sumthing else

Insider Blog

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The full scope of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain’s score lies somewhere in the hundreds: hundreds and hundreds of songs. We, as the public, generously received no less than 3 officially sanctioned releases for MGSV; the tally of compositions when added together amounts to almost 200 tracks. It is likely, however, that this number does not even come close to encapsulating the entire spectrum of work done by lead composer Ludvig Forssell. Forssell and his collaborators’ (Daniel James, Justin Burnett, Harry-Gregson Williams, Akihiro Honda, and Donna Burke) outstanding collection of music caught the attention of the entire gaming community, including Sumthing.com.

The album impressed us so much that we awarded it our number one record of 2015. It was with this in mind that I went out to meet with Ludvig Forssell one very late April afternoon. In our conversation, Forssell detailed the extraordinary genesis of sound  found within the world of MGSV: the gritty, spectacular vision, the joys of collaboration, and the countless times he spent performing as an 80’s new wave superstar, as seen in Metal Gear Solid V: The Lost Tapes. Today, Sumthing is honored and pleased to bring you composer Ludvig Forssell.

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Listen: Metal Gear Solid V:Ground Zeroes: Camp Omega

 

SEMW: I’d like to begin by talking a little bit about Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes. My approximation of the sound of Ground Zeroes is that of a very pregnant dusk. Where does the music of the world of Ground Zeroes exist in your head? How did you separate that universe from the one that exists in The Phantom Pain? Are there key elements you wanted to emphasize? Were there particular tones you thought best described trudging through Camp Omega?

Ludvig Forssell: Well, while we already had a very clear idea of what we wanted the music in The Phantom Pain to be and stand for, the approach to Ground Zeroes was more of a checking the waters with a more wide array of ideas kind of an approach; did we want it to sound reminiscent of the music of Peace Walker or did we want something more foreboding as to what were to come at the end of that story line, leading into The Phantom Pain? In the end we went for something in between, with a hard focus on synthetic sounds to emphasize on the aesthetic look of a military prison camp in the dark rain. I would say that Ground Zeroes definitely focuses on a version of Snake that is close to the original in that he is still the hero from the old games, a guy whose actions will always resonate well with the player. So we let the central tone be way more heroic than that of The Phantom Pain. That being said, there is a sadness and a darkness lurking somewhere beneath; as if to hint at that undertaking the main mission of Ground Zeroes will ultimately lead to Snake and his team’s demise. This is something that seeps out bit by bit as you progress and find out what’s really been going on in Camp Omega.

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Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain’s lead composer Ludvig Forssell

 

SEMW: Withered Peace, and Bloodstained Anthem walk very delicate lines. Do they represent the coming duality present in the Phantom Pain? Can you talk a little bit about their creation in general? Both are amazing.

Ludvig Forssell: Withered Peace, The Girl’s Gone and Bloodstained Anthem were all born from one longer cue that I first wrote  to test out with the gameplay to see what would fit. On a side note, this cue was later reworked and released on the Extended Soundtrack with the name “Paz is Dead“. I wanted something that started out really, really, small and could build up as the player progressed further and further while carrying and caring for Paz, hopefully feeling more and more stress from the pressure of trying not to be found while at the same time feeling like they’re getting closer and closer to the light at the end of the tunnel. I wanted Withered Peace to give the player some insight as to how damaged Paz had become, how she was beyond saving, but still making you feel like you just can’t give up on her. I tried to convey this uncertainty with the unsteady pitches in the main synth leads and the track constantly changing form, making it hard to tell where it’ll go next. Bloodstained Anthem is where the player gets to just throw all caution out the window and do what they must, give their all just to save Paz from the forces of all of Camp Omega firing upon you. It’s as heroic as anything we wrote for all of MGSV gets, yet there is still a feeling of loss, a feeling of giving up on a “cleaner” version of yourself in order to complete whatever task at hand.

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Listen: Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes: Bloodstained Anthem

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Purchase WildStar Original Soundtrack

Sumthing Else Music Works, the premier record label dedicated to releasing video game soundtracks, Carbine Studios and NCSOFT® present the highly anticipated original soundtrack album for the free-to-play massively multiplayer online role-playing game, WildStar. The game’s soundtrack will be released in multiple volumes – Volume One will available for digital download and streaming on May 31.

Composer Jeff Kurtenacker (Pirates of the Burning Sea) fuses musical elements together that bring space adventure to life. Using synthesizers, a wide array of guitars, and a 75-piece Los Angeles orchestra, Kurtenacker’s approach to the WildStar universe is highly thematic, creating memorable and exciting music that engages players throughout their MMO experience. Equal parts epic space fantasy and western frontier swagger, the music of WildStar delivers a unique blend that puts you right in the middle of the action.

Join the galactic battle between the Exiles and Dominion as they race to uncover the secrets of the Eldan—a hyper-advanced race that mysteriously disappeared long ago. Trek across the beautiful and dangerous planet Nexus, and find adventure, fun, and a hell of a good time as your skills are put to the test through high-intensity combat. Download and start your adventure at www.wildstar-online.com.

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Purchase Far Cry Primal Original Soundtrack

Sumthing Else Music Works, the premier record label dedicated to releasing video game soundtracks, today announced the CD release of the original soundtrack from Far Cry® Primal as well other popular titles in the award-winning series including Far Cry® 3 and Far Cry® 3: Blood Dragon. The soundtracks are now available for digital download from www.sumthing.com and will be available in stores on March 22.

Far Cry® Primal Original Game Soundtrack – Music by Jason Graves

Two-time BAFTA winning composer Jason Graves has composed the original game soundtrack for the next exciting chapter in the award-winning Far Cry® franchise, Far Cry® Primal. Graves is renowned for his textural concept scores and cinematic orchestration on AAA titles such as Until Dawn, The Order: 1886, Evolve, Tomb Raider and Dead Space.

As a classically-trained composer and world percussionist, Graves created an entirely live organic score for Far Cry® Primal, blending a diverse array of sounds from the natural environment and incorporating many animal effects into the score. The evocative soundtrack features a unique set of textures representing each of the tribes that players will encounter, including a ram’s horn and solo flute (Wenja); Aztec death whistles, female vocals, ritualistic percussion (Izilia); raw sounds from Far Cry‘s Stone Age natural environment including bushes, bones, antlers, clay pots, wooden artifacts and male vocals (Udam). Crafted together the sounds bring the rich and primal gameplay alive to players challenged to survive in a hostile environment and rise to become the apex predator.

