SOUNDWAVE SUPERIOR

Me going to an actual concert

That moment when you see thin red lines followed by starry visuals while Hans Zimmer is building up his crescendo of drums and snares live in front of you.

 

 

 

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Ghosts, Ghouls, Goblins, In The Mix - [soundbyte g]

Sir, Madam, are you familiar with Ghosts 'n Goblins' (1985) most iconic tune?

If not, I urge you to first check out a minute or two of any of the playthroughs below.

 

 

Got that theme memorized?

Time for some chiptune-infused drum 'n rocksteptrance overkill, courtesy of Capcom's 30th Anniversary Music Best: Original & Arrange:

 

It's crazy. I like crazy.

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Everyone needs more clay in their life

And if you gotta start somewhere, start by checking out Lee Hardcastle's awesome slash gruesome "claysploitation" videos.

This is not your daddy's DOOM.

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Whoever thought Final Fantasy wasn't METAL enough... - [soundbyte f]

...can always count on the world wide web to provide.

Although it's more of a synth rock metal orchestral chiptune fusion kinda thing, no?

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Ecco the #$@&%*! dolphin - [soundbyte e]

These games were hard as balls.

Also, like, wtf man.

 

And it made the atmospheric MegaDrive soundtracks all the more memorable.

Take it with a grain of nostalgia salt.

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Days of Ruin - [soundbyte d]

Disclaimer: last-gen handheld soundtracks can sound grating to the uninitiated ear. Imagine you're on a battlefield or something. Enjoy!

One of my favorite handheld games - it's still plugged into the old dusty DS for when the need arises - is a turn-based war sim called Advance Wars - Days of Ruin, and it caught me completely by surprise when it came out in 2008.

 

It introduced us to a grim post-apocalyptic madness that was the complete opposite of the colourful and playful Dual Strike - the third game in the Advance Wars series - and its predecessors on the GameBoy Advance.

Orange is the new black.

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Crossing Space, Time and Soundscapes - [soundbyte c]

Of course I'm alluding to the cult classic Chrono series, brilliant games to which many an RPGamer became enamored with one time or other.

The soundtracks to both Chrono Trigger (1995) and Chrono Cross (1999) have played a great part in this unconditional love-giving, but I will leave you with the most striking and memorable tracks for now: the intro themes and their accompanying animation...

 

All hail Yasunori Mitsuda.

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My life is finally complete.

For I have witnessed The Cybertronic Spree - aka the cast from the real Transformers movie - cover not only the soundtrack from said movie, but the Power Rangers theme as well, with a splash of Doom.

Also, Pokémon and Ghostbusters.

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Bionic Soundsystem - [soundbyte b]

Bionic Commando is rad.

Its protagonist, Nathan Spencer, is Rad.

The soundtracks are, most of the time, super rad.

No, seriously.

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Only THE best combat racing game. Evahr.

Don't even bother.
All your arguments are invalid.

Why am I bringing this up now?

First of all, Jak X - Combat Racing is COMING BACK!

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See. Hear. Feel.

This is the future of bigger budget music videos.

Give us a story.

Give us a beat.

Give us the feels.

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100% Trippin' ballz

That's what went through my head when checking out the opening to Mob Psycho 100.

Go on, admit it.

You're intrigued, right?

Who doesn't.

Don't worry, the pilot isn't your standard anime binge-bait that's followed up by a sluggish season.

Go watch it. I'll hold.

And yes, you're right.

It IS by the same guy as One Punch Man.

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Psychedelic Transmorphing Alter Egos - [soundbyte a]

Alter Echo's got a rad soundtrack.

It's even so rad, I fell in love with it and the prospect of, one fine day, experiencing this hidden PS2/Xbox gem from 2003.

 

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i cri evrytiem

Hoppípolla by Sigur Rós
blossom by Ordet (known for Black Rock Shooter's story scenes)

More cri at Zapuni, where animation and music join hands with charity for the Tohoku / Fukushima disasters.

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20XX - [soundbyte #]

For all you Mega Man fans out there, there's been something up and about for a few years now.

