Wildcat’s Ten Favorite PS3 Games

The Playstation 3 is my most recent console purchase, and thus far I have had little regret in getting one. There have been a few games that have simply knocked me off my feet in multiple ways. I am not a big fan of some of the “features” this generation has wrought: DRM, DLC, console updating, and abusing the concept of regenerating health. Ultimately though, the games still shine through the concerns, and I’m happy to have played these amazing titles.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Square-Enix/Eidos Monteral)

Color me a bit surprised that I’m hailing the latest Deus Ex the best PS3 game I’ve played thus far, but I really do think it deserves the acclaim. The gameplay is sensational, with the excellent Deus Ex playstyle being updated beautifully. The game’s plot is intriguing and multifaceted, the characters are mostly endearing and fascinating (damn you Sarif), and the level design is splendid. Even the bosses, the one harp most people have had with the game, didn’t really faze me too much. In fact, I really liked three of them (even if one of those had me reeling and restarting it twenty times XD ). So, on the whole, this is my favorite PS3 experience I’ve had the pleasure of playing so far.

Red Dead Redemption (Rockstar/Rockstar San Diego)

Red Dead Redemption is marvelous, it truly is. It makes a GTA style game maintain its enjoyment long after the sandbox thrill wears off. The controls are responsive and rarely wonk (wow, that’s actually a word), the characters and storyline are quite engaging, and the atmosphere is very well done. Having my save erased has been a little detrimental to my overall feelings towards it; it’s such a big game that replaying it to its fullest is a mammoth task I haven’t felt up to revisiting. Still, I treasure the mostly complete first go and have continued to enjoy dabbling in its world in subsequent replays.

Dead Space 2 (EA/Visceral)

Deus Ex is mucking up a lot of things; now I need to rewrite my 2011 Looking Back. XD So, I’m going to copy my comments from there for the purposes of expressing my joys with Dead Space 2. It’s a little longer than the other entries, but I think you can handle it.

Dead Space 2 is the closest any game has gotten to toppling Resident Evil 4 from its 3D action perch, and it was a wonderful, wonderful experience all the way through.  The game improves itself from its prequel on every single level. The gameplay is stellar and features tighter controls, the enemies are more varied and even crazier than the first, the characters exhibit tons of personality and likability (even the twisted ones), the storyline is compelling and not so reliant on Issac to solve any little problem that comes up (the major issue with the first game’s plot), and the level design takes you to some very memorable setpieces, among the best in any game I’ve played (I’ll not forget the daycare any time soon). Not only that, but the terror this series has resurrected into the forefront showcases that a game can do survival horror AND be an action game at the same time.

Batman: Arkham Asylum (Eidos/Warner Bros. Int./Rocksteady)

It’s a really close call between Arkham Asylum and Arkham City. It’s almost razor-thin. What makes me feel more committed to Asylum is the Metroid-style progression. It’s wonderfully implemented here, and I don’t think any game (save Metroid Prime) has as brilliantly duplicated the concept in three dimensions. That’s my sole reason for plopping it ahead of Arkham City. Both have amazing gameplay, stellar voice work and are unbelievably fun.

Batman: Arkham City (Warner Bros. Int./Rocksteady)

See above for my reasoning for Arkham City being below Arkham Asylum. Otherwise, the expanded world, the inclusion of Catwoman, meeting up with more of Batman’s villain roster, and the tightened controls and gameplay make it (arguably) the better game. Both are really stunning examples of software, though, and you can’t go wrong with either of them!

Portal 2 (Valve)

Portal 2 lacked the innovative wow of its predecessor, but is overall the better of the two. The puzzles are cleverer, the humor is on a grander scale, and the diversity of locales gives the game some much needed visual spice. GLaDOS, Wheatley and Cave Johnson make the storyline sing, too. I haven’t tried out the multiplayer, but I would really like to someday!

Bioshock (Take 2/Irrational Games)

I’m not too keen on FPS games, but Bioshock dials into that special zone that manages to click the right switches in my brain to make me happy. Its plasmid variety gave the player plenty of options in terms of combat, and plucky players could manipulate the powers just right to create delightful combo strings. The story was phenomenal, and the art style of this game is perfectly implemented. It’s one of the better FPS games I’ve played, no question.

