Dec 172014


Our biggest episode to date tackles a number of quality tunes from 2014, including Velocity 2X, Bravely Default, Shovel Knight and much more.

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0:00:00 – Theme (Fantasy Life)

0:08:12 – City at Night (Fantasy Life)

0:10:14 – Outdoors at Night (Fantasy Life)

0:12:02 – Cheerful Tavern (Fantasy Life)

0:20:36 – Temple of Crota (Destiny)

0:28:13 – Main Theme (Hearthstone)

0:36:20 – Horizon of Light and Shadow (Bravely Default)

0:39:06 – The Gongs of Battle (Bravely Default)

0:41:49 – Infiltrating Enemy Territory (Bravely Default)

0:45:09 – Land of Radiant Flowers (Bravely Default)

1:00:13 – Majula (Dark Souls II)

1:03:29 – Main Theme (Dark Souls II)

1:11:43: – Strike the Earth (Shovel Knight)

1:15:27 – La Danse Macabre (Shovel Knight)

1:19:18 – A Thousand Leagues Below (Shovel Knight)

1:24:10 – Jeffrey’s Theme (Peggle 2)

1:28:18 – Luna’s scntfc remix (Peggle 2)

1:32:02 – Berg’s scntfc remix (Peggle 2)

1:37:04 – Flight Computer (Velocity 2X)

1:40:24 – Frontier (Velocity 2X)

1:44:51 – Jintanda Lab (Velocity 2X)

1:54:12 – Paladin Theme (Fantasy Life)

  38 Responses to “VGMpire 83 – 2014 Year in Review”

  1. o.O

    Woah! Just a couple hours after I made my post, and THERE IT IS! What I had been asking for! and with two of my favorite games of the year in the cover no less! 😀

    Can’t wait to listen!

  2. I haven’t listened to the episode yet, but looking through the tracklist, you guys should check out the Transistor soundtrack, it’s one of my top ones of the year for SURE, and I haven’t even played the game yet!

  3. Great episode but I just want to say, for anyone who enjoyed Temple Of Crota from Destiny definitely check out the Final Boss music from The Black Garden mission in that game. Real good.

  4. I’ll be frank: that peggle music is almost un-listenable to me. It is bad wub wub, and I don’t like the take they have on the classics.

    But everything else was GREAT. If Chris wants more Theme Park music, I want to hear more Tavern music. The tracks like Cheerful Tavern or the Hearthstone theme are the kind you listen to at a Renaissance fair while drunk and and eating a turkey leg. Great stuff.

  5. Too funny, I had started listening to the Fantasy Life OST for the first time when this episode popped up. It’s good stuff!

    Another great Uematsu OST from 2014: Terra Battle. A surprisingly amazing mobile game, too! Lots of references to his past work in these tunes (check out the FF5 Boss music reference at 2:15 in the Terra Battle boss theme):

    In regards to the former Megadeth guitarist who played with Sound Horizon/Linked Horizon: that’s Marty Friedman! He’s pretty much become a strictly J-Rock guy (better off, methinks!). He performed with Revo at that 2012 Bravely Default concert in Japan:

    I’ve heard great things about the Transistor OST, but haven’t gotten to check the game out yet (still on my Steam backlog/pile of shame). I refuse to listen to the soundtrack without having played through the game first, though!

    I hate to say it, but Dark Souls II’s OST didn’t really do much for me aside from “Majula.” I can’t really call to mind any other standout track. I think Motoi Sakuraba should just incorporate his JRPG prog rock tendencies into the next Souls game, or Bloodbourne.

    You did get me rethinking how I felt about Dark Souls II, though. I felt like the game dragged on for too long, but looking back, amidst all the hair-tearing and odd pacing, I had fun. Almost, ALMOST tempted to pick up the DLC on Steam.

    As Henry said, Paul McCartney didn’t make any money on his contributions to Destiny’s soundtrack. His “Hope for the Future” track is the game’s credits music. While I don’t see myself getting the game anytime soon, I actually really love this track! It’s kind of James Bond-like.

    I also think it’s just incredible that McCartney, who was such a big influence on many game composers (including Earthbound’s Keiichi Suzuki), made his own mark on game music. VGM’s gone full-circle, folks!

    Also, hell yes Mario Kart 8! Nintendo did a fantastic job showing off the jazz musicians that played for the game’s OST. Their version of “Mute City” for the game is just ACE. ACE!!!

    A hugely overlooked 2014 OST (and game) is the indie title Trace Vector by Flexstyle. Awesome, dancey music that I think all of you will like. Here’s the first track, “All Systems Go” –

    I’m surprised there was no love for Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze in this episode, especially knowing that Brett really enjoyed that soundtrack. It’s great to have David Wise back at the forefront of a DKC OST.

