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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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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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