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VHS Glitch

With an artist name like that, there's no reason for me to get all witty with clickbait titles.

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SOUNDBYTE SUPERIOR

We went and done the alphabet, soundtrack style.
With a little luck, we'll manage to do the same for full-blown reviews before we celebrate our first anniversary!

But first, let's do a recap episode. From 1988 to 2017. The time is right. The time is now.

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You've got mail.

"It is with deep regret and profound sadness that we inform you we have lost our final bit of integrity, with this upcoming Collector's Edition re-release of Final Fantasy XII - The Zodiac Age."

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Animated music videos? OBJECTION!

I particularly like how they take 4 minutes to tell a better story than all seasons of Scooby Doo combined.

To the beat y'all.

Oh and look there's a sequel. Another musical series to keep your eyes and ears on!

Also, big up to their Phoenix Wright spoof. Gotta love that intro.

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Zombies Ate My Neighbors - [soundbyte z]

Not named Zombies Ate My Neighbours in the UK, or the rest of Europe.
Just Zombies, and the "censorship" didn't stop there.

As if an axe would be less deadly than a chainsaw, somehow.

Even between the SNES and MegaDrive versions there were many differences - with SNES coming out on top for most discrepancies - which was almost considered standard procedure in that bygone era.

Thank the lord I was taught how to slay 'n spray Z's at the beat of the SNES' soundtrack.

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Short and powerful, just the way I like my battle themes - [soundbyte y]

I sometimes imagine hearing this track in other games, just because it fits the INSTANT PUMP UP THE BATTLE RAGE bill so much.

 

This is Milanor's fighting theme. This is Milanor.

Sporting the most bad-ass weapon ever. Ever.

Milanor is a main character in the turn-based RPG Yggdra Union: We'll Never Fight Alone (DS and PSP), which is part of the Yggdra Union series, which is part of the Dept. Heaven series.

But none of that matters.

Only music does.

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Jesus Christ - [soundbyte x]

It's hard to find games that start with an X.

And of those few that are worth playing, it's even harder to find a game with a decent soundtrack.

So allow me to cheat this once, and come clean at the same time: Xenogears.

Never played Xenogears. It's a darn shame but I haven't touched this piece of JRPG history from the PS1 era as of yet.
But things are going to change.
After all, with such a resplendent soundtrack, it's clear I've missed out on much.


One of Yasunori Mitsuda's best works, Xenogears' soundtrack managed to touch the hearts of many a gamer in its time  (1998), and plays a big part in the cult following the game itself garnered.

Also, you can kinda kill God.

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WET makes me moist - [soundbyte w]

At least, the soundtrack does, with its plethora of excellent licensed music. This is grade-A car radio material.

 

On the other hand, the game itself, with its acrobatic gunplay and clunky swordplay, made me rather furious at times.
While it has insane action and lacklustre storytelling - much like Total Overdose (2005) and Stranglehold (2007) before it - WET (2009) became such an unwieldy mess on higher difficulties - when trophy hunting required extreme precision, absurd Fingerspitzengefühl, and an unhealthy amount of luck - that it really made me reflect on where I was going with my life.

Those tunes though.

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Seizure Warning

I... I don't... I can't... my game brain is overloading.

Music choice aside, what a feat to stuff this many obscure and/or mainstream video game references into one short but excellent AMV, courtesy of SpeedoSausage. Not a stranger to the more edgy stuff that floats around the web, he even managed to throw in some totally random J-pop culture.
Blink and you miss it.

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I'm not crying - [soundbyte v]


Proof that Ubisoft can provide gripping experiences without relying on franchise exploitation.

Valiant Hearts.

Point and click adventure on the outside, emotional roller coaster on the inside.

Set during the First World War, you are confronted with the worst and the best life on the edge has to offer, accompanied by the giddiest and tearjerkiest tunes this side of the trenches.

Try it.
It's educational. It's inspiring. And I'm still not crying. I'm really not.

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Unlimited Frustration - [soundbyte u]

Unlimited SaGa.

Oh how I wanted to love you so bad.

