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Wednesday
Apr232014

8 Video Game Soundtracks Make It Into The 'Classic FM Hall Of Fame 2014'

Woo! We did it guys, for the third straight year in a row, we came out in force and made sure video game music was represented in the world's largest list of the best classical music. In 2012 we got Elder Scrolls and Aerith's Theme high up into the top 300, last year we got 3 soundtracks into the  top 300: Viva Piñata, Elder Scrolls and Final Fantasy and this year, well, see for yourself below:

Journey, Austin Wintory (289th)http://halloffame.classicfm.com/2014/chart/position/289/
Kingdom Hearts, Yoko Shimomura/Hikaru Utada (177th)http://halloffame.classicfm.com/2014/chart/position/177/
Kingdoms of Amalur, Grant Kirkhope (75th)http://halloffame.classicfm.com/2014/chart/position/75/
Viva Piñata, Grant Kirkhope (54th)http://halloffame.classicfm.com/2014/chart/position/54/
World of Warcraft, Russell Brower (52nd) http://halloffame.classicfm.com/2014/chart/position/52/
Banjo Kazooie, Grant Kirkhope (50th)http://halloffame.classicfm.com/2014/chart/position/50/
The Elder Scrolls, Jeremy Soule (17th)http://halloffame.classicfm.com/2014/chart/position/17
Final Fantasy, Nobuo Uematsu (7th)http://halloffame.classicfm.com/2014/chart/position/7

What strikes me most is the variety that gamers voted for. Compared to last year where Aerith's Theme came 3rd but only 2 other soundtracks throughout the entire rest of the countdown, I much prefer having a video game soundtrack be further down but have more soundtracks in the top 300 overall. Having such a good spread, with video game soundtracks dotted throughout the top 300, shows the creative breadth that the medium has, and ultimately I think that's far more valuable in the long run. Eventually we want gaming to be taken as seriously as other legitimate artforms, and representing ourselves well in charts like this is an important step.

I'm a bit disappointed that we didn't get more obvious soundtracks onto the list (no Zelda? No Mario?!) but hey, there's always next year! For now just enjoy seeing Banjo Kazooie make the list of the top 50 classical soundtracks of all time. Amazing.

Congrats to Grant Kirkhope, 3 entries in the top 300, with his score to Banjo Kazooie in the top 50. Incredible!

Friday
Apr112014

Video Games Finally Represented on a 'Classic FM Hall of Fame' Album

Well it's about time! After 2 years of video game music making the classic FM Hall of Fame (and this year's HoF only a week away) the radio station have finally included 2 tracks on their yearly album. The 2 tracks in question are from Final Fantasy and Skyrim and both made it into the top 5 of last year's vote, so they're certainly worthy entries to this year's album.

My hope is that next year's album will feature more tracks from video games, but that all depends on how we do next weekend. I'll be listening and lending my support to the cause, and I hope you will too, but for now just enjoy the 2 tracks that will feature on this year's Hall of Fame album, which I've embedded below.

Nobuo Uematsu - Main Theme from Final Fantasy - London Philharmonic Orchestra, Andrew Skeet

Jeremy Soule - Dragonborn from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

There's no activity that isn't made better by listening to 'Dragonborn' whilst doing it. None!

Monday
Mar102014

Here's Your Dark Souls II Launch Trailer

Not long to go now! Enjoy.

Thursday
Mar062014

ACTUAL 'Watch Dogs' Release Date Announced In New Trailer - May 27th

A few days ago, you may recall, a story hit the internet about an alleged June 30th release date for Watch Dogs. I think it's fair to say, that release date is wrong. May 27th is your confirmed release date, and here's a shiny new trailer for you to enjoy.

As a side note, I think this is a bad trailer, and makes the game look unoriginal as fuck... If you were wondering.

Wednesday
Mar052014

'Call of Duty: Ghosts' Free Multiplayer Demo This Weekend on Xbox Platforms

Call of Duty may have fallen out of favour as a series over the years, but it's still almost impossible to play it and not have fun. If you've not played a CoD for a while but want to have a free taste, then this weekend is your chance!

Xbox users will be able to play the free multiplayer demo from Friday at 6pm, through 'til Monday and will have access to 3 maps and a handful of the game modes included in the main game. It's unclear whether the demo is going to be exclusive to Gold members, or whether people the demo can play against people playing the full game, but the wording used in the press release points towards neither of those being true.

So if you're a silver member and had nothing planned this weekend, then give it a shot.

A shot. Get it?

A SHOT....

See, like "shot" as in "gunshot." It's clever, see? Oh, nevermind.

Tuesday
Mar042014

Has 'Watch Dogs'' Release Date Been Outed?

Oopsie! Looks like somebody at Sony will probably be getting a stiff talking to, as the American PS Store has updated with a June 30th release date. Ubisoft have declined to comment so far, so take the date with a pinch of salt (especially because it falls on a Monday) but if it's true, then you guys out there that are super looking forward to the game have an extra 4 months to wait, on top of waiting since the game got delayed late last year.

In my book, this can only be good thing. I wasn't massively excited about the game, especially after some of the trailers they had brought out (this one in particular gave me the "uh-ohs") so more time to improve what could only have been a massive disappointment, is one of the things I would have been thankful for... If we had Thanksgiving.

