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Obscure Find of the Week: OCR Albums

Ok, so it’s not so much an “Obscure Find”, as it is a “You Need to Take a Look” feature, especially for those of you who are, like me, huge fans of video game music.

Overclocked Remix is a site dedicated to the remastering and reinventing of previously-composed video game music. It’s not a newbie to the internet and has been around for almost a decade, bringing together gamers and musicians and combining the respective loves of each into a community of enthusiasts dedicated to finding new ways of spinning old classics and new classics alike in the realm of game music. Eventually, what began as individual musicians making individual remixed tracks from all sorts of games, spawned into groups of the independents combining forces to produce remixes of entire game soundtracks. Hence, OCR Albums came about.

Many great game albums have been recomposed by some of the best OCR has to offer. Classic soundtracks came about, such as “Hedgehog Heaven” – a remix of the entire Sonic the Hedgehog 2 soundtrack and “Relics of Chozo” for the Super Metroid soundtrack. My personal favorite has to be “Project Chaos“, an entire remixing the the Sonic 3 & Knuckles game album.

Overclocked managed to gain some heavy notoriety with their site albums when their remix project of the Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix was actually featured as the in-game soundtrack for the release, featuring the ultra-talent of individuals like Josť E. Felix, Shael Riley, and even big-wigs such as site head David Lloyd and his trusty sidekick (err, fellow staffer) Andrew Aversa.

With the most recent release of “Summoning of Spirits“, an arrangement of the Tales of music soundtracks, these site-wide project album of OCR’s are most definately an Obscure Find you’ll want to check out.



Obscure Find of the Week – LOSER

LOSERIn another kick-back to the beauty of retro gaming, I was called to the attention of a interesting little pocket of nostalgic gold not too long ago – a quaint little album of independently-created fan covers of Sega Genesis music.

LOSER: A Sega Genesis Tribute Album
is a collection of fan-made tracks from several of the popular games from the 16-bit era that graced the Genesis console. A wide range of classic and not-so-classic game music from several Genesis games are covered on the album, from the likes of Sonic the Hedgehog, Ecco The Dolphin, Golden Axe, and even John Madden Football. Arrangements come in all sorts of flavors, from totally remastered melodies to those barely above chiptune-level.

Granted, while I may not agree that the Genesis was a “loser” in the 16-bit war of the 1990′s, I do appreciate the fact that a few brave souls managed to gather together to give the console its proper due – even if their choice of titling sucks.

Check out the album – LOSER Website



Obscure Find of the Week – NinSheetMusic.net

NinSheetMusicWhen we had an article back in October featuring our very own Mike Choi, I’m sure at least a few people were loudly expressing in their heads “I wish I could play game music on a piano too!”

Well, I’ve managed to find a place that could serve as a pretty good primer for those of you who don’t have adept skills are reproducing your favorite game tunes. NinSheetMusic.net features a steadily growing database of tunes from many of the popular video gaming series to date. Fan-submitted sheet music for the piano, using a freeware program called Finale Notepad, are judged and tweaked by the site staff before uploading. This provides a decent amount of quality-base, rather than everything submitted being automatically thrown up on the site. Originally, the site was only supposed to host tunes from Nintendo console games. However, as of fairly recently, popular demand has changed that status quo to the freedom to submit gaming music from *any* console. While this technically may make the site name a bit obsolete, I doubt many people will care.

Tunes range from fairly simple to rather complex, so your favorite themes may be beyond your ability at first. However, if you ever wanted to seriously sit down and try your hand at tickling the ivories, this would probably be a site to check out.

I can play Green Hill Zone! (…sorta)



Obscure Find of the Week – Dwelling of Duels

Dwelling of DuelsSeeing as how October is upon us, I’m going to make it my mission to do as many Halloween and horror-esque themed articles as possible for the entirety of the month. This rendition of OFotW is hardly obscure nor a recent find for me, but worthy of making note of nonetheless.

For the month of October, the Dwelling of Duels is holding a Castlevania-themed contest in honor of the Halloween season that is upon us!

For those who are unaware of what the Dwelling of Duels is exactly – it’s a long-running online competition for those who are skilled in the art of music making to test their skills out on remixing video game music, and is generously hosted by VGmix. Each month features a new theme of the contest, with a “Free Month” happening every so often. Competitors are required to have produced at least one live-made instrument as part of the composition, and to make their entry as unique as possible, whist still adhering to the original tune their basing their song off of.