Rayman Origins (UBI Soft)

Michel Ancel’s return to his Rayman franchise was a glorious one. The animation quality, quirky levels and snappy music all combined to make one hell of a stupendous platformer. It’s a bit tough at times and the controls do on occasion seem out of control, but the overall game is really wondrous.

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (Sony/Naughty Dog)

Nathan Drake’s adventures initially put me off; before trying out this game, I felt total apathy for the series, and they didn’t appeal to me from what I had heard. Luckily, Grace wanted to give it a go, and once I watched her play through a bit of it, I gave it a try. I’m glad I did! It’s a beautifully well-made game that, despite some platforming problems and a few pacing issues, really won me over.

Dead Space (EA/Visceral)

Despite my misgivings for the original Dead Space in comparison to its superior sequel, at present it is worthy of a spot on my favorite games list. It still delivers a tense nightmare of a world to poke around in, and it has the better boss fights!


Pac Man Championship Edition DX (Namco Bandai)

Mirror’s Edge (EA/DICE)

Resident Evil 5 (Capcom)

Super Street Fighter IV (Capcom)

Wildcat’s Favorite Gaming Soundtracks (2012)

A little bit ago I revised my Top 100 tunes in gaming, and had the thought of deciphering my overall favorite soundtracks as well. I’ve decided to select 50 games to represent the best of the best in terms of gaming music, and here they are. There are no limits on this one, so you’ll see a few franchises well represented here. The Top 15 will be at the top, including links to the individual playlists. The remaining selections will be below and merely listed. All are in alphabetical order. I hope you all like these soundtracks as much as I do!

TOP 15:

Age of Mythology (PC, Microsoft/Ensemble Studios, Stephen Rippy/Kevin McCullan)

Batman (NES, Sunsoft, Naoki Kodaka/Nobuyuki Hara)

Beyond Good & Evil (Multi, UBI Soft, Christophe Héral)

Body Harvest (N64, Midway/DMA Design, Stuart Ross/Allan Walker)

Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin (DS, Konami, Michiru Yamane/Yuko Koshiro)

Chrono Trigger (SNES, Square-Enix, Yasunori Mitsuda/Nobuo Uemetsu)

Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of a Cursed King (PS2, Square-Enix/Level-5, Koichi Sugiyama)

Hotel Dusk: Room 215 (DS, CiNG/Nintendo, Yuhki Mori/Satoshi Okubo)

Mega Man 3 (NES, Capcom, Yasuaki Fujita)

Metroid (NES, Nintendo, Hirokazu “Hip” Tanaka)

Okami (PS2, Capcom, Masami Ueda, Hiroshi Yamaguchi, Hiroyuki Hamada, Rei Kondo and Akari Groves)

Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 (PS2, Atlus, Shoji Meguro)

Skies of Arcadia (DC, Sega/Overworks, Yutaka Minobe/Takayuki Maeda)

Super Mario 64 (N64, Nintendo, Koji Kondo)

Super Metroid (SNES, Nintendo, Kenji Yamamoto/Minako Hamano)

The Rest:

