Tagged: music

Of 2015: The Best Game Music

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Pardon my link bait but I already did a recap of my favorite game music from 2015 over at Original Sound Version. I even think it turned out pretty well so you should probably check it out over there. If, for whatever reason, you just can’t bring yourself to leave GameLuv I’ll do you a quick recap of my picks.

Game Soundtrack of the Year: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
By: Ludvig Forssell, Justin Burnett, Harry Gregson-Williams, Daniel James, Rina Yugi, Steve Henifin (Kojima Productions), Donna Burke, Stefanie Joosten

If you still love listening to a soundtrack after spending 200+ hours with it, you know it’s something special! While the storyline of MGSV may be all over the place, the music — from original score to mood-setting ambiance to licensed 80’s pop songs — holds true to the game’s themes of pain and revenge. Even the licensed tracks used only in trailers leading up to its release stick to the overall vibe of the game.

Runner Up: Minna de Spelunker Z/Spelunker World
By: Ken-ichiro Iwasaki, Maro Miyakawa

I don’t know how many hours I spent with Spelunker in 2015 but I kept up with the Japanese and U.S. versions almost every single day from April on. It’s a peculiar combo of punishing retro platforming and modern, free-to-play design that I can’t seem to get enough of. As such the infectiously catchy music has been in my head all year long and I love and hate and LOVE it!

Arrangement Album of the Year: V-Jams by V-Jams

V-Jams’ style hit me so hard back in August that it made me feel like a video game music virgin; as if no one had ever rearranged a video game tune before. It’s not because V-Jams’ renditions are ultra-authentic to the source material, far from it. V-Jams pushes familiar themes to the edge of recognizability and then noodles over them with amazing jazzy style as the minutes unravel. There’s also a bit of mystery around the collective which I’m eager to see revealed in 2016 because it means more of this astounding music won’t be far behind!

Runner Up: Volume III by DJ Cutman

While I love the wildest deconstructions of music I also appreciate the simple art of adding fat beats. It really was that simple on Cutman’s earliest works but for 2015’s Volume III there’s a lot more going on. Chopped and looped with layers of fresh drums and beats, he’s reinvigorated some of my favorites and introduced me to so many new soundtracks. Volume III is simply his most polished and professional work yet and well worth checking out.

Happy Halloween! Here’s some Spooky Fun Music!

As I’ve done for quite a few years, I’m celebrating Halloween with a little bit of game music. This year I’ve been making quite a few holiday-appropriate posts for Original Sound Version and it’s resulted in my most elaborate Halloween production since the long-lost efforts of Hal10ween.

After you watch this video featuring some offbeat and spooky songs you can check out two of my favorite Castlevania remix albums, my review of the Spooky Bonus soundtrack, and Ryan’s “Game Soundtracks for Your Soul” post for which I whipped up the featured image.

Metal Gear Solid V’s Other Soundtrack is so Great

I expected to like a lot of things about Metal Gear Solid V but I was surprised to find one of its in-game soundtracks so captivating. Yes, yes, there’s a bunch of 80’s songs in the game but forget about those. You’ve heard them all before and GTA has done a better job of curating them for the last fifteen years.

‘Music Tape 1’, that’s the stuff you should check out. And now you can, because I recorded it all. I also wrote about several of the tracks over on OSV so take a look at that if you want to know more or just hit play on the video above and enjoy.

Brave Wave Lovingly Remastering Classic Soundtracks

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This may look like just another vinyl OST post but there’s even better news to report. Japanese music label, Brave Wave Productions, has announced a new series that will offer definitive editions of classic soundtracks in as pure and authentic a form as possible. How are they going to pull it off? By working with everyone they can get their hands on including researchers, consultants, engineers, developers, license holders and the original sound teams.

As an example, their first offering in the Generation Series will feature Street Fighter II and its original arcade soundtrack. Rather than dumping a ROM, Brave Wave’s team will work to extract the music directly from the CPS-1 and CPS-2 arcade boards and remaster from there. After polishing up both versions they’ll get the blessing of original composer, Yoko Shimomura, before releasing the double album on vinyl and CD. The loving care doesn’t stop with the music as Brave Wave is collaborating with Matt Leone from Polygon.com and Yoko Shimomura to fill the liner notes with historical tales about the game and its soundtrack.

Street Fighter II is one of my all-time favorite soundtracks so I’m super excited about hearing a new high quality edition. I’m also excited about what comes next from the Generation Series. I can think of dozens of soundtracks I’d love to see restored, namely vintage Castlevania, Metal Gear and a handful of old PC games. What are some soundtracks you’d love to see Brave Wave give this special treatment to?

Original Shawn Version: I’m writing somewhere else again!

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I’ve been a fan and follower of Original Sound Version for so long I can’t remember how I even found the site in the first place. Over the years it’s been a great source of news and coverage of video game music. So when they tweeted a few weeks ago asking for interested writers my reaction was that comical pantomime where you look left, look right and then point at yourself for confirmation.

And so now I’m writing for OSV! Much like I do here, my posts are about interesting new things and stuff I love. So far I’ve written about the PlayStation Mobile game Oh Deer! that features music from Streets of Rage 3 composer, Motohiro Kawashima, and a browser plugin that helps scrobble music from streaming sites to your Last.fm profile. I’ll eventually be doing some reviews as well and hope to feature some of my favorite tracks and albums like I used to do here with ‘MahMusic’.

So that’s where my writing energies have been lately. I’ll try to post here with links to my OSV stuff like I used to when I was writing at other sites. And of course, there’ll be some crazy junk I get way into that has nothing to do with video game music that’ll still pop up here. For example, I streamed an hour-long playthrough of Fantavision for the 4th of July from a PlayStation 2 after I found out my PS3 died.