad day!

Anyway, chime in and let us know what you think and enjoy the included samples! 

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Note Worthy 012: Final Fantasy Vocal/Orchestral, Wizardry photo
Note Worthy 012: Final Fantasy Vocal/Orchestral, Wizardry
by Jayson Napolitano

Do you like Final Fantasy music? This month we're reviewing both Final Fantasy Orchestral Album and Final Fantasy Vocal Collection, both of which we've been greatly looking forward to. We're also looking at the latest DJMAX title for the PSP, Wizardry Online, a classic Cave shooter collection that puts three out of print soundtracks in your hands, and a pretty stellar eroge (erotic game) soundtrack.

There's all of this and more. Plus, we've got samples courtesy of Destructoid's SoundCloud account. So let's jump in.

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Note Worthy 011: Twilight Symphony, NSMBU, NESteryears photo
Note Worthy 011: Twilight Symphony, NSMBU, NESteryears
by Jayson Napolitano

This sounds like the Nintendo edition, doesn't it? Don't worry, we also have other cool stuff like The World Ends With You -Crossover- and Saturday Morning RPG, the soundtrack you never knew you wanted.

There are a lot of big releases featured in this issue, including the highly-anticipated The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Symphony album. We've also posted extensively about NESteryears, so hopefully you've already picked it up. If not, here's your chance to do so.

Enjoy this issue and please take note that we have more samples than any previous issue of Note Worthy courtesy of the Destructoid SoundCloud (thanks to all the publishers who gave us the go ahead to feed you these samples!).

Also, as mentioned at our panel at MAGFest 11, please comment on Note Worthy's format and let us know if you'd prefer individual posts, more frequent updates with five or so reviews every two weeks, or if the monthly format is just fine!

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Note Worthy 010: Black Ops II, Final Fantasy, Mega Man photo
Note Worthy 010: Black Ops II, Final Fantasy, Mega Man
by Jayson Napolitano

We're back with another round of Note Worthy! Featured are a number of releases that we've talked about in the past, including the Bar Oasis Official Bootleg, Code of Princess, Final Fantasy Tribute -Thanks-, and Rockman EXE Transmission, along with heavy-hitters like Call of Duty: Black Ops II and ZUNTATA's 25th anniversary album.

As always, we've done our best to bring you samples from our Destructoid SoundCloud as well as from the albums' official websites and even YouTube when possible. Dig in and let us know which albums are your favorite this month.

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Note Worthy 009: Halo 4, Rock Man, Bravely Default, ACIII photo
Note Worthy 009: Halo 4, Rock Man, Bravely Default, ACIII
by Jayson Napolitano

We're back to our regularly-scheduled Note Worthy with reviews for a number of highly-anticipated albums this month. I've been greatly looking forward to the Halo 4 soundtrack, and we have impressions of the entire contents of the limited edition set along with the two Rockman 25th anniversary arrangement albums.

Finally, we've got Bravely Default, Assassin's Creed III, Epic Mickey 2, and more to round out of set of ten. And as always, we've got exclusive samples via our Soundcloud and have made efforts to link you to where you can hear this stuff even when we're unable to stream them ourselves.

Enjoy, and let us know what you think of this month's offerings! 

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Note Worthy 008: Final Fantasy 25th anniversary special photo
Note Worthy 008: Final Fantasy 25th anniversary special
by Jayson Napolitano

Wait a second, didn't we just run an issue of Note Worthy two weeks ago? Well, we did, but there have been so many Final Fantasy music releases over the past couple of months that we've accumulated an entire issue's-worth of reviews and thought it would be fun to put together a Final Fantasy 25th anniversary special edition. And to think the commemorative Final Fantasy Vinyls, Final Fantasy Tribute -Thanks-, and Final Fantasy Orchestra Album aren't even out yet!

We've got a lot of chip music for you this time with Square Enix's line of "Chips" albums all covered as well as a number of special commemorative discs released for the anniversary. All of that along with Final Fantasy XIV soundtrack and Piano Collections Final Fantasy XII which isn't even due out in Japan until next week.

Check it out and let us know what you think of this musical tribute to Final Fantasy that's only just beginning! 

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Note Worthy 007: Borderlands, Pandaria, Double Dragon photo
Note Worthy 007: Borderlands, Pandaria, Double Dragon
by Jayson Napolitano

We're back with another issue of Note Worthy, our monthly soundtrack round-up feature. In addition to the moody Borderlands 2 soundtrack and the ethnic-flavored Mists of Pandaria, we have what I'm calling one of the best soundtracks of the year, Double Dragon Neon by Jake "virt" Kaufman.

Other reviews you'll want to check out are the Etrian Odyssey IV arrange album (can't wait for this game to be released!), Austin Wintory's Horn, retro goodness with Dragon Spirit (which isn't even out until the end of October!) and the return of the amazing rock band, TEKARU, with TEKARU MECHANICAL.

It's all good! So dig in, listen, and let us know what you think of this month's round-up, and thanks once again to graphic artist Connary Fagen for redesigning our Note Worthy logo to fit the new, sleek spread format.

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