Crisis Wing with PieSlice – PA157

In this installment of Pixelated Audio, we’re talking about Crisis Wing, a retro-styled 90s shmup that draws inspiration from many classic shooters. We’re joined by Finnish one-man indie games developer and composer, Pauli, aka PieSlice of PieSlice Productions (@PieSliceP). It’s a modern take on all of your favorite retro shooters, with all of the tough bosses, bullet patterns, and FM music you can handle. Crisis Wing was released on Steam in 2020 and published for most major consoles (Switch, PS4/PS5, Xbox S|X) in 2021 by indie specialist publisher eastasiasoft.

We go through pretty much the entire soundtrack with PieSlice and cover his unique twist on his inspirations, which range from PC game music, the demoscene and of course plenty of shmups like Gradius, Star Soldier, and the harder edged FM sound of Toaplan games like Out Zone and Zero Wing. We talk about composition as well as indie game development challenges and more. If you like the game and music of Crisis Wing, stay tuned as PieSlice Productions has got a late 90s shmup (and music) in the works! As always, we hope you enjoy the music.

Show notes and track list

LIVE: MAGWest with Chase Bethea – PA156

We’re back to livestream for virtual MAGWest 2021, this time with composer and returning friend of the show, Chase Bethea! We talk with Chase about his music from games both released and upcoming, his process, as well as a short interactive audio demo, and some Q&A from the live chat.

 

Chase Bethea is a Composer & Technical Audio Designer that has received many accolades throughout his career. In 2016, Chase was nominated for Artists of the Year – Independent Composer by VGMO in the entire industry. In 2021, he won Best Original Soundtrack for the game AGROUND, from the NYX Game Awards. He has been a guest speaker at over 20 conferences/events such as PAX, GameSound Con, ADC, Berklee College of Music and Interactive Music Symposium. He has also appeared on other prominent game music podcasts like Level with Emily Reese and Sound of Play.

You can find more about Chase at his website chasebethea.com, purchase his music on Bandcamp, find him on Spotify or on social media @chasebethea

Show notes and track list

Advanced Fantasian – PA155

Today we’re talking about an old school dungeon crawler RPG called Advanced Fantasian. The game was released by Xtalsoft in 1988 for the PC-88 and Sharp X1 in 1989. Xtalsoft was a small RPG-focused developer that eventually merged with T&E Soft, a topic we covered last episode. The composers Chihiro Fujioka and Yumi Satake (nee Kinoshita) did a great job with the soundtrack and more than that they’re both interesting people with a long history in game development going to the present day.

Advanced Fantasian is a dungeon crawler RPG based heavily on Wizardry and by proxy, Dungeons & Dragons. You take a fixed class (but customizable) party of 5 characters through various dungeons, walking around in 1st person Wizardry style until combat commences in a top down grid where characters move independently. We spend most of our time listening to the OPNA version of the soundtrack from the PC-88 with a short sample from the X1 version. As always, we hope you enjoy the music as much as we do!

Show notes and track list

Greatest Driver – PA154

We’re back with an episode covering Greatest Driver, a 2D Formula 1 racer for the MSX2 released in 1988. The game was produced by T&E Soft, a developer and publisher primarily known for golf games in the 90s, Red Alarm for the Virtual Boy and the Hydlide series. Composers Kazunori Hasegawa and Shigeru Tomita bring us some fun jams, especially the intro and ending tunes. Most of the music is using the OPLL / YM2413 FM chip with a few brief detours into other areas. It’s a short show and we hope you enjoy the music!

Show notes and track list

Pac-Man CE DX – PA153

Today’s source of great music is the Pac-Man Championship Edition series. This is an audio companion to HG101’s Top47k Games: Episode 420 where we were invited to review Pac-Man CE DX+ with Xerxes and Bobinator!

Bandai Namco‘s Pac-Man has been a mainstay for over 40 years and this is Pac-Man with a twist. You have your ghosts, your pellets and your maze, but now the maze is split in half and it’s a frantic time attack with some excellent tunes to support up to 10 minutes of play at a time. The original Championship Edition launched in 2007, CE DX in 2010, the CE DX+ DLC in 2013, and the NES remake in 2020. We don’t cover CE 2 from 2016 but check that one out for some great music as well. The tunes are long and dance-y and we hope you enjoy them!

Show notes and track list

Sega System 16 Baseball – PA152

We’re taking you out to the ball game in this short and fun episode covering music from 3 Sega System 16 baseball games: Major League, Super League and Excite League. It’s late 80s baseball from Japanese arcades, so it’s 2D sprites, digitized samples and YM2151 FM patches all the way down. No composers confirmed but Tohru Nakabayashi, Hiroshi Kawaguchi and Katsuhiro Hayashi are the prime suspects. We hope you enjoy the music!

Show notes and track list