The award-winning franchise that stormed the tropics and climbed the Himalayas now brings its innovative open world sandbox gameplay to a time when humans were not at the top of the food chain, but were fighting to climb it, bringing together massive beasts, breathtaking environments, and unpredictable savage encounters, in Far Cry® Primal.

Preview the album here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9RTEef2Byo

Sumthing Else Music Works will also release the following Far Cry® soundtracks on CD:

Far Cry® 3 Original Game Soundtrack – Music by Brian Tyler

Far Cry® 3: Blood Dragon Original Game Soundtrack – Music by Power Glove

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Purchase Tom Clancy’s The Division Original Soundtrack

Sumthing Else Music Works, the premier record label dedicated to releasing video game soundtracks, today announced the release of the original soundtrack from Ubisoft®’s highly anticipated online open world action role-playing video game, Tom Clancy’s The Division. Developed by Ubisoft Massive and published by Ubisoft, the game’s original soundtrack is now available for digital download from www.sumthing.com and a physical CD release will be available in stores on March 22.

Composer Ola Strandh (World In Conflict®, Ground Control II) has created the soundtrack for the pandemic-ravaged streets of a mid-crisis New York City. Immerse yourself in a moody mixture of synthesizers, percussion and acoustic instruments designed to complement the diverse locations and factions you’ll encounter while exploring what’s left of Manhattan.

Tom Clancy’s The Division takes place weeks after a devastating pandemic sweeps through New York City on Black Friday. One by one, basic services fail and in only days, without food or water, society collapses into chaos. The Division, an autonomous unit of tactical agents leading seemingly ordinary lives among us, is activated to save society. Team up with other players to investigate the source of the virus, protect civilians from dangerous factions, and reclaim the city from the overwhelming turmoil.

Stream 3 tracks from the album here.

Tom Clancy’s The Division is now available for Xbox One, PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system and Windows PC.

For more information about Tom Clancy’s The Division, visit www.thedivisiongame.com.


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Kevin Riepl’s original score to reboot of Eli Roth’s cult film out now!

Sumthing Else Music Works presents the original motion picture soundtrack for CABIN FEVER composed by Kevin Riepl (BATMAN UNLIMITED, CABIN FEVER: PATIENT ZERO, GEARS OF WAR). A reboot of Eli Roth’s 2002 film of the same name, CABIN FEVER follows a group of five college graduates who rent a cabin in the woods. Soon, all hell breaks loose, as the group falls victim to a flesh-eating virus that attracts the unwanted attention of the homicidal locals. Kevin Riepl’s CABIN FEVER Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is now available for digital download on iTunes, Sumthing.com and all digital music sites.

When searching for the right composer the film’s director Travis Z found a short film online featuring a driving, tribal drumbeat which he used in the rough cut for reference. He showed the short to producer Evan Astrowsky who recognized the composer was none other than Kevin Riepl, the composer of CABIN FEVER: PATIENT ZERO. Astrowsky commented, “As we were trying to give CABIN FEVER a new vision, we were hesitant to invite people associated with the other films to the table. Kevin’s work, however, is so powerful, so original, that it was impossible to resist.”

Kevin Riepl is an award-winning composer writing for multiple entertainment genres. His engaging, hybrid and atmospheric scores have enhanced numerous films including THE NIGHT CREW (starring Luke Goss, Bokeem Woodbine and Danny Trejo), CABIN FEVER: PATIENT ZERO, SILENT NIGHT, CONTRACTED and THE ABCs of DEATH. In addition he has scored cult hit sci-fi shorts such as ATROPA, HENRI (starring Keir Dullea) and RUIN. Riepl is also renowned for composing the epic, signature scores for blockbuster video games including GEARS OF WAR, the UNREAL series, ALIENS: COLONIAL MARINES, and many more. Most recently he scored Warner Bros. Animation’s movie BATMAN UNLIMITED: ANIMAL INSTINCTS and BATMAN UNLIMITED: MONSTER MAYHEM nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Music at the 2016 Annie Awards. Upcoming projects include Warner Bros. animated movie BATMAN UNLIMITED: MECHS VS. MONSTERS, Eric England’s black comedy-thriller GET THE GIRL and BATTLEBORN, the new first-person shooter from the creators of BORDERLANDS.

CABIN FEVER is currently showing in select theaters and available On Demand.

For more information visit http://www.ifcfilms.com/films/cabin-fever.

Today I’m counting down my  favorite records of 2015, and if there is one absolute in my daily routine, it is listening to videogame scores…repeatedly.  There is absolutely nothing I would rather be listening to. If you knew me personally, you would also know that there is nothing I enjoy talking about more. Congratulations to these tremendous artists.

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Listen: Broken Age: Vella Wakes

 

#3.) Peter McConnell and Broken Age–  Video games as a medium are still largely restricted to easily identifiable genres. Some war, some space…some war in space, gruff soldiers, sundries of murky, banal horror titles, and amnesia-ridden RPG protagonists. It’s all been done before and to death. The ideas inherent in these games have been savaged by every make and model of success and failure over the last 40 years.

If creation under this aged model of repackage, recycle, repackage sounds arduous…imagine scoring the same thing, the same scenes near verbatim over and over and over. It’s the hard fact that comes with laying brick, and it is one that most game composers must grapple with on a daily basis: boss encounters, the hero’s walk on, the antagonist smirk, the difficult decision, all are necessary pieces, all require a similar methodology. The question then becomes, how does one stay above the water when it is made so easy to drown in a parade of your own clones? The re-tweaked, the worked-over, all from the same sea of brittle, familiar overtures? Celebrated composer Peter McConnell is one of the very select few unwilling to shuffle alongside the bloated and the capsized as McConnell himself is the embodiment of constant reinvention. No two of his recordings sound like they were drawn from the same stock: not a single one. Nothing inside his brilliant works for 1998’s Grim Fandango could play understudy, adlib for 2005’s bizarrely opulent work as seen in Psychonauts. His voice is a distinct one, and one that’s almost without peer. Broken Age is a foothold, a bottling that actually captures the presence of space where objects exceed your grasp as they float at once near to desolately far beyond reach. Echoes are miles, light years in real-time, and they carry with them the ring of both the ponderous and the unexplored like I have never heard before. In contrast, McConnell’s duality as seen in this record’s flip-side is coruscate, warm, candidly spoken, and hand in hand. Making all things new.

