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RARE on Vinyl

With Black Friday just around the corner, there are many promotional deals popping up all over the place and of course I'm always on the lookout for anything Video Game Music related so here's one that caught my eye.. well, both eyes.  iam8bit is releasing three new vinyls based off of three games created by RARE, those games are: Battletoads in Battlemaniacs - Composer David Wise(SNES), Conker's Bad Fur Day - Composer Robin Beanland(N64) and Viva Piñata - Composer Grant Kirkhope(Xbox 360).  From the description, it sounds like the classic "Great Mighty Poo Song"  from Conker's Bad Fur Day has been fully remastered exclusively for this release—now I just need to hear it performed live. We've always been huge fans of RARE's games over the years and it's great to see the soundtracks from these games continue to recieve this treatment of re-masters and re-releases.   Anyway, these vinyls will be released during the second quarter or 2018 BUT pre-orders begin on Black Friday at 12:01am PST(3:01am for us East Coasters). Just the cover work alone makes it worth it for displaying with your gaming collection but if you're interested in expanding your gaming records, here's the link to the site to pre-order.

Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves

Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves is a stealth based platformer developed by Sucker Punch, that was released for the PlayStation 2 in 2005. The soundtrack was written by the great Peter McConnell—known for hits such as Grim Fandango, Psychonauts, Brütal Legend and Hearthstone—as was the second game in the series, Sly 2: Band of Thieves. 

This was the first Sly Cooper game I ever played,  picked up the HD Collection, played through Sly 3 and really enjoyed it. I wish checkpoints were a little closer together but it's nowhere near as bad as Jak and Daxter(don't even get me started..). The relationship among the three characters is very entertaining and well written, "The Murray" is hilarious and probably my favorite character to play as. He's more of a hulk, where as Sly is best for stealth and Bentley for hacking and using the various gadgets as his disposal. The Sly games still work today, they avoid feeling aged and clunky compared to some of the other HD Remakes. The jumping and combat feels fluid, the cel-shaded look cleans up nicely in HD and of course the eclectic soundtrack is as clear as it's ever been. The scores focus is mid-twentieth century crime/noir that adapts according to environment(Chinese Palace, Venice Boat Chase, Pirate Ships, ect.) and the talented orchestra makes these musical changes effortlessly. The musical style of this game is anything but stale and repetitive. Even if you've never played a Sly Cooper game, this energetic soundtrack deserves a listen.

There are very few copies appearing here and there on Amazon and ebay for around $60-80(new) so, if you plan on finding a physical copy, expect to fork out some dough to get your hands on one. If not, our copy is uploaded in both FLAC and MP3. Enjoy!.

Halloween Playlist Vol. 2

 

 

Originally, we weren't planning on putting together a playlist this Halloween(even though we skipped last year) but then came the fall weather, orange lights, ghosts and pumpkins popping up everywhere; next thing we know, we're working on a playlist. This next volume is much larger than our first—which was only 5 tracks and a mere 15 minutes long—Vol. 2 is over an hour long and contains 25 tracks. Rather then just picking a handful of tracks and spending most of the time primarily sifting through hours worth of video content to sync with the music as we did before, this time our primary goal was to focus on adding music that has the most Halloween feeling to it and then  place a few snapshots along with some short video clips here and there. Regarding the first track in the playlist(Gothic Tileset - TimeSplitters 2) I could find zero screenshots or video clips in HD so I had to input the Action Replay code to make the Gothic Tilset available(it's labeled as number 4 in-game) and then open up the Mapmaker and create a level from scratch to be able to capture some screenshots and video.  I think it turned out really well and it was.. fun putting it all together.

To make sure we have a little something for everybody, we've included spooky tracks from newer titles such as Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle and tracks from great old classics such as The 7th Guest—which, if haven't heard "Skeletons In My Closet"  yet.. Go give it a listen, It's the final track on the playlist and a fun song.  There are no tracks from horror games because we wanted this to be Halloween centered and not so much a heart pounding surprise or jump-scare playlist, maybe one day we'll put together one of those. We also added some cheesy foreground effects such as pumpkins illuminating, fog and autumn leaves blowing by to try and make it feel more like Halloween while you listen. We always create playlists with the intent of aiding other in discovering video game music that you may have never listen to before and this ones no different, there are plenty of great songs here and hopefully you will find some to add to your own personal playlist.

Hope you enjoy it and in case we don't have an update next Tuesday.. Happy Halloween!

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller Review

The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is very well built, it's comfortable, dense and has textured grips to keep the controller from slipping out of your hands. It's the alternative choice for those who want a more traditional way to play games compared to the Joy-Cons setup with the standard Attachment or Charging Grip. It comes with a 6ft USB-C cable and can be charged from the Switch docking station or AC adapter. It's an improvement over the Wii U Pro Controller, ditching the odd right joystick placement and moving it below the primary buttons, resembling a Xbox controller.

Click to read more ...

Hyrule Warrirors

 

It's finally finished. Hyrule Warriors is a hack-and-slack game developed by Omega Force and Team Ninja, featuring characters from the Zelda franchise. It was released for the Wii U in August of 2014 and the heavy hitting soundtrack is composed by both Masato Koike & Yuki Matsumura. A fair amount of the tracks are re-arranged versions of classic Zelda tunes such as Hyrule Field or The Legend of Zelda Theme which certainly sound great but the original works are some of the best rock songs I've heard in a game—Eclipse of the World being my favorite so far. I'm glad I got around to doing this because for quite a while now it's been the most requested soundtrack for us to upload and we always feel bad when it takes a while to get these uploaded but there's only so much free time in a week and I always want to make sure each upload goes through the motions of properly converting, editing, tagging and double checking the files to make sure we didn't overlook any tracks.

This project was very different from previous uploads because a majority of the tracks have multiple channels and depending on the occurring event some channels are muted while others play; such as Pause and Focus Spirit. Typically the way it's structured is the first two channels are Percussion, 3-4 are Bass Guitar, 5-6 are Brass, 7-8 are Electric Guitar, and the remaining two are either just Cymbals or additional Drums for Focus Spirit. You can mix and match the channels any which way to want, resulting in tracks unheard during gameplay but some of them can be heard at the music gallery in the options menu once you've unlocked a certain track; you can also change the channels there by using the shoulder buttons.

Overall, we came away with 99 tracks. More than I originally mentioned because I ended up adding a few more variations to the album other than just the normal, pause and focus spirit version, for example: Solidus Cave(Techno), Silent Guadians (Rock) or Eclipse of the World (Focus Spirit Ver. 2). Ones I've played around with that sound quite good so I had to add them. I didn't want to add every channel because the album than becomes less of a soundtrack and more of a channel sampler. Our goal is always to make our uploads as professional as possible and I hope that's shown with our previous uploads. I could have added even more but I didn't want tracks that sounded almost the same as other with just one extra instrument. I labeled each track according to the in-game Gallery Music Player description with the only difference being instead of the games abbreviations(TP, OT, SS) I think it looks better to have the complete titles(Twilight Princess, Ocarina of Time, Skyward Sword), so I changed that.

I really wish someday Nintendo will realize how many people want to listen to the great music they've composed over the years and set up an online store or at least release the albums on iTunes so it's not so difficult to obtain but until that day—which may never come, sadly—you can enjoy our upload in both FLAC(which is a two part download) and MP3. Enjoy!