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#Retro City Rampage


Nintendo Download photo
Nintendo Download

Nintendo Download: Bit.Trip, Retro City, Etrian Odyssey

This week's Nintendo Download has something for just about everyone. Bit.Trip Presents Runner2 is fantastic and it's available now via the Wii U eShop. Also on the console side of things, Retro City Rampage has arrived on WiiWare at lo...   read

 
 
Retro City Rampage photo
Retro City Rampage
  Watch Video

See how Retro City Rampage got slimmed down to 8-bit

Long before Retro City Rampage, developer Brian Provinciano was working on Grand Theftendo, essentially a demake of Grand Theft Auto III. Brian even created his own original Nintendo development kit to make this happen! He would eventually...   read

 
 
Retro City Rampage photo
Retro City Rampage

Retro City Rampage sold way more on PSN than Steam, XBLA

Brian Provinciano, the creative mind behind the wonderful Retro City Rampage, took to Twitter recently and shared how the game has fared on PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade, and Steam. The clear winner is easily PSN, as RCR has "sold m...   read

 
 
Retro City Rampage photo
Retro City Rampage

Retro City Rampage Wii out Feb 28, includes prototype ROM

Retro City Rampage for WiiWare missed its January release window, but creator Brian Provinciano has set his foot down and stated that the game will finally arrive next week on February 28. RCR's entire development history has been a long st...   read

 
 
Retro City Rampage photo
Retro City Rampage

Developer releases full Retro City Rampage map

Vblank Entertainment has released the full map for Retro City Rampage in image form -- spoiler alert -- it's huge! But the world map wasn't the only thing that was released however, as the entirety of the game is pretty much accounted for. ...   read

 
 
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8===D
  Watch Video

The DTOID Show: The Walking Dead, Bioshock & Evil Patents

Happy New Year! We're back, and boy did we miss you! We have a lot of news today, starting with that semi-legit fan-trailer of The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct that probably made it look a lot worse that it'll actually be. Bioshock ...   read

 
 
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8===D

Retro City Rampage out now on Xbox Live Arcade

After a sizable wait, Retro City Rampage has made its Xbox Live Arcade debut. While this will be neither the first nor last version of the game, it is nice to know that it costs 800 Microsoft Points ($10) instead of launching at the previou...   read

 
 
Retro City Rampage photo
Retro City Rampage

Retro City Rampage still has a secret

Retro City Rampage was one of the most interesting releases of 2012. Written and designed largely by one man, the game was in development for years, leaving hungry fans to lay in wait. Xbox 360 and Wii owners may still be waiting, as&n...   read

 
 
Retro City Rampage photo
Retro City Rampage

Retro City Rampage comes to XBLA on January 2

Retro City Rampage will be flying onto WiiWare some time in January, but the XBLA version has a much more definite launch date. Direct from creator Brian Provinciano himself, you will be able to download the XBLA port of the pixel-tastic op...   read

 
 
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8===D

Retro City Rampage set to drop in January on WiiWare

Ever since Retro City Rampage hit pretty much everything other than WiiWare (and XBLA), fans have been waiting patiently for any sort of Wii release date news. Finally, we now have a soft release window of "January 2013," which should give ...   read

 
 
Retro City Rampage photo
Retro City Rampage
  Watch Video

Review: Retro City Rampage

[Full Disclosure: Not only do current and former Destructoid staff appear as unlockable character skins in the game, there's also a main story mission during which you go inside a giant Mr. Destructoid robot. For these reasons, we are with...   read

 
 
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8===D
  Watch Video

Sup Holmes swerves into Retro City Rampage's Brian P.

[Destructoid's Director of Communications Hamza Aziz asked Jonathan Holmes to make a show called 'Sup, Holmes?' so that Destructoid could later sell a t-shirt that says 'Sup, Holmes?' on it. This is that show. Subscribe to the podcast...   read

 
 
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Retro City Rampage soundtrack gets limited CD release

Retro City Rampage is finally here, and many of you are probably enjoying the 8-bit soundtrack provided by virt, Norrin Radd, and Freaky DNA. The game had been in the works for a long time, and that's why it was all the way back in Feb...   read

 
 
Dtoid staff in a game?! photo
Dtoid staff in a game?!
  Watch Video

How to unlock Destructoid staff in Retro City Rampage

So, by now, you've obviously bought and downloaded Retro City Rampage (or are desperately waiting for it to arrive on your platform) because I made it pretty clear a couple of hours ago that this was a thing you were going to do today...   read

 
 
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8===D
  Watch Video

Retro City Rampage is out today, watch the launch trailer

It's finally here! It seems like I've been writing about Retro City Rampage for as long as I've been writing about games, but the day of sweet release has finally arrived and you can pick up the game right now on PC (through Steam and...   read

 
 
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8===D
  Watch Video

The DTOID Show: SimCity, Retro City Rampage & Angry Birds

We weren't live today, but that's okay. We still love you. To prove it, here's some news about Sim City, Retro City Rampage, Angry Birds, and of course... The Unfinished Swan. So, different types of cities, and different types of birds. VI...   read

 
 
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Retro City Rampage is out October 9 on PS3, Vita, and PC

Retro City Rampage. October 9, 2012. PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, PC. You read that correctly. Brian Provinciano's NES-style Grand Theft Auto parody has been cooking for just over a decade, and when it missed its proposed May release ea...   read

 
 
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Donkey Kong inspired ride monkeys into Retro City Rampage

In the time since the first time I played Retro City Rampage I've co-hosted a show with newcomer Tara Long, created an animated talk show, talked to women about videogames, created Sup, Holmes?, and been the subject of many of Jim Ster...   read

 
 
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Retro City Rampage supports FREE PS3/Vita cross-play

Retro City Rampage will support cross-play between the PS3 and PlayStation Vita versions, which is certainly neat. Even neater, however, is the fact that when you buy it on one platform, you'll get it on the other. One payment, both version...   read

 
 
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E3: Retro City Rampage in my hands! My dreams came true!