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Listen: Axiom Verge: The Axiom

#2.) Thomas Happ and Axiom Verge- 

For the masses of uninitiated, those who do not play video games in any sort of setting, the aural assault of 8-bit chip-tunes is defined by a series of absolute capitulations. To begin, it is a rudimentary instrument by design: nothing more than a toolset of frangible wires. Despite this, it’s a deceivingly tricky tablature: one that is seemingly easy to master but almost impossible to alchemize in correct proportion. Thomas Happ, composer of 2015’s Axiom Verge, plays his stunningly, sybaritic verse without misstep or apology. Axiom Verge is a sumptuous framework, a land mass of low, desolate flange and cold yet hedonistic swirl. It is a representation of some of the very best the genre has ever produced, as it carefully marries the tried and faultless master-techniques of its past operators into a symbiotic union of organic and ambient sound. While most have a tendency to over-emphasize one channel over the other, Happ strikes a balance that is perfectly measured in audience threshold: just as you feel you might be overtaken by the machines, Happ dispenses an expressive edict of live sound. For those new to this chorus and for those who’ve become disaffected by the glut of the disingenuous, Happ presents a manifesto that bookends the old guard, and provides a full measure as to how to proceed and advocate from this point forward. Look beyond.

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Listen: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain: V Has Come To

#1.)  Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Ludvig Forssell, Justin Burnett, Daniel James, Akihiro Honda, Donna Burke, and Harry Gregson-Williams-

It was never going to be easy and that is the simple fact of it. Scoring for one of video games most divisive and influential series is but one single, exceedingly difficult factor. Couple that with the knowledge that this will indeed be the final pure-blooded mainline entry in the Metal Gear pantheon and the weight begins to multiply one hundred-fold. As if to follow suit, The Phantom Pain isn’t a collection of easily drawn lines. So much of its subject matter is a cortical, gray meringue of open interpretation: what is so easily defined as morally black could just as well be identified by a spectrum of colors from another point of view.

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Listen: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain: Disarmament

Chief composer Ludvig Forssell’s Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain’s score is a dangerous and unflinching collection of swerving vignettes expertly pieced together. It details in full the dearth of sunlight present in the subject matter, and accurately recounts the severity of those myopic stretches of night driving that so consume the majority of the Phantom Pain. Forssell’s faultless approach means to ground the proceedings in the incalculable grit of actual despair, and it’s also one of the first in the series to appropriately gauge and ballast the mood of Metal Gear’s tactile world. A full symphony amongst the wreckage of the Phantom Pain’s backdrop seems an unlikely variable, and so Forssell wisely presents material that is by-and-large stripped down, scaled back and uncomfortably up close: the larger the room, the greater the percentage of emotion lost.

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Listen:  Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain: The Code Talker

Forssell’s flawless, brunt creation is also one of the most successful musical collaborations in recent gaming history. Composers Justin Burnett, Daniel James and long-time series guardians Akihiro Honda, Donna Burke and Harry Gregson-Williams effortlessly adhere to all of Forssell’s hard-lined cornerstones. Working in separate capacities and lengthy moments in tandem, Forssell’s extended cohorts fashion definitive inscriptions that are paramount and absolutely necessary to both lighten and shade Forssell’s lofty draft of working blueprints. Despite the staggering run-time of The Phantom Pain’s dual platters, never once does the collective’s aesthetic cohesion falter; all subtext remains intact and the strength of the compositions gorgeously disseminates the narrative without so much as a single lull in attention.

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Listen: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain: OKB Zero

Whatever the goals, whatever the bullseye first marked and envisioned by Forssell and his team a near half decade ago is made flesh with this release. When one of these composers is remembered, all of them will be evoked simultaneously and in concert. There is no larger compliment than to be credited with complete and full understanding. The acknowledgement that of the millions of variations and outcomes that could have been, only this group was capable of delivering that final, eloquent eulogy. Unequivocally, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain’s score is the definitive series work as transcribed by those chosen few who’ve peered through its many assorted and  daunting masks: the practitioners responsible for uncovering its lifetime of heartbreaking concealments. A true seeing.

As a standing farewell: this is good.

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Having fallen in love only 4 times in his life Geno counts Double Dragon as his second and truest love. He has worked in record retail since 2000 and believes David Hayter to be the one true Solid Snake. Currently, he is putting together a band which only perform songs from Street Fighter 3rd Strike.

Sumthing Fans,

Next week, we’ll be giving away 20 digital codes (10 for PS4 / 10 for Xbox One) to download Darksiders II Deathinitive Edition. All you need to do to qualify is sign up for our newsletter! You can find the newsletter signup toolbar at the bottom of our home page. Go ahead and sign up now… we’ll wait.

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A newsletter will be sent out at 12PM Eastern on Tuesday, November 10th with instructions to claim the prizes. The first subscribers to follow these instructions will be gifted the download code for the console of their choice. Don’t worry; it’ll be a breeze. Sign up now, as you don’t want to miss out on this awesome re-master of an excellent game. The soundtrack’s not half bad either…

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Buy the soundtrack and get hyped!

IMPORTANT: The PS4 codes are only good for North & South America. The Xbox One codes are worldwide. Thanks and good luck!

These days, to any fan of Japanese games, it might seem that whether or not games get localized is completely up to a completely random shaking of a toy 8-Ball by localization companies. It can be tortuous at times, considering how much information flows between the continents thanks to the internet, to see the bounty of games that our friends back East seem to get that will never see an English release for. Indeed, sometimes the only options seem to be to either learn Japanese, or to have the patience and poise of the Buddha himself.

There are as many reasons for a lack of localization as there are unlocalized games out there; most of the times the games are too “Japanese” and any market in the west would be too niche and limited in scope to make the investment worthwhile. There are a number of notable examples of games that haven’t been localized, some condemned to never see western shores, and some with nothing but a gigantic question mark for their localization status. Some of the most exceptional games are listed therein, and as mentioned before, an 8 ball has been consulted about the chances of each game getting localized.

  1. Mother 3

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Developed by: HAL Laboratory.          Original Release Date: April 20, 2006.

Platform: Game Boy Advance.            Genre: Role Playing Game.

Mother 3’s lack of localization is one of the most baffling in the industry. Nintendo generally has a good record of publishing their first party franchises worldwide, but Mother 3 has yet to see an official English release. The absence of Mother 3 is more puzzling due to the fact that the franchise, known as EarthBound in the West, enjoyed a tremendous resurgence in terms of popularity with two of their main characters featuring in the Smash Brothers games. Lucas and Ness are fan favorites in Nintendo’s multi-IP brawler.

Mother 3 follows the same formula as EarthBound, an incredibly charming and quirky game with lovable characters and a fairly imaginative plot. The game has few faults, and none of these are major or even significant. Critics of the game mostly focus on the lack of gameplay improvements from the previous game, but that really doesn’t detract from the fact that Mother 3 is a fantastic RPG that is a must-play for any Nintendo fan.