Superb curves, in an age where you paid extra for the slightest alteration. Smooth self-introduction, gorgeous on the eyes, a delight to listen to.

2002 intro showing off sketch motion technology

But whenever we got into a fight, you became so unwieldly. You were the opposite of putty in my hands. More like a clump of radioactive waste with jagged edges protruding everywhere.

To me, you were the harbinger of vile randomness, the scourge of many a roguelike nowadays. But let's not get into that today. I want us to remember the good times.


This song is pure SM

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Funkotron - [soundbyte t]

Sixteen-bit funkadelic greatness. This is how I chilled on a rainy afternoon in the early nineties.

Good times, simple times.

 

Soundtrack to the original ToeJam & Earl on Megadrive / Genesis, these tunes set the stage for two funky sequels which I promise I will play before the kickstarted reboot comes out in all its funkified glory.

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SHOOTING CARS!! - [soundbyte s]

This soundtrack is unfit during those traffic jams when you really want accidents to happen.

 

I always associate mobile gaming with GameBoys or PSP's or other derivatives, and taking a big dump, commuting for many hours, or travelling abroad in someone's back seat.
Nowadays your mobile phone can partially take over this guilty pleasure, but to me it means about 5 to 10 minutes of distraction before the game, any game, gets tiresome.
The same almost goes for Shooting Stars!, a very enjoyable epileptic laser-fest by Blood Irony. What makes this game different however, is its killer soundtrack that pumps you up to go that extra mile!

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Watch out for precipitations - [soundbyte r]

Did we mention Risk of Rain was ported from PC to PS4 and PSVita? Sony repair centers won't know what hit 'em.

So invite your friends, put some beers in the fridge, and get your weekend off to a great start! And thanks to cross-platform play you can even spend the night on the toilet and still join the fray! Be vigilant for all-nighters!

KickstarterBanner

Oh and the soundtrack is ridiculously intense!  

Originally published on: Jul 22, 2016

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Soothing sounds for the soul - [soundbyte q]

Zen.

That's one way to describe Holden Boyles' soundtrack for Qora.

Qora itself can be defined by that same word, but also by 'bizarre', 'weird', and 'a slow 2D walking talking simulator'.

Very enjoyable, with the right mindset, in your own time.

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PERSONA - nothing makes sense anymore - [soundbyte p]

You'd think I refer to the butchered localization of the first games, when they were originally released on PlayStation.
Or the fact that the plot is all over the place, making it hard to connect to the characters at first.

No, those are stories for another day. I'm talking about the soundtrack of the first game's PSP remake, Revelations: Persona.

Listen to this for a minute.

 

That's the battle theme.

Considering the frequency of random encounters, you probably hear this for 99% of the time playing this game. I would say it's not half bad either, but that's probably because I'm completely brainwashed by now.

And those lyrics... God those lyrics... What. The. Hell.

Worse, I'm having a go at Persona 2 - Innocent Sin at the moment, where the music is far more neutral and lyricless - for now.
But whenever I put down that game... and I think back on the adventures I just had... I CAN HEAR THIS FUCKING SONG.

But hey. There are worse things than having one Persona's catchy tune stuck in the back of your head. You could, like, have them all stuck in the back of your head.

Here's the intro movie for reference. Welcome to hell.

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Quantity vs. Quality

I'm talking about Humble Bundle's simultaneously running bundles on offer, namely the...

... and the...

If you're into Assassin's Creed, you can get all but the latest game for only 15 bucks. No questions asked.

If you're into varied, revered, or notorious indie games with superb soundtracks - whose albums are sadly not included as a bonus - the Overwhelmingly Positive Bundle will be right up your alley.

For a mere 10 bucks you get access to...

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CARPENTER BRUT - TURBO KILLER

Remember that thing I posted about Furi and its awesome synthwave tunes? Let's focus on one of the artists from that soundtrack, and go from there.

Carpenter Brut, the mythical French synthwave artist, not only has his music featured on The Crew, Hotline Miami 2, Hacknetand Furi, but he gets the raddest music videos as well, courtesy of Seth Ickerman.

