November 22, 2013
John Carmack steps away from Id Software
Games Industry International is reporting that id co-founder and Doom developer, John Carmack, has left the developer. Carmack recently became involved with Oculus VR, the company responsible for the Oculus Rift VR head set. With his departure from id software, he will be taking a full time position as Oculus VR’s CTO. Carmack has had a huge influence in the industry and technology. id’s latest title, Rage, may have lacked in the story and fun department, but there is no denying the tech behind the game was nothing short of impressive. id and Carmack have always pushed technology with each new title the studio has released. John Carmack is one of my favorite lecturers and hopefully he will make appearances at Quakecon going forward. We wish Mr. Carmack nothing but the best in this new endeavor and what will come from his time at Oculus VR.
November 18, 2013
Gamerchat is back, discussing what we want from Next Gen.
Our podcast is back after a long hiatus, we are sorry for that. Real life can sometimes hinder our schedules is unpredictable ways. Brad (thesoundman) and I are talking about what we want from the next round of consoles, and what we would like to see disappear as well. We will be doing a series of these, with various people, taking about what we liked and disliked about the previous generation we are leaving behind. Enjoy.
Intro Music – “Master D is for Dance (Rise of the Albatross)” by Gario from Bionic Commando Remixed – Ok, Let’s Grove (OverClocked Remix)
October 23, 2013
Bionic Commando Rearming the Remix
This week has just been a splendid week for video game music as we saw the release and Gaming in Stereo featured soundtrack to Batman Arkham Origins yesterday, and today the release of Bionic Commando ReMixed: OK We’ll Groove! Well to be honest, the latest from OverClocked ReMix hit yesterday, I was just so busy I didn’t have a chance to give it a proper listen. Now that I have the album set to repeat I must say, it is one of their finer efforts. There is a variety of music genre’s that can be found on the album, everything from dubstep (the wub wubs), trance, to synthetic orchestra, jazz, and rock. They somehow mesh very well and some even feature some of the original chip tunes from the NES title. All the tracks despite polar genres, all have a great energy to them. One thing I love about Capcom, even current Capcom, is their high energy music output. I love the electronic mixes we see in Street Fighter, Marvel vs. Capcom, and the interesting music we saw from some of their downloadable titles such as Mega Man 9 & 10 and Bionic Commando: Rearmed. I unfortunately was late to the party with Bionic Commando, my first time with the title was in 2008 with Bionic Commando Rearmed. I loved Rearmed, and if fact, just played through it again not too long ago. Bionic Commando ReMixed: OK We’ll Groove is available for your listening pleasure and as a free download over at OverClocked ReMix. Down below is the official trailer for the album and one of my favorite tracks from the album. Have a listen and download the album and support this great community of talented artist.
Master “D” is for Dance (Rise of the Albatross) – Gario
I love the high energy and the staccato stops. No your speakers are not broken, just a great effect used well, effectively.
October 22, 2013
Gaming in Stereo: The Dark Knight Rises
This Friday sees the release of Batman: Arkham Origins, a prequel to Arkham series developed by Rocksteady. Arkham Origins takes place roughly 5 years before Arkham Asylum and puts the Dark Knight in first contact with many of his rogue’s gallery that we know of today. The game takes place during the Christmas holiday, and as a blanket of snow covers Gotham, Black Mask issues a death warrant on the caped crusader. The game not only received a new development team, WB Montreal, but a new composer as well. Christopher Drake took the musical reigns from Ron Fish and Nick Arundel, and created something that sounds both familiar to both fans of the Arkham franchise and the recently wrapped Nolan trilogy. Though Drake has scored Batman media before ( Batman: the Dark Knight Returns, Batman: Under the Red Hood, and Batman/Superman: Public Enemies), I was hesitant, just as I was with the new voice cast, until I heard the final product. The final product maybe one of the best Batman soundtracks to date, to no discredit of any previous soundtracks. The soundtrack is well put together with sweeping stings, racing electronic beats, deep brass, exploding percussion, and even some well know Christmas jingles make cameos. Let us dive into the defining soundtrack of Batman: Arkham Origins.