Listen: Mother 3 OST – F-F-Fire!

Thanks in no small part due to Lucas’s appearance in Super Smash Brothers Brawl, fans have been clamoring for at least a Virtual Console release of this cult GBA classic. Nintendo has been quiet so far, but with the recent release of EarthBound Origins, the previously unlocalized first game in the series, the future isn’t nearly as grim as you think.

8-Ball Localization Forecast: Outlook good.

  1. Ciel nosurge

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Developed by: GUST.                         Original Release Date: April 26, 2012.

Platform: PlayStation Vita.                  Genre: Simulation.

I briefly talked about Ciel nosurge in a previous article, and the main reason this oddball of a game is listed is mostly because of the topic of said article, Ciel’s sequel, Ar nosurge. Both Ciel and Ar nosurge belong to the Surge Concerto series, and the way things stand right now in the west, the story of the Surge Concerto is woefully incomplete. For a series that focuses greatly on emotional storytelling and character development, the fact that half of the pie is missing doesn’t do these games any good. References to Ciel are lost in Ar, and it’s impossible to get the “ultimate” ending in the localized version of Ar, due to it requiring a data transfer from Ciel in order to be unlocked.

Being perfectly honest though, Ciel is not a game that could easily be localized. The scope of the script is massive, there’s  thousands of lines with voiced dialogue and tens of thousands without. Not to mention, that the gameplay for Ciel isn’t exactly something that would’ve appealed to broad western audiences. Simply put, the game is like a highly complex and very immersive Tamagotchi. The heroine of the game, Ionasal Kkll Preciel, has lost her memories and it’s up to the player to coax them back by performing various tasks such as talking with Ionasal, “diving” into her subconscious, and creating fairies known as Sharl by scanning barcodes with the PS Vita’s camera. The game is extremely “smart”, and the longer it’s played the more Ionasal’s daily routine matches up with the player’s. This makes it easier to accomplish the goals of the game. Afterwards, save data can be transferred to the PS Vita or PS3 version of Ar nosurge to unlock additional content and the “ultimate” ending.

Listen: Ciel nosurge OST – Neptlude (Class::NEPTLUDE=>extends.TX_CLUSTERS/.)

Unfortunately, Ciel’s lack of western draw ultimately condemned it. As Tecmo Koei has pretty much said that the game will remain a Japanese only release for the foreseeable future. Alas, the wonderful story of the Surge Concerto will remain halfway done in the western world. And the world is perhaps a bit darker because of it.

8-Ball Localization Forecast: Very doubtful.

  1. Legend of the Heroes: Trails in the Sky Second Chapter and Third Chapter

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Developed by: Falcom.                       Original Release Date: June 28, 2007.

Platform: Windows PC, PSP, PSV.     Genre: Role Playing Game.

It’s downright unfortunate what has been happening to the Legend of the Heroes: Trails in the Sky series in the west. The first part of Trails in the Sky was released stateside back in March 2011 by XSEED Games, a whole 5 years after its original release in Japan. In 2011, the PSP was already in its death throes as a platform in North America, and it came to no surprise to anyone that Trails in the Sky had a fairly poor performance in terms of sales. Nevertheless, the game was something special despite its age. Trails in the Sky had lovable characters, a very interesting setting, layers of complexity in its innocuous looking battle system, and a promise of things to come. Trails in the Sky was nothing but a fantastic prelude to the next two episodes in the series which garnered even more praise and near universal acclaim in Japan. XSEED Games promised that the localization for the second game would be forthcoming relatively shortly after the first one… but it’s been almost six years, and we’ve yet to see a release for it.

Listen: Trails in the Sky SC OST – Silver Will

Now, this isn’t to say that XSEED Games is to blame for this debacle. XSEED has been in the forefront of Japanese game localization ever since they started as a company and they deserve the utmost respect. Trails in the Sky: Second Chapter has a massive script and there’s a monstrous amount of dialogue, menus, battle scenes, etcetera to translate. Considering how the first game wasn’t exactly flying off the shelves, XSEED wasn’t able to put as many resources into translating the sequel as they would’ve liked to. And so we wait.

8-Ball Localization Forecast: Signs point to yes.

  1. Fatal Frame 4: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse

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Developed by: Grasshopper Mfr.        Original Release Date: July 31, 2008.

Platform: Nintendo Wii.                       Genre: Survival Horror.

The Fatal Frame series is close to many a horror fan’s heart. The pulse pounding suspense, the relative weakness of the protagonists, the encroaching terror of the supernatural all create an experience that’s uncomfortably hard to describe. Fatal Frame enjoyed moderate success in the west, with critics praising its unique mechanics and intensely creepy atmosphere. There were three games released for the PlayStation 2, but as survival horror declined as a genre, so did the sales for Fatal Frame in the west. Once Tecmo decided to jump platforms from Sony’s Playstation brand to Nintendo’s Wii system for Fatal Frame 4, the game was not released in North America.

Nintendo of America and Tecmo seem to have had communication issues over the game, as Tecmo had stated that NoA were the publishers for Fatal Frame 4 outside of Japan, but Reggie Fils-Aime stated in an interview with “MTV Multiplayer” that “[Nintendo of America is] not the publisher of that title in the Americas. So I can’t comment on it…”

Listen: Fatal Frame 4 OST – Tsukimori Song ~ Piano

Horror fans were deprived of the pleasure of playing Fatal Frame 4, be it by corporate shenanigans or another ulterior motive. The game will most likely never see an official localization effort, but not everything is lost, as the sequel to Fatal Frame 4 has been confirmed for a worldwide release this October. Fans of the franchise will finally be able to fight evil spirits with the Camera Obscura one more time on the Wii U.

8-Ball Localization Forecast: My reply is no.

  1. God Eater 2

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Developed by: Shift, Namco-Bandai.  Original Release Date: November 14, 2013.

Platform: PlayStation 4, PSV.             Genre: Action Role Playing Game.

Namco-Bandai’s God Eater is an absolute phenomenon in Japan; there’s statues of the giant enemy monsters scattered throughout Akihabara, an anime series by legendary animation studio ufotable, more merchandise than you can shake a stick at, and of course, the games themselves and their many expansions and spinoffs. All of this makes it perplexing that Namco-Bandai’s only effort to bring God Eater to the west was with the localization of the very first game. Admittedly, the game did not do the greatest in terms of sales due to it being released for the PSP way past the prime of the device. Regardless of poor sales, God Eater gathered a tremendous cult following in the west.