Age of Empires III (PC, Microsoft/Ensemble Studios, Stephen Rippy/Kevin McCullan)
Banjo-Kazooie (N64, Rare/Nintendo, Grant Kirkhope)
A Boy and his Blob (Wii, Majesco/Wayforward, Daniel Sadowski)
Castlevania (NES, Konami, Kinuyo Yamashita)
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PS1, Konami, Michiru Yamane)
Contra (NES, Konami, Hidenori Maezawa, Kyouhei Sada, KONAMI KuKeiHa Club)
Deus Ex (PC, Ion Storm/Eidos, Alexander Brandon, Dan Gardopée, Michiel van den Bos, Reeves Gabrels)
Dragon Quest IX (DS, Square-Enix/Level-5, Koichi Sugiyama)
Final Fantasy III (SNES, Square-Enix, Nobuo Uemetsu)
Fire Emblem (GBA, Nintendo/Intelligent Systems, Yuka Tsujiyoko)
Goldeneye 007 (N64, Rare/Nintendo, Graeme Norgate)
Heroes of Might and Magic IV (PC, New World Computing/3DO, Paul Romero, Rob King, Steve Baca, Paul James)
King of Fighters Evolution (NeoGeo, SNK Playmore, NeoGeo Music Performance Group)
Kirby’s Adventure (NES, HAL Labs/Nintendo, Hirokazu Andō/Jun Ishikawa)
Kirby’s Epic Yarn (Wii, HAL Labs/Feel Good/Nintendo, Tomoya Tomita, Hirokazu Andō, Jun Ishikawa)
The Last Blade 2 (NeoGeo, SNK Playmore, NeoGeo Music Performance Group)
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64, Nintendo, Koji Kondo)
Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (GC, Nintendo, Koji Kondo, Toru Minegishi, Asuka Ota)
Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals (DS, Neverland/Square-Enix/Natsume, Yasunori Shiono, Tomoko Morita, Yukio Nakajima)
Metroid Prime (GC, Nintendo/Retro Studios, Kenji Yamamoto)
Monster Tale (DS, Majesco/Dreamrift, Ian Stocker)
Muramasa: The Demon Blade (Wii, Vanillaware/Ignition, Hitoshi Sakimoto, Masaharu Iwata, Mitsuhiro Kaneda, Noriyuki Kamikura, Kimihiro Abe, Yoshimi Kudo, Azusa Chiba)
Ogre Battle 64 (N64, Square-Enix/Quest, Hayato Matsuo, Masaharu Iwata, Hitoshi Sakimoto)
Power Blade (NES, Taito/Natsume, Kinuyo Yamashita)
Rayman Origins (Multi, UBI Soft, Christophe Héral/Billy Martin)
Red Dead Redemption (PS3/Xbox 360, Rockstar/Rockstar San Diego, Bill Elm/Woody Jackson)
Secret of Mana (SNES, Square-Enix, Hiroki Kikuta)
Shadow Hearts: From the New World (PS2, Nautilus/Aruze/XSEED, Yoshitaka Hirota/Tomoko Imoto)
Sid Meier’s Pirates! (PC, Firaxis/Take 2, Mark Cromer/Michael Curran)
Silent Hill 3 (PS2, Konami, Akira Yamaoka)
Super Mario Galaxy (Wii, Nintendo, Koji Kondo/Mahito Yokota)
Tales of Symphonia (GC, Namco Bandai, Motoi Sakuraba/Shusaku Uchiyama)
Xenoblade Chronicles (Wii, Monolith Soft/Nintendo, Yoko Shinomura, ACE+, Yasunori Mitsuda, Manami Kiyota)
Zoda’s Revenge: Startropics II (NES, Nintendo, Y. Hirai/T. Kumegawa)

Wildcat’s 100 Favorite Game Tunes (2012)

Last year, I put up 100 tracks from gaming that I absolutely loved. However, as the year has rolled by, I think that I’ve cooled off on some of those songs and fell in love with others I had omitted. With that in mind, I feel that it’s a good time to revisit that idea and update the list. This year’s edition will increase the Top choices to ten. I will continue to operate under the rules set last year by keeping the list diversified through not picking all of, say, Mega Man 3′s soundtrack. Only two tracks per game will be allowed. Youtube clips are provided so you can sample the music, however, I can not constantly update this page with new links as Youtube users or copyright owners shut clips down! I’ve done quite a few Song Highlights on these tunes if you’d like to dig through and read why I like some of these songs. Enjoy!

