My VG Music Picks #85 – The Final Antasma Battle (Mario & Luigi: Dream Team)

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Mario & Luigi: Dream Team

It’s such a shame to hear about AlphaDream going bankrupt. They were the studio that brought us the imaginative, funny, and just enjoyable Mario & Luigi series of RPGs. And while we can argue about whether or not the quality of the games diminished over time, there’s no denying that all of them were at the very least decent and fun games to play. I had high hopes for the potential of the series when the Switch was released but, sadly, it is not to be.

There is quite a bit I love about this series; one primary aspect being its music. The legendary Yoko Shimomura lent her talents to all of the games and created such varied soundtracks, filled with pieces that fit right at home in Mario’s world, as well as ones that felt like they belonged in more “serious” RPGs. That’s not me complaining, by the way. I think that’s amazing, hearing these Final Fantasy-like dramatic scores in a game starring a short Italian plumber who jumps on turtles. One example being this track. Continue reading

My VG Music Picks #75 – Vector to the Heavens (Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days)

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days

This is possibly an unpopular Kingdom Hearts opinion depending on who is reading this, but I was never a big fan of Xion. I didn’t dislike her per se; I just never got attached to her like some fans did since I found her character to be rather generic and, considering 358/2 Days’ status as an interquel and the fact that she was never mentioned in Kingdom Hearts II (probably because Nomura hadn’t come up with her character at the time), she was most likely going to die by the end of the game. It’s hard to become engaged with a character when you know they’re not going to be around anymore soon. But that being said, her theme music never fails to make me emotional – especially the version of it that plays during her boss fight. Continue reading

Kingdom Hearts III – The End of an Era

Kingdom Hearts III Box Art

There was a time when Kingdom Hearts III was a punchline. Nothing more than vaporware; something that only existed as fan-fictions and fake box arts. It was synonymous with hell freezing over. And right now, the Devil himself is neck deep in snow. Even after it was announced back in 2013, it still didn’t feel real. But as the years went on, as we slowly saw more trailers and heard new details, myself and many others realised that this was, in fact, happening.

And now it’s out. You can go and buy Kingdom Hearts III and actually play it. But now that it exists, we must ask that dreaded question – was it worth the wait? This is a title that fans have been waiting for since 2005 when Kingdom Hearts II released, and acts as the finale to a story-line that’s been ongoing since the first game came out in 2002. Fans’ expectations have been ridiculously high so does it meet them? Is it the conclusion longtime fans deserved or is about as fun as going to an overcrowded Disneyland in the rain? Continue reading

My VG Music Picks #61 – Enter the Darkness (Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep)

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep

While I don’t have as much as an emotional connection to many of Kingdom Hearts‘ original characters as some people do, I won’t deny that the series has some effective and enjoyable original antagonists. For example, Vanitas from Birth by Sleep became an instant favourite of mine due to his personality, his vocal performance and his theme music. Continue reading

My VG Music Picks #32 – The Grand Finale (Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story)

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story

When it comes to writing for these VG Music Picks articles, I impose a couple of rules on myself that determine what pieces of music I cover. One such rule is “can I write a couple of paragraphs where I can justify why I like the music based solely on the music whilst also sounding as pretentious as possible?” I like to think I do a decent enough job pretending like I know what I’m talking about when it comes to music but, sometimes, it’s hard to justify why I like a particular track. Sometimes, it’s just good. Continue reading