The series is fantastic in nearly every aspect; it integrated the meticulous and pattern-based combat of Monster Hunter while making it extremely fast paced, along with having an interesting and original story with memorable characters. Composer Go Shiina of Tales of Legendia, Tekken 6, and Ace Combat fame was in charge of the scores throughout the series, and it shows on the excellent soundtrack that is present in every single game; featuring big names such as Donna Burke, and May J.

Listen: God Eater 2 OST – God and Man

So far, Namco-Bandai has been completely silent about God Eater 2 and the remake of the first game coming to the English speaking world. There hasn’t even been a peep coming from them in the matter, and considering their previous track record with some games, that’s not particularly encouraging. But not localizing a franchise as popular as God Eater seems to be a blunder of terrifying proportions that one can only hope Namco-Bandai doesn’t make.

8-Ball Localization Forecast: Reply hazy try again.

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Playing video games since he has a conscious memory, Bernard has fond memories of the Super Nintendo and the 16 bit MIDI symphonies emanating from it. Since then, he has acquired fairly atypical tastes in games and game music. Nowadays, you can find him dodging bullets and bobbing his head to the music in the Touhou Project, or fighting against gigantic monsters in Monster Hunter, God Eater, or Toukiden. Deep down, he believes portable consoles are king, long live the PS Vita and 3DS!

It has been roughly a month since the momentous end of Comiket 88. The event happened during the weekend starting on August 14th, 2015, and it gave us a glimpse into the grassroots dōjinshi movement in Japan. Most importantly perhaps, Comiket 88 marked the release of the fifteenth installment of the Touhou series: Touhou Kanjuden (Ultramarine Orb Tale): Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom. I have talked about the Touhou series before, and it’s my sincerest hope that the reader will forgive me for repeating myself so soon; but having only recently finished the main scenario of Lunatic Kingdom in its entirety, there’s this feeling that the game demands to be looked at in a very careful and meticulous way.

As mentioned before, the Touhou series are a franchise comprised for the most part of shoot ‘em up games. Touhou is famed for being the work of a single man named Jun’ya Ōta, also known as ZUN. Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom is no exception; every single line of code, pixel, musical note, etcetera were created by ZUN himself, which makes Lunatic Kingdom maybe a bit more impressive overall. As a friendly reminder, this review contains spoilers, as it encompasses the almost the entire game. Sparse as the story in the Touhou mainline games may be, the reader has been warned. Special thanks go to Pazzy, for providing the gameplay screen captures.

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The cover art for Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom.

At the start of Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom: our two perennial women of the hour, Reimu Hakurei and Marisa Kirisame, are joined by up-and-coming nouveau-protagonist Sanae Kochiya from Mountain of Faith, the tenth Touhou game; and by Reisen Udongein Inaba, stage 5 boss from Touhou 8: Imperishable Night, who makes her debut as a playable character in Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom. This unlikely quartet of heroines discover that a strange extraterrestrial probe has crashed into a nearby mountain in the land of Gensokyo. Suspecting a possible invasion from powerful beings that dwell in the moon, known as “Lunarians”, the girls go investigate this incident. And in this ominous tone, the game starts.

As usual, the player has to pick one of the four protagonists mentioned above. Each one of the girls has different bullet patterns and bomb properties that might make the game easier or harder depending on preference. Sanae is generally considered the “easier” way to beat the game, while the rest are roughly equal in terms of difficulty, with Marisa slightly edging everyone out in terms of challenge. After that, you are given another selection between “Pointdevice Mode” and “Legacy Mode”. Legacy mode functions similarly to the previous Touhou games, where you have a limited amount of lives and there is no way to save your progress other than finishing the stage you’re playing. Pointdevice mode removes lives entirely from the equation, instead opting for adding chapter checkpoints throughout the stages. When hit by an enemy in Pointdevice mode, the player is returned to the latest checkpoint, and the game resumes as normal. This was a much debated addition, as Pointdevice mode supports the suspension of play sessions, and allows you to continue right where you left off the last time you closed the game in frustration due to being stuck in a particularly tricky part.

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The cast of playable characters. From left to right: Reimu Hakurei, Marisa Kirisame, Sanae Kochiya, and Reisen Udongein Inaba.

Finally, after much ado, you’re placed at the start of stage 1. There’s a beautiful background of greenlands and a forest, along with a charming, extremely energetic tune called That Unforgettable Greenery of Connection which completes the setting marvelously. Typical for a stage 1 theme, That Unforgettable Greenery of Connection, is incredibly upbeat, and ignites these feelings of adventure and wanderlust inside the player. ZUN’s trademark trumpets roar stridently and powerfully in the refrain of the song, following the playful beat of the drums and snares. The stage is as short as the song itself, but regardless of length, you’ll soon find yourself bobbing your head to the quirky melody.

It’s over too soon though, and the boss of the first stage appears. Her name is Seiran and she’s a Lunarian; a creature from the moon, specifically a moon rabbit. Our heroines question Seiran’s motives for coming to Earth, and the only thing she reveals is that she’s with the Lunarian Military Infiltrators. Seiran works alone and she’s tough as nails, wielding her fearsome mochi mallet as a form of intimidation. As the conversation between Seiran and our heroine winds down, her theme begins playing and battle begins. The Rabbit has Landed is the name of Seiran’s song, a reference to the phrase uttered by Neil Armstrong when he landed on the moon in the Apollo 11 mission: “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.”. Clever references aside, the piece is fantastic, it exudes a cool confidence and has a certain frisky tone that is generally present in stage 1 boss themes. The fight in itself is fairly straightforward, but by no means easy. There are no remarkable patterns to see here, nor does Seiran have a gimmick like some Touhou bosses seem to have at times. It’s pure concentration and pattern memorization cranked up to eleven in the higher difficulty levels. Seiran doesn’t give you a whole lot of room with “easy” bullet patterns, also called “Spell Cards”, a staple of the series at large.

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“This is Seiran. I’ve made contact with a belligerent earthling.”

For veterans of the series, the first thing you may have noticed is that if you selected Pointdevice mode, the game is significantly harder than its predecessors. You may not have to worry about lives, but the game is not a downhill cruise down leisure lane. ZUN himself has stated that he implemented Pointdevice mode as a way of making the game as challenging as it could be, and he delivers fully and convincingly. This is where some people might find fault with Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom, as the game sometimes feels as if it is now to be an exercise in frustrating trial-and-error gameplay, much like Super Meat Boy and the Souls series among others.