Arkham Origins Main Title – Christopher Drake
This is the main theme for Arkham Origins. The beginning of the this track is very reminiscent of Hans Zimmer score from the Dark Knight trilogy. Starting at the (0:11) mark we get that same electronic beat, explosive percussion, and deep brass sound. At (0:33) the track makes its own impression with a sweeping strings and a proud lower brass sound at (0:53). At the (1:26) mark, the track kicks the tempo up again including a chorus this time. This track feels like we are watching Bruce in a flashback of the events leading him to become the hero he will be. The main theme seems to hold the same character building we will see from the story, and we couldn’t have asked for a more grandiose entrance.
Assassins – Christopher Drake
Now I have not played the game yet, but from the title I am guessing this the main theme for villains Black Mask has assembled to hunt down the Batman, and it could not be more epic. Starting with racing strings and a deafening bass hit, it goes directly into a low key piano romp at (0:09), the track doesn’t let up. I love the use of the brass, especially towards the (0:30) mark with the staccato notes followed by the whaling note. The track is as epic as the villain cast charged with hunting down the Dark Knight, enjoy!
Arkham Origins Suite – Christopher Drake
There are a lot of familiar sounds from the previous tracks but there are hints at other tracks, including the very spine chilling Joker theme, which is a twisted version of Carol of the Bells. Nothing like hearing the Joker’s cackle over a Christmas jingle. Enjoy the culmination of the Arkham Origins soundtrack.
October 17, 2013
Arkham Origins New tv Spot and Soundtrack Preview Does Not Disappoint
Hot off the presses this morning is the newest trailer in the marketing machine for Batman: Arkham Origins, and it does not disappoint. The trailer clocks in at only 0:53, not even a full minute, but what we get from it is so much more. The trailer shows how the one traumatic event scars Bruce for life, leaving him emotionally dead. Though now a man with a purpose, I love how they show through the years and even through his training, he is broken; those emotionless eyes are haunting. This could be one of the most emotional trailers I have seen for any medium, reminds me of the Dead Island trailer from a few years back; you get goosebumps every time you watch it. One event, one random act of violence, one life voided of emotion, and that life changed for ever. I was on board with this title since the last trailer and seeing actual gameplay via E3. Though Rocksteady may not be doing the title, it will be using many of the mechanics and changes they made to the Unreal 3 engine. With Arkham Asylum and City, WB Games have created a franchise that has come to define action/open world games and superhero games in general, I highly doubt they would let that bar slip now. Again, below is the new TV spot for Batman Arkham Origins which is out on October 25th worldwide.
The next section talks about the soundtrack and some of the titles maybe potential spoilers, read with caution.
While I was looking for the trailer above, I came across a sampling of the soundtrack from Arkham Origins. Thanks to the people over at the YouTube channel BatmanArkhamVideos, they have taken the samples of the official soundtrack and strung them together into one huge preview. Overall I am very impressed with what I heard. I was hoping that we would get the return of Ron Fish and Nick Arundel from Arkham City to reprise their efforts, but instead they landed Christopher Drake in the composers chair. Drake has scored several other DC media, mainly animated features, with his most recent outing on the animated adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns. The whole soundtrack interest me, but there are a couple of track in particular that interest me. The main theme (#1) and the end titles (#31) have reoccurring themes that I would like to see develop into something grand. Arkham City had an incredible main theme, here is hoping Origins can outshine it. Two other tracks that have caught my ear is is The Night Before Christmas (#2) and Carol of the Bells (Joker’s Theme) (#12). I love the chimes and sleigh bells in (#2) giving it a eerie feel reminiscent of Tim Burton’s Batman Returns. Carol to the Bells is a traditional Christmas Carol, that is turned on its head and been given a nice, big smile. The bells and distorted guitar bring a haunting and evil presence to something that is suppose to be filled with joy, I love it. There is a lot to love from this soundtrack, and if you want to hear more of the these tracks, there is another preview over at Water Tower Music’s SoundCloud page.
October 15, 2013
Watch Dogs Delayed Until 2014
One of my most anticipated titles of the year has been put on hiatus for just a couple more months. Ubisoft announced to day that the open world title will be pushed back until spring 2014. Here is the official statement from the Ubisoft press release :
“Our ambition from the start with Watch_Dogs has been to deliver something that embodies what we wanted to see in the next-generation of gaming. It is with this in mind that we’ve made the tough decision to delay the release until Spring 2014.