    Windmill Hills
    Alpine Incline (Ground)
    Big Top Bop
    Grassland Grove

    Above all, Shovel Knight really takes 2014 by the balls in terms of VGM OSTs. Virt really outdid himself with his work on that VRC6 chip. It’s hard to pick just one good tune. A few of my faves:

    “An Underlying Problem (The Lost City/Mole Knight’s Theme)”
    “A Cool Reception (The Stranded Ship/Polar Knight’s Theme)”
    “Fighting with All of Our Might”

    And for ****s n’ giggles…from the Arranged Soundtrack, Virt’s vocal version: “Hyper Camelot” –

    Pleasantly surprised by Peggle 2’s soundtrack, btw! Just oozes of “fun.” And since Velocity 2X is a free PS Plus game that I just never got around to, I think I know what I must do…I get a Deus Ex vibe out of some of those synths.

    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year, ‘errbody!

    • Merry Christmas to you too dude!

      Also, nice selection there! Definitely agree with your picks for Shovel Knight, specially with “An Underlying Problem”. Which second to “La danse Macabre”, might be my favorite stage song of the game.

      Also agree with you regarding Dark Souls II. None of the boss themes made an impression on me, which is really a shame because yeah, I KNOW Sakuraba can create such melodic and awesome tunes, just look at Eternal Sonata and Tales of Symphonia for that.

      I haven’t played Dark Souls II’s DLC just yet, but I plan to, I have heard that they are very good, and in some aspects, even better than the main game.

  6. BRETT! i love the year in reviews. A highlight of a long time favorite podcast. don’t stop until you are dead, and even then continue to somehow release new things long afterwards like michael jackson and tupac.

  7. Great episode, Brett! What the hell is DLC?

    Oh, and I mentioned this in the previous thread, but

    WATCH IT!!! It’s a 6-part documentary on Japanese game composers and the influence they’ve had on contemporary artists. They cover all the greats: Yoko Shimomura, Hip Tanaka, Yuzo Koshiro, Hitoshi Sakimoto, and so on…..I’ve only seen the first part so far but my mind is already blown……away

    • Yep, seen it. It’s well worth watching and filled with great info.

      • Out of curiosity, did you mention this on your Twitter page or elsewhere?(I don’t do Twitter so I would’ve missed it) I’m only asking because as far as I know, this is a one-of-a-kind documentary and I would have guessed you’d have posted information on it somewhere.

        I told Brent Weinbach about it and he said the same thing you did. How are we supposed to find out about stuff like this if the masters don’t let us know? 😀

  8. I should comment on the episode more……So much good stuff I’ve never heard before and almost all of it super awesome. That Dark Souls really hit me, much more than I would have expected. Very good and sad.

  9. Excellent episode, listened once already, and I’m already halfway on my second go!

    Gotta say, Fantasy Life is a game that barely registered on my radar. Like, I was faintly aware of the name, but knew virtually nothing about it, and apparently no big site bothered reviewing it because I don’t remember ever seeing a review of it. The music does sound fantastic, but just hearing that it’s like animal crossing makes me cringe, I kinda dislike that style of gameplay on principle.

    Agree on all accounts regarding Bravely Default. Very good game, gorgeous, fantastic music… But it did wear on me and eventually just made me physically reject it once it started asking me to repeat that same thing over and over again… To the point that despite putting over 100 hours into it, I just stopped caring near the end, and I KNOW I’m close to the ending, but I feel zero motivation to continue at this point.

    I will say that I’m a tad disappointed that of all the character specific special attack songs, you didn’t play Ringabel’s, which is IMO, not only the best of all the 4, but also my favorite track of the game, it’s just so full of energy and style, I love it so much:

    Bravely Default – “Love’s Vagrant”:

    Dark Souls II didn’t impress me a lot music-wise, at least, not like Demon and Dark Souls did, but listening to the Majula theme isolated like that made me appreciate it so much more. I feel like in the game I was always so concerned with doing other stuff that I never really stop and appreciate the melody, specially on those quieter moments.

    And man, yeah, what can be said about Shovel Knight’s soundtrack that hasn’t been said already? It’s hands down my favorite OST AND game of this year. All the songs you picked were fantastic choices, and the ones Patrick Suggested above are also fantastic, but the soundtrack still has a lot more of fantastic tracks to offer, here’s three of my favorites aside from the ones already mentioned:

    “Bucklers and Bonnets” – This might be my favorite “town” theme in the game, and yes, it’s the indoors version specifically, which is another fantastic touch in the game, all towns have slight variations on their theme depending on whether you’re outside or inside:

    “High Above The Land” – This one stands out to me because Virt composed it from scratch, on a stream LIVE in around 3 hours:

    “Spadehands” (Hall of heroes remix by Snappleman) – As I mentioned before, I don’t usually like remixes in general, but this one I did warm up to because of the beautiful instrumentation and electric guitar implementation, and also because it skillfully merges the stage and boss themes into one in a way that makes sense:

    There’s another song I actually like more than any of these three, but I decided against posting it because I feel it should be experienced when it happens in game, anyone that has played the final boss will probably understand why.