Once Seiran is defeated, she reveals the fact that she’s part of an invasion force sent to Earth from the moon, and points our heroines towards one of her superiors. And so stage 2 begins, the scenery changes to a blood red moon reflected over a dark body of water, and before long the name of the theme for stage 2 makes perfect sense. The Lake Reflects the Pure Moonlight is a much more serious piece when compared to the previous theme, the intro gives off this feeling of pure determination and unflappable resolve. The instruments may remind you of a fanfare, the brass is incredibly pronounced and there’s an almost royal tinge to the notes in this stage 2 theme. The tempo increases as the stage progresses, highlighting the large amount of bullets being sent your way. And just as the notes of the song are about to hit a crescendo, you get a hint of what you’re about to face as the boss appears throughout the stage to remind you of her presence until it’s time to face her.

Ringo is the name of the boss of stage 2, and she awaits at the end of the stage when the heroines finally manage to defeat her minions. After a short conversation, Ringo reveals she is in charge of “Information Management”, which is a way of saying she’s a spy for the Lunarian Military. The moon is no longer only visible on the surface of the lake, and is clearly and prominently displayed above the horizon. Ringo’s theme, Pumpkin of September, begins playing, and Ringo begins her attack. There’s a bit of an interesting contrast between The Lake Reflects the Pure Moonlight and Pumpkin of September, while both are much more refined and less exuberant than their stage 1 counterparts, Pumpkin of September feels much more delicate during the intro, the piano notes to begin the song give it an unearthly inkling. The fight against Ringo gives the feeling to be orchestrated against her theme song, as the tempo seems to increase whenever she launches a barrage of bullets your way, and goes back to the piano riff whenever there’s a lull in Ringo’s attack. Pumpkin of September is a excellently characterized song, because through it we can see that Ringo is more of a thinker as opposed to a fighter. If one listens closely, you can feel the doubt plastered all over the song and during the battle. It’s very likely that Ringo ponders whether invading Earth is the right thing to do. This hesitation is what ends up being Ringo’s downfall, our heroines defeat her, and she tells them that the shortest way to the root of the problem is through the Dream World. Our heroines are going to the moon to try to end this invasion once and for all, but first, they’re gonna need to have a nightmare.

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The red circles are bullets from the enemy, homing into the player to attempt to score a hit.

Stage 3 is a major thematic disconnect from the rest of the game so far. Since our heroines are walking the path to the moon through the World of Dreams itself, dream-like scenery is to be expected, but it’s jarring all the same. The background of the stage is a strange square grid of contrasting colors: red on black, and pink on blue for the most part. The curiously named theme, The Mysterious Shrine Maiden Flying Through Space, is a delight to listen to. The bright piano melodies, along with the synthesized drums come together extremely well in a most ZUN fashion, and create a beautiful harmony with the rest of the instruments used in the song. As the stage progresses, you’re assaulted by beautiful patterns of bullets that form stars and flowers. The background evolves to show the shadows of cranes taking flight, much like our heroines flying through dreams to get to their destination. Throughout the stage, the “manager” of the World of Dreams, and boss of stage 3, appears every so often to shoot bullets at you. However, she doesn’t fully reveal herself until the moon shows up in the background, gigantic, looming and ominous.

About as foreboding as the moon on the background is the stage’s boss, Doremy Sweet. As soon as Doremy introduces herself as the overlord of the Dream World, the music changes from the relatively placid stage song to her incredibly agitating theme, Eternal Spring Dream. From listening to Doremy’s theme, you can feel as if it’s almost a warning of what is to come. A sense of apprehension and dread hangs heavy in the air as she launches her opening salvos at you. Doremy has a set of beautiful bullet patterns, complemented perfectly by Eternal Spring Dream, making this particular boss fight the high point of the game thus far. The absurdly frantic pace that Doremy sets with her attacks is unrivaled in terms of stage 3 bosses in the entire franchise. The stage 3 boss one of the most difficult fights in the game overall to go in blind, as some of her patterns need either a ridiculous amount of brainpower to read properly, or knowledge from previous failures.

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Doremy Sweet really doesn’t like trespassers coming into the World of Dreams.

Eventually, Doremy relents, and lets our heroines through to the passage that leads to the moon, but not without a warning that the difficulties to come might be the most trying yet. On that note, our heroines arrive at the Lunarian capital, only to find it completely abandoned, seeming even frozen both in time and temperature. The song for this stage is called The Frozen Capital of Eternity, explaining perhaps in part the appearance of the Lunarian city. At first, the theme paints a picture of a perfect calm atmosphere, a peace that lasts forever if you will. But lunacy begins to take hold little by little, it creeps into the notes of the theme and the pace picks up as more and more enemies appear on screen and begin to attack our heroines. Stage 4 may be considered a lull in the game, or perhaps the calm before the storm, as it has a much more laid-back aura than the stage that came before it and will come after it. The euphonious brass that makes its appearance early in the song is noticeably more muted and subtle than the usual ZUN fare, until the trumpets explode into a blaring refrain that highlights the aforementioned lunacy and the boss appears.

Sagume Kishin is the name of the boss of stage 4, and at first this mysterious character does not say much, only admitting that she’s in charge of the invasion forces sent to Earth. Our heroines decide that the only way to make the boss talk is to defeat her, and as such begin to fight her in earnest. Anyone who has played the previous entry in the series, Touhou 14: Double Dealing Character, will perhaps raise an eyebrow to the familiar sounding tune that begins to play. The Wheel of Fortune Turning Over, this game’s stage 4 boss theme sounds intriguingly similar in both composition and tempo to Reverse Ideology, the stage 5 boss theme of Seija Kijin from Double Dealing Character. However, while Seija resorted to a plethora of cheap tricks and infuriating gimmicks, such as reversing your controls so that left is right and right is left; Sagume seems to be a fair bit more restrained in that aspect. Not to say that Sagume is an easy boss, on the contrary, she’s very difficult to defeat and resorts to her own brand of underhandedness. During one of the phases of the fight, Sagume sends a barrage of homing enemies towards the player, and destroying them creates an unmoving obstacle bullet that will not disappear until the phase is over, potentially caging the player into an incredibly small space if caution is not exercised. The Wheel of Fortune Turning Over fits Sagume’s trickster paradigm perfectly as the song has this certain level of flimflam configuration to it; this, along with the fact that Sagume has some strange gimmicks that she uses against the heroines, gives you the feeling that the boss of stage 4 isn’t really taking the fight seriously, but is instead testing the player for her own purposes.

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The start of Stage 4. The Lunar capital sits frozen on the background.

