I quite enjoyed the Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII OST. While it didn’t feature the catchy pop music that made Final Fantasy XIII-2 so endearing, it did sport its own unique blend of electronic ambiance that provided for a great listen.

As has been customary for the Final Fantasy XIII soundtracks, Square Enix released an additional disc of trailer music, instrumental versions, cut tracks, and variations on themes presented on this PLUS album. Is it worth picking up?

Read our review below. Continue reading Review: LIGHTNING RETURNS:FINAL FANTASY XIII OST PLUS


We waited a long time to get a piano collections album for Final Fantasy I – III. It then came as a bigger surprise that Square Enix was taking the Piano Opera concept and making it a series, revisiting Final Fantasy titles that had already enjoyed Piano Collections albums in the past. This installment covers the next three games in the series, Final Fantasy VII, VIII, and IX.

Read our impressions below. Continue reading Review: PIANO OPERA FINAL FANTASY VII/VIII/IX

Review: Mario Kart 8 Soundtrack

I always figured that Mario Kart would be the last hold out from Nintendo, doomed to host cheesy synth sounds for its soundtracks for all eternity. We’ve seen Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda get the orchestral treatment, but Mario Kart is a party game, so when Mario Kart 8 was announced, I didn’t expect anything new on the sound front.

I was mistaken, however, as Nintendo has really gone all out once again for this score. Given the time and attention that the large sound team at Nintendo put into the game, including contributions from Shiho Fujii, Atsuko Asahi, Ryo Nagamatsu, Yasuaki Iwata, and direction by Kenta Nagata, I thought we should dig in and take a look at what they’ve accomplished.

Read impressions below. Continue reading Review: Mario Kart 8 Soundtrack

Review: Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

I had the opportunity to review the original Diablo III soundtrack, and I noted that while it was great in its own right, it didn’t feel like it belonged to the Diablo universe. More so, it felt like the world of Diablo told through the musical stylings of World of Warcraft. Diablo III: Repear of Souls takes a different direction, with composer Derek Duke acting as audio lead, allowing for a new soundscape to unfold.

Does this change have a lasting impact on the score? Read our full review below. Continue reading Review: Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

Review: The Witch and the Hundred Knight

Nippon Ichi Software’s Tenpei Sato returns with another zany RPG score in line with a lot of his past works. This time, we get a playfully dark atmosphere with a strong western vibe that goes quite well together. There are two discs to dig into if you managed to pick up the limited edition, and a single disc sampler if you grab the standard edition on the NISA store.

What drew my attention to the score initially was a contribution by NieR vocalist Emi Evans. Does her track and the rest make for a memorable experience? Read more below. Continue reading Review: The Witch and the Hundred Knight

Unboxing: Tecmo Arcade Game Chronicle

SuperSweep has released an 11-disc collection of music and gameplay footage of Tecmo’s early arcade works, including Rygar, Ninja Gaiden, Tecmo Bowl, and others. Some of the music hasn’t been released before, and full composer credits have been included as well. Seven discs feature music, while others are dedicated to a composer round-table interview, extreme gameplay videos, and data files from Tecmo’s archives.

In this unboxing video, we take a look at the disc housing, booklet, and bonus disc for those who purchase via SuperSweep’s online store. Fans outside of Japan can buy it on CD Japan without the bonus disc. Check it out below.

Continue reading Unboxing: Tecmo Arcade Game Chronicle

Review: M. Hamauzu Piano Works

After Masashi Hamauzu’s abrupt departure from Square Enix following the completion of the Final Fantasy XIII soundtrack, Hamauzu’s name has popped up through his unique music duo, IMERUAT, and for various arrangements he’s done in the videogame industry. This album, however, marks his first solo effort since that time, taking a nod from his past SaGa Frontier piano album and Vielen Dank to bring together a collection of short piano pieces.

Read our impressions below. Continue reading Review: M. Hamauzu Piano Works

Meet Scarlet Moon Artists: Musicians For Your Upcoming Games!

It’s E3 week, and we thought it would be a good time to announce the launch of Scarlet Moon Artists, an artist group dedicated to providing studios both big and small with top music talent from around the globe. Included are:

Vince DiCola & Kenny Meriedeth (Rocky IV, Saturday Morning RPG, Transformers: The Movie)
Shinji Hosoe (Mega Man Network Transmission, Ridge Racer series, Tekken Tag Tournament 2)
Hiroki Kikuta (Koudelka, Secret of Mana, Soul Calibur V)
Osamu Kubota (Beatmania, Granado Espada)
Justin Lassen (Herbert the Misanthropic Fly, Otomedius Excellent, Synaethesia)
Goomin Nam (Bar Oasis series, Monarch: Heroes of a New Age, TalesWeaver)
Dale North (Dragon Fantasy Book II, OverClocked ReMix contributions, Silent Horror)
Jinbae Park (PangYa Portable, Ragnarok Online, Ridge Racer 7)
Hitoshi Sakimoto (Final Fantasy XII, Gradius V, Valkyria Chronicles series)

If you want any of these musicians working on your upcoming game, contact us via the contact form on the Scarlet Moon Artists website!

Review: Sengoku Basara 4 Original Soundtrack

The Sengoku Basara series has generally been known to have great music. I’ve enjoyed my fair share of the powerful orchestral pieces and eclectic mix presented through the character themes, and it certainly didn’t hurt to have Shadow of the Colossus composer Ko Otani working alongside T’s Music and the rest of the large music team for Sengoku Basara 3.

Does Sengoku Basara 4 live up to the musical history of the franchise? Find out below. Continue reading Review: Sengoku Basara 4 Original Soundtrack

Prescription for Sleep: Game Music Lullabies (SMRC-1006)

It’s out! Ten tracks from across the spectrum of gaming, arranged and performed by GENTLE LOVE (Norihiko Hibino and AYAKI) for maximum relaxation and sleep. The album’s official website now contains the full track list (also below), and you can now purchase the album via Loudr.

Also, don’t miss the exclusive interview over on The Escapist where we discuss the potential for a second album. Send your feedback and suggestions to jayson[at]!

Finally, check out the beautiful launch trailer at IGN today! Continue reading Prescription for Sleep: Game Music Lullabies (SMRC-1006)