TOP 10

Mega Man 3, Protoman’s Whistle Concert, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uikEuigprFE

Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Midna’s Lament, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7GWf3e_I3w

Chrono Trigger, Memories of Green, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sr9-OcPLO3M

Beyond Good & Evil, Home Sweet Home, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTdcJWDNsao

Castlevania, Wicked Child, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7PFm7mrdVY

Red Dead Redemption, Far Away,

Okami, Shinshu Plains (1 and 2), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yKG-Qu4WvM

Silent Hill 3, You’re Not Here, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wz3ufaZCoVw

Secret of Mana, Into the Thick of It, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3N9lrq-rks

Skies of Arcadia, Lower Valua, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlJxG1FmMOU

The Rest:
A Boy and his Blob (Wii), Forest, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SC_u7bmVsSc
A Boy and his Blob (Wii), Plains, http://youtu.be/pfmiI9AttYc
Age of Empires III, A Hot Meal, http://youtu.be/jB1R5s3PVEM
Age of Mythology, Suture Self, http://youtu.be/KhvklZT0LMg
Age of Mythology, Chocolate Outline, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBpz9S6I07g
Batman (NES), Stage 1/5, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlGDKfgz4fA
Batman (NES), Stage 3, http://youtu.be/zERK-4IgQAg
Beyond Good & Evil, Hillyan Suite, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p48dpXQixgk
Bionic Commando (NES), Area 1, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hl5UCCBCXI
Bionic Commando (NES), Area 2, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIvcYCbWMfY
Blast Corps., Angel City, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2eRyyj_NCo
Blaster Master, Level 1, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUnwRFMo6D0
Blaster Master, Level 2, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIjIUyXrBJg
Body Harvest, Outdoors (Violin), http://youtu.be/pC41_–XeqQ
Body Harvest, Indoors (piano), http://youtu.be/wURLANzjDLk
Breath of Fire, Deep Forest, http://youtu.be/1iCbSLFrqrU
California Games (NES), Flying Disc, http://youtu.be/5iYMN2FKkoY
Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest, Bloody Tears, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjazC45Qkww
Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, Jail of Jewel, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtRdjcXfXsc
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Dracula’s Castle, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgF0uBjCds0
Cave Story, On to Grasstown, http://youtu.be/VlmOhXoKmoQ
Chrono Trigger, Wind Scene (Yearning of Wind), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqZaFDA7PXY
Contra (NES), Level 3, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U58a-svZok8
Deus Ex, Hong Kong Streets 1, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzvw8uSWucM
Diablo, Tristram Village, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8jJJXgNLo4
Dragon Quest IX, Heaven’s Prayer, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myjd1MnZx5Y
Dragon Quest VIII, Strange World, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kN9Up_0zuUs
Dragon Quest VIII, Heavenly Flight, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taVdFgxvhRg
Ducktales, Transylvania, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UuHesrJROw
Final Fantasy, Temple of Fiends, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hW56QbT0lrM
Final Fantasy VI, Terra’s Theme, http://youtu.be/W7RPY-oiDAQ
Fire Emblem (7 in series order), Wind Across the Plains, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFWOvIrBCgc
F-Zero GX, Captain Falcon’s Theme, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-L0pW3Eol6k
Grandia II, Mirumu, http://youtu.be/ZG_oW5XH71Y
Heroes of Might and Magic IV, Swamp Lands, http://youtu.be/Cffc_s0eN5Q
Hotel Dusk: Room 215, The Last Sleep, http://youtu.be/BwdCg8Gqqfk
Jet Grind Radio, Magical Girl, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_h9f939bW3c
Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Butter Building, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfdJbaCfXjQ
Kirby’s Adventure, Ending, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OVKyjZs-nU
