0 com

Music Monday - 16-Bit Jazzy

I feel like I could have worked harder this week. Well, with an art show around the corner, a couple of illustrations on the way, another combat theme in development and the overly involving task of programming the combat routines for Bijoux Red, I suppose that I'll have plenty of opportunity to throw myself into my work this week...

And now (to quote a classic), here's something we hope you'll really like!

Super Mario RPG (SNES)
Booster's Tower

Mega Man X (SNES)
Energy Mine Ruins (Armored Armadillo's Stage Theme)

Earthbound (SNES)
Battle Against an Unsettling Opponent

No doubt about it, I've gotta get another hat.
3 com

Music Monday - Rhythm Heaven Wii

It's no mystery to anybody that I'm a huge fan of the Rhythm Heaven series (Rhythm Tengoku in Japan). The game is quirky in a way that's reminiscent of the Wario Ware series, which is appropriate since both games are produced by Yoshio Sakamoto (who you may also know as the director of most of the Metroid series after Return of Samus for the Game Boy).

In 'Wrestler', a track for the new Rhythm Heaven for Wii (which is currently available only in Japan), the player controls the titular wrestler as he answers questions and poses for photographers during an interview. The scene is hilarious and the song is catchy as hell. I can't wait to play this game!

Rhythm Heaven Wii - Wrestler
2 com

Music of Bijoux Red - Player Combat/Mission Theme

Don't Look Back!
Player Mission Theme - The newest soundtrack offering, this piece is heard when the player takes their turn during mission sequences.

There is more music available on our newest post at the Bijoux Red blog! You can also check out our Youtube channel to see our most recent updates! Coming soon: gameplay videos!
0 com

Bijoux Red Concept Art - Ander

Ander is the lead protagonist of Bijoux Red, our tactical RPG work-in-progress. You can check out more concept art for Ander over at the Bijoux Red blog!

2 com

Music Monday - War Themes, Appended

We've been listening to a lot of war themes at Revolver Games lately, as evidenced by Dice's extensive look at some of her favourite tracks. It could have something to do with the work we've been doing on our own tactical RPG, Bijoux Red. Whatever the reason, I just had to call some attention to these personal favourites.

Advance Wars: Dual Strike (NDS)
Sasha's Theme
Is this even a war theme? There's a certain 'get-up-and-go' hopefulness that drives this song while still maintaining the charm of Sasha's character. This is the kind of war theme that I love listening to!

Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon (NDS)
For Liberty
Another hopeful theme for the troops to rally around. The epic war tunes are great, but I've got a soft spots for the ones that kind of have that 'things are looking up' quality.

Ogre Battle : The March of The Black Queen
The theme is called Revolt and, from the sound of things, the revolt is going well. What is that optimistic quality that draws me to these tunes? You really feel successful when you ride out and crush your enemies to a song like this (which helps me plenty, as I'm not all that great at strategy games!).

I'm looking forward to sharing some of our own war themes shortly. The setting may be quite different from these fantasy strategy games, or from the contemporary war setting of the Advance Wars series, but our goal of empowering the player's army with an exciting tune is all the same!
3 com

Music Monday (Guest Author) - War Themes

Nothing quite like having a game take place in the most basic "battlefield" there is: War. A few composers really seem to hit the niche for great tracks be it the "why, god, why?" war tunes, the "war is hell" war tunes, and last but not least, the "let's get those sons o' bitches!" war tunes. Anyways, let's look at some of my favorite composers; though you can probably guess who I think is the best of them (Hint: Just about every War-J-SRPG is scored by this guy).

#3) Yoko Shimomura

Her resume may not have too many war-based titles, but the few and far between have been great additions to an already impressive line of work. She tends to emphasize some amazing melodies, her ability to make songs flow, and her passion for tugging on your heart with beautiful piano pieces. Recently she proved herself once more with the OST for Radiant Historia:

Radiant Historia's "Edge of Green" is a track with a great beat and a great flow. This is a boss theme, and it uses a wide array of instruments to take you into every new part of the tune. We start with strings and drums, then we get violin and organ, and then we get a horn and piano. Each instrument pairing is sort of stuck against each other, and works well as a boss track. I can hear a sort of "tango" sound to it to, though that might just be me.

This is Heroes of Mana's opening theme. I linked the orchestra arranged version (it's better quality). The game may have been met with mixed reviews, but the music made up the difference thanks to Shimomura's contribution. We have another up-beat melody to start, but in a traditional Yoko way, she knows how to draw out a deeper sound to make the piece more complex and involving.

Other Shimomura recommendations:

Kingdom Hearts (the music is a series strong point), Legend of Mana. Also, a few Breath of Fire 1 and Xenoblade tracks are hers. Oh, and Little Nemo! :D

#2) Masako Oogami

You're probably thinking "who the fu-", and I don't blame you. But it's always fun to post a hidden gem who's other important work includes.... IdolM@aster.... hmm. Umm, I swear he's good!!

Oogami's major contributions are to the little known, and under-appreciated Seven and Venus & Braves series. These titles sported what is a clever mix throughout the soundtrack of jazz, waltz and, hell, even rag-time. He has an ability to get that "story book" feeling; you hear tunes that sound kinda medieval, kinda magical, kinda romantic, but still kinda strange.

But anyways, we're here for a battle theme:

The appropriately titled "battle" has your drummer boy kickin' it off but then goes to a deep sounding male choir to make things sound a bit darker and ominous (true to the fairy tale nature, your enemies were usually monsters). We got the army bells, the soft strings, and powerful horns to keep the spirit alive.

You also get a brilliant victory theme to make your triumph that much more glorious.

I hope you like this fella as much as I do, because he is certainly a different flavour, but I'll be happy if you found someone new to love today.

Some other amazing tracks from Venus & Braves I *completely* recommend are:

Waltz for Ariah (the main theme song), Cup of Story (jazz tune with Engrish title), and Theme of Seven (from the first game)

#1) Hitoshi Sakimoto

Saw it coming, right? I know this one was easy, but the man seems to have a penchant for doing war-esque titles, and quite frankly, why stop him? He does them really, really well. Not only does he know how to get your blood pumping with exciting tracks, but still finds a way to still fit in some emotional pieces too. If you don't know who he is, well, you probably do and just don't know it. Final Fantasy Tactics, FF12, Odin Sphere, Valkyria Chronicles, Vagrant Story, Ogre Battle. ...it goes on.

A few notables:

FF12's boss battle theme. The bells that come up at the main part of tune are beautiful and accompanied by a great drumline. Truly a rush, and the track gets built up really nicely.

And of course, the Tactics Ogre Overture. This track should send a tingle down your spine if you're really into that "war and glory"-like sound. We have something that sounds medieval, kinda Scottish, and damned empowering. Quite frankly, you'd fight for any side that had this tune as its anthem.

I would put Final Fantasy Tactics up here, but I'm sure you may have heard it plenty of times. Sakimoto is to "war-like" music as cheese is to pizza. And like pizza, his work is *consistently* satisfying, despite how long he's been around.

Other recommendations:

Breath of Fire V (atypical of his "genre", but still excellent), Opoona (more techno-type versions of his sound, yup, it's weird), and Riz-Zoawd (yeah, the um, JRPG version of Wizard of Oz. A more fairy-tale sound to it... but it works and is home a calmer side of the composer).

Today's Music Monday guest author Dice is clearly no stranger to JRPGs. Click here to check out Dice's artwork at her Deviant Art account.
1 com

Bijouxred WIP Background

I'm currently working on the background for the second prologue. I will remain silent on the details of the background but the dust storm will be animated!