The final game I checked out at E3 was the PS Vita port of Retro City Rampage, the title I was most looking forward to playing. With the copious amounts of hands-on previews and the frustration of its seemingly endless development, I have b...   read

 
 
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8===D
  Watch Video

Meat Boy goes stereoscopic in Retro City Rampage

Today is May 31... HEY! Wasn't Retro City Rampage supposed to come out this month? Briiiiiiaaaaaan! You've got some 'splainin' to doooooooooooo! In all seriousness, the game is finished and running through a final bug check. Unfortunately,...   read

 
 
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GOG.com set to release Tomb Raider and Retro City Rampage

A few months ago, GOG.com revealed that they would continue to re-release classic PC games on their service whilst also releasing brand new games through their service. At their Summer conference today, we got to know the next 4 games to be...   read

 
 
 photo
8===D
  Watch Video

Here's what Retro City Rampage looks like on the Vita

Retro City Rampage's mastermind Brian Provinciano sat down with the PlayStation.Blog to show off his baby running on the PlayStation Vita. Brian details some of the Vita features, from the optimized visuals for the handheld screen, the tou...   read

 
 


Probably Kirby. When you think about it, he's really the Rogue (X-Men) of Nintendo games, he can absorb any other power he wants. Except Kirby's more my style, because he is large, pink, and loves to swallow.




Favorite track you wrote for the game (with lots of detail!)



Two tracks. The two that took the longest to finish!

The first is the track "Cyborg Mission II" (from the pre-order bonus tracks).

Originally, [Brian Provinciano] wanted to use a lot of my older tracks as casual music you could hear on the radio when you are driving around the world map. Some of the tracks date back quite a ways to my first chiptune album (Melodia di Infinita). When I wrote those songs, the idea of ever having my chiptunes in a game was a pipe dream. There were no real retro throwback games, and mobile devices weren't yet used for gaming. I wrote them as a hobby, and I was (in my opinion) pretty bad at it from a technical standpoint. I've had years and years to listen to these old songs, and more and more I found little things I wished I could change. It had become so bad that I couldn't even listen to my old stuff. A couple of these songs, Brian was interested in using for the game! This was kind of a chance for redemption, because I was able to go back in to my original .IT files [Editor’s Note: .IT is a file format native to Impulse Tracker, a DOS-based software used to write music] and fix them up. It took quite a while, but I was actually able to make peace with every single "classic" track Brian wanted to use... Except one. The original "Cyborg Mission."

Brian, however, seemed to enjoy the original quite a lot, and even featured it in a cut scene for one of the demo builds he'd sent me. I knew that this track had to be fixed, no matter what. I struggled and struggled with my original file, trying to make it sound up to par, but my methods back then were just too crusty. In the original .IT file, I must have used drum samples from 6 or more NES games, and my drum fills were just a machine gun firing out all of them all over the place. There were also little melodic bits that trailed off and didn't connect anywhere (transitions are so important). It seemed like a lost cause, so, I just decided it was time to rewrite the entire song anew, using my modern templates and techniques. Instead of just recreating the song though, I went somewhere totally new with it, and it came out very epic. I look at it as a triumph over my old careless ways, and I can finally put the original Cyborg Mission to rest. Though, I still have online friends that tell me they prefer the original. Psssht, fanboys.

The second is the track "Smut Peddler."

[embed]226249:43460[/embed]

This all started out so simple... In November of 2010, Brian asked me if I could write a parody track for a mission in the game that would resemble the classic Paper Boy. The original Paper Boy only had one extremely simple song that played during every second of gameplay. One simple song that will forever haunt my dreams.

This was the first time I had ever been tasked with parodying a song in chiptune format. Up until this point, I had painstakingly worked at accurately recreating songs in NES format. But making something sound similar, without actually being the original is so much harder (virt makes it look and sound so easy). And since this was not just a project for fun, I learned I could potentially get Brian in some legal trouble.

My first draft was a little too close to the original song for Brian's comfort. I basically, directly, referenced portions of the original song, then transitioned into my own unique sections, and back and forth. Brian really liked my sections, and asked me if I could just alter the pieces that referenced the original enough so that it would not be a legal issue, and this was what caused so much trouble. Altering the sections was definitely foreign territory for me, and I didn't really know what was allowed, or how much you needed to change it. Throughout the entire process I kept pestering virt through email, asking him if he thought I had changed it enough. But in the end, the portions of the original song just pervaded, and Brian was quite concerned. The real shame was, the parts that I wrote from scratch were some of Brian’s and my favourite music I had written for the game, and neither Brian or I wanted to see them go. But simply removing the portions that sounded too close to the original and leaving just my parts were not possible due to the way everything was transitioned together.

In November of 2011, a year of 'here and there' revisions went by, still with no luck, and it came time to release the soundtrack for Retro City Rampage. “Smut Peddler” was a definite choice to be on the soundtrack, if only it could be finished. Eventually, I think it was Len (FreakyDNA) who came along and peppered my file with some of his own melodies and sent it back to me as a suggestion for how to proceed. I didn't end up using the suggestions, but it was this small collaborative effort that really sparked my creativity again for this track, and over the next couple days, I was able to belt out a finished version that was finally license free! It wasn't until I heard Freaky's ideas and a different perspective that I was finally able to pull myself out of the depths of hell and finish. For any other musicians out there who are simply stuck (both creatively, and systematically), if it is in your means, have a friend offer you some suggestions. It will kick your butt into shape.

All said and done, I spent over 100 hours of my life on this song... now go back and listen to the original, hahaha. My nightmare.



