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.

Soundtrack Saturdays: Bayonetta 2 – Miracle Of Sound: Messing With The Best

When it was first released, Bayonetta was arguably the finest action game of its generation. It had great characters, insanely fast pacing, intricate combat mechnics, and pushed the consoles to their limits. The titular Bayonetta was smart, dangerous, and could utterly crush her opponents with style. What other video game character could summon demons with her hair, walk on walls, slow down time, or equip shotguns on her stilettos?! In the years following its release, the game garnered a huge following and a demand for a sequel. And it finally happened in 2014…on the Wii U. There were a lot of misgivings about it being exclusive title for such a poorly-performing system, but it was eventually revealed that Nintendo were the ones who stepped in to ensure the game’s development. It’s thanks to them that Bayonetta 2 made it to store shelves and has been rocking the gaming world ever since.

It’s worth noting that this song isn’t actually on Bayonetta 2’s official soundtrack. Miracle Of Sound is a well-known and highly respected composer of tribute music for video games and film. “Messing With The Best” perfectly captures the game’s upbeat tone, flashy style, and undeniable fun. It’s also a must for any jogging playlist.

If you want more Miracle Of Sound, you can find his work on YouTube, Bandcamp, and iTunes. If you want to listen to Bayonetta 2’s regular-but-equally awesome soundtrack, you can find it here.

Good gaming, good music.

Soundtrack Saturdays: Double Dragon Neon – Final Palace

Double Dragon was one of the greatest beat’em up games of the late 80s-early 90s. It followed the exploits of Billy and Jimmy Lee as they destroyed their city’s criminal underworld. While not as popular as Final Fight or Streets of Rage, Double Dragon had enough of a following to earn several ports and sequels. The series was thought long dead until Double Dragon Neon was announced in 2012. It captured the best aspects of the beat’em genre: tons of crazy enemies (including a gloriously hammy Skeletor ripoff), flashy moves, responsive controls, and rewarding multiplayer tactics. It also had a small but incredible soundtrack composed by Jake Kaufman; many of the songs parodied the likes of the Beastie Boys, Marvin Gaye, Freddie Mercury, and other iconic music from the time period of the original game. The Final Palace theme is one huge homage to just about every cheesy action/spy movie, and it works perfectly in which the level it’s set.

If you want more Double Dragon Neon, you can find the OST here and on Jake Kaufman’s Bandcamp page.

Good gaming, good music.

A Summer 2014 Playlist

Hey, folks. Today’s Daily Prompt is all about music. Specifically, the songs that will always remind you of the summer of 2014. I don’t think I’ve come up with a definite theme for the season, but the following come to mind:

Reminiscing by the Little River Band

Time Goes By (Floris de Haan Remix) by Carrie Skipper

Midnight Rider by The Allman Brothers

Moving The River by Prefab Sprout

Holding Back The Years by Simply Red

Heavy Mood by Tilly and the Wall

There’s a mix of isolation and uncertainty, the passage of time, and the determination to keep going. I’m not sure if it just reflects my current mood, or something more. When it comes to the music of our lives, some variety makes for the best soundtracks.

Soundtrack Saturdays: LittleBigPlanet – Jim Noir: My Patch

Pretty sure I’ve mentioned how the LittleBigPlanet series has one of the most eclectic music libraries in gaming. This is especially evident in the first game, which introduces this awesome little number in one of the earliest levels. Newcomers might think the playlist would be nothing but upbeat rock music, only to discover that vocals and guitars go surprisingly well with platforming gameplay. The song only shows up in a couple of areas, but somehow manages to get you humming along hours after you’ve stopped playing.

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

Good gaming, good music.