Watching the 'Making Of' is at least as fun as the original video itself, and yes, a 30-minute long movie is in the works, with Carpenter Brut on board.

Check out the kickstarter for BLOOD MACHINES.

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Music + Anime = Win

You can't go wrong with a mix of Samurai Shamploo, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Afro Samurai, and some oldskool Ultraman to top it off.

Sung by Kouichi Yamadera Spike from Cowboy BebopRyoga from Ranma ½, Doflamingo from One Piece - this short from the Japan Animator Expo can't get any more contemporary Nippon.

Please make another Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan rhythm gameReally. Right now.

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Elite Beat Agents - [soundbyte o]

Soundbyte "o"? And the game is called "Elite Beat Agents"?

 

Why yes, young padawans, go back to the roots you must!
This incredibly addictive NDS rhythm game finds its origins in the even more bonkers Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan! and its sequel Moero! Nekketsu Rhythm Damashii: Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2. Quite the mouthful indeed.

What he said.

But also quite the handful! If you have the chance to play these Japan-only games, don't hesitate and go for it! Even though you probably won't understand what's going on, you can still have hours upon hours of button-mashing fun!!

Or you could just try out freeware Osu! for tablet pc's, that'll work too. And by work I mean it will blow your rhythmic mind.

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A simple treat for your ears and eyes

Journey. Remember Me. Ascension of the Metatron. I see and hear nothing but the good things in life.

Let me just leave this here.

 

Out now.

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I'm NIERly done...

... geeking all over your face about this hidden gem and its gripping story or equally awesome soundracks.

BUT, just to be on the safe side, even if you never played the game and are not aware of the contextual gravity of some songs, you can't go wrong with nearly all of them.

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Sounds of Future Past - [soundbyte n]

The sequel to 2010's most underappreciated game, NieR, is being steamrolled in by Platinum Games somewhere next year, which is all kinds of awesome. Not wanting to s(p)oil myself too much, I couldn't resist listening to the upcoming theme song of NieR Automata. I'm not sure why, but they made two versions:

One is sung by NieR's mainstay vocalist Emi Evans, in her homemade futurespeak...

 

... while the other is sung by Tokyo-based J'Nique Nicole, in plain English.

The latter feels more like it's made for an Anastasia sequel. Am I too biased here? Which one do you prefer?

Pro-tip: Playing both songs at the same time kind of makes it all okay.

Originally Published on
Sep 5, 2016

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Blue Bomber Blues - [soundbyte m]

I'm kidding, this ain't blues. This is 80's chiptune so rad your brain will never be able to compute it, from a game series as hardcore as the soundtrack itself.

Originally Published
2016/08/05

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The Littlest Biggest Planets - [soundbyte l]

Little Big Planet and all of its sequels and spin-offs are mostly known for their {Play - Create - Share} tagline, inciting all kids on the block to peak at their most artistic and creative.

Because of course.

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Town Tunes

You know what triggers me?

Catchy 'exotic' music. Tribal even if you will.

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Killer Cuts - [soundbyte k]

Arcade games from the nineties are friggin' awesome. Their console ports... not so much.

But still a load of fun, due to the fact you weren't spending all your allowance in one go with prying eyes in your back.

And some ports - although graphically or musically inferior - gave a little extra in the form of new modes, more skins, and in the case of Killer Instinct (1995)...

 

That's right.

Inside the SNES box of Killer Instinct you'd find a CD with arranged tracks from the arcade game. I even played this disc so much it evaporated into awesomeness.

That said, the new Killer Instinct (2014-2016) on Xbox One is also pretty rad. The music is very... modern. It'll probably grow on me, but nostalgia hasn't kicked in yet.

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Jagged Memories - [soundbyte j]

You know what's hard?

Playing 90's video games on PC. Without instruction manual!

I know, hardcore right?

Not only did I manage to save parts of the universe in Duke Nukem 3D without the use of a mouse, conquer half of the world in Civilization without knowing how to build cities myself, and finally, get my team of mercenaries to leave the first area in Jagged Alliance

Which took me about a day.

Which makes me a rather bad gamer as a kid, with even worse intuition.