[embed]226249:43461[/embed]

My favourite track for the game is "Bit Happy." I had a listen to the original game and thought I'd try to follow some of the existing song melodies but I ended up not taking anything from the original game at all. I basically just sat down and composed the core of the song in a few hours by figuring out some riffs that I really liked on the acoustic guitar while sitting in the sun at home. I transposed these riffs into OpenMPT and figured out how to arrange them for the NES sounds. Unlike a lot of my other chiptune songs, I really tried to keep the percussion really simple as having a lot of beats tends to make the song heavier and not as happy as I wanted it to be. It was really a good exercise in restraint for me to not add extra notes but to really focus on the transitions between segments of the song. There's a heavy little electro-beat breakdown that happens in the song that I'm really pleased with as I feel I was able to move in and out of this section in a way I hadn't tried before. Basically, this song makes me happy each time I hear it so I'm glad to have been able to include it on the vinyl.

[embed]226249:43462[/embed]

One of the songs I'm most happy with on the technical side is "Riff Down." It was one of the first songs I came up with for Retro City Rampage and was basically through figuring out an interesting riff on the acoustic guitar. I really enjoy all the breaks that are in there and feel that it has a great funky feel without getting too technically oriented. There're parts that I really have no idea how I came up with which really helps keep the song fresh. The way I worked on the songs for Retro City Ramapge is to come up with strong melodic bits on the guitar, translate them over to the tracker program and then repeatedly polish a group of songs over the course of the two years we spent developing the songs for the game. This song and other songs have basically received days of tweaks by me over the time of the project so it's always important to not get things too "tweaky" and to make the groove the king. I've basically only been doing chiptunes a couple years now and still really like this song so it has a special place in my heart when I'm listening to it.

Overall:
For those that don't know, making quality chiptunes is really a labour of love, a certain amount of talent and a massive amount of time. I'd say that I can produce conventional electronic music about ten times faster than working on a similar amount of chiptune music. It's really like making music through a microscope and the tricky part is making all the details come together but still have the big picture make sense so that the song conveys the right feeling. I've learned tons by working on Retro City Rampage and the problem is that I've kinda been bit by the chiptune bug so it's hard for me to listen to certain types of music now as I can almost see their notes streaming by in a tracker. I'm really lucky to have been able to work with [Matt “Norrin Radd” Creamer] and “Jake “virt” Kaufman] and hope that people can really enjoy the depth of emotion and detail that we've done our best to put into the songs of Retro City Rampage.



[embed]226249:43463" data-vidtitle="

Interview: The music of Retro City Rampage We've been talking a lot about Retro City Rampage and its soundtrack dating all the way back to 2010. The game's finally due out on nearly every platform in May, and after our favorable review of the soundtrack and a look at ...  
Full story

" data-purl="interview-the-music-of-retro-city-rampage-226249.phtml" data-vidsummary="" data-remodal-target="watch"> photo
8===D


Probably Kirby. When you think about it, he's really the Rogue (X-Men) of Nintendo games, he can absorb any other power he wants. Except Kirby's more my style, because he is large, pink, and loves to swallow.




Favorite track you wrote for the game (with lots of detail!)



Two tracks. The two that took the longest to finish!

The first is the track "Cyborg Mission II" (from the pre-order bonus tracks).

Originally, [Brian Provinciano] wanted to use a lot of my older tracks as casual music you could hear on the radio when you are driving around the world map. Some of the tracks date back quite a ways to my first chiptune album (Melodia di Infinita). When I wrote those songs, the idea of ever having my chiptunes in a game was a pipe dream. There were no real retro throwback games, and mobile devices weren't yet used for gaming. I wrote them as a hobby, and I was (in my opinion) pretty bad at it from a technical standpoint. I've had years and years to listen to these old songs, and more and more I found little things I wished I could change. It had become so bad that I couldn't even listen to my old stuff. A couple of these songs, Brian was interested in using for the game! This was kind of a chance for redemption, because I was able to go back in to my original .IT files [Editor’s Note: .IT is a file format native to Impulse Tracker, a DOS-based software used to write music] and fix them up. It took quite a while, but I was actually able to make peace with every single "classic" track Brian wanted to use... Except one. The original "Cyborg Mission."

Brian, however, seemed to enjoy the original quite a lot, and even featured it in a cut scene for one of the demo builds he'd sent me. I knew that this track had to be fixed, no matter what. I struggled and struggled with my original file, trying to make it sound up to par, but my methods back then were just too crusty. In the original .IT file, I must have used drum samples from 6 or more NES games, and my drum fills were just a machine gun firing out all of them all over the place. There were also little melodic bits that trailed off and didn't connect anywhere (transitions are so important). It seemed like a lost cause, so, I just decided it was time to rewrite the entire song anew, using my modern templates and techniques. Instead of just recreating the song though, I went somewhere totally new with it, and it came out very epic. I look at it as a triumph over my old careless ways, and I can finally put the original Cyborg Mission to rest. Though, I still have online friends that tell me they prefer the original. Psssht, fanboys.

The second is the track "Smut Peddler."

[embed]226249:43460[/embed]

This all started out so simple... In November of 2010, Brian asked me if I could write a parody track for a mission in the game that would resemble the classic Paper Boy. The original Paper Boy only had one extremely simple song that played during every second of gameplay. One simple song that will forever haunt my dreams.

This was the first time I had ever been tasked with parodying a song in chiptune format. Up until this point, I had painstakingly worked at accurately recreating songs in NES format. But making something sound similar, without actually being the original is so much harder (virt makes it look and sound so easy). And since this was not just a project for fun, I learned I could potentially get Brian in some legal trouble.

My first draft was a little too close to the original song for Brian's comfort. I basically, directly, referenced portions of the original song, then transitioned into my own unique sections, and back and forth. Brian really liked my sections, and asked me if I could just alter the pieces that referenced the original enough so that it would not be a legal issue, and this was what caused so much trouble. Altering the sections was definitely foreign territory for me, and I didn't really know what was allowed, or how much you needed to change it. Throughout the entire process I kept pestering virt through email, asking him if he thought I had changed it enough. But in the end, the portions of the original song just pervaded, and Brian was quite concerned. The real shame was, the parts that I wrote from scratch were some of Brian’s and my favourite music I had written for the game, and neither Brian or I wanted to see them go. But simply removing the portions that sounded too close to the original and leaving just my parts were not possible due to the way everything was transitioned together.

