It’s been far too long since I’ve done a Rob’s Bangers post. I could post all my excuses here like the dog ate my homework etc but I won’t bother you with all that. Anyway, Here is this week’s choices from the TiX Spotify playlist.
The first choice is again a hark back to the 1990’s with Fluke. Atom Bom was yet another track featured on the legendary Wipeout 2097 soundtrack. When I look back at games like that and the soundtracks it brings on a sense of nostalgia, probably because I spent most of that era on another planet anyway. Can you think of a soundtrack to a game since that sparks such a sense of nostalgia and wanting to go back and relive that time again?… I’m struggling too. That unmistakable bass at the start of tune begs to be played as loud as possible when the narrative kicks in then fade to bring up a swell of beats and a drop that would make any self-respecting music fan nod their head, Atom Bomb has all the right ingredients to make any racing game an adrenaline-fuelled ride.
The second tune is a slight change of pace, anyone remember Dio? if not you had better google him and teach yourself some rock knowledge. Rock god Dio originally wrote this tune in 1983, that was like, in ancient times to some of you. GIven a new lease of life in 2006 by Killswitch Engage, Holy Diver featured on a Kerrang compilation album celebrating the history of Rock. Controversially I like the Killswitch Engage version just a little bit more so that makes the list. The reason I chose this tune was that it gives me a sense of epicness and goes perfectly with games such as the Witcher or even the new Monster Hunter, these games offer epic battles and adventure, creating the perfect scene for an awesome tune.
I promise it won’t be so long until the next Rob’s Bangers but until then keep gaming. If you have any suggestions on tunes then you can suggest them on any of our social media platforms or int he comments sections below.
This week has seen a wide range of emotions for us all. We have waited in anticipation for the release of the Xbox One X, some were happy and some inevitably aren’t. Most go theirs on release day but some of us didn’t due to delivery companies and to be honest if I hadn’t had bought mine from Amazon it still wouldn’t have arrived. Anyway, thats another story, so this week on Rob’s Bangers we’re going for something a little different.
Remember Dubstep? You know, that genre that was born in Croydon and had some really talented people creating atmospheric dubplates with dark bass and moody melodies? You know, that 140bpm music that had you nodding your head a bit? You know, that music that got into the hands of Skrillex and made everybody ruin a genre just by releasing absolute cack! Sorry for the rant but anyway, The first tune is brought to us by Funtcase, this was before Skrillex and post-Croydon so somewhere in between. Funtcase is part of Circus records and they have released some brilliant stuff over the years and the label hosts people like Doctor P, Cookie Monsta and Flux Pavillion. Funtcase’s track “So Vexed” describes a lot of peoples mood this week so enjoy.
The second tune is in Spite, possibly the most aggressive metal out there. An absolute brilliant band that will have you trashing the place in no time. Their track “IED” just about sums our very own Dave Morans mood when Amazin messed up his X order, so this tune is dedicated to him.
After many years in the wilderness, Spotify has arrived on Xbox. Along with custom music on your Xbox, an integration that was sorely missing from Microsoft’s flagship console for some time, you can now stream from Spotify whilst playing your favourite games on Xbox. Click to download!
Major Nelson has covered the basics over on his blog, with the following standing out to me:
App and background play is there for both Free or Premium Spotify subscribers
Control your music via Spotify Connect, so you don’t have to interrupt that clutch spree on Gears 4!
I, for one, will be looking forward to seeing what playlists are out there on the Xbox Game Hub! I am always on the lookout for something fresh.
The original Chime made the art of creation a simple and serene matter. The music puzzle game was a wonderful source of distraction and ultimately proved to be a lot of fun despite limited content. Chime Sharp maintains what made the original great and ups the content significantly, becoming a marvelously compelling puzzler.
Chime Sharp has a slightly different take on the block placing puzzle games we’re used to. Although the similarities between games such as Tetris and Lumines are clear, Chime Sharp defines its self by concentrating on the creation of blocks, or quads as it refers to them, formed by an array of different shapes you can place on screen. As you place the shapes a bar will move from left to right whilst the background music plays, and as the bar passes over shapes and quads the music changes, essentially being remixed by what you’ve placed. As more quads are formed, the track progresses further along until you reach the end of your time limit.
Indeed, the major difference between Chime Sharp and similar games is in its use and manipulation of music. It’s your goal to fill the screen with quads to score points, increasing the size of a quad from the minimum 3×3 to however large you can make it within a set amount of growth time. A quad, once passed over, then disappears from the play area having changed the background colour to signify the zone has been covered. Once the entire play area is covered the screen is reset for you to continue increasing your score until the time runs out. It may come across as complex but Chime is self-explanatory, the puzzle aspect is easy to fathom due to its similarities with other shape puzzle games and the same can be said for the musical aspect, but despite the continued comparisons, Chime does have an entirely different personality.