    Peggle 2’s soundtrack is one I didn’t expect to like as much as I did, specially that second song. I’ll definitely will be checking out the rest of the full soundtrack because of this! 😀

    As for my best casual game song of the year, I think I give that honor to this little gem:

    That little game sucked way more hours of my life than it should have, and I blame a big part of why to this song.

    Anyway, yeah, overall, I’d say this year was the worst videogames has experienced in at least a decade, of not more. But there was still plenty of great music to be found, so hurray for that!

    • Your comment about this year being the worst for videogames in a decade is interesting to me. I haven’t actively followed games since about midway through the PS2’s life cycle…..I think once the PS1 was in full swing, there was just so much coming out that I couldn’t keep my finger on the pulse anymore. I’m not missing out though……..

      This year I discovered Tetris Attack(don’t know how I missed it at the time), which seems remarkably similar to Puyo Puyo, Dr. Mario, and especially Baku Baku Animal. I played a little cave story, and am getting into Bomberman 3-5 for the Super Famicom. Plus VGMpire and back episodes of the Legacy Music Hour keep me busy with new music(to me) all the time.

      I guess I’m just saying this to say I’m glad in a way that I fell off the wagon. It’s a lot more FUN for me to make new discoveries at my own pace, even if they’re ancient by modern standards. I haven’t even touched the marvels of GameCube or Wii, Xbox 360, or PS3. I’ve got enough gaming enjoyment ahead of me to last the rest of my life. For that I’m thankful. I think we’d all do well to remember that all this is about fun and not to fall into the trap of consuming games just to keep up with what is new. I have so much more fun playing games than I used to, and it’s primarily for that reason.

      • …..not to say that’s an issue with you; your comment just got me thinking.

      • No offense taken dude, and the way you have experienced gaming lately is not a bad idea honestly. I mean, there are a TON of games, and those who play regularly with what comes out day to day, can’t possibly catch everything every single generation has to offer. I am someone that all his life has done this, but this year I’ve taken it a bit slower, starting with the fact that I haven’t gotten a next gen console yet.

        On one hand, it can be exciting to join the zeigeist of the latest new game and talk about it with others and hear what they have to say, but yeah, it also comes with the stress of “Gawd I have so much to play and so little time! I should play what I already got but- Ooooh look! a new Metal Gear Game! Better play it quick before I see spoilers everywhere!”

        So yeah, your approach is so much better in the sense that you get to enjoy things more without rushing. And again, given that this was such a crappy year for games, I feel so much more compelled to follow that approach.

        And well, just letting you, know, it was a crappy year not just because not a lot of great games came out, but also because the current way AAA companies are making games is clearly taking it’s toll. New games feel more and more derivative and similar to each other, and often come out with tons of glitches and/or bugs, often times making games unplayable until they get patched. And of course… The climate itself regarding the gaming community went down the toilet pretty hard, making everyone very grumpy and defensive.

  10. Oh Man I’ve Been looking forward to hearing this for a while now. Fantasy life’s soundtrack is for sure burned into my brain after all the hours I put in. I will she’d a single tear for Transistor not being on here though.

    Thanks for the year of VGM Brett!

  11. The best soundtrack of the year for me was easily Transistor by Darren Korb. I also totally listened to podcasts through all of Destiny and most of Bravely Default.

  12. Didn’t log too many hours into any 2014 titles other than USFIV, but one in particular had an OST that had me going back and playing levels just to experience it’s perfect marriage of gameplay and music.

    That game was Lovely Planet

    If you haven’t played it for yourself, the best way I can describe it is and FPS on an obstacle course, but in Lovely Planet’s case the obstacle course a bright and colorful world. There are five worlds, each of which has it’s own song on and endless loop. The standout track for me was Lovely City, a song which I think fits the gameplay and world to a tee. The upbeat tempo and bright melody clashing with the cutesy graphics, the panicky feeling when you’re trying to 3-star a level, and the elation once you finally do. To echo myself once more, it works perfectly with the game. Don’t get me wrong though, the other tracks are all great themselves.

    Now that I’m listening this OST again, most may just be standard J-Pop instrumentals, in which case I may have to go take a long look in the mirror. Anyways, thanks for a great year celebrating VGM Brett and company, looking forward to next year!

  13. Damn that Shovel Knight music was good, can’t wait til it comes to PS4/Vita next year. Velocity 2x is my soundtrack of the year though and a great game.