The Last Ninja, Stage 1, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiLvoMpLQFA
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Forest Temple, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4o3EMdYaKw
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Spirit Temple, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0PVz2pIEcw
Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Kakariko Village, http://youtu.be/LdERRFGaUjY
Mario Kart 64, Credits, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYwZT3CvpMw
Mega Man 2, Air Man, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FINefcN9pPc
Mega Man 3, Snake Man, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EM-Fub7Oc_A
Mega Man 5, Wave Man, http://youtu.be/Nd2O6mbhCLU
Mega Man 6, Flame Man, http://youtu.be/qdWeTin2mho
Mega Man 6, Mr. X stages, http://youtu.be/uhJ7Ss-puVY
Metroid, Ending, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQeUkUp4uRc
Metroid Prime, Phendrana Drifts (second version), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbbUv1hz6mE
Metroid Prime, Tallon Overworld, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mziw3FQkZYg
Monster Tale, Ancient Ruins, http://youtu.be/iQ1D6UJW5Jg
M.U.L.E., Main Theme, http://youtu.be/VI2e-jwjhN4
Muramasa: The Demon Blade, Seifu Meigetsu A, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUF1lkbvoUs
Muramasa: The Demon Blade, Bosyoku Souzen A, http://youtu.be/c9qBwD4bxO8
Ogre Battle 64, Premonition, http://youtu.be/Rel-IOyQTX0
Ogre Battle 64, The Sensational World, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSnlp1YAUJ0
Okami, Reset, http://youtu.be/zpuGNH75pUc
Perfect Dark, Chicago – Stealth, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJbwLjKhVGw
Persona 4, Your Affection, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ChrBp1pEGM
Persona 4, The Almighty, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNVMKpk__HQ
Phoenix Wright: Trials and Tribulations, The Dark Fragrance of Coffee, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxzTrWUajZg
Portal, Still Alive, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6ljFaKRTrI
Portal 2, Want You Gone, http://youtu.be/jBdRaGSI4jU
Power Blade, Level 4 – Tower, http://youtu.be/c-R6Zp3n608
Rayman Origins, Sea of Serendipity – Panic at the Port!, http://youtu.be/5UVPJxSmt54
Rayman Origins, Sea of Serendipity – Lums of the Water (“Glou Glou”), http://youtu.be/oNV2uakCtzs
Secret of Mana, A Wish, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLK8IrYrZxA
Shadow Hearts: From the New World, Dead Fingers Talk, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5clzlxOZQeU
Shadow Hearts: From the New World, Adios, http://youtu.be/-lkRjV7Zp-k
Silent Hill, Silent Hill, http://youtu.be/_EN-_1OGtUY
Silent Hill 2, Laura, http://youtu.be/6LB7LZZGpkw
Silent Hill 3, Breeze ~in monochrome light~, http://youtu.be/OneUwrYiGIw
Skies of Arcadia, Kingdom of Ixa’taka, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0F-hJjD3XAs
Sly 2: Band of Thieves, Dmitri’s Nightclub, http://youtu.be/RCX3tV7lSdk
Sonic CD, Sonic Boom, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJXKoubh9sQ
Super Ghouls and Ghosts, Ice Forest, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4URokdL-dfM
Super Mario 64, Koopa’s (Bowser’s) Road, http://youtu.be/0rygsWPCjNQ
Super Mario 64, Water Course Theme (Dire Dire Docks), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqcPSbkS9TQ
Super Mario Galaxy, Gusty Garden Galaxy, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-z2kxFCQ_mQ
Super Metroid, Maradia, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxobPQMNY_w
Super Metroid, Brinstar (Plant Overgrown), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ULlqfeNLWY
Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Bramble Blast, http://youtu.be/G3rnyqI7dFc
Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Metroid Theme, http://youtu.be/3MRznLSFGFQ
Tales of Symphonia, Like a Glint of Light, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFWadiZkA_8
Xenoblade Chronicles, Guar Plains, http://youtu.be/xweRl4LZlmo
Xenoblade Chronicles, Title Theme, http://youtu.be/nNR-wsFAfiU
Zoda’s Revenge: Startropics II, Dungeon Theme #2, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pF-30Dg9Xs4
Zoda’s Revenge: Startropics II, Dungeon Theme #6, http://youtu.be/22ATqffTkIk