In November of 2011, a year of 'here and there' revisions went by, still with no luck, and it came time to release the soundtrack for Retro City Rampage. “Smut Peddler” was a definite choice to be on the soundtrack, if only it could be finished. Eventually, I think it was Len (FreakyDNA) who came along and peppered my file with some of his own melodies and sent it back to me as a suggestion for how to proceed. I didn't end up using the suggestions, but it was this small collaborative effort that really sparked my creativity again for this track, and over the next couple days, I was able to belt out a finished version that was finally license free! It wasn't until I heard Freaky's ideas and a different perspective that I was finally able to pull myself out of the depths of hell and finish. For any other musicians out there who are simply stuck (both creatively, and systematically), if it is in your means, have a friend offer you some suggestions. It will kick your butt into shape.

All said and done, I spent over 100 hours of my life on this song... now go back and listen to the original, hahaha. My nightmare.



[embed]226249:43461[/embed]

My favourite track for the game is "Bit Happy." I had a listen to the original game and thought I'd try to follow some of the existing song melodies but I ended up not taking anything from the original game at all. I basically just sat down and composed the core of the song in a few hours by figuring out some riffs that I really liked on the acoustic guitar while sitting in the sun at home. I transposed these riffs into OpenMPT and figured out how to arrange them for the NES sounds. Unlike a lot of my other chiptune songs, I really tried to keep the percussion really simple as having a lot of beats tends to make the song heavier and not as happy as I wanted it to be. It was really a good exercise in restraint for me to not add extra notes but to really focus on the transitions between segments of the song. There's a heavy little electro-beat breakdown that happens in the song that I'm really pleased with as I feel I was able to move in and out of this section in a way I hadn't tried before. Basically, this song makes me happy each time I hear it so I'm glad to have been able to include it on the vinyl.

[embed]226249:43462[/embed]

One of the songs I'm most happy with on the technical side is "Riff Down." It was one of the first songs I came up with for Retro City Rampage and was basically through figuring out an interesting riff on the acoustic guitar. I really enjoy all the breaks that are in there and feel that it has a great funky feel without getting too technically oriented. There're parts that I really have no idea how I came up with which really helps keep the song fresh. The way I worked on the songs for Retro City Ramapge is to come up with strong melodic bits on the guitar, translate them over to the tracker program and then repeatedly polish a group of songs over the course of the two years we spent developing the songs for the game. This song and other songs have basically received days of tweaks by me over the time of the project so it's always important to not get things too "tweaky" and to make the groove the king. I've basically only been doing chiptunes a couple years now and still really like this song so it has a special place in my heart when I'm listening to it.

Overall:
For those that don't know, making quality chiptunes is really a labour of love, a certain amount of talent and a massive amount of time. I'd say that I can produce conventional electronic music about ten times faster than working on a similar amount of chiptune music. It's really like making music through a microscope and the tricky part is making all the details come together but still have the big picture make sense so that the song conveys the right feeling. I've learned tons by working on Retro City Rampage and the problem is that I've kinda been bit by the chiptune bug so it's hard for me to listen to certain types of music now as I can almost see their notes streaming by in a tracker. I'm really lucky to have been able to work with [Matt “Norrin Radd” Creamer] and “Jake “virt” Kaufman] and hope that people can really enjoy the depth of emotion and detail that we've done our best to put into the songs of Retro City Rampage.



[embed]226249:43463" data-vidtitle="

Interview: The music of Retro City Rampage We've been talking a lot about Retro City Rampage and its soundtrack dating all the way back to 2010. The game's finally due out on nearly every platform in May, and after our favorable review of the soundtrack and a look at ...   full story

" data-purl="interview-the-music-of-retro-city-rampage-226249.phtml" data-vidsummary="" data-remodal-target="watch">  Watch Video

Interview: The music of Retro City Rampage

We've been talking a lot about Retro City Rampage and its soundtrack dating all the way back to 2010. The game's finally due out on nearly every platform in May, and after our favorable review of the soundtrack and a look at the limited edi...   read

 
 


Journey Original Soundtrack
Release Date: April 10, 2012
Price: $4.99
Availability:
iTunes / CD release TBA
Artist(s): Austin Wintory

After having an amazing experience playing through the game, I had to wait in anticipation all over again for the game’s soundtrack. We hosted a lovely feature with Austin Wintory about his work on Journey where he discussed the creation of several pieces as well as offered samples, but with the complete soundtrack in hand, I’m surprised there’s actually so much music here, totaling nearly an hour of music. And all of it sounds fantastic with live session artists and even a live orchestra.

All the key elements are here for you to re-experience Journey all over again, but this time aurally. There’s the blistering wind of “The Call,” the playful “Threshold,” the vibrant “Road of Trials” (one of my personal favorites), the foreboding “Temptations” with its lovely harp work and the ominous “Descent” with its rumbling percussion. There are some more atmospheric pieces in between before a powerful trio closes out the album with the desperate “Nadir” that accompanies a key moment in the game, the jubilant and dreamy “Apotheosis,” and the emotionally charged ending vocal theme, “I was Born for This.”

Even when you’re out on the go, you can experience the magic of Journey any time with this soundtrack. Even those who didn’t play the game should appreciate Austin Wintory’s majestic score, and it obviously comes just as highly recommended as the game itself.

[embed]225854:43397[/embed]



Kingdom Hearts 3D Dream Drop Distance Original Soundtrack
Release Date: April 18, 2012
Price: 3,800 Yen ($47 USD)
Availability: CD Japan / Play-Asia
Artist(s): Yoko Shimomura, Tsuyoshi Sekito, Takeharu Ishimoto

I’ve never been a huge fan of Kingdom Hearts titles or their soundtracks. I always found them to be overly upbeat to the point of being cheesy, but that all changed with Birth by Sleep, which took a much more mature approach in the music department. Kingdom Hearts 3D Dream Drop Distance follows suit coming as light-hearted but not cheesy,and changes things up a bit by adding a lot of electronic sounds to the heavily orchestral palette of the series.

