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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Song of the Week! 26 September 2015


For this week, we're doing one step backwards and two steps forward! ... confused? Well, let me explain.

As mentioned in a blog post earlier this week (link), we're going to add new Game Music song series very soon! Still, I need to cover up one of the still-untouched tracks from one of these song series in order to finally close a certain cliffhanger I threw out in one of 2015's first Saturday features...

There's also a non-series song today to join the fun, so everything is well in the world!... Right?

 Fighter's Honor (Flying Remix) Ace Combat 3D Cross Rumble
Version
Allx3 (136)x3 (196)x4 (304)x7 (527)
 Taiko 3DS 1
 145.58-146.55
 none
 ace3ds


Back in January this year, we had the opportunity to talk about the flying action game Ace Combat 2 and his legacy (and by that I mean its remake for Nintendo 3DS, Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy). We couldn't take a deeper look on the latter title for a simple reason: there already was a song from said remake in an earlier Taiko game, making it one of the first GM tracks from remake games to precede the coming of songs from the original title!

Released in Japan under the title of Ace Combat 3D: Cross Rumble (エースコンバット 3D クロスランブル) on January 2012, some months after the NA and EU release days, this remake title of the Ace Combat series has been released outside Japan as Assault Horizon Legacy, despite the fact of not having almost anything in common with the eponymous PC/x360/PS3 Ace Combat game. The plot and gameplay element from the original AC2 are ported untouched for the portable remake, although some minor features have been added from the original, such as prototype fighters coming from the PC/home console AC Assault Horizon.

Between January and February 2015, the game has been re-released worldwide in form of an enhanced version (Legacy Plus), which added new control functionalities for users playing the game with the Circle Pad Pro (a Japan-exclusive feature in the 1st version) and the New Nintendo 3DS console version, as well as amiibo support for in-game unlocks through the titular Nintendo figurine series.

The song Fighter's Honor owes its name to the original AC2 (and remake)'s last mission, dubbed Operation "Figher's Honor"; together with many other tracks, the original has been remixed for Assault Horizon Legacy by Namco Sounds musical sensation Go Shiina (椎名豪).

For the Flying Remix's debut on Taiko games, the 7-star Oni mode hosts minor BPM shits and a generous dose of even-numbered clusters with different kinds of hand-switching settings required along the play, as the note patterns tend to be easier to read and to execute outside Go-Go Time sections.

 Nightmare Survivor (ナイトメア・サバイバー)
Version
Allx5 (178)x5 (268)x7 (519)x8 (581)
 Taiko 0 S, Taiko Wii U 1, Taiko 3DS 2, Taiko PS Vita, CD Sorairo
 153.27-160.59
 none
 nmsurv


Today's second pick is none other than Sorairo Version' last Don Point unlock, a guitar-based metal track that has had a lot to talk about in recent console games, both as unlockable track on Wii U, a boss fight track on the second 3DS title (against the Time Dyne gang's Darnum) and now as part of one of the next DLC packs for V Version! As the very limited Sorairo Version soundtrack revealed, Nightmare Survivor is performed by Takanori Goto (後藤貴徳) and composed/arranged by Setsuro Sakamoto (坂本節朗), whose only information trait publicly known as of now is the nickname of "Kirakira Sakamoto" (きらきら☆さかもと) in Namco grounds.

In the same soundtrack, there's a small extract of Sakamoto describing the creation process of Nightmare Survivor, a song whose early concept was to make an heavy-metal inspired piece or, as the composer dubbed, some "Sakamoto Metal". An idea association process has guided the composer into the making of the song, starting from the general ideas of "Atrociously, Heavy-felt Speed" into developing an imaginary situation that goes along with the song: the assault-feeling sensations of a highway car chase, with the pursuers firing missiles that are swiftly avoided and the protagonist managing to make the jump to the other side of an interrupted road in a construction site. When asked to Goto to provide some synth guitar sounds to his creation, he chose to more prominently feature regular guitar playing for a more cool-sounding vibe and after 5 failed drafts, the definitive Nightmare Survivor came to be. Sakamoto's very first draft for the song has also been included in the aforementioned Sorairo Version soundtrack, being simply dubbed as the "Prototype Version".

Despite the average BPM value, Nightmare Survivor's Oni mode clusters are a force to be reckoned with, featuring dense sections recalling to other current 8* Oni songs like The