We know a lot of you are probably wondering ‘why now?’ We struggled with whether we would delay the game. But from the beginning, we have adopted the attitude that we will not compromise on quality. As we got closer to release, as all the pieces of the puzzle were falling into place in our last push before completion, it became clear to us that we needed to take the extra time to polish and fine tune every detail so we can deliver a truly memorable and exceptional experience.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you. We thoroughly enjoy and appreciate the way you respond on the web, at events, press conferences and during other opportunities we have to interact. Your passion is what drives us.
We can’t wait to see you in Chicago next Spring. We are confident you’ll love this game as much as we love working on it.”
Now I am all for delays if they make the overall quality of a title better, this seems a little late coming, since the title was suppose to release in a month. Now comes the question of what retailers will do with the pre-orders they have already taken. The game was suppose to release along side the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as a launch title, and may retailers were offering bundles that included the game. It will be interesting to see if the extra time does improve the game, or if this is just marketing talking since Ubisoft has another big open world release this fall with Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag that is still on track for a late October release and launching along side the next gen consoles.
October 8, 2013
Gaming in Stereo: Tribute to The Wind Waker
It has been 10 years since the original release of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. This past weekend saw the physical release of the The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, which has been available for download since September 20th. Almost being 30, I can still remember the hate the title received when its cel shaded visuals were released to the world. During Nintendo’s 2000 Space World event, they showed off a more “mature” Zelda demo, and everyone’s hope for a mature Zelda on the GameCube was justified. Then one year later, Nintendo crushed that hope with a cel shading, a younger Link, and a completely different direction. Though the hate was strong, Nintendo persevered and delivered one of the best, and most endearing Zelda titles of all time. I got my physical copy this past weekend, and have been loving every moment, including the sailing. The three songs that I have picked for your listening pleasure, have some reoccurring theme’s; but they pull together the feel of the title in their own ways. Though Gannon has returned and Hyrule, now rest at the bottom of the Great Sea, the game has plenty of moments that either want to make you laugh or tear up with joy. Though I typically prefer the more “mature” Zelda title, Wind Waker has a special place in my heart; making me feel for the world, the characters, and not having that impending doom hanging over my head. Coming off Ocarina of Time, I never played Majora’s Mask (sorry), there was a dark cloud over my Hyrule experience. In OoT, you play as young Link, but he is forced into a dark world and grows up too fast in this impending world to really appreciate that youth, Wind Waker fixed that issue. Wind Waker’s colorful cel shading, charm, and fantastic score capture that essence of youth you get when Miyamoto takes the stage at any press event. With the new functions of the Pictobox in the HD version, I have found several Tingle bottles that have had fantastic pictures, capturing that charm and fun of the title.
Since there is reoccurring theme’s through out all three tracks, and I have actually featured one of these tracks before, I am just going to give small descriptions and let the music take it from there. Let get to the music!
Here is a little bonus, to kick this off properly, some art of my favorite leaf violinist, Makar!
The Wind Waker Symphonic Movement – The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony
There are plenty highs and lows in this piece, at times it shows the brilliance of endearing world and sailing exploration. It clocks in at a heft 10:30, but has a lot to offer as it hits over many of the main themes from the game.
“Hoy, Small Fry” – HyperDuck Soundworks – Featured on the Over Clocked Remix album “25YearLegend”
On of the best remixes on that album, “Hoy, Small Fry” captures the title music in a Celtic folk music vibe. The track does a great job of radiating the joy endearing element of the game, just a warm, fuzzy feeling. This track makes me want to set sail for Outlook Island and join in on any festivities the small island may have.
Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker – Dragon Roost Island – Andrew Skeet/The London Philharmonic Orchestra
I have featured this track before, but it still is a beautiful composition and unique take on the first “dungeon island” theme. the various transitions from mandolin, to piano, to saxophone, to strings, to a trumpet finally taking hold of the melody. It is a great track that has excellent build. Enjoy.
