Nostalgia – just reading (or writing) that word can induce a trance because of the semantic satiation. Like it or not, those nine letters have become part of how the world views chiptune and some other musical genres, especially in recent years. Putting aside if there is or is not truth in those words, today I’d like to take a slice of that cake. While the excessive romanticization of the 80s & 90s games, sometimes, verges on the cliché; City Guys break the line between the ideal good and the actual good with a bright and vibrant album that is a delight not only for the VGM lovers but also for anyone who enjoys music. So let’s take a look over ‘Silly Snake 2: Silly Snake’s Soccer Blast’ by City Guys, released through Pterodactyl Squad.
It’s been a hot minute since I’ve heard the name Derris-Kharlan, so when Brandon notified me that an indie game with a soundtrack by this seldom-featured artist had been released, I was intrigued. I was quite excited to see what the project is all about, and wanted to familiarize myself with some of his previous compositions prior to this review. In perusing his Bandcamp page, I found the bizarrely comical Sonic Art series, a track released through the GameChops label, and I was reminded of his track on the classic ChipWIN Expansion Pack. Needless to say, his releases are few and occasionally far in-between. The excitement I had for this album spurs, however, from an iconic chipmusic album I love deeply – Ubiktune’s 2010 ‘Wintertunes‘. Derris-Kharlan’s contribution, ‘Reconciliation‘, is a piece that has always been special to me. It would play on my commutes to my college courses, or while I was studying or heading to work when I was just getting into chipmusic. I’m excited to have the opportunity to review ‘Rogue Singularity’, and I’m prepared to see what lies beyond the shroud of the stars!
From my earliest days on FlashFlashRevolution in 2008, I was intimately familiar with a few of RushJet1’s compositions. ‘Almost There’ and ‘Fighting for Control’ are two pieces that I remember fondly as two of my favorite files in the game, and his complicated rhythms and use of numerous melodic voices gave me a deeper appreciation for the finer things in chipmusic before I was fully aware of the genre and community. Just after Christmas Day of 2018, a game called ‘Rikki & Vikki’ was released with modest, yet positive, acclaim. ‘Rikki & Vikki’ is a puzzle-platformer that can be played alone or cooperatively, and is highly reminiscent of the ‘Mega Man’ series, with each puzzle taking place on a single screen. In addition to its lovable visual aesthetic, RushJet1’s soundtrack perfectly complements the game and stands alone as a marvelous example of chipmusic done well. Let’s dive in!
I wanted to take a break from the showcasing of big chiptune talent to put the spotlight on a lesser-known duo of soundtrack artists from Dallas, Texas. Home World is a proof-of-concept demo album demonstrating the eponymous band’s burgeoning aptitude and enthusiasm for crafting musical accompaniment to video games.
I turn 28 this month, in fact a week from today. At this age, I find myself wishing I had the ability to go back in time and change a number of things that led my life to be the way it is today. And honestly, not only that, but there are certain parts of my life I wish I could live over again, like the parts of my childhood I spent playing my Super Nintendo and my friend’s Playstation 1 after school, jamming out to the Castlevania: Symphony of the Night OST.
This will never happen, of course. I don’t have some kind of time machine to go back, and I’ll never be able to experience Michiru Yamane and Koji Igarashi’s masterpiece again for the first time. What I do have, however, is the next best thing: Timespinner, the first game by Lunar Ray games with an amazing soundtrack by Jeff Ball of Tiny Barbarian DX and Steven Universe fame (among many others), which follows the story of Lunais – a woman who must travel between the ancient past and ruined present of her world to put an end to the tyranny her people face from an intergalactic empire. Funded on Kickstarter back in 2014, this was one of those games I backed and hoped and prayed it would actually come to completion, having been burned by a number of other very promising retro-inspired campaigns in the past – and lo and behold, at the end of September of this year I got my hands on my pledge and devoured the game immediately. Instead of my normal “music only” review column this month, I’d like to actually talk about the game as well – and as with my occasional event coverage, I’ll give you the handy #MUSIC and #GAME tags to Ctrl+F back and forth to if you only want to read one of those reviews.