As the fight with Sagume winds down, she reveals the reason why the invasion of the Earth was orchestrated by the Lunarians, and why she speaks so little. For the latter, Sagume is a divine being with the power of changing the world with her words, she has little control over this strange power and anything she says for the most part ends up getting reversed. For the former, the moon is under attack from a force that renders the Lunarians unable to counterattack, so as a backup plan, Sagume had decided to “purify” Earth so that the Lunarians would be able to migrate there if their enemies were successful in capturing and destroying their capital. However, Sagume realizes that our heroines are strong enough that they could help save the Lunarian capital from the invaders and as such makes a deal to call off the invasion of Earth so long as the Earthling girls help her attacking the enemy’s home base in the Sea of Tranquility. In an ironic twist of fate, Sagume reverses the fate of the lunar capital by enrolling the aid of the people sent from Earth to stop her.

 

With renewed determination, Reimu and the others head towards the Sea of Tranquility. And so stage 5 begins. Right at the start of the stage, a character clad in an all-too-familiar stars and stripes pattern speaks and whips the enemy troops, mainly composed of fairies, into a lunatic frenzy. The game’s climax is rapidly approaching and the stage music Faraway Voyage of 380,000 Kilometers reflects this in an amazingly appropriate way. There’s a sense of chaotic hysteria behind the song in the stage. And as you progress through the waves of enemies in front of the desolate moonscape background, you get the sensation that you’re in the middle of a tumultuous battlefield. The infamous lasers of Touhou 12: Undefined Fantastic Object, are back with a vengeance, these red, white, and blue beams of power are a challenge to dodge without cornering yourself into an inescapable situation. Regardless if you’re playing on Pointdevice or Legacy mode, Stage 5 is where most every player will die repeatedly in increasingly inflaming and baffling ways. Among all this madness, the boss’s stage finally appears. What happens next, nobody could have ever predicted, and the fanbase was out-of-sorts for a good while after.

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An adorable machine of murder.

 

Her name is Clownpiece, a fairy from hell; she’s clad in a star-spangled outfit, much like the flag of the United States of America. The fight with Clownpiece takes place on the area around the Sea of Tranquility, so it comes to reason that Old Glory was found somewhere in her jaunts across the lunar surface, a souvenir left over from one of the many Apollo missions to the moon. This eccentric character is the captain of the fairies causing so much chaos and destruction in the moon’s surface, and it’s our heroine’s job to stop her once and for all. At first Clownpiece seems to be scatterbrained and ditzy, but once her theme, Pierrot of the Star-Spangled Banner begins playing it becomes clear that she’s an incredibly dangerous opponent. The song’s intro is overwhelmingly sinister, and quickly takes on a melody that on the exterior appears playful and merry, but if you listen closely you can feel the balefulness creeping beneath the surface. Pierrot of the Star-Spangled Banner stomps, stings and rings along a forbidding gothic road that few songs in the Touhou series dare to tread. The song is an absolute masterpiece in terms how it fits Clownpiece’s character, because as challenging as the game has been so far, everything pales in comparison to the spectacle you’re about to behold. Yes, the boss fight with Clownpiece is hard; unfairly so, frustratingly so, and terrifyingly so. Her bullet patterns require pin-point accuracy and near-photographic memory to avoid getting hit. She uses a great deal of treacherous patterns to blindside the player, often creating situations near impossible to escape without using a bomb or getting hit. Her leitmotif persists through the boss battle, as she uses star-shaped projectiles to flood the battlefield while lasers representing the stripes cut the space available to maneuver to a fraction of the screen. At some point in the fight she even throws a trio of gigantic moon-shaped projectiles that spit out more bullets as they traverse the screen. All in all, Clonwpiece is one of the biggest challenges to ever exist in the franchise, and it requires all of the player’s skill and patience to succeed, and defeat her.

Now, the reason why much of the fanbase was astounded by Clownpiece was because it seemed that ZUN was finally acknowledging his western fans by giving them a nod with her design. ZUN had always being somewhat of an iconoclast, retelling and reshaping histories and legends from East Asian lore to suit the purposes of his games; now that the Apollo Missions and the Stars and Stripes were heavily referenced in Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom, many western fans were thrilled. To add to this, Clownpiece’s appearance came shortly on the heels of the announcement that Touhou 14: Double Dealing Character would be available through a western publisher as a downloadable game. For the first time ever, a Touhou game would be obtainable in an official and sanctioned-by-ZUN manner in the west. Before, fans would have to resort to importing physical copies of the game from Japan, buying memberships to Japanese doujin distribution websites; or in the worst case scenario, Piracy. It’s obvious then, considering all these factors, why Clownpiece is such a beloved character regardless of the interminable frustration and absurd challenge her stage and boss battle present.

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Stripes of destruction. Dodging this is a lot more difficult than it seems to be from a still image.

To get back on track, after Clownpiece is defeated, our heroines interrogate her and find out there’s a mastermind behind the fairies’ invasion of the Moon. After being pointed in the right direction, the girls continue on and the final stage of the main game begins. The background changes to a placid sea, with a few waves rippling through its surface, as our heroines have arrived in the Sea of Tranquility proper. But the song playing is, for lack of a better word, disparaging. The Sea Where One’s Home Planet Reflects, is an extremely calm, relaxing melody. After the crucible the player was subject to on the previous stage, this change of pace is a bit startling to say the least. Even the enemies seem to be a bit more lax, being disappointingly straightforward in their attempts to destroy the player. Honestly speaking, the stage is a bit of a letdown overall. As maddening as stage 5 was, it was exhilarating at the same time, and if the energy level had been kept up for stage 6, it would’ve conjured the perfect storm to finish the game in the highest note possible.

Thankfully, the calm doesn’t last for long, stage 6 ends as the final boss of the game appears lamenting the fact that our heroines have been able to overcome every obstacle placed in front of them. Unexpectedly, the ringleader of the invasion admits defeat almost immediately after the girls begin talking to her, saying how she did not account for an Earthling potentially saving the Lunar capital. Regardless of that, the woman reveals her name is Junko, and that even though her will to fight the Lunarians has more or less disappeared, she will show our heroines what she’s made of. From her pre-fight speech, we can glimpse that Junko has a terrible grudge against the goddess of the Lunarians, a mysterious character only known as Chang’e. If Junko is to be believed, Chang’e’s husband is responsible for the death of Junko’s child. As such, Junko used her powers as a divine spirit to purify her very own essence until nothing of her remained but pure spite and an overwhelming desire for revenge. Pure Furies ~ Whereabouts of the Heart is Junko’s theme, and it depicts her vindictive nature in an astonishingly accurate way. Junko is out to kill you, there is absolutely no question about it. While most Touhou characters fight each other in a good-natured way, generally rooted in a set of rules to avoid dealing permanent harm to their counterparts; Junko gives no quarter at all, made evident by the names of her spells such as “Lilies of Murderous Intent”, and “Pristine Danmaku for Killing a Person”. Pure Furies fills you with awe as you attempt to avoid Junko’s simple yet precise attacks. ZUN wanted to give the player the unmistakable feeling that you were fighting a final boss, and accomplished it perfectly. Junko may not be as tough, or underhanded as Clownpiece was, but the atmosphere of the fight definitively gives the “final boss” feeling, in addition to making you feel as if the heroines are fighting for their lives. The battle is long and drawn out, Junko seems to refuse to surrender to lowly earthlings. But in the end, something’s gotta give, and the girls defeat Junko and she disappears, bringing the main scenario of Touhou 15: Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom to a close.