October 6, 2013
Watchdogs pc requirements leaked
This information has appeared to of been pulled but not before we caught it. Watchdogs (PC) will apparently only support the 64 bit version of windows. Below you can see the Minimum, recommended and the Ultra specs:
CPU: Quad Core processor (Phenom X4 9750 or Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600
Memory: 4GB Ram
Video: Radeon 5770/Geforce GTX 460 or greater
Hard Drive: 20GB
CPU: AMD FX-8350 or Core I7-3770 or greater
Memory: 8GB of RAM
Video: GeForce GTX 560 Ti and AMD’s Radeon HD 7850
Hard Drive: 20 GB
CPU: Intel’s Core i7-3990K and AMD’s FX-9370
Memory: 8GB or more
Video: GeForce GTX 670 or AMD’s Radeon HD 7970
Hard Drive: 20GB
Watchdogs looks truly to be a next gen console game and a very exciting PC game. It’s slated to be released on the PC, Xbox 360, PS3 and WII U on November 19 with the release date for PS4 and Xbox One still to be announced. The PC version of the game will have support for exclusive Nvidia features.
October 2, 2013
Nintendo Delays Tropical Freeze, Shows off New Kirby and 3d World Gameplay
Nintendo held a Nintendo Direct Yesterday and while there were plenty of things to be excited for coming in a few short months, one game has been pushed back till next year. The return of Donkey Kong, in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze was given a few more months to incubate, and will now release in February 2014. The Wii U has a stacked holiday lineup with plenty of exclusives firing off with The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD this Friday; though with the current lack of software and two new consoles on the horizon, a little insurance would not have hurt.
One game that is on track to hit the Wii U this holiday season is Super Mario 3D World. The latest in the Mario 3D series, which is scheduled to hit on November 22nd, sees Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad facing off against Bowser with some unique new power-ups. the new cat power-up is now in company with the cannon block, duplicating cherry, a Boomerang Bros. power-up, and the return of the Tanooki suit. 3D World seems to be taking ques from 3D Land on the 3DS and mixing typical 3D platforming with some more traditional 2D Mario. This game is definitely on my radar, a huge fan of Nintendo platformers, again the game will be on the Wii U on November 22nd. Check out the latest gameplay video below.
The 3DS is thriving right now with a strong library and constant support in the eShop, it is a handheld force to be reckoned with. Even with all this there is one thing missing from the handheld that has appeared on every Nintendo portable since the Game Boy, Kirby. During the Nintendo Direct, Mr. Iwata showed off the latest adventures of the pink puffball coming to the 3DS next year. The game reminds me Donkey Kong Country Returns in the way it jumps from front to back while remaining in 2-D. The game has no official title as of yet, though it is scheduled to be released next year.
You can check out the these titles and more in the Nintendo Direct, played in its entirety below.
September 30, 2013
Holy Downloadable Tuesday Batman!
There is plenty to be excited for tomorrow coming down the downloadable pipe. The Battlefield 4 beta launches tomorrow for the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC. Tomorrow will be early access for those who have pre-ordered the digital deluxe version on the PC, or have Battlefield Premium for BF3, or still have a dusty, moldy copy of Medal of Honor: Warfighter. For those of you on the PC, you can start to preload the beta now, 360 and PS3 owners, it will be available to you when the respective stores update tomorrow.
For those of you looking for something a bit different, Quantic Dream’s fall release, Beyond: Two Souls, will be getting a demo tomorrow. The Heavy Rain developers new title will be out on October 8th here in the States, and you can try it out for yourself starting tomorrow.
On both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, a new month rolls around and more free games are headed your way. Starting tomorrow, with your subscription to PlayStation Plus or Live Gold, you can download Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning on the PlayStation 3 and Heroes of Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes for free. There is plenty more coming to you in October for PS+ members including Shadow of the Colossus, Hotline Miami, Poker Night 2, and Sine Mora. There isn’t a game in the line up I wouldn’t recommend, if you have the hard drive space grab them all if you can. On the Xbox 360, starting on the 16th you will be able to grab Halo 3 for free. Though this isn’t the latest title in the series, it is certainly one of the best entries. Hopefully we see a revival in the multiplayer numbers when the game is free later in October.
There is plenty for all of you out there tomorrow coming down the virtual pipeline, even if you have a Wii U. The Wii U right now is enjoying The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD on the eShop service. The retail copy hits stores this Friday. Rain, a very interesting looking indie title coming to the PS3 this Tuesday is worth checking out as well. If you have a copy of Grand Theft Auto V, Grand Theft Auto is to launch tomorrow as well. This is include with every retail and downloadable copy of the game. Rockstar has warned that there maybe a few bugs/glitches, and that some of the content will coming shortly after launch. Hopefully there is something here for everyone, I will be very busy tomorrow with Battlefield 4, GTA Online, Beyond: Two Souls demo and checking out Rain.