Can you wait until June 30th? Because I know I can!

"Don't mind me guys, I'm just gonna be propping myself up on this car until... When? JUNE?! Oh god..."

Monday
Feb102014

'Chronicle' Director Still On Board For 'Shadow Of The Colossus' Movie

Did you see Chronicle? Ofcourse you did!

Did you like Chronicle? Ofcourse you did!

Were you excited when you first heard that Chronicle's director was going to direct a Shadow Of The Colossus movie? You were?! Great! Because he's still on board.

After the massive success of Chronicle both critically and financially (the film cost very little by Hollywood standards), director Josh Trank had his pick of projects, and promptly accepted the offer to reboot Fantastic Four and to direct a Venom movie for Sony. When he contacted Sony to ask who was in charge of their upcoming Shadow of the Colossus movie, they offered him the job and he accepted! Fans of the game were, understandably, concerned that he was taking on a lot of projects but recently the Venom movie project fell through, which put a lot of minds at ease. Trank hasn't spoken much about the project since then, but speaking to Video Game Films this week he reminded everyone it's still on his list of priorities, and pretty high up that list by the sounds of it!

I can't talk about it, but I'll say just one thing: I got Ico as soon as it came out, and I just loved that game so much.

I knew immediately when I read that [Team Ico was] making a new [video game] that I wanted to go out and get it as soon as it came out, too, and it just blew me the f**k away.

A couple of years later, I remember seeing in Variety that it had been optioned. I must have been 22 or something, and I just knew, 'Oh my God, if somebody's doing that, I have to somehow get in there and make sure it's done the right way'.

It was one of the first calls I made after Chronicle came out - when I realised I could make calls about things. I was like, 'Hey, what's going on with that?' We're [currently] working on it.

Don't worry guys, this guy loves the game and wants to make the SHIT out of this film!

Oh and go watch Chronicle if you haven't already. Seriously. It's awesome.

Hey, I dunno if you know this already... But you should go and watch Chronicle

Wednesday
Jan292014

Video Game Music Needs Your Help!

That's right folks, it's that time of year again. The time of year where Classic FM asks its users to vote for their top 300 pieces of classical music! For those who aren't aware, we actually managed to get 3 video game franchises into their top 300 last year: Viva Piñata, Elder Scrolls and Final Fantasy! What's more, while Viva Piñata only reached #174 (still a tremendous achievement) the soundtrack for the Elder Scrolls series reached #5(!) and Final Fantasy reached #3(!!!!!).

That was last year though, and while we keep our fingers crossed for another great gamer voter turn out, it's not going to happen all by itself! The top 300 contained plenty of film soundtracks even before Aerith's Theme first turned up there in 2012, so it seems criminal not to have video game music featured within the chart as prominently. We did incredibly last year to get TWO soundtracks in the top 5, but there were still only 3 game soundtracks featured in the entirety of the top 300. I think this year's goal should be to increase the volume and variety of the soundtracks we vote for, and to introduce the listeners of Classic FM to as many new works as we can.

If you're interested in this cause, there's a very simple way to get involved: VOTE!

Vote in the Classic FM Hall of Fame 2014

1) Once you're there click the "cast your vote" button
2) Enter the name of the game whose soundtrack you want in the chart, so long as it's classical
3) You get three votes, so choose them wisely
4) You don't have to vote just for games. Love the theme from Star Wars? Vote for it!
5) Once you've chosen, submit your vote and, most importantly, spread the word!

If we all vote for Elder Scrolls and Final Fantasy every year then they'll obviously do well every year, but we'll stagnate the list, which is why this year I've voted for Elder Scrolls as well as Starcraft II and Super Mario Galaxy. I'm not saying you have to vote for the same as me, but makes sure that when you vote, you tell your fellow gamers about it, give them a kick up the backside to support video games and show solidarity.

Video games are still frowned upon by a majority of people, and it's things like this that help them be legitimized in the long run as more than just a childish endeavour. Do your part, get involved, and maybe even introduce yourself to something you may have overlooked: The superb music present in many of your favourite games. It's win/win.

Here's the clip of last year's top 3 entry, Aerith's Theme, as it happened:

Monday
Jan132014

Double Fine's 'Broken Age: Act One' Releases Tomorrow

There's your confirmation! If, like me, you Kickstarted this game (and after the amount of money they got, odds are you did) then this has been a long time coming, especially after the footage that was showed at the VGX's! I had been trying to stay away from details as much as I could, but what they showed at that "award show" blew my socks off. The complete segment is embedded below. Even if you saw it live you should watch it again... Then get super pumped you get to play it tomorrow!

Thursday
Jan092014

Absolutely Incredible Tech Demo From Developer 'Pillow Castle' WILL Blow Your Mind

Browsing Reddit today, as I regularly do, I saw this video. The person who posted it called it "the new Portal" and I scoffed and rolled my eyes (rightly so) but after about 20 seconds of the video I was fucking sold. The game in the tech demo uses forced perspective as a puzzle device, and it is gloriously clever. I highly suggest you watch it for yourself, it's pretty fucking special.