Series composer Yoko Shimomura handles the majority of the score, starting with the popular series main theme, “Dearly Beloved,” which gets a sweet waltz arrangement. She provides an eclectic mix of tracks, but my favorites would be the angelic “The World of Dream Drops” with its bell tress, piano, and strings, the elegant yet desperate “La Chloche” with timpani and harpsichord, “All for One” with its classy melody, and “Distant From You...,” which comes as a beautiful and heartwrenching duet between strings and harp. “Deep Drop” also stands out with its dark electronic sound accented by organ.

Square Enix’s Tsuyoshi Sekito and Takeharu Ishimoto also join the mix, with Sekito providing mostly epic orchestral cues with “Majestic Wings” and “Gigabyte Mantis” being my favorites. Ishimoto, on the other hand, provides several memorable moments with his electronic contributions that start with several remixes from The World Ends With You (the bumpin’ club version of “Calling” is my personal favorite) as well as several moody and textural electronic tracks, of which “Keyblade Cycle” stands out with its unsettling and glitchy soundscape. There are also several classical pieces by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and others tucked away at the end of the album.

There’s some great music here, and the packaging for this three-disc collection is delightful with glossy cardboard and some classy silhouettes on the discs themselves. Fans will want to definitely check out what’s new with the Kingdom Hearts series, while others may want to wait and play the game before deciding to drop close to $50 USD on this one.



Manabu Namiki WORKS Vol.2 ~Thunder Dragon 2~
Release Date: December 21, 2011
Price: 2,625 Yen ($32)
Availability: CD Japan
Artist(s): Manabu Namiki

For those who don’t know, Manabu Namiki has become somewhat of a legend over the years for his soundtracks to many a shmup title from Cave, Zuntata, and more. He’s also a member of Basiscape. This album presents his soundtrack to the 1993 title, Thunder Dragon 2. While the album contains 17 tracks, several are ‘alternate versions’ of the same two themes that accompany you throughout all of the game’s seven stages.

While “Fly to Live,” “Live to Fly,” and their variations are your standard energetic shmup tracks with an electronic backing and a jazzy vibe, the highlights are the two new arrangements: the super funky “Still Live to Fly” by Shinji Hosoe and the touching piano ballad, “Fly to Live -Love Theme-“ by Namiki himself. I also dig the epic final battle theme, “Marginal Attack” and the ridiculous “Voice Collection,” showing off some of the worst voice acting of all time.

With so little music presented here when you remove the countless indistinguishable variations on the two stage themes, only hardcore fans of Manabu Namiki will probably find this worth the price.



Piano Collections NieR Gestalt & Replicant
Release Date: March 21, 2012
Price: 2,800 Yen ($34)
Availability: CD Japan
Artist(s): Keigo Hoashi, Kumi Tanioka, Ryuichi Takada, Yuri Misumi

This was easily my most anticipated release of 2012. The NieR soundtrack is one of my favorites of all time, but I wasn’t sure how this album would work without the haunting vocals of Emi Evans. I was impressed to find that the arrangements here retained their magic, but in a different way. The arrangements are pretty straightforward, with MoNACA (the game’s original composition team) handling most of the arrangements and performances and guest Kumi Tanioka (Final Fantasy XI, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles) performing three, which was a nice treat.

In the end, the question as to whether or not these arrangements are ‘better’ than the original ones is kind of a pointless one. I don’t think they are better or worse, but rather, different. I’ll usually default to the original versions with Emi Evans, but I can’t discount the soothing and simply elegant arrangements here either. I definitely think it’s worth checking out on its own merits as well as to send a message to Square Enix that we want more NieR.



The Music of Retro City Rampage
Release Date: February 2, 2012
Price: $7.99 CAD (Digital) / $43 CAD (Vinyl)
Availability: Bandcamp
Artist(s): Freaky DNA, Norrin Radd, virt

[Update: You can pick up the vinyl for $39 CAD directly from Lotus Audio if you're interested]

Retro City Rampage is attempting to be the ultimate expression of fanservice to those like me who consider the NES to be their first videogame love. The quirky humor and endless videogame references carry over into the soundtrack, and the team has once again done things right by releasing the soundtrack composed by three accomplished chiptune artists well before the release of the game to generate hype along with a limited editon vinyl release that is simply beautiful (and yes, the blue version I drooled over is almost sold out, and the green is completely gone).

The soundtrack itself is a lot of fun, although somewhat short at just about 40 minutes in length. Fan-favorite virt gives us a gritty and irreverent opening theme as well as a few parody tracks that made me chuckle, including “Not Mega…” that sounds almost exactly like… well, that famous blue guy. He actually contributes the fewest number of tracks, followed by Freaky DNA who brings the funk with “Half Steppin’” and “Bit Happy,” two of my favorite tracks on album. Norrin Rad handles the largest number of tracks, lending a poppy sound with the catchy “Dance Off,” the spacey “Proton Decay,” and the giddy “Smut Peddler.”

I can’t say that many of the melodies here stuck with me afterwards, but I imagine that will change after playing the game. I love what the team has done with the soundtrack and especially the fact that they’ve released It before the game’s release. Be sure to check it out.

[embed]225854:43399[/embed]



SONIC ADVENTURE Original Soundtrack 20th Anniversary Edition
Release Date: May 18, 2011
Price: 2,400 Yen ($29) (physical) / $9.99 (digital)
Availability: CD Japan / iTunes
Artist(s): Jun Senoue, Kenichi Tokoi, Masaru Setsumaru, Fumie Kumatani

This is an odd release that came out last year to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Sonic the Hedgehog. It’s odd in that it’s a single disc ‘best of’ collection, whereas the originally issued soundtrack contained two discs. Why they didn’t re-issue the full two-disc soundtrack, I don’t know, but it goes for hundreds of dollars on the used market these days, so with this release, you may as well take what you can get.

