Do yourself a favor and play the below video I produced that contains the entire soundtrack of this record while you read this review, it will certainly add to the flavor.
If you would have told me that the vinyl release of the Mother Soundtrack would be my favorite out of my collection back when I started picking up game music on vinyl, I would have told you that you were crazy; but after multiple listens of this incredible record, that seems to be the case.
I had always known that fully studio produced tracks for the release of Mother/Earthbound Origins existed, but I had only heard small bits and pieces of some of the tracks. When I picked up this record, I expected just a high-quality recording of the music from the Famicom classic; but instead I got so much more. Let me be honest, these lyrical, fully produced music tracks are pretty damn cheesy; but somehow hit me right in the heart with almost every track. For a game that was made to capture the essence of the mid to late 80’s in the United States, these arranged tracks do the same thing. I could have easily heard music like this when I turned my radio on in the 80’s and not thought it was out of place. The arranged tracks range from genre to genre; sometimes you get a little pop music and other times you get something that seems straight out of a Peter Gabriel album, but it’s all very well done and sounds fantastic on the format. Side D on the second record gives you the original music from the Famicom game and its sounds excellent in its constant mix presentation.
This two record LP set from Ship to Shore Phono Company is beautifully produced and comes on two gorgeous red vinyl discs, along with a great gatefold cover. The version I was given included a booklet which gives a nice history of the production of the music from this album and a thank you page devoted to the fans who backed the Kickstarter set up for this project.
Regrettably, the double LP version of this soundtrack is out of print, but you can still pick up the CD version of this directly from Ship to Shore as of the publishing time of this article. If you are a fan of Mother or Earthbound and don’t have some version of this music in your library yet, I suggest you pick it up! Just listen to the video I put up if you don’t believe me!
Mother Soundtrack CD: https://www.shiptoshoremedia.com/store/albums/mother
Just keeping it brief this week because what’s there to say that hasn’t been said about Symphony of the Night. (slams shot) The soundtrack is amazing except for the Final Toccata. I first played SotN at my cousin’s house years ago. I loved the opening stage and hearing the iconic voice acting, “Die Monster”. I actually found my first Easter Egg when playing, didn’t really know where to go so when I got to the Alchemy Laboratory, I turned back around and found Slogra & Gaibon back where you meet Death, and of course got my ass kicked, but it was cool discovering that on my own. This game is amazing, if you’re into games like Super Metroid, then play this. -Marcus
Mondo’s first attempt at releasing music from the Castlevania series on the vinyl format was met with negative feedback from listeners on their pressing of the very first Castlevania game. Many complained that the release was far too loud and contained a distorted low end bass to all the tracks. These reoccurring comments, along with others made me a bit weary of picking up Mondo’s second release of Castlevania 2: Simon’s Quest; but nostalgia won out and I had to pick this up. Simon’s Quest was the first Castlevania game I played and the second video game my father rented for our brand new Nintendo Entertainment System that I received for my birthday. We had just returned from a shopping trip with my mother, uncle and grandmother and upon opening the door to our apartment, I was hit with the amazing melodies of “Bloody Tears” as my older sister tried the game out. I loved hanging outside of towns and hearing the tune as I grinded for hearts in the game and dreaded hearing the game’s night time theme “Monster Dance” when the game shifted to nightfall. Obviously, I have a lot of love for the game’s music, so when I popped this record onto my turntable, I expected the worst. Thankfully, that was not the case. Watch below to get my full thoughts and to hear the audio for yourself!
This past Tuesday, my copy of Street Fighter V was dropped off at the house and I looked forward to diving into it whenever I had the opportunity to play it this week. Unfortunately, two hours after opening up my copy and popping it into my PlayStation 4; I walked away completely disappointed and disgusted.
I have a pretty long background with the Street Fighter series: I played the first edition of Street Fighter 2 when it launched in 1991 at my local arcade and played every subsequent sequel and upgrade of the series from that point onward. I still have all my original SNES carts of Street Fighter 2 and own full sized arcade cabinets that has had every arcade release of the series played on them. Street Fighter IV re-ignited the series on the last console generation and while I enjoyed it, it still didn’t take the crown as the most definitive version of the series for me.
