Sep 102014


Composer Masafumi Takada brings anti-heroes and hitmen to life with OSTs like Danganronpa, God Hand and Killer7.

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0:00:00 – DANGANRONPA (Danganronpa)

0:09:52 – Election Plot (Killer7)

0:14:49 – American Diplomacy (Killer7)

0:17:23 – Postgasse (Killer7)

0:20:30 – Rave On (Killer7)

0:29:25 – Gene’s Rock-a-Bye (God Hand)

0:32:21 – Old Hand (God Hand)

0:36:23 – Sunset Heroes (God Hand)

0:42:43 – NMH (No More Heroes)

0:47:58 – Pleather for Breakfast (No More Heroes)

0:52:05 – The Virgin Child Makes A Wish (No More Heroes)

1:00:29 – Beautiful Days (Danganronpa)

1:04:28 – Beautiful Death (Danganronpa)

1:07:16 – Junk Food for a Dashing Youth (Danganronpa)

1:11:38 – Living to the Fullest (Danganronpa)

1:14:20 – Super MTB (Danganronpa)

1:15:48 – BOX 16 (Danganronpa)

1:24:15 – God Hand (God Hand)

  20 Responses to “VGMpire 76 – Hits and Homicides”

  1. This episode has “Michael Grimm” written all over it 😛

    Not that I’m complaining though, Grimm’s selections are always great, and while I haven’t played Danganropa yet, and didn’t like Killer 7 enough to pay attention to the music, I can vouch for God Hand’s awesome soundtrack easily. Such a great and underrated game too!

  2. I loved this episode, these were some great tracks. I do have two complaints though. The old hand song in god hand was so high pitched it hurt to listen too. Also, that banner image does contain a huge spoiler for the first Danganronpa. If you can follow the games story, that image does reveal a lot. Don’t change it, but some people might be spoiled.

  3. Hoo, baby! Excellent selections, VGMpire crew! I love that God Hand soundtrack. Rumor has it that Takada composed it all in about 2 weeks.

    Beyond its obvious goofball silliness, God Hand is one of the most wretched, beautiful, powerful action games ever made. This is where the brawler went after Streets of Rage and Final Fight vanished, everyone, so if you’re curious about how those games would transition to 3D, go grab God Hand on the PSN for $10 and have yourself a ball!

    Every punch is a car crash. Every dodge is an entire Matrix movie crammed into a single frame. The whole operation was ahead of its time.

  4. Great episode and my first exposure to this composers name. I love love LOVE No More Heroes music so much (and gameplay, though I couldn’t power through a second run)

    I do however, have to point people to one of my favorite game songs of all time from NMH, “Mach 13 Elephant Explosion” which is tailor-made to be a Japanese wrestling finishing manuever name. Anyway, check it out if interested:

  5. Listened two times to this episode already, this one might be my favorite of this year so far!

    Holy CRAP I can’t believe I didn’t remember “Rave on” from Killer 7 at all! That game wasn’t my cup of tea, but that track is fantastic, and the kind that I love. Well, thanks for helping me rediscover it! ^^

    And man, that fight with the Midget fight at “die” difficulty was so obnoxious and anger inducing that it made me hate “Sunset heroes” by association. But now with years of hindsight and no longer mad at that boss fight, I can appreciate that the track’s actually pretty cool and groovy.

    Speaking of God Hand, this is one track that isn’t as weird or full of energy as others, but I personally find it very enjoyable and relaxing, in a way:

  6. The first God Hand song should be called “Sultans of Surf,” parts of it sound just like “Sultans of Swing.”

    This episode highlights a lot of Japanese games that sort of show how the Japanese game industry was starting to lose the thread, games that had a few good (or at least interesting) aspects, but also a few that you had to just ignore to enjoy the game. It’s kind of surprising to think that it was really that obvious in the PS2 generation, not just the PS360 generation, like I would usually think. I’ve played some of most of these games, but the hassles of each of them stopped me before getting too far into them.

  7. MAN, Killer7. I loved the unorthodox style of that game. I learned to love the on-rails controls and the stationary gun aiming. It’s such a wonderful creepy, messed up and yet hugely hilarious ride, that game. The writing is impeccable, and the plot twist towards the end was really unexpected. I suggest everyone to play through it (on the superior GCN version, course), finish it, and read this Plot Analysis FAQ on GameFAQs so that you’re not left scratching your head at that bat**** ending:

    Great choices in this episode…”Rave On” of course is one of the best. You know **** is about to go down when that song starts playing.

    Some other Killer7 picks:
    Angel’s Despair:
    Shoot Speed:
    Russian Roulette (I’ll just link to the spoilerific scene that this plays in. Such a screwed up scene):
    Reenact (perfect way to top off the game):

    I’ve had God Hand for several years now…I think I bought it in 2008. Played it a bunch, was amazed by how hysterical and absurdly fun it was, and then I got stuck on a boss fight where you were fighting three bosses at the same time, and I got frustrated and stopped playing. I really do need to pick it up again.

    My favorite move is this over-the-top arm-flailing that ends in a simple finger-poke that makes the enemy go flying. Never ceases to crack me up.

    Like garnsr said, “Gene’s Rock-a-bye” is very similar to Dire Straits’ “Sultans of Swing,” if it was infused with your typical surf rock. I LOVE that cheesy God Hand credits music…thanks for introducing me to that. That needs to be in a karaoke bar (the in-game jukebox actually has a karaoke version).

    I think what sorta kills No More Heroes for me are the boring side-missions and the awful motorcycle maneuvering. That “NMH” song is the first track that comes to mind for me in the series, and at least it has a great OST.’s a Suda51 game and I feel like I just HAVE to play through it.

