Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Dave Lowe composer of Frontier: Elite II, Starglider and Carrier Command releases new album

Album cover for "A Temporal Shift"

You may remember back in early 2015 that I mentioned Dave Lowe, video game composer on several PC games during the 1980s and early 1990s, and his daughter, Holly Jazz Lowe, launched a Kickstarter project to raise funds for a new album called "A Temporal Shift". This album was to have an orchestral cover of the Frontier: Elite II theme (a personal favourite of mine) as well as covers and reinterpretations of several old, predominantly Amiga game soundtracks. This album is finally complete and is now available for purchase!

There are 10 tracks on the album featuring remakes of music from several games native to the Amiga, Atari ST and ZX Spectrum such as Frontier: Elite II, Starglider, Beneath a Steel Sky, Carrier Command and Midwinter 2.

A full track list is below:

01 Frontier – Theme from "Frontier Elite 2"
02 Games – from "Starglider"
03 Brightest Star – Theme from "StarGlider 2"
04 Beneath A Steel Sky – The title theme from "Beneath a Steel Sky"
05 Enemy in View – from "Frontier Elite 2" Second Theme
06 Just Another Mission – Theme from "Carrier Command"
07 Electric Flag – Theme from "Incredible Shrinking Sphere"
08 The Longest Night – Theme from "Midwinter (Flames of Freedom)"
09 F1 Carrerra – Theme from "F1 Gran Prix"
10 StarBurner – Theme from "Afterburner" + "Starglider"

The soundtrack is available in MP3 and FLAC and costs £15. Physical CDs and vinyl will be available for order further down the track.

I’ve had a quick listen to all the tracks on the album and despite only recognising two of the themes on the album (i.e. the Frontier: Elite II themes) I really enjoyed what I've heard so far – it has a very retro vibe to it but in a good way. I think fans of the Elite series, retro PC gamers and even fans of 80s/90s pop in general will find something to like on this album. There’s even a smattering of what sounds like prog rock!

[ Uncle Art - A Temporal Shift Downloads Page ]

Monday, July 25, 2016

Choicest VGM - VGM #240 - Sid Meier's Colonization - Successful Campaign (Amiga)

Original Soundtrack composed by: Jeffery L. Briggs, Ken Lagace and Roland J. Rizzo

Amiga Soundtrack by: Allister Brimble and Anthony Putson

Now we move on to some marching music that plays whenever you achieve a military victory in Sid Meier's Colonization. Seems appropriate that the name of this track is "Successful Campaign" then :).

This track is from the Amiga version of the game which sounds quite superior to the DOS version, so I'll probably just end up using these tracks instead of the good ol' MIDI tracks of the DOS version :). The original soundtrack was composed by Jeffery L. Briggs, Ken Lagace and Roland J. Rizzo but the Amiga version was composed by Allister Brimble and Anthony Putson (and they're definitely no strangers to composing music for PC games :)).

[ VIDEO: Choicest VGM - VGM #240 - Sid Meier's Colonization - Successful Campaign (Amiga) ]

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Steam Games Sunday - 24 July 2016

WAR! HUH! Good God Y'all. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing, say it again.

I've decided to again have a weekly segment on Sunday. Instead of what I used to do (which was "Spotlight Sunday") I'm now going to be posting up a top 10 list each week of which games the contributors at Choicest Games (Mark, Lanna, Choona and Luke) are playing. Since this list is going to be based on fortnightly playtime as reported by Steam there are going to be some caveats to this:

  1. It's only going to feature games on Steam or Steam versions of games. This means if any of the contributors are playing games such as Battlefield 4, the UPlay version of Rainbow Six Siege or a game like Guild Wars 2 for example, these will not be included.
  2. Hours played isn't always hours played. Some games will be running on Steam but are actually applying large updates/patches therefore inflating the playtime figure for some games.

Despite these caveats though, it should be fun to see what are the most popular games amongst the Choicest Games crew. Maybe if you notice a game that you're interested in and you want to know more, you could send us a message/comment. I also have a personal interest in these posts for the sake of posterity - it'll be interesting to see what used to be our games of choice :).

So without further ado, here are the top 10 games we're playing on Steam in terms of hours played:

  1. War Thunder
  2. Rainbow Six Siege
  3. Star Trek Online
  4. Everyday Genius: SquareLogic
  5. Squad
  6. Marvel Heroes
  7. Mount & Blade: Warband
  8. League of Mermaids
  9. Sid Meier's Civilization V
  10. Call of Duty: Black Ops

There's a good mix of genres here with three MMOs, three FPSs, two puzzle games, one ARPG and a turn-based strategy game. If we were including retail versions of games, Rainbow Six Siege would be the clear winner on this list but since we're not, War Thunder takes the lead by just a sliver this week (although it's well deserved, as the game is enjoyed by not just a couple of the Choicest Games contributors but also by many of their friends).

Anyway stay tuned for next Sunday to see if this list changes :). Are you playing any of the games on this list? How are you finding them?