Daily Prompt: Polymathic Playlist

Hey, folks. Today’s Daily Prompt is all about music. Specifically, the kind of mix tape/playlist you’d make to introduce yourself to someone new. This one took a while to make, mainly because I was raised with a really eclectic music selection. I’ll just let the playlist do the talking. Happy listening! EDIT: For the sake of simplicity, I made a playlist on YouTube.

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Soundtrack Saturdays: The World Ends With You – Calling

In early 2008, I was fortunate to be one of the first Western game reviewers to get my hands on The World Ends With You. I was immediately hooked by the idea of a Square Enix RPG that wasn’t set in a medieval fantasy; TWEWY is set in modern Shibuya, a famous district in Japan. Urban fantasy – and the entire concept of magic realism – really appeals to me, so I immediately jumped at the chance to cover it. I wasn’t prepared for its clever writing, ridiculously complex battle system, and incredible artwork. Most people take touch screen interfaces for granted these days, but the game was far ahead of its time. Several areas of the game are visually identical to their real world counterparts; the buildings, businesses, and iconic crosswalks were faithfully recreated in 2D. The soundtrack is still one of the best ever seen on a Nintendo handheld; the rock, hip-hop, and electronica lend themselves well to Shibuya’s culture. Upon its release in the States, the game quickly became a modern classic. If you ever get a chance to play, I highly recommend it.

If you want more TWEWY, you can find the full OST here.

Good gaming, good music.

Daily Prompt: January’s Playlist

Hey, folks. Today’s Daily Prompt is all about making a five-song playlist that represents the past week. Let’s see… I like having a good beat when I’m out walking and exploring the city. Some, like Passenger 10’s “Street Names” (which itself is a progressive remix of U2’s “Where The Streets Have No Name) remind me that getting lost isn’t always a bad thing:

That also goes for Feint’s “One Thousand Dreams.” It makes me want to stop staring out of my window and walk beyond the horizon. Maybe when the days get longer…:

I’m still trying to keep my New Year’s resolution going, and Passenger 10’s “Lembrancas” has become a mainstay in my walking/jogging playlist:

When I’m up late, I usually listen to something nice and relaxing. I’m not in a relationship (sigh), but I’ve always liked the sentimentality of Little River Band’s “Reminiscing:”

That goes double for Charlie Haden’s “Easy On The Heart.” It makes me feel a little older and melancholy, but in a good way. If that makes sense:

How about you?

Soundtrack Saturdays: Guilty Gear Xrd – Icarus

Last week, I chose Guilty Gear Xrd’s ending arcade theme. Since then, I’ve been looking through the rest of the game’s excellent soundtrack. Daisuke Ishiwatari is a huge Queen fan (the main character is even named after Freddie Mercury!), so a power ballad like “Icarus” is practically expected. However, there are plenty of other songs that worth a listen. “Heavy Day” has some great vocals and riffs, “Jack-a-Dandy” has a nice jazzy sound, and even the “Menu Theme” is a fine acoustic guitar mix. Pretty sure I know what my first playlist of 2015 is going to be…

If you want more Guilty Gear Xrd, you can find the full OST here.

Good gaming, good music.

Soundtrack Saturdays: D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die – Detective of the Past

D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die was recently released an XBox One exclusive. It’s about a private investigator who can travel through time, and must recollect the memories surrounding his wife’s murder. It sounds kind of sketchy at first glance – the episodic releases and fact that it uses the oft-maligned Kinect are deal-breakers for some gamers – but it absolutely thrives under the direction of Hidetaka Suehiro, aka SWERY. David Young could’ve just been a generic protagonist, but his penchant for sarcasm and hilarious mannerisms are entertaining. As are the other characters, including a cat-girl roommate, a flamboyant fashion designer, a hammy drug courier, a balding US marshal, a paranoid flight passenger, and a detective capable of Joey Chestnut-levels of food consumption. Also, Young and his cohorts are the most Bostonian characters since The Departed. Seriously, CLAM CHOWDER.

This bizarre investigation is made even better with its soundtrack. The work done by Yuji Takenouchi and Tomomi Teratani is an impressive blend of rock, jazz and funk. Consider the awesome saxophone of “Nu Movement,” the upbeat instrumentals of “Tiptoe,” the haunting vocals of “Arousal,” or the soothing melody of “A String.” Few games these days have OSTs of such high quality, and it’s a travesty that D4 is being overlooked so much. If you have a XBox One, please give it a look. Hopefully the game will get enough support for more episodes.

If you want more D4, you can find previews here and here. Edit: Looks like nearly all the leaked tracks have been taken off of YouTube. The OST has been officially released since the this was posted. More details can be found on the game’s site.

Good gaming, good music.