  14. These episodes always end up being a pleasant suprrise for me because I always end up forgetting what they’re about.

    I always read “Year in Review” and think, “Oh, this is gonna be a clip show of the episodes he did this year, so I’ve already heard all this.” But then, obviously, it’s just music from GAMES that came out this year instead. :p

    • Heh, he actually did that this year though, in the bandcamp episode XD

      But yeah, the titling he uses is weird. Because IMO, this one should be the one called “best of 2014” whereas the other should be the year in review, but oh well.

  15. Great episode Brett! I didn’t play a whole lot of new games this year but one soundtrack I really enjoyed was Binding of Isaac: Rebirth. Check it out if you haven’t already!

  16. Man, I’ve never heard of Velocity 2x until I heard this episode. I might have to pick it up for the music alone. I really enjoyed it.

    Thanks for the episode Brett!

  17. You’ve talked me into giving Fantasy Life a shot.

    Thanks for this and all the other awesome episodes this year Brett

  18. […] And if you’re waiting for the annual “Year in Review,” well it posted this week! […]

  19. No “Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze”? That kind of makes me sad. Almost as sad as all the “Animal Crossing: New Leaf” bashing at the start of the show. (I love that game and still play daily.)

    Still, a good collection of songs. Just think there were a few big ones left out. Hyrule Warriors, Mariokart 8, and new Smash Bros remixes all were fantastic, too. But I get that it’s only an hour show.

    Keep up the good work.

  20. Oh, how I love these yearly recaps. Although, like the most recent Vidjagame Apocalypse, this serves to remind me that I haven’t played many new games this year. Gonna work my way through my backlog over the next few months. Chris has talked up Shovel Knight so much, and this music is just incredible.

  21. Thanks for another year! Went back to some of the older episodes recently (how did I forget there was already a Mario Kart episode ?!?) and your original format was refreshing. The peanut gallery is funny sometimes, but can fall into the ‘riff trax’ mode the rest of the Laser time shows have. I think this show specifically could be just as good if every once in awhile it was a 2 minute ‘interesting info’ overview of each song and then jump right into the music. Hopefully not taken as a negative comment, just something that came to mind when listening to some of the original episodes.

  22. Hi Brett,

    Just wanted to thank you for another great show. I couldn’t find a personal message or email link and I refuse to use twitter so I’ll comment here. I started listening to Lasertime and the other podcasts in the network via your (and Chris’) appearance in Retronauts. I’ve since started listening to Lasertime and every other podcast in the network. It took me awhile to start listening to VGMpire because I have limited time and can’t speed through each episode at 1.25x-1.5x speed like the “talkies” (Lasertime, Vidjagame Apocalypse, etc.). You have to listen to music at its original tempo. However, the Parappa/Lammy episode won me over and I’ve started to listen ever since. I’m still working my way through the back catalog. And while some episodes I’m usually reluctant to listen to because I never played the games, once I finally listen it gives me a new appreciation for not only the music, but also the game itself. And I find the commentary just as, if more, entertaining than the music itself. Especially if there’s a good dynamic between the host and guests like in this episode with Chris, Dave, and Henry.

    Keep up the great work and thank you. As for suggestions, an episode featuring Gauntlet or Gitaroo Man would be lovely.

    – Chris

    • Thanks! Glad to know some of the obscure / unfamiliar episodes still do the trick. And yeah I definitely want to do a Gauntlet episode sometime… GIV is quite good

      • Thou sayest!
        Hell yes, Gauntlet IV is awesome, and it would be very cool to see a Gauntlet episode….

  23. Fantastic episode! I missed almost all of these, apart from Dark Souls II and Hearthstone.

    Some of my favourite tracks from this year:

    Persona Q – Labyrinth Culture Festival:
    I’ve never actually played a Persona game, but I love all their soundtracks.

    Starbound – Novakid Theme / I was The Sun Before it was Cool:
    (Technically 2013, but it was a December release so whatever.)

    Broken Age – Was That East or West:

    Hitman Go – Track 1:

    FFXIV – Ultima Weapon Theme:
    (It takes a while to get going, give it a chance)

    Full Bore – Dynamite Cave In
    (A great game of 2014 that nobody played. I can’t link the song because it’s not online anywhere, but you can buy it.)

    • Woah, deep cuts man! But all pretty good songs! I can tell you dig chill music ^^

      • For sure!

        I just realised that FFXIV shouldn’t be on that list either. I could have sworn A Realm Reborn came out this year…

  24. thanks for the episode, Brett

  25. […] 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 […]

  26. Finally got around to this episode. Haven’t gotten a chance to check out Shovel Knight yet, but I was blown away by the first song played (Strike the Earth). Immediately Googled Jake Kaufman and bought the album on Virtual Bandcamp. My morning commute just got a whole lot more adventurous. Thanks, guys!

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