Saturday 26 March 2011 @ 12:53 am | By Ivan 'Nahu' Lozano
Time for a musical Friday, while you’re all out having a good time or geeking it out ’till the wee hours of the morning, I’ve been doing my semi-anual Chrono Trigger replay. So in honor of one of the best RPGs of all time here’s an amazing cover of one of the most underrated songs in the Yasunori Mitsuda’s grand masterpiece OST: Courage and Pride as performed by MegaDriver.
With Masashi Hamauzu having departed from Square Enix, it’s a bloody good thing he left a good swan song in the form of Final Fantasy XIII‘s soundtrack. Sure, it’s not as memorable as Final Fantasy VI or VII‘s soundtrack. But it’s solid. Contary to popular belief; Uematsu is no the only man on planet Earth who can deliver a solid Final Fantasy soundtrack, and Masashi has done a pretty good job from what I’ve heard of XIII‘s so far. But my favourite piece (aside from the awesome battle theme) is one of the character themes.
As is customary for Final Fantasy, each of the main characters has their own theme song. And whilst Final Fantasy XIII doesn’t have a collection of themes as memorable and as iconic as those from Final Fantasy VII. XIII‘s leading lady has a pretty damn good one. It’s great from the word go. The piano, the strings, the mood, everything. But once the melody from the battle theme kicks in, it’s just plain awesome.
It’s not the kind of theme you would expect a character like Lightning to have, going on early impressions of her doing nothing but laying smack downs and shooting people in the face. But from what we now know of her character, it sums her up really well.
Monday 15 February 2010 @ 10:37 pm | By Ivan 'Nahu' Lozano
Some things come out of nowhere and surprise you, like the iPhone becoming an actual gaming platform’ other things never change, like Square-Enix is still making rehashes of it’s old games. Put the two together and you have this really nice trailer for the official remakes of FFI and FFII for the iPhone. Not that you couldn’t do that already with emulators but hey now you get to enjoy it in widescreen and we all know how important that is to capture the detail of the slightly upgraded 16-bit environments.
Wednesday 3 February 2010 @ 12:19 am | By Ivan 'Nahu' Lozano
Team Teamwork, the people behind the Zelda hip-hop mashup The Ocarina of Rhyme are back once again and this time it’s all about mana, chocobos and one winged angels. Vinyl fantasy 7 mixes some of the most memorable Final Fantasy 7 tunes with some pretty neat hip-hop tunes (the cool kids still say neat, right?).
You can download the full album or listen to it online, prices start at $0, which is a pretty good bargain. My favorite is M.O.P.’s Ante Up mixed to the battle theme but I suggest you give them all a listen.
What game would you like Team Teamwork to mashup next? My vote’s for Megaman, or maybe Chrono Trigger.
One of my good friends is a Persona freak. He loves the games and owns every single PlayStation release of the series. A few days ago he’d got himself a copy of Persona 4. He was opening it as I was talking to him on the phone. “Oh, it comes with the soundtrack!” He put it on and as he skipped through the tracks, I caught a whiff of some J-Pop. “Stop. What song was that? Go back!” “My affection”. I have a soft spot for easy breezy J-Pop that are so sickly sweet and happy-go-lucky that it’s enough to make you sick and vomit an ice cream cone with a side of rainbow. And “My affection” has buckets of sweetness. All it took was the “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeeeaaah”‘s and I was on the song like a fly on shit. It’s just a really nice song. It isn’t a main theme or a major centerpiece song or anything. It just plays when you’re wandering around a town! I love it. I’ll probably get too sick of it eventually. But for now, it’s my pleasure that I’m not even guilty about. The entire Persona 4 soundtrack is pretty spiffy. In the realm of RPG’s, many tend to forget there are other hot composers other than Nobuo Uematsu.
Now if you’d excuse me whilst I go sing my shit. “Your affectioooooooon! Your affectioooooooon! Take it for coffeeeeeeee!”
Wednesday 30 September 2009 @ 5:33 pm | By Random J
Square Enix released their latest trailer for Final Fantasy XIII at this year’s Tokyo game show. And it’s bloody epic. We’ve got love, heart attack, conflict, pain, talks of death, mecha’s, magic and a warblicious Japanese ballad plying all the while. If you didn’t want this game up until this point, you will after having watched this.
Wednesday 19 August 2009 @ 8:45 pm | By Ivan 'Nahu' Lozano
In an apparent bid to challenge Square-Enix for the coveted title of ‘most remakes of the very same game ever’, Atlus announced that it plans to re-release Persona 3… again, this time for the PSP. But wait, there’s more! In this re-hash of the game you get to choose a female lead character and your first persona is now a cow, making it shamelessly obvious to the fans that they are just milking them with fan service.
Well, the part about the cow isn’t real but the female character is. There will of course be some other changes to the story and social interactions if you choose a female lead but for the most part, yeah, its the same game as before. Actually its even less game than the PS2 FES edition, as this version contains only the main storyline and none of that ‘the answer’ goodness. There’s yet no release date for the world outside Japan but don’t doubt for a minute that Atlus wont peddle its recycled title to the western audiences, its free money after all.
Final Fantasy X-2‘s soundtrack got slated by pretty much everybody, their Grandma and their unborn child. And let’s not get started on the game itself. Despite having a love / hate relationship with Final Fantasy ever since VIII and really loathing X something chronic – I rather enjoyed X-2 for what it was. Soundtrack and all. Sure, the compositions were not anywhere near as memorable of some of Uematsu’s works on a bad day. But the soundtrack served its purpose and matched the new tone and direction of the game perfectly. But whilst most of the soundtrack was being tossed in the crapper by the masses, the game’s main instrumental theme “Eternity” got shown a lot of love. Probably because it was the only composition in X-2 that sounded like it was actually from a Final Fantasy game.
An alternate version of “Eternity” which has more instrumentations and an R&B vibe going on for it also featured in the game and on its soundtrack. If you aim for the 100% completion and get ‘the band’ back together, they treat you to a performance of this song in Guadaosalam, and you can hear it every time you go back there.
Friday 17 July 2009 @ 10:47 pm | By Ivan 'Nahu' Lozano
It used to be that RPGs were exclusively for those at the fringes of society, the geeks, the outcasts. The terminally awkward. Those who would end up living on their parent’s basement forever or becoming overachieving lawyers, engineers and silicon valley tycoons.
I was pretty shocked when I first checked out the playable demo of this game. Because what I had previously thought was the main theme to the game, turned out to be the battle theme!
It’s definitely a departure for the Final Fantasy series in terms of it’s sound. You’d never have thought when you first heard the piece play in the trailer a couple of years back that it’d get chucked into the game as a battle theme.
I love the composition. I did from day one. It’s grand. It’s catchy and brilliantly arranged. It really does convey the feeling of being part of a big epic adventure. But as a battle theme!? I’m not too sure. It has a sound about it that I wouldn’t necessarily associate with a battle theme. It’s sound fits, yet doesn’t at the same time: in a good and bad way. Plus, hearing it every single time you fight a battle throughout the game – it would get annoying and wear thin after a while. I’m hoping Square Enix either re-arrange it to keep it in line with other Final Fantasy battle themes and feature more of a kick, or that they’ll have different battle themes for different locations and situations.
But I do love it though. It’s a great piece of music. The sound, the sweeping strings, the mix of edgy guitars with operatic style strings and brass sections. It’s hard not to like it for what it is: a stunning bit of music. Although for a game that Square Enix claimed would not be your typical, pigeon holed J-RPG, they gave the game a very Japanesey style battle theme. All its missing is a koto and a shakuhachi.
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