Street Fighter V was announced in 2014 and with it came the stipulation that this would be exclusive to the PlayStation brand and the only Microsoft related item it would perform on would be on the Windows operating system. This was a huge opportunity for Sony to have one of the best fighting game series on the planet as it could potentially bring those other Street Fighting fans on other consoles over to the PlayStation side. Unfortunately, Sony should have either babysat Capcom more closely on the development of the game or pumped the breaks on releasing a game missing half its content. Now I have to admit, I picked up Street Fighter V without doing any research on it. I bought it on the basis that after 25 years, Capcom would be sure to include the basic elements that they implemented in the series for some time. When I fired up the game though, I thought that I somehow started a beta copy of the game because it was lacking things like a standard arcade mode.
No arcade mode?! My only options for playing this game myself is to play its half-baked story mode that you can finish on a per character basis in 5 minutes or playing a survival mode that doesn’t quite match the feeling of a typical arcade mode. Capcom has mentioned that they will be releasing a better story mode for free, but we won’t see that until June. That’s 4 months away for a game I paid 50 bucks for NOW. To me, an arcade mode would have been more sufficient over such a lackluster taste test of a story mode.
So currently, the only way to get a real Street Fighter V experience is to play the online multi player version of the game; but the feedback on the performance of the online portion has been pretty mixed. Capcom had the same issue with Street Fighter IV initially; but they fixed it. You would think with such a heavy focus on the multiplayer of this game over its traditional features that it would be very stable. I guess that’s not the case. I can’t comment on the multiplayer portion of the game myself because I was suddenly reminded that I didn’t have an active PS+ account anymore and since the launch of PlayStation 4 you need that PS+ account to play multi-player games.
I have two options: I can drop another 50 bucks for PS+ bringing my grand total of wanting to play this game to $100.00 dollars or I can wait till Capcom finishes what it should have finished in the first place and play this game again in June. It looks like I’ll be taking the second option as dropping another 50 bucks for this game doesn’t even guarantee me a smooth performance on its online portions right now. I would have been better off buying the PC version. In all honestly though, I would have been better off just not buying it at all. That’s a sad state of affairs for one of my favorite fighting franchises. On a positive note though, it was nice to see that Sony/Capcom offers legacy support for fighting sticks from the PS3, but they missed the boat on everything else.
Looks like I’m sticking with Street Fighter 2 till June.
When it comes to co-op brawler games, nothing satisfied my younger brother and myself like the fantastic Double Dragon 2 on the Nintendo Entertainment System. It’s a game I often come back to along with River City Ransom on the same system. I was quite surprised to find out a number of years ago that the NES version received a CD-ROM port on the PC Engine and featured enhanced graphics, CD quality sound and cut scenes. Unfortunately, the game itself has a pretty high asking price for one in the brawler genre; so I’ve avoided picking it up until just recently.
Popping this game into my Turbo Duo, I honestly have to say I was expecting a little more for a “CD” version of Double Dragon 2. The most “cringe worthy” part of the first level is easily its soundtrack featuring a song with a sample that has a woman giving out a blood curdling scream every 30 seconds or so. The song also sounds poorly mastered and extremely distorted in portions. Those hoping to get a catchy Streets of Rage type soundtrack will not get it, though there are a couple of decent tunes later on in the game.
The NES version of Double Dragon 2 featured a diverse palette of colors, giving levels a unique look; but this version of the game lacks those characteristics comparatively. It almost seems like the developers were trying to go towards more of an arcade look with an NES level design. Unfortunately, it just ends up looking flat compared to its Nintendo counterpart. By no means is the game poorly animated, it’s just missing some kind of special spark.
The cut scenes in this game are also nothing really to write home about either. This game was released in 93, meaning it came 3 years after the excellent cut scenes featured in YS: Book 1 and 2 on the same system. While the scenes get the point across, they seem like the whole design process for them was rushed and later scenes often don’t fit into the in-game sequences you will experience in the next level. Billy also looks extremely different when comparing his cut scene character with his in game graphics. I’m sure that sounds picky, but it bugged me.
Operating the game is easy enough and if you are familiar with playing almost any brawler you’ll be able to jump right into this game pretty quickly, though I still feel as though it lacks the tightness that the NES version had.
In conclusion, this version of Double Dragon 2 is a neat, alternative look at what a “spiced up” NES Double Dragon 2 would play like; but it just doesn’t live up to the quality of the original.
I was really hyped for the latest game in the Battlefront series. Did the beta impress me?