This personality shines through due to the way you can interact with the music. Every time you play you’ll notice subtle differences in the track, all due to the way you arrange the shapes and quads. As a result you feel connected to the game and the music, and replayability becomes essentially unlimited. As with most games of this type, Chime Sharp proves to be highly compelling, with friends and global leaderboards helping to provide an additional lure beyond the almost trance like state the gameplay otherwise invokes. Chime Sharp is relaxing, even during the last seconds of a level you’ll find it hard to scramble for points and will more likely continue at a comfortable pace, enjoying the music and the charm Chime Sharp conducts.
Where the original had a mere five tracks, Chime Sharp features 15, covering multiple genres of music but all designed to subtlety warp and bend to the will of the quads you place. Each song has four modes, but with Practise whisking you away to an entirely separate level rather than the one you’ve selected, it hardly counts. Of the remaining three, Standard and Sharp will grip you the most. In Standard mode you’re fighting against the clock, coverage of the level, and high scores, with quads providing extra time. Sharp meanwhile, tasks you with covering the board but with no time limit, instead you have lives that are eaten away by any shape fragments you allow to fade away if they aren’t incorporated into a quad over time. Whichever mode you choose, you’re in for a challenge, and with each level including its own selection shapes, there’s a learning curve to each one. For such a simple premise, each level is remarkably, and terrifically, unique beyond the song and the shape of the level.
Despite the challenge and the time limit of Standard mode, there’s a tranquillity to Chime Sharp. The songs help to reinforce this relaxed demeanour and suit the style and charm brilliantly, providing different tunes, melodies, instruments, arrangements and tempos but invoking a similar feeling of relaxation and trance. They’re great tracks as well, introducing artists and different genres to people who may otherwise have missed out.
Indeed, Chime Sharp exudes charm and its personality forms a different game to the norm, but a little of this is lost because it’s a sequel. In the end Chime Sharp is different and engaging, with a great selection of tracks to work through, and is likely to prove a puzzle game you frequently fall back on, but it hasn’t really evolved since 2010.
Thanks to Xbox and Chilled Mouse for supporting TiX
The studio head and creative director of development studio Hanger 13, Haden Blackman had this to say about the game’s soundtrack:
The 1960s marked some of the best years for artistic expression. From rhythm and blues to the transformative progression of rock and roll, it is critical for us to represent this era accurately and authentically in Mafia III. This soundtrack immerses players into a golden age of music that includes some of the greatest and most beloved artists and music of all time.
The full title launches on October 7th for Xbox One.
In 2015, 12 famous video game soundtracks made the Classic FM Hall of Fame, and this year they want to see more.
Whether it’s fantasy favourite The Elder Scrolls Online, the space-age ambience of Elite: Dangerous, or the orchestral beauty of Halo 5, make sure to visit the Classic FM Hall of Fame website to register your vote.
You can vote for a total of three tracks from of nearly 100 in the Classic FM database, or add your own if your favourite is not listed.
Video game tracks have featured in the Classic FM Hall of Fame for the last four years, so make sure to get voting to help get video game music recognised for the fifth year running.
The year is coming to a close and so it’s time once again to take a look back at all the great games that have been released in 2015.
Every day up until the end of the year we’ll be revealing our top three games from a number of different categories, all the way up until the coveted Game of the Year reveal.
Next up is Music Game of the Year.
Third Place – Just Dance 2016
Just Dance 2016 is the most accessible version of the popular dance title so far, allowing you to use the Kinect or a smartphone to track your dance moves. It certainly made for an inclusive experience, and with excellent modes, a focus on fun, and impressive movement tracking, grooving around your living room has seldom been so fun.
Dave Moran said in his review:
Just Dance hits all the right moves again, it doesn’t take itself too seriously and doesn’t expect you too either. It’s bold, it’s bright and most importantly it’s fun
And that’s what we’re after from our rhythm games: fun.
This music category would have been severely limited if it wasn’t for these next two title reviving the plastic instrument strumming, and whilst Rock Band 4 doesn’t shake things up much, it does offer a hugely impressive rooster of songs to jam along with.
Phil Kowalski said in his review:
Let’s face it, the Rock Band title has oodles of playability. Even if you’ve got the rhythm of the average X-Factor contestant, you’ll find picking up a guitar and following the colours a pretty simple affair…
And this accessibility, tweaks to the career mode, and the absence of the title to make the heart grow fonder, all came together to make Rock Band 4 a Christmas number two in the charts.