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There is nowhere to hide when Junko wants your blood.

As the game ends, however, it seems that the invasion of Earth by the Lunarians has not stopped; Sagume Kishin is unable to do anything as someone is pulling the strings from behind the scenes and is forcing the Lunarians to continue their encroachment upon Earth’s lands. It is then, that the Extra scenario is unlocked, a story best left for another time.

Overall, Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom is a great game. It has its flaws admittedly, as ZUN tried to experiment with Pointdevice mode and some parts of the game were beyond difficult, even for veterans of the series used to some of the more challenging facets of the franchise. The trial-and-error mechanics of “Torturedevice mode” as some fans called it, were at times too much and not rewarding enough. The atmosphere of the game is amazing though. ZUN’s talent as a composer shines throughout the game and some pieces like Pierrot of the Star Spangled Banner and Eternal Spring Dream are among the best in the series. Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom is definitively one of the hardest if not THE hardest game in the series, and finally finishing it, despite its shortcomings, is one of the most rewarding experiences this year in video games. It’s definitively recommended for anyone looking for a challenge, or any fan of shoot’em ups. If the genre of the game is not something that appeals to you, consider giving the soundtrack a listen or two; maybe, just maybe, ZUN’s music will win you over as it has done so with thousands, maybe even millions of people around the globe.

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Playing video games since he has a conscious memory, Bernard has fond memories of the Super Nintendo and the 16 bit MIDI symphonies emanating from it. Since then, he has acquired fairly atypical tastes in games and game music. Nowadays, you can find him dodging bullets and bobbing his head to the music in the Touhou Project, or fighting against gigantic monsters in Monster Hunter, God Eater, or Toukiden. Deep down, he believes portable consoles are king, long live the PS Vita and 3DS!

 

Assassin’s Creed® soundtracks to be issued on physical formats from September 25; Publisher-label deal also includes Far Cry®, Prince of Persia®, Rayman®, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell® Original Game Soundtracks.

ACTitlesPoster

Sumthing Else Music Works, the premier record label dedicated to releasing video game soundtracks, today announced that it has entered into a multiple-title licensing agreement with Ubisoft, to release physical editions of the original soundtracks from blockbuster video game franchises Assassin’s Creed®, Far Cry®, Prince of Persia®, Rayman® and Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell®.

“We’re excited to be working with Ubisoft in bringing their physical product and lineup of artists and titles to the worldwide marketplace,” said Andy Uterano, President of Sumthing Else Music Works.

Under terms of the agreement Sumthing Else will issue Ubisoft’s music catalog on CD and select titles on vinyl, commencing with the original soundtracks from its historical action-adventure series Assassin’s Creed® on September 25.  Featuring the music of BAFTA award-winning, Billboard and MTV Video Music Awards nominated composer Jesper Kyd and Grammy award-winning, Emmy and BAFTA nominated composer Lorne Balfe, the first physical soundtracks to be released include:

BAFTA winning composer Jesper Kyd’s immersive soundtrack evokes the medieval Middle-Eastern setting. Set in 1191 AD, when the Third Crusade was tearing the Holy Land apart, Assassin’s Creed enables players to become truly immersed into the mindset of Altaïr, the game’s main character, and the rich environments of the game through Jesper Kyd’s thematic original score. The combination of cinematic compositions with Middle-Eastern acoustic instruments and vocal performances, featuring full choir and soloists, delivers a deeply meditative and spiritual aesthetic.

Assassin’s Creed II features a new hero, Ezio Auditore da Firenze, a young Italian noble, and a new era, the Renaissance. To reflect the change in character, story and setting for Assassin’s Creed II, Jesper Kyd took the music in an adventurous and dramatic new direction, crafting a melodic, acoustic and progressive musical palette. The music propels the action, captures the allure and mystery of the story and immerses players in the breathtakingly detailed settings. Kyd’s multi-award winning Renaissance-inspired score features the series’ iconic theme, “Ezio’s Family”.

The third iteration in the critically acclaimed series, Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood was inspired by historical events during the occupation of Rome by The Borgias in 1503. “Researching the history of the Borgia Family it became clear early on that Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood would require a very dark score in order to match the Borgias’ aspirations to become the rulers of Italy. The music follows the compelling story of Ezio as a Master Assassin going up against The Borgias.” – Jesper Kyd

In Assassin’s Creed Revelations, Master Assassin Ezio Auditore walks in the footsteps of the legendary mentor Altaïr, on a journey of discovery and revelation. Introducing the “Assassin’s Creed Theme”, cut-scenes and multiplayer music by Grammy winning composer/producer Lorne Balfe, recorded with a full live orchestra, and featuring a rich, evocative hybrid in-game music score by Jesper Kyd drawing on Greek, Renaissance and Middle-Eastern instrumentation, combining his emotional melodic writing and acoustic/electronic styles associated with the series.

Assassin’s Creed III invited players to experience the untold story of the American Revolution through the eyes of a new Assassin, Connor.  Designed from the ground up, Assassin’s Creed III takes one of gaming’s most beloved franchises to new heights with Lorne Balfe returning to helm the original score.  “I wanted to create an epic feeling that would complement the grandeur of the visuals. This was the beginning of America as we know it today – filled with cultures from across the world. With such diversity available, I was able to bring Celtic and other musical influences into the game to further accentuate the complexities of the game itself.” – Lorne Balfe

The remaining Assassin’s Creed original soundtracks will be released on CD in October and select titles on vinyl in 2016:

  • Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag Original Game Soundtrack – Music by Brian Tyler
  • Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag Game Soundtrack Sea Shanty Edition – Various Artists
  • Assassin’s Creed Unity Original Soundtrack Volumes 1 & 2 (2-CD) – Music by Chris Tilton and Sarah Schachner

The licensing deal announced today also includes physical releases for the Far Cry®, Prince of Persia®, Rayman® and Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell® soundtracks – release dates to be announced.

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