And you’ll want to take it. Crush40 and Jun Senoue have been, in my opinion, destroying Sonic’s musical legacy for so long with all their cheesy vocal tracks that I’d forgotten just how good this soundtrack was. Senoue and Crush40 are here, but this is their first outing together, so they come off as more subdued. The few tracks that Crush40 is featured on are actually tasteful and catchy. As for the rest of the soundtrack, it’s some of the best that the Sonic series has to offer with incredibly melodies covering pop, rock, and electronic styles. I could list nearly every track on this collection as a favorite, so I’ll refrain and simply say “Windy Hill” from Windy City and “Egg Carrier - A Song That Keeps Us On The Move” are my jam.

Fans of classic Sonic the Hedgehog music that missed out on the two-disc version will want to pick this up for sure.



SONIC THE HEDGEHOG CD Original Soundtrack 20th Anniversary Edition
Release Date: November 23, 2011
Price: 2,400 Yen ($29) (physical) / $9.99 (digital)
Availability: CD Japan / Play-Asia / iTunes
Artist(s): Masafumi Ogata, Naofumi Hataya

Few soundtracks are as controversial as the Sonic CD soundtrack. The original soundtrack was composed by Sega composers in Japan and was featured intact in the Japanese and European releases of the game. Fans in North America were probably unaware, however, that Sega of America completely re-scored the game for the North America release. The original score was much more electronic in style, resembling past Sonic soundtracks, while the North American version got a more atmospheric slant. Why this was done, nobody knows, but it happened, and there wasn’t a proper release for the original Japanese/European soundtrack until now.

What you have are the core stage themes with additional “good future,” “bad future,” and “boss” mixes. I have to say that while I like both versions of the soundtrack, I prefer the ones presented here with a fun, tropical “Palmtree Panic,” the sexy smooth jazz flavored “Tidal Tempest,” the upbeat fusion “Quartz Quandrant,” and the chugging electronic “Wacky Workbench” areas. The early 1990s-flavored hip-hop version of “Stardust Speedway” also made me chuckle. While this version resonates with me more, I do have to admit I like Nielsen’s “Sonic Boom” vocal theme better than the horrible hip-hop “You Can Do Anything” found here, and the inspirational rap ending theme, “Believe in Yourself” is just embarrassing. There are some bonus remixes found here as well, including renditions of “Sonic Boom” and “Stardust Speedway” featuring Jun Senoue, Crush40 and Cash Cash (an electronic group featured heavily on Sonic Generations). Fans of Naofumi Hataya (who also scored NiGHTS) should appreciate the track-by-track artist breakdown.

Of all the 20th anniversary soundtrack releases, this one is most worth your attention as it’s not a simple re-issue, but a first-time release with bonuses. It’s worth checking out to get an alternate take on the game’s soundtrack for fans in North America who didn’t know any better.



Valkyria Chronicles 3 Sound and Song Collection
Release Date: May 11, 2011
Price: 3,500 Yen ($42)
Availability: CD Japan / Play-Asia
Artist(s): Hitoshi Sakimoto, Shiro Sagisu, Hikaru Nanase, Masato Nakayama, Katsuhiko Kurosu

This is another one by Hitoshi Sakimoto. I love his Western-flavored Valkyria Chronicles soundtracks, and the soundtrack for Valkyria Chronicles 3 was particularly mature and moody after the more upbeat Valkyria Chronicles 2. I’m looking at this one so late after its release because it was initially released by Basiscape Records in February 2011. I was wondering what this re-issue was all about, and apparently it’s the same great soundtrack with the wonderful guitar arrangements featured on the Basiscape release swapped out for four licensed vocal themes used in the game and in the anime adaptation. These are rather standard Japanese pop and rock tracks, although JAM Project’s “Song of the Soldiers Chasing the Wind” from the game actually fits in with the score as a triumphant march with male choral-style singing, much to my surprise.

I’d honestly recommend picking up the Basiscape Records version with its guitar arrangements over this one. They are incredibly well done, and with the exception of the aforementioned JAM Project track, the vocal themes here don’t have a whole lot of connection to the series. You can pick up the Basiscape Records version at CD Japan as well.

[embed]225854:43423" data-vidtitle="

Note Worthy 001: Kingdom Hearts 3D, Journey, and more Welcome to Note Worthy, a new feature we’re rolling out on Destructoid! If you’ve read anything I’ve contributed over the past year at Destructoid, you’ve probably noticed that it all pertains to game ...  
Full story

" data-purl="note-worthy-001-kingdom-hearts-3d-journey-and-more-225854.phtml" data-vidsummary="" data-remodal-target="watch"> photo
8===D


Journey Original Soundtrack
Release Date: April 10, 2012
Price: $4.99
Availability:
iTunes / CD release TBA
Artist(s): Austin Wintory

After having an amazing experience playing through the game, I had to wait in anticipation all over again for the game’s soundtrack. We hosted a lovely feature with Austin Wintory about his work on Journey where he discussed the creation of several pieces as well as offered samples, but with the complete soundtrack in hand, I’m surprised there’s actually so much music here, totaling nearly an hour of music. And all of it sounds fantastic with live session artists and even a live orchestra.

All the key elements are here for you to re-experience Journey all over again, but this time aurally. There’s the blistering wind of “The Call,” the playful “Threshold,” the vibrant “Road of Trials” (one of my personal favorites), the foreboding “Temptations” with its lovely harp work and the ominous “Descent” with its rumbling percussion. There are some more atmospheric pieces in between before a powerful trio closes out the album with the desperate “Nadir” that accompanies a key moment in the game, the jubilant and dreamy “Apotheosis,” and the emotionally charged ending vocal theme, “I was Born for This.”