To distract you from this embarrassing personal revelation, here's a snippet of chill music from Jagged Alliance 2, a worthy successor that improved upon almost every aspect. Especially leaving first areas.

This music actually plays when you're shopping online for mercenaries, so I put this on loop whenever I go on amazon for maximum effect.

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I saw an okay movie the other day... - [soundbyte i]

...and It Follows that music composer Disasterpeace is awesome.

He's got a knack for providing your daily horror dose through eerie music and psychedelic sound effects, as well as making sure certain mobile, flash and indie games become more iconic than the sum of their parts. And even if you care nothing about movie or game scores, I'm sure everyone can find a tune to their liking in his evergrowing repertoire.

If you're not convinced, at least hear him out in Bandcamp's latest interview right here which came out right after I saw It Follows and when I wanted to do a [soundbyte i] piece as well as write something about Disasterpeace...Hmm...Paranoid much? Who's that behind me?

I'll leave you with one of his latest creations. Enjoy.

 

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Hotline Music - [soundbyte h]

What more do you need when laying waste to scores of pixelated mobsters, dogs, phone company employees and Biker Men from Hell?

A Killer soundtrack.

That's with a capital K.

That's with a capital K.

Both Hotline Miami and its sequel Wrong Number bring out the worst in people, with the best of tunes.
Many of the licensed music artists know their way around games, but all of them have a knack at driving you to virtual psychotic blood lust.

Put your hands together for these electro/synthwave wizards, and enjoy the auditory madness from Jasper Byrne (Lone Survivor), Scattle (Super Meat Boy), El Huervo (else { Heart.break()), Perturbator and Carpenter Brut (Furi), Mitch Murder (Kung Fury), and so many more.

Full playlists below, game impression coming in a few weeks.

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All hail the God Hand's soundtrack - [soundbyte g]

Because if there's anything crazier than Clover Studio/ PlatinumGames' oldskool brawler hit God Hand, it's the soundtrack.

Although it's not every day you fight a demon disguised as a man in a gorilla suit who also happens to be a luchador.

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Furi (ous anger) - [soundbyte f]

Are you a fan of synthwave? Good.

Are you a fan of bitching hard games? Great.

Time to destroy those ears and fingers with The Game Bakers' too-hard-for-its-own-good Furi, to the beat of original compositions by Carpenter Brut, Danger, The Toxic Avenger, Lorn, Scattle, Waveshaper and Kn1ght.

Can you believe this game was 'free' on PS Plus upon release? I'm still convinced someone, somewhere, f*cked up real good.

 

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Endless Tunes - [soundbyte e]

In case you missed it, I wrote some sort of review on the Endless games recently.

Let's take our time to put French composer FlyByNo in the spotlights again, as he worked his musical magic on all three games (and upcoming sequel Endless Space 2) with great success and it's just too damn chill to appreciate his tunes in and out of the games.

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Donkey Kong Country - [soundbyte d]

...or the perfect blend of pseudo-3D from over two decades ago.

I remember not being able to sit through the intro theme, on account of me running off to get my dad while screaming "I SAW THE FUTURE AND IT IS NOW".

He was impressed but it wore off a few days after, on account of him trying to peel my hands from the controller.

If you're a true Nintenboi / Nintengal, you might remember our favourite ape dabbled in full 3D for a while - much like his Zelda/Mario counterparts - before reverting to the tried and true DK formula in Donkey Kong Returns (Wii) and Tropical Freeze (WiiU).

Nintendon't break what you can't fix.

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Suck it Dracula - [soundbyte c]

"Vampire Killer" and "Bloody tears" are bad-ass tracks that grew along with Castlevania from 1986 to date.

Here's a compilation of both for your listening pleasure, but if you tackle them in one go, don't come complaining about becoming brain dead or blood deprived or something.

Originally Published
2016/08/08

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Cage The Elephant - [soundbyte b]

That's the name of the band who propelled Borderlands into the colourful cell-shaded maelstrom they're stuck in now, with this intro:

If you're into drunk rock, look em up, they've been blasting through my radio forever.