    That Michigan: Report from Hell voice acting was so incredible. I remember some of those from Audio Atrocities.

    I’ve heard nothing but fantastic things about Danganronpa, and I loved everything you guys played from the OST. “Beautiful Days” just gave me all these happy feelings. I’ll play through that and 999 and Virtue’s Last Reward someday…

    My guess for Rocktober: MEGA MAN. Come on, it’s overdue 😉 I’ll forgive ya if you need to extend it for two months, haha.

  8. The hilarious thing about Rave On is that the only place you can hear it is in a hallway that literally takes ten seconds to get through. They put the most hyperkinetic, catchy song in the game in this nothing room where you can only walk forward and open a door.

    • I’ve noticed that tends to happen with Suda 51 games for some reason. IMO some of the best tracks in that game are the ones that aren’t in the soundtrack and are incredibly hard to listen to isolated or legally.

      Case in point:

      This might be my favorite track in the entire game, yet even specifically searching for it, it was like the the 20th entry in the search, and even then, it’s a game rip so you have to endure the unwelcome zombie roars mucking up the song.

  9. Great episode. I’d never played any of these games, so this was a great way to gain exposure to music I otherwise never would have touched. Danganronpa is getting a lot of buzz throughout the LaserTime Network–making a Vita mighty tempting.

    Bring on Rocktober (I’m predicting Mega Man)!

  10. Thanks to Mike Grimm for mentioning Shenmue, the only thing on this episode I was familiar with.

    And thank you, Brett, for mentioning the blue-collar working stiff. 🙂 I’ve been in a desk chair for about a year, but I’m an electrician by trade and I discovered VGMpire during an office remodel.

    This episode really emphasized to me the difference between old-school and newer school game music. Some of the music here is really well composed, but the earlier tracks seemed like most of the effort went into production values. Most of the tracks were definitely more about creating a mood than making a well constructed piece. Compared to old-school games, the melody and intricacy of composition was sorely missing(with some obvious exceptions here). But does that make them less good? I guess it depends on personal tastes.

    The discussion about this music being good background music was perfect. While I do really enjoy the old stuff, music is there to suit the needs of the game.

  11. Masafumi Takada! I’ve long considered him one of the best modern Japanese composers doing work today, and back when I did my amateur video game music radio show, I’d always have two or three songs from him on the program.

    Other than Sunset Heroes, my favorite track from God Hand has to be “The Gang of Venice.” It has that gondolier feel while inserting acoustic surf and maaaaaaaaybe a little bit of rockabilly. Here it is on Youtube, had no idea it was on PSN, though! Time to finally piece music with the game.

    No More Heroes deserves its own episode! There are so many great tracks from the series and both rank high in my favorite OSTs of all time. “Pleather for Breakfast” is during one of the best boss themes in the game for one of the best bosses in the series, Bad Girl. Just look up the fight. It’s worth it. A short list of additional listening from the games:

    Cashmere Cannonball (NMH 1):
    Samurai Summer (NMH 1):
    We Are Finally Cowboys (NMH 1):
    Kill or Be Killed ~ Destroy Resort (NMH 2):
    Electromagic (NMH 2):
    Subuta.1 (NMH 2):

    I gotta stop myself before I list all of them!

    Danganronpa is a fun romp. Rave music while investigating teenagers for murder goes together so well.

    Great episode, guys! Looking forward to Rocktober!

  12. I absolutely loved this episode, Masafumi Takada is one of my all-time favourite composers.

    You were pretty on the mark about MT having a very noticeable style – he’s got a really *crunchy* sound, with a lot of tracks in Killer 7, NMH1 and Dangan Ronpa using sound effects like breaking glass or crushed metal to layer in some percussion.

    You’re right in that Dangan Ronpa 2 re-uses a lot of music from the first, but the new music is still really good. In particular, the theme for the 3rd location is pure Takada style, working in the sound of riffle-shuffled cards, it’s so sleazy-sounding (there may well be DR spoilers in video comments, so fair warning):

    Since you’re currently in the realm of Suda 51 and Takada, may there be some Akira Yamaoka in future? He did some amazing stuff for Suda (Killer id Dead and NMH2 come to mind) but there are So Many Words To Say about Silent Hill 3’s soundtrack and how it’s pretty much a Massive Attack B-Side.

  13. Great episode. For some reason, bonkers Japanese games tend to have some of the best soundtracks.

  14. some really cool music for a visual novel.(how about a future episode just for visual novels, or an episode just for Grimm?).

    i feel i should point out that godhand is on sale on psn (in the uk a least) not sure for how long.

    can’t wait for rocktober.

  15. Great episode and the all-star cast certainly helped. I would love to have Greg and Carolyn on more episodes. No More Heroes was probably my favorite Wii game so it was cool to see it get love. This episode was easily one of my favorites.

  16. […] Obviously I like my game music, and the 2014 year in review episode of VGMpire sums what I picked out for the year. But in this personal list I just gotta call out three amazing 2014 works – DKC Tropical Freeze and Shovel Knight (both covered in the aforementioned episode) and then Danganronpa (covered in the Hits and Homicides episode). […]

  17. am catching up on old episodes and i gotta say Brett you now damned good music
    thos Danganrampa tracks were excellent, thank you for letting us all know, kinda wish i had a psp now

  18. […] VGMpire is a fantastic tribute to video game music of all kinds.  In each episode, host Brett Elston features tons of music from a single title, series, or topic in the wide world of video games.  Joined by a team of hilarious co-hosts, these video game industry veterans bring a fun and informative mood to every episode.  Some episodes of note: a double-header of Parappa the Rapper and Um Jammer Lammy, a retrospective on the music from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles video games, and a showcase of composer Masafumi Takada’s work, which includes Killer 7, God Hand, and Danganro…. […]

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