The site’s regular participants include some of the internet’s most well-known VG remixers, such as Norg, Snappleman, and Goat, and showcases serious talent in the genre of gaming remixes. This will mark the first time a Castlevania themed contest has ever been attempted in the 4 known years it’s been running. Perfect for the running of the October colors. The contest entry acceptance runs until the 26th, and a listening party is scheduled for the following night. It’s very much the type of thing to keep your eye on if you’re a fan of gaming music remixes.



Obscure Find of the Week – VGL @ Yale

I had planned on doing a segment on this a while ago, but never got around to it. Back in April, the touring video game orchestral event known as Video Games Live visited Yale University for one of the performances on their list. Usually the tour brings it’s own large orchestra and choir to perform massive feats of gaming music awesomeness all over the USA and Europe, and often accompany it with video segments from games shown behind the orchestra/choir on a huge theatre-like screen. Kind of like a living game music video.

This time around, however, things were a bit different and more special.
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Obscure Find of the Week – FC Twin Gaming System

FC TwinThere have been many consoles that people would consider “god systems”, that pack convinience and multitasking into one console. Well, another one has recently hit the market, in the form of a console that plays *both* 8-bit NES and 16-bit SNES games! Whodathunkit?!

The FC Twin Video Game System was released on November of 2006 by the manufacturer known as “Yobo”, but only has recently become any kind of known in the gaming world. This system has separate circuitry and separate slots to play both Nintendo and Super Nintendo cartridges, which can be switched between the two types with a double throw power switch to toggle back and forth. It also utilizes two SNES compatible controllers, which can also map to NES controller inputs. (B maps to Y, A maps to B).

Sounds like the perfect grab for anyone whose current retro systems are failing, and don’t want to shell out for the two separate systems, right? Well, there are a few drawbacks. one being that the system can’t handle the NES zapper lightgun for games like Duck Hunt. Another downside is that a few certain games made for either system will not play for the FC Twin, such as Castlevania: Dracula’s Curse – one of the reasons I actually bought the system in the first place…. *mumble*. See wikipedia’s entry for a list of the games for both NES and SNES that cannot play on the Twin. Also, some sounds for the NES may not sound exactly like their originals, but SNES sounds seem to work fine. And don’t even think about trying to use Super Famicom games.

Despite the downsides, the FC Twin system itself is a neat toy for any gaming enthusiast, and comes at the eye-catching price of around $40-$50, which would make it generally less than buying clean copies of both original systems that it emulates. So if you’re looking for a good backup system for either of your original Nintendo consoles, like I did, then picking up the FC Twin might be a decent investment.



Obscure Find of the Week – Voltron 2007

VoltronWhilst feeding my current fangirl kick with copious amounts of Voltron goodness from the old 1980′s series, I happened across some news in Wikipedia mentioning a new Live-Action Voltron movie in the works, as well as an interactive Voltron series being produced. Now, I know well enough Wikipedia can’t be relied upon as being 100% correct on all it’s news, or even 75% more often than not. However, when I stumbled upon a supposed teaser trailer for a new animated Voltron, I began to wonder.

You can check out the video HERE.

Kickstar Productions also has it listed on their website as “In Production”. Does this mean we’ll actually recieve a new animated series that will wash the bad taste out of the mouths of those who watched “Voltron: 3rd Dimension” and cried? Only time will tell.



Famicom Dojo Podcast: Crossovers and Cameos

Famicom Dojo Podcast 093: Crossovers and Cameos

Recent installments of the Super Smash Bros. series have included characters from third party companies as fighters joining the Nintendo menagerie. Game developers often hide references to their other titles in some of their games, either by obscure references or through sharing characters — sometimes where they don’t really belong. Gamers seem to enjoy these cross-overs and in=jokes… but why? Vinnk and Sean share their favorite cameos in well-known games as well as more obscure titles. Future Retro looks more at the recent past, and Pile of Shame spans a couple of generations.

iTunes Chicklet

Leave your own voicemail at 608-492-1923, or just share your thoughts in the show notes at FamicomDojo.TV:
http://famicomdojo.tv/podcast/93

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