Even when you’re out on the go, you can experience the magic of Journey any time with this soundtrack. Even those who didn’t play the game should appreciate Austin Wintory’s majestic score, and it obviously comes just as highly recommended as the game itself.

[embed]225854:43397[/embed]



Kingdom Hearts 3D Dream Drop Distance Original Soundtrack
Release Date: April 18, 2012
Price: 3,800 Yen ($47 USD)
Availability: CD Japan / Play-Asia
Artist(s): Yoko Shimomura, Tsuyoshi Sekito, Takeharu Ishimoto

I’ve never been a huge fan of Kingdom Hearts titles or their soundtracks. I always found them to be overly upbeat to the point of being cheesy, but that all changed with Birth by Sleep, which took a much more mature approach in the music department. Kingdom Hearts 3D Dream Drop Distance follows suit coming as light-hearted but not cheesy,and changes things up a bit by adding a lot of electronic sounds to the heavily orchestral palette of the series.

Series composer Yoko Shimomura handles the majority of the score, starting with the popular series main theme, “Dearly Beloved,” which gets a sweet waltz arrangement. She provides an eclectic mix of tracks, but my favorites would be the angelic “The World of Dream Drops” with its bell tress, piano, and strings, the elegant yet desperate “La Chloche” with timpani and harpsichord, “All for One” with its classy melody, and “Distant From You...,” which comes as a beautiful and heartwrenching duet between strings and harp. “Deep Drop” also stands out with its dark electronic sound accented by organ.

Square Enix’s Tsuyoshi Sekito and Takeharu Ishimoto also join the mix, with Sekito providing mostly epic orchestral cues with “Majestic Wings” and “Gigabyte Mantis” being my favorites. Ishimoto, on the other hand, provides several memorable moments with his electronic contributions that start with several remixes from The World Ends With You (the bumpin’ club version of “Calling” is my personal favorite) as well as several moody and textural electronic tracks, of which “Keyblade Cycle” stands out with its unsettling and glitchy soundscape. There are also several classical pieces by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and others tucked away at the end of the album.

There’s some great music here, and the packaging for this three-disc collection is delightful with glossy cardboard and some classy silhouettes on the discs themselves. Fans will want to definitely check out what’s new with the Kingdom Hearts series, while others may want to wait and play the game before deciding to drop close to $50 USD on this one.



Manabu Namiki WORKS Vol.2 ~Thunder Dragon 2~
Release Date: December 21, 2011
Price: 2,625 Yen ($32)
Availability: CD Japan
Artist(s): Manabu Namiki

For those who don’t know, Manabu Namiki has become somewhat of a legend over the years for his soundtracks to many a shmup title from Cave, Zuntata, and more. He’s also a member of Basiscape. This album presents his soundtrack to the 1993 title, Thunder Dragon 2. While the album contains 17 tracks, several are ‘alternate versions’ of the same two themes that accompany you throughout all of the game’s seven stages.

While “Fly to Live,” “Live to Fly,” and their variations are your standard energetic shmup tracks with an electronic backing and a jazzy vibe, the highlights are the two new arrangements: the super funky “Still Live to Fly” by Shinji Hosoe and the touching piano ballad, “Fly to Live -Love Theme-“ by Namiki himself. I also dig the epic final battle theme, “Marginal Attack” and the ridiculous “Voice Collection,” showing off some of the worst voice acting of all time.

With so little music presented here when you remove the countless indistinguishable variations on the two stage themes, only hardcore fans of Manabu Namiki will probably find this worth the price.



Piano Collections NieR Gestalt & Replicant
Release Date: March 21, 2012
Price: 2,800 Yen ($34)
Availability: CD Japan
Artist(s): Keigo Hoashi, Kumi Tanioka, Ryuichi Takada, Yuri Misumi

This was easily my most anticipated release of 2012. The NieR soundtrack is one of my favorites of all time, but I wasn’t sure how this album would work without the haunting vocals of Emi Evans. I was impressed to find that the arrangements here retained their magic, but in a different way. The arrangements are pretty straightforward, with MoNACA (the game’s original composition team) handling most of the arrangements and performances and guest Kumi Tanioka (Final Fantasy XI, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles) performing three, which was a nice treat.

In the end, the question as to whether or not these arrangements are ‘better’ than the original ones is kind of a pointless one. I don’t think they are better or worse, but rather, different. I’ll usually default to the original versions with Emi Evans, but I can’t discount the soothing and simply elegant arrangements here either. I definitely think it’s worth checking out on its own merits as well as to send a message to Square Enix that we want more NieR.



The Music of Retro City Rampage
Release Date: February 2, 2012
Price: $7.99 CAD (Digital) / $43 CAD (Vinyl)
Availability: Bandcamp
Artist(s): Freaky DNA, Norrin Radd, virt

[Update: You can pick up the vinyl for $39 CAD directly from Lotus Audio if you're interested]

Retro City Rampage is attempting to be the ultimate expression of fanservice to those like me who consider the NES to be their first videogame love. The quirky humor and endless videogame references carry over into the soundtrack, and the team has once again done things right by releasing the soundtrack composed by three accomplished chiptune artists well before the release of the game to generate hype along with a limited editon vinyl release that is simply beautiful (and yes, the blue version I drooled over is almost sold out, and the green is completely gone).

The soundtrack itself is a lot of fun, although somewhat short at just about 40 minutes in length. Fan-favorite virt gives us a gritty and irreverent opening theme as well as a few parody tracks that made me chuckle, including “Not Mega…” that sounds almost exactly like… well, that famous blue guy. He actually contributes the fewest number of tracks, followed by Freaky DNA who brings the funk with “Half Steppin’” and “Bit Happy,” two of my favorite tracks on album. Norrin Rad handles the largest number of tracks, lending a poppy sound with the catchy “Dance Off,” the spacey “Proton Decay,” and the giddy “Smut Peddler.”

