Tag Archives: Music

So that was 2014


2014 rose from the ashes of 2013, went careening all the way around the sun, and is about to hand the baton over to 2015 before dying of exhaustion. So what did that trip around the solar system achieve in the world of games?
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Game music: Brothers – a Tale of Two Sons

Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons

Game music posts may not be a weekly feature of Pixieland any more, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to put up a post when an album catches my ear. And oh boy, has the soundtrack to Brothers: a Tale of Two Sons caught my ear.
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Game music: SanctuaryRPG

SanctuaryRPG Banner

Mechanized dragon.

Sometimes it’s the little things that pique your interest, tickle your funny bone or prompt a sudden perception test. In the case of SanctuaryRPG the little thing was the phrase “Mechanized dragon”. Any game that has that as a boss fight gets two automatic thumbs up in my book. Or talons as the case may be.

SanctuaryRPG is part Nethack, part Final Fantasy, all text. The website is immediately arresting, probably the slickest, most advanced-looking text-based site I’ve ever seen. The soundtrack by Rafael Langoni Smith matches perfectly, a wonderful throwback to the best of the NES. Worth a listen and worth some of your gold pieces and/or credits.
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Game music: Mass Effect 3

Mass Effect 3

Ah, Mass Effect 3, such conflicted emotions you elicit. Undoubtedly the best of the trilogy in terms of gameplay, but also easily the weakest writing. Your soundtrack is no different either. Gone is the unique style of Mass Effect 1, replaced by a sound that is more… what? Standard? Safe? Broadly appealing, perhaps, much closer to the sequel than the original.

But like the writing, the score hits high points that are utterly superb and proudly stand shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the trilogy.
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Game music: Child of Light

Child of Light banner

How did this happen? As an XBox One owner I expected any interruption in the dearth of games to be heralded by, if not Titanfall levels of fanfare, at least something. But no, it was only when I went looking through the game store I came across Ubisoft’s Child of Light. Yes it’s had reviews, and no it didn’t slink onto the scene like a ninja, but at the same time when something as interesting, as pretty and as unique as Child of Light gets released I’d expect to hear a little more.
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The power of Sheng: Super Mario Bros

This has been sitting in my “to post” bucket for a couple of months now, so better late than never I guess. Just watch this video of young musician Li-chin LI from the Taiwan Philharmonic playing the Super Mario Bros theme on a towering obsidian cathedral Chinese mouth organ.

The sound of Alien: Isolation

Alien Isolation Banner - Audio

When you’re hiding in the dark what you can hear may just be the key to your survival

Al Hope there, creative lead of Creative Assembly, adroitly summing up the entirety of how you do sound design for a survival horror game. The more we learn about Alien: Isolation the more I look forward to it. The recently released video discussing the sound design for the upcoming game is ticking all the right boxes – a dynamic music engine, use of the original assets and processes, audio as an integral aspect of gameplay, and even some of the musicians from the first film.
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Game music: The String Arcade

String Arcade CoverIt’s been a while since I posted a not-quite-game-music album, so here we go. A string cover of some well-known (and less well-known) themes. I present to you: The String Arcade. Don’t even click through the jump to read the rest of the article – just follow that link and buy the album. It’s beautiful.
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The Little Adventure World That Could


In a demonstration that the world is a good and kind place full of nice people Treasure Adventure World just hit their $10K pre-order goal. Congratulations to the team and thank you to everyone who’s helped support the game.
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Enmusicing Dead Rising 3

Dead Rising 3

Gamasutra have a piece from Oleksa Lozowchuk, music director for Capcom, wherein he gives a breakdown of what went in to creating the soundtrack for Dead Rising 3.

To further support the tension of survival horror, we built a simple yet effective adaptive music system to feedback zombie threat to the user throughout the world … That being said, constant tension can wear down the user, so we provided some ear candy and reprieve from the chaotic wall of sound via diegetic music (world based) scattered throughout all 4 districts. As a player enters a location with memorable source music, the adaptive threat score recedes, temporarily giving the user a sense of relief from the hordes of zombies.

Definitely worth a read. Also, it’s nice to encounter a fellow comma-abuser once in a while.