If you are anything like me, and for the sake of this review, you are, one thing that is missing from your life is the sweet sweet sound of video game music pumping through speakers for working out, driving, or just dancing awkwardly alone. The Nubuwo Summer Bundle was part of a larger Kickstarter effort attempting to gather funding to release physical original soundtracks for the game Rokko Chan. Today we’re going to be taking a look at the Nubuwo Arranged Pack which contains albums from four amazing artists.
Varia Suite/Expansion Pack
If you haven’t heard of these guys before, you are really missing out. Any fans of Metroid must listen to all of Metroid Metal’s tracks at once. It’s the only way, don’t ask questions.
MM reimagines tracks from the whole library of Metroid titles into new metal arrangements. The name is quite literal. Your Samus-senses will start tingling as you recognize adapted versions of classic chiptunes.
The selection in this pack ranges from the original NES Metroid all the way up to Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, so there’s a solid chance one of your favorite titles is represented in at least one song. The heavy tracks are gritty, ominous, and hard, peppered with amazing solos that could melt your face, so plan appropriately.
Black Materia: The Remixes
Let me start by saying how not into rap I am. Having no real knowledge base for this stuff means I can’t really tell when I’m listening to something good and when someone is just terrible.
Black Materia is a remixed album featuring original rap lyrics over tracks from Final Fantasy VII. The best part about Black Materia is that the lyrics were obviously written by fans. Each track takes the nostalgic OST and adds a monologue that turns this album into something resembling a play. Final Fantasy VII: The Musical.
The voice isn’t uniform, sometimes bringing a straight up narration, other times it takes on the perspective of one of the characters. It feels like fan fiction morphed into music and I really love it. Random aka Mega Ran nails this album so hard. I have been listening to it on repeat for the past few days and it just doesn’t get old. Everytime I listen to these tracks, I catch something new, some little quip hidden in the lyrics that speaks to me as a huge fan of the game.
Surprisingly, this was my favorite album of the pack. It was oozing with nerd-love for FFVII and executed a concept I had never heard before. Random, aka Mega Ran managed to take a genre of music I am not interested in, and create something that I can’t stop listening to.
The album, titled 8-Bit Democracy, features rock/funk/lounge versions of songs from Super Mario Brothers, Battletoads, Mega Man, Castlevania, Metal Gear, and the list goes on. These adaptations are more like impressions from the original tracks, instead of just direct translations. It makes for a very interesting guessing game as the whole album plays. Fun for the whole family!
Mutherpluckin’ B takes any instrument he finds laying around his house and incorporates that into his tribute tracks for various games. Sticking mostly to NES titles, this album is a serious blast from the past and might actually pass off for normal music to non-gamers.
Rokko Chan Soundtrack
ASAGEN hits hard as the artist behind the chiptunes featured in the Mega Man clone Rokko Chan. The flash game, released at the end of 2011, has been hailed as one of the most accurate takes on the Mega Man franchise to date, and music is an important part of that aesthetic.
Luckily, ASAGEN feels like straight rips from a classic NES title. The tracks which correspond to levels, menu screens, and boss fights, feel very thoughtfully constructed and offer a taste of Mega Man without completely copying Manami Matsumae. This is probably the least “album” contained within this compilation, but it perfectly compliments the other styles represented.
The Kickstarter is over, has been for awhile, but the songs are still available in various formats. Take a look at the Nubuwo Band Camp site, which has full versions of all the songs reviewed today and see if anything strikes your fancy.