Tag Archives: soundtrack

Diggin in the Carts – A Collection of Pioneering Japanese Video Game Music

What’s that? A new feature? Why yes, yes it is.

In MoeGamer Music, an occasional feature, I sit down with a blank post and sit down to listen to a whole album without interruptions. While doing so, I will pen some immediate thoughts about each track, as well as providing a bit of information about the album as a whole.

And yes, being a physical release sort of person, everything I will be covering in this column is available on CD, and I will be listening to it on CD rather than ripping it to my digital music library. Distraction-free listening for the win.

We begin today with Diggin in the Carts: A Collection of Pioneering Japanese Video Game Music, published by Hyperdub. If you want to listen along, check out the Bandcamp page here.

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What’s in the Box: Song of Memories – Encore Edition

Is it Limited Edition time again? Why yes, yes it is!

I actually wasn’t expecting this one quite so soon; Song of Memories has been delayed so much from its originally anticipated release date that I was very surprised to get a shipping notification the other day, and find it showing up on my doorstep a day later. Still, I’m not complaining!

Song of Memories’ limited edition, known as the Encore Edition, is an exclusive to Funstock subsidiary Rice Digital, who have partnered with publisher and localiser PQube on a number of previous titles. Let’s take a closer look.

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Sunday Driving: Rigged to Blow

I fancied a bit of a change from OutRun this week, so I present to you one of my all-time favourite arcade racers: Split/Second, developed by Black Rock and published by Disney.

Split/Second is a tragic tale, really; it was a spectacularly good game that came out at a bad time, had no marketing whatsoever and consequently flopped so badly that Black Rock had to close down and Disney stopped doing anything interesting like unusual cinematic arcade racers ever again. Booo.

Still, at least Split/Second still exists, and we can still enjoy it for ourselves, so let’s do just that!

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Blue Reflection: Sounds of School Days

We’ve already talked about how distinctive Blue Reflection’s visual aesthetic is thanks to the contributions of Mel Kishida — but its music is worthy of some discussion, too.

It will come as no surprise to longtime Gust fans to hear that Blue Reflection has an excellent soundtrack — though it’s an interesting score overall in that it blends a variety of different styles to create something altogether unique.

It complements the action well and, between it and the visuals, means that Blue Reflection is one of the most distinctive games Gust has put out for a long time. So let’s take a closer look… listen, whatever.

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Waifu Wednesday: Shantae

With the recent announcement of a release date for Shantae: 1/2 Genie Hero’s physical Ultimate Edition, I thought it was high time we showed the girl herself some love.

She’s been the star of four separate games to date, as well as making guest appearances in a number of other titles such as Blaster Master Zero.

I’ve actually earmarked June of 2018 to explore the Shantae series as a whole, so we’ll talk more about her in detail then, but in the meantime let’s contemplate the majesty of this belly-dancing half-genie and why she’s so appealing.

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The MoeGamer Awards: Most Eclectic Soundtrack

The MoeGamer Awards are a series of made-up prizes that give me an excuse to celebrate games, concepts and communities I’ve particularly appreciated over the course of 2017. Find out more and suggest some categories here!

Music is a massively important part of the modern gaming experience. As technology has improved, particularly in the storage department, we’ve seen a notable shift away from game systems synthesising music in real time using built-in sound chips — a process that often produced a distinctive and instantly recognisable sound unique to each platform — and towards more traditionally recorded music.

While this does diminish each modern platform’s individuality in terms of the distinctive timbres of their games’ soundtracks, it does leave composers free to let their imaginations run wild and express themselves — and for us as listeners to focus on the compositions themselves rather than admire how the musicians got around technical limitations. Today’s award celebrates a delightfully eclectic and enjoyable soundtrack that blends a variety of styles together into one coherent whole; the kind of soundtrack that simply wouldn’t have been possible back in the eras of chiptunes or synthesised MIDI music.

And the winner is…

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Stormblood: The MMO as Musical Theatre

“Video games aren’t movies.” That’s a line of criticism that those who prioritise mechanics over narrative like to level at cutscene-heavy games, particularly those by creators such as Hideo Kojima and David Cage.

And while it’s true that making effective use of games as a form of interactive media tends to emphasise actual interaction over passively watching cutscenes, one can hardly deny the spectacle offered by strongly movie-inspired titles, and the flexibility that entirely computer-generated scenes and characters can provide creators.

Which makes it all the more unusual that so many games focus on movies as their primary inspiration rather than other forms of media. Sure, some role-playing games might be rather operatic in tone, visual novels are effectively “Books Plus” and rhythm games provide a new way of experiencing pieces of music, but video games have never embraced the idea, of, say, musical theatre.

Or so you thought…

This article is also a video! Hit the jump to watch it, or catch it on YouTube.

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