An innovative and intuitive new button layout and FMV framing may not sound like enough to make a huge difference to how strumming along on a plastic guitar feels but turns out to be just what the genre needed to refresh it.
Dave Moran said in his review:
Freestyle Games have gone for a brave change to a system we were all very used to, having played every day for a week I can honestly say I’ll struggle to go back now. It feels more natural, some of the button combinations certainly feel like you are playing a real guitar.
And with GHTV adding another neat mode of constantly changing tracks to play, this latest Guitar Hero offering thrashed the competition.
Laserlife offers an intriguing experience of rhythm matching analogue stick waggling, hypnotic visuals and a peculiar story and perspective. It feels more like an experiment than a fully fledged idea, one that makes for an entertaining couple of hours but is severely limited when it comes to replayability.
You are some form of alien intelligence with no previous knowledge of humanity and humankind, however, you have advanced technology that allows you to search through the memories of deceased creatures and retrieve physical items from those memories. Coming across a long-dead human astronaut floating in space, you activate this memory machine and guide two beams of light through three distinct stages to bring into existence an item that represents the memory you accessed.
It’s an odd setup that makes the initial levels a fascinating and compelling experience as you figure out what’s going on and quickly master the art of guiding your two beams of light. There’s no handholding beyond a few subtle commands popping up on-screen telling you to match the beat with the triggers as you guide your beams of light pass through targets with the analogue sticks, but it’s a fairly intuitive set of mechanics. Each level is split into three stages: the first has you guide your beams of light through targets, hitting the triggers to a beat to collect points; the second has you simply hitting targets and the third has you dodge barriers. Through them all, bright colours and otherworldly patterns fill the screen, slowly forming images linked to the memory you’re currently accessing as well as representing the neural pathways of the deceased astronaut. it’s a tremendously eye-catching affaire.
It’s all reminiscent of Child of Eden and Rezed, with its surreal, neon aesthetic, rhythm matching mechanics and theme, and tunnel perspective. The story is what really sets it apart but it doesn’t come together as well as it should. The items you materialise from the memories represent the memories from a human perspective but hold no meaning for the alien race you supposedly are, so why they’re so significant in understanding what humanity is isn’t clear. Largely though, it doesn’t matter, it’s still an interesting, short story.
However, it’s all over very quickly, offering only a couple of hours worth of content. Higher scores can be achieved for those plagued by the knowledge they missed a few targets or beats, but replaying levels can be a frustrating and even painful experience. The positions you have to move each thumb stick to in order to guide your light beams, pushes your thumbs to the most extreme angles the Xbox One pad offers, and having to hit the triggers at the same time to hit the beat can stretch the hand a little too much. Moreover, the triggers just aren’t best suited for digital actions of on and off, and are more suit to analogue. Fortunately there’s no score barriers to stop you progressing, so once a level is complete you can freely move on to the next.
Laserlife is an ambitious title held back by some challenging controls, lack of synergy with the story its trying to tell, and an overall forgettable ambient soundtrack. It looks spectacular and the fundamental mechanics are on the right track, but it’s not polished enough in its current form.
Thanks to Xbox and Choice Provisions for their support
This coming weekend, Xbox will be bringing the flamboyant mayhem of London’s hottest music festival Lovebox to living rooms across Europe like never before. The immersive and interactive coverage will feature appearances by:
Sam and the Womp
With more set to appear in the live broadcast
Brought to you by Xbox Live, Gold subscribers in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Spain and Italy will be thrown into the action this Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st of July from 18.00 – 23.00 BST. Don’t miss your chance to get VIP access as Xbox brings you the performances, artist interviews, and best of all, live and exclusive DJ sets that can only be seen on Xbox Live.
Furthermore, viewers who tune in will be encouraged to shape the show through interactive voting on the Xbox Live dash, and can also get involved via Twitter by using the #XboxLovebox hashtag, with the best tweets appearing on-screen throughout the show. This partnership marks the first Lovebox broadcast on a game console and provides the Xbox audience with a truly unique offering.
Global music subscription service Deezer has today announced another landmark partnership to give music lovers throughout Europe unlimited access to their favourite tunes – instantly from their Xbox games console.
On top of giving you access to over 20 million of the hottest tracks and thousands of themed radio stations, the new Deezer app is Kinect enabled so that you can take a break from dancing your socks off to navigate the specially designed screens using your whole body. What’s more, each console can connect to up to three Deezer accounts simultaneously, giving you even more opportunity to share and discover music with friends. Once you have decided who the Halo champion is, you can do battle for the title of King of the Deezer Playlist.
The Deezer app is available for download now, and to access all the great features all you need to do is subscribe to Deezer Premium+ on Xbox live.