Rain World brutally drowns a beautiful soundtrack Features 

Rain World brutally drowns a beautiful soundtrack

No, I haven’t completed Rain World. Haven’t come anywhere close, in fact. And if I’m being totally honest, I probably never will. There’s something pretty sad about that, because it’s a huge waste of potential. Set in the post-apocalyptic ruins of an industrial city, Rain World is an action platformer where players guide a bizarrely deformed cat through rusty, overgrown landscapes in search of its family. It’s a visually striking game, with densely detailed pixel art and rubbery creature movements. Besides the game’s mutated Metrodvania DNA, there’s also a strong…

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The Musical Holograms of Horizon Zero Dawn Features 

The Musical Holograms of Horizon Zero Dawn

It’s become common for sci-fi game soundtracks to blend electronic and classical elements. The intersection is especially fitting in Guerilla Games’ Horizon Zero Dawn, where scattered tribes in post-apocalyptic North America have reverted to pre-industrial era technology, while highly advanced robotic animals roam the surrounding countryside. But does the musical fusion also take a step further to manipulate the game’s environmental art? As protagonist Aloy fits together the pieces of her species’ shattered past, she travels to long-abandoned underground research facilities in the Rocky Mountains region. Although time has reclaimed…

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One Setting, One Song Features 

One Setting, One Song

There’s a particular art to short stories. Take a solid concept and build a compelling narrative around it in a limited timeframe. Satisfy the audience with what’s immediately provided, but also offer cues for their imagination explore the grey areas outside the primary text. The short story format lends itself especially well to genre fiction like horror and sci-fi: a fantastic or frightening idea that emerges like a butterfly from its chrysalis, dazzles the audience with brief spectacle, then flits away into memory. The expectation-free flexibility (and limited resources) of…

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“Raw stuff feels more intimate”: Interview with Bound composer Oleg ‘Heinali’ Shpudeiko Interviews 

“Raw stuff feels more intimate”: Interview with Bound composer Oleg ‘Heinali’ Shpudeiko

Ukranian musician Oleg Shpudeiko (aka Heinali) was enlisted by developers Plastic to compose the soundtrack for Bound, a breathtaking and unique blend of dance, art and music. We have already shared our thoughts on this wonderful gaming experience, but wanted to hear from Shpudeiko about the creative process behind the game’s soundtrack. What was your introduction to making music? Who inspired you? It was a sudden thing. I didn’t have any music background, any music education and I don’t think I was really interested in writing music before I started, back…

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140: Double-edged soundtrack Features 

140: Double-edged soundtrack

Place two fingers on your neck and feel your pulse. Got it? Should be running steadily at about a beat per second, maybe a little more. Any faster than that and you’ve got some form of tachycardia. That is unless you’ve just gone for a jog, or had some exuberant sex – or just completed a boss level in 140. Although it debuted on PC several years ago, 140 rolled onto consoles this week with Double Fine on publisher duties. 140 is a no-frills platform game. Its sparse Atari 2600…

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Bound: The Missing Pieces Features 

Bound: The Missing Pieces

There’s a line by British rapper Mike Skinner which is pretty old at this point, but holds some truth when it comes to Bound: “You’re fit, by my gosh don’t you know it.” It’s a damn good looking game alright, and features a broad catalogue of art forms: contemporary ballet, abstract sculpture, even children’s drawings. Development studio Plastic is confident enough in Bound’s beauty to include a photo mode, offering a level of creative control normally reserved for car porn games like Forza. Adjust the depth of field, exposure levels…

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Mirror’s Edge Catalyst: Endless Rebirths and Noble Truths Features 

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst: Endless Rebirths and Noble Truths

There’s a certain elegance to Swedish electronic musician Magnus Birgersson (aka Solar Fields) having been drafted to compose the Mirror’s Edge Catalyst soundtrack. It’s a tidy continuation of Birgersson’s work for the original Mirror’s Edge (2008), some five hours of trance-lite ambience with occasional uptempo pieces to denote urgency. While synths and sci-fi are a classic emulsion, Birgersson’s lush and spacious soundtrack is not just a backdrop to an all-too-perfect future – it also reinforces the grace of the game’s agile protagonist, Faith Connors. Although Catalyst occupies a peculiar chronological…

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Korg DS-10: Simple Toy or Endless Game? Features 

Korg DS-10: Simple Toy or Endless Game?

With its limited processing power and compact interface, the Nintendo DS is an unlikely platform for digital music production, typically the domain of PCs and laptops running powerful software like Ableton Live. But in 2008, Japanese publisher AQ Interactive released Korg DS-10, turning the little Nintendo into a versatile pocket synthesiser. Development studios Procyon and Cavia Inc collaborated with Korg engineers to create DS-10, which largely emulates the Korg MS-10 synthesiser released in 1978. As executive producer Yasunori Mitsuda later explained, the Nintendo DS platform presented some technical challenges: “It…

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