Dropped from last year:
Banjo-Kazooie, Click Clock Wood (spring)
Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse, Aquarius
Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, Hail from the Past
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Crystal Teardrops
Contra (NES), Level 1
Donkey Kong Country, Theme (Simian Segue)
Dragon Quest IX, I Won’t Lose
Grandia II, Carbo
Hotel Dusk: Room 215, Big Dreams
Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Outer Rings
Legend of Zelda, Death Mountain (Final Dungeon)
Mega Man 2, Wood Man
Mega Man 5, Charge Man
Persona 4, Reach out to the Truth
Resident Evil 4, Sorrow
Super Mario Galaxy 2, The Tico and the Hat
Super Mario RPG, And My Name’s Booster
Tales of Symphonia, Dry Trail

Modified on 12/26/2012, JF

Song Highlights – Xenoblade Chronicles, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Mario Party, Rayman Origins

Guar Plains – Xenoblade Chronicles (ACE+, Wii, Nintendo/Monolith Soft)

Man, this soundtrack is incredible, with this one track a highlight of its quality. I adore wandering around to this theme. So adventurous!

Bramble Blast – Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Michiro Naruke/David Wise [original composer], Wii, Nintendo)

The original song Wise performed is nice, but I really do enjoy listening to Naruke’s arrangement. It has great instrumentation that take the original composition into peppier places, and I am a big fan of the way it sounds. Shame I don’t like the DK level it plays on. :(

Mario Party – Peaceful Mushroom Village (Yasunori Mitsuda, Main Menu theme, N64, Nintendo/Hudson)

A short loop but a really good one. Very relaxing, very mellow, and is the best thing I can recollect from this game. My palms still ache, Nintendo. :p

Rayman Origins – Lost Beats (Christophe Heral/Billy Martin, Desert of Dijiridoos stages, PS3/Xbox 360/Wii/PC/3DS/Vita, UBISoft)

The musical talents of Heral cannot be ignored. I don’t know how much Martin did, but most of this soundtrack screams out Heral to me. :p This is a lovely mix of instrumentation that is just amazing to listen to. It’s 10 minutes long, so it’ll keep you entertained for a bit.

Looking Back: My Favorite Game of 2011

Now Revised!

LVLs., in its earlier Wildcat Online days, ran a traditional awards show (i.e. post) for a couple of years where I awarded games I liked a recolored sprite of NES Link cleverly dubbed “The Golden Links”.  I’ve thrown that idea aside for several years, but this year I actually had a chance to purchase more than a couple games that are current enough for me to postulate my feelings toward them and actually have it be relevant, so I’m bringing the concept back.  However, the “Golden Link” is going to stay a part of the past.  Instead, I’m revising my Looking Back articles to be much more than they have been. Beyond the life ruminations, the shortlist and anecdotes about my favorite game, I’m also going to award some other aspects of games, like Best New Hero/Villain, Best Voice Acting, Best Box Art, and a few others.  It’ll make it more personal and appropriate for the Game of the Year festivities that frequent the ‘net this time of year, and more fun for me to ponder (and I will get back to revising all the older pieces with this material in time).  Note that this is incredibly spoiler-tastic, so I’d advise not reading if you don’t want anything about Skyrim, Dead Space 2, Monster Tale, Portal 2, Batman: Arkham City, Deus Ex: Human Revolution or Zelda: Skyward Sword ruined. Click on if you don’t care! (more…)

Song Highlights – Rayman Origins, King of Fighters ’99, Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest, Zoda’s Revenge: StarTropics II

Rayman Origins – Sea of Serendipity ~ Panic at the Port (Multi-Platform, UBI Soft, Christophe Heral and Billy Martin)

This is a gem.  A shining jewel of happy-go-lucky music that made my day hearing it.  Heral continues to impress me with his work.  I don’t know Billy Martin’s extent of contribution to the overall sound, but it doesn’t matter when music this good is composed.

King of Fighters ’99/Evolution – WWIII (Ikari Warriors Theme, NeoGeo/Dreamcast, SNK, Shinsekai Gakkyoku Zatsugidan)

ROCK OUT with this thrashing tune from a long line of incredible SNK soundtracks.  I definitely consider Evolution to be among the finest fighting game soundtracks out there, with this a good reason why.

Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest – Bloody Tears (NES, Konami, Kenichi Matsubara)

I had to do Bloody Tears at some point – it’s a masterpiece of the NES sound hardware, and is one of the series’ most beloved and reused tunes.  Wonderful stuff.

Zoda’s Revenge: StarTropics II – Transylvania Dungeon (NES, Nintendo, Y. Hirai, T. Kumegawa)

Among the most menacing and pulse-racing tunes on the console.  This soundtrack on the whole deserves way more credit for its incredible music, and I’m planning on giving it a proper spotlight soon.  ‘Til then, enjoy this Gothic infused chiptune.