I can’t say that many of the melodies here stuck with me afterwards, but I imagine that will change after playing the game. I love what the team has done with the soundtrack and especially the fact that they’ve released It before the game’s release. Be sure to check it out.

[embed]225854:43399[/embed]



SONIC ADVENTURE Original Soundtrack 20th Anniversary Edition
Release Date: May 18, 2011
Price: 2,400 Yen ($29) (physical) / $9.99 (digital)
Availability: CD Japan / iTunes
Artist(s): Jun Senoue, Kenichi Tokoi, Masaru Setsumaru, Fumie Kumatani

This is an odd release that came out last year to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Sonic the Hedgehog. It’s odd in that it’s a single disc ‘best of’ collection, whereas the originally issued soundtrack contained two discs. Why they didn’t re-issue the full two-disc soundtrack, I don’t know, but it goes for hundreds of dollars on the used market these days, so with this release, you may as well take what you can get.

And you’ll want to take it. Crush40 and Jun Senoue have been, in my opinion, destroying Sonic’s musical legacy for so long with all their cheesy vocal tracks that I’d forgotten just how good this soundtrack was. Senoue and Crush40 are here, but this is their first outing together, so they come off as more subdued. The few tracks that Crush40 is featured on are actually tasteful and catchy. As for the rest of the soundtrack, it’s some of the best that the Sonic series has to offer with incredibly melodies covering pop, rock, and electronic styles. I could list nearly every track on this collection as a favorite, so I’ll refrain and simply say “Windy Hill” from Windy City and “Egg Carrier - A Song That Keeps Us On The Move” are my jam.

Fans of classic Sonic the Hedgehog music that missed out on the two-disc version will want to pick this up for sure.



SONIC THE HEDGEHOG CD Original Soundtrack 20th Anniversary Edition
Release Date: November 23, 2011
Price: 2,400 Yen ($29) (physical) / $9.99 (digital)
Availability: CD Japan / Play-Asia / iTunes
Artist(s): Masafumi Ogata, Naofumi Hataya

Few soundtracks are as controversial as the Sonic CD soundtrack. The original soundtrack was composed by Sega composers in Japan and was featured intact in the Japanese and European releases of the game. Fans in North America were probably unaware, however, that Sega of America completely re-scored the game for the North America release. The original score was much more electronic in style, resembling past Sonic soundtracks, while the North American version got a more atmospheric slant. Why this was done, nobody knows, but it happened, and there wasn’t a proper release for the original Japanese/European soundtrack until now.

What you have are the core stage themes with additional “good future,” “bad future,” and “boss” mixes. I have to say that while I like both versions of the soundtrack, I prefer the ones presented here with a fun, tropical “Palmtree Panic,” the sexy smooth jazz flavored “Tidal Tempest,” the upbeat fusion “Quartz Quandrant,” and the chugging electronic “Wacky Workbench” areas. The early 1990s-flavored hip-hop version of “Stardust Speedway” also made me chuckle. While this version resonates with me more, I do have to admit I like Nielsen’s “Sonic Boom” vocal theme better than the horrible hip-hop “You Can Do Anything” found here, and the inspirational rap ending theme, “Believe in Yourself” is just embarrassing. There are some bonus remixes found here as well, including renditions of “Sonic Boom” and “Stardust Speedway” featuring Jun Senoue, Crush40 and Cash Cash (an electronic group featured heavily on Sonic Generations). Fans of Naofumi Hataya (who also scored NiGHTS) should appreciate the track-by-track artist breakdown.

Of all the 20th anniversary soundtrack releases, this one is most worth your attention as it’s not a simple re-issue, but a first-time release with bonuses. It’s worth checking out to get an alternate take on the game’s soundtrack for fans in North America who didn’t know any better.



Valkyria Chronicles 3 Sound and Song Collection
Release Date: May 11, 2011
Price: 3,500 Yen ($42)
Availability: CD Japan / Play-Asia
Artist(s): Hitoshi Sakimoto, Shiro Sagisu, Hikaru Nanase, Masato Nakayama, Katsuhiko Kurosu

This is another one by Hitoshi Sakimoto. I love his Western-flavored Valkyria Chronicles soundtracks, and the soundtrack for Valkyria Chronicles 3 was particularly mature and moody after the more upbeat Valkyria Chronicles 2. I’m looking at this one so late after its release because it was initially released by Basiscape Records in February 2011. I was wondering what this re-issue was all about, and apparently it’s the same great soundtrack with the wonderful guitar arrangements featured on the Basiscape release swapped out for four licensed vocal themes used in the game and in the anime adaptation. These are rather standard Japanese pop and rock tracks, although JAM Project’s “Song of the Soldiers Chasing the Wind” from the game actually fits in with the score as a triumphant march with male choral-style singing, much to my surprise.

I’d honestly recommend picking up the Basiscape Records version with its guitar arrangements over this one. They are incredibly well done, and with the exception of the aforementioned JAM Project track, the vocal themes here don’t have a whole lot of connection to the series. You can pick up the Basiscape Records version at CD Japan as well.

[embed]225854:43423" data-vidtitle="

Note Worthy 001: Kingdom Hearts 3D, Journey, and more Welcome to Note Worthy, a new feature we’re rolling out on Destructoid! If you’ve read anything I’ve contributed over the past year at Destructoid, you’ve probably noticed that it all pertains to game ...   full story

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Note Worthy 001: Kingdom Hearts 3D, Journey, and more

Welcome to Note Worthy, a new feature we’re rolling out on Destructoid! If you’ve read anything I’ve contributed over the past year at Destructoid, you’ve probably noticed that it all pertains to game music. I live f...   read

 
 
Jayson NapolitanoFeatured blogger

Jayson Napolitano was Destructoid's Music Editor, specializing in coverage of game music, chiptunes, and more. He now owns and operates , a game audio PR and record label company, continuing to s...

 


 


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