You like Borderlands' style? Have a look at where they got some of their ideas...

For the HD version and many other cool shorts (Harry Potter, Heavenly Sword, League of Legends, Alien: Isolation, ...), do visit Ben Hibon's http://www.statelessfilms.com/

 Drunk rock. Drock? Runck?

Originally Published
2016/08/02

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Transform and Check Out

Transformers have it rough. They are loathed, they are loved. Trust me, I'm a biased fan.

But with the upcoming lineup of October's PS Plus, NO ONE can go wrong. Not only will your PS4 get Transformers: Devastation, Platinum Games' oldskool take on the franchise, but you'll get the remake of classic zombie horror game Resident Evil as an added bonus - not counting the games for PS3 and PS Vita.

Wreck and rule

Wreck and rule

Do it. Renew that subscription. You have the power. You've got The Touch.

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Alien Hominid's keeping it simple - [soundbyte a]

One of the first flash-to-console games that entered my collection, Alien Hominid is simple fun and endless entertainment, up until your brain has turned to mush.

Case in point, the music follows suit:

Every session needed at least 2 minutes staring at the intro screen and listening to the first tempting tunes.
How do you keep playing a simple pencil-drawn minigame hours on end?

And let's not forget about the 4 player ALL YOU CAN EAT button-mashing bonanza! (past the 13sec mark)

Thanks, Matthew Harwood.

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The 7th Guest - [soundbyte #]

I never played The - critically acclaimed horror puzzle game - 7th Guest (1993), nor its sequel The - less than stellar - 11th Hour (1995), but if the music's any indication, I should really be getting to it.
Loving the main theme, and I keep hearing Minnie the Moocher in the ending song.

When a cult game reminds me of a cult movie, that's never a bad thing.

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[e] Endless Enjoyment

Galaxies unfold before your very eyes, and you wonder where next to go.

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Robo-Shroom at BOOM

Big up to Robo-Shroom for taking over these last couple of weeks, even though he couldn't quite get Facebook to show correct links to posts.

THAT'S PERFECTLY FINE. Off to the Boom Festival grounds with you, and save us a spot for next time!

And here is a youtube snippet of Solar Fields' evening performance, which totally doesn't do it justice, AT ALL, but believe me when I say this was one of the highlights of the festival.

Keep it up Magnus.

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Turtles in Time - [soundbyte t]

After 25 years, this title finally makes sense. The tunes are absolutely positively ageless though.

 

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Cats and dogs and oh shit a lion - [soundbyte t]

Have you heard of Tokyo Jungle? You'll never look at a Beagle the same way again.

 

tokyojungle

 

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BOOM

Dear shroomies,

Adventure abroad is clamoring for my attention, and I must heed its call.

Even so, my quest for game related mush continues, as I will soon gaze upon the glory of Solar Fields (soundtrack CapsizedMirror's EdgeMirror's Edge Catalyst), and many others.

But fear not! I will leave this website in the able hands of Robo-Shroom, an advanced alien A.I. that will curate your daily needs - except it will be every other day, not daily.
There is, however, a slight possibility not all posts or pictures will show up in your browser. Don't mention it. He doesn't take well to criticism.

slight chance of destroying all humans

slight chance of destroying all humans

I'll be back in action in two weeks, so this place better not have burned down or collapsed into a singularity by then.

Enjoy our next review later tonight, a few days before schedule!

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Bubble Bobble Braindamage - [soundbyte b]

This was the soundtrack of my life when I was an 80's kid.

Please kill me.

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The One True Top Gear - [soundbyte t]

90's music can only wish it was this good.

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[b] Would you kindly lend me your ear

Il Credo Degli Assassini.

This is where our musical journey to Rapture begins. Not through waves of sound, but through moving images…

Not the actual way to Rapture

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We do Love Katamari - [soundbyte k]

Sometimes when driving past unsuspecting pedestrians, I like to crank it up while this particular song is playing. Everyone be all like “ooh classical how distinguished” or “shit holmes that scared the bejeebus outta me”, and I’ll be like THAT’S HOW I ROLL

'Cuz Katamari.

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