Michel Ancel talks Rayman Origins (and BG&E2!)

This morning, Ubisoft’s Michel Ancel was interviewed by Geoff Keighley about the upcoming Rayman Origins. Ancel talked about going back to not only the roots of Rayman, but also his roots as a game creator. He also fielded some viewer questions, and even discussed what Rayman is supposed to be!

Later in the interivew, Keighley questioned Ancel about the sequel to Beyond Good & Evil. Ancel touched on his aspirations for the game (and seemingly confirmed that the infamous leaked trailer was legit), but reiterated that he wanted the game to fulfill his complete vision, thus why he’s saving it for the next generation of consoles. Still, he and Gabrielle Shrager insisted that the eventual release of the game was a matter of when, not if.

In the mean time, he’s focusing on making Rayman Origins the best it can be.

Check out the full interview at GameTrailers.com: E3 2011: History of Rayman Interview (Stream)

Tunage: Christophe Héral

Christophe Héral

Christophe Héral is primarily a musical composer for French films and media. It would make sense then that he has worked with UBI Soft (A French publisher), contributing heavily to three of their games: Beyond Good & Evil, Rayman Origins, and Tintin and the Secret of the Unicorn.  He is also attached to Beyond Good & Evil 2.  Michel Ancel, creator of Rayman and Beyond Good & Evil, seems to be a big fan of Héral’s diverse range of musical prowess.

Héral has received several accolades over his career in France.  Despite the quality and acclaim for his compositions, however, his recently created Wikipedia page does little to proclaim those triumphs.  It barely even grants him recognition for his gaming contributions, and that’s what it focuses on. Fortunately, there’s always Tunage to pick up the slack, and we are proud to be able to give Héral his due.

Complete Discography (newest to oldest)

I’ve only included his gaming contributions.

Beyond Good & Evil 2 (Platforms unknown, UBI Soft, forthcoming, composer)

Rayman Origins (Multi-platform, UBI Soft, 2011, co-composer with Billy Martin)

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (Multi-platform, UBI Soft, 2011, composer)

Beyond Good & Evil (multi-platform, UBI Soft, 2003, composer)

Best Known For: Beyond Good & Evil (PS2, Xbox, Gamecube, PC)

Examples of his Work:

Beyond Good & Evil

Home Sweet Home


Full Playlist

Video Games Live

Beyond Good & Evil piece

Rayman Origins

Sea of Serendipity ~ Panic at the Port

Full Playlist

Beyond Good & Evil 2


The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn

Official Trailer

L’ile de Black Mor (Animation)


Eleanor’s Secret (animation)



Christophe Héral’s Personal Website: http://www.heral.net/
IMDb Page for Héral: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0378425/

Michel Ancel CONFIRMS Beyond Good & Evil 2, plus additional Rayman news

Michel Ancel at the MIG Conference laid all those nasty rumors to rest, confirming Beyond Good & Evil 2 was indeed still on track.  He even threw out some new details for it!  Here’s a loose translation:

- aiming to develop the game with a small, intimate team
- intera[c]tive storyline
- different outcomes
- working hard to make it ‘perfect’
- development might take awhile
- looking to create new dev tools for this title
- it takes more time to create these tools, since the game world is in 3D
- a prototype is running, where they have created entire [Ed. Note - ?  The quote just stops there.  The NeoGAF thread where this came from adds "cities with this tool."]

While he was at it, he also confirmed a new 3D Rayman is also in the works alongside Rayman Origins (which is not heading to the DS and Wii, alas).

- looking to make the Rayman Origins tool work on many platforms
- working on a 3D Rayman game, but specific details aren’t mentioned
- will most likely take longer to create than Beyond Good and Evil 2

The NeoGAF thread mentions that Ancel wants to get the Origins tools out into the hands for free of players to tinker with, too.

Mad tip to Nester for pointing me to this GoNintendo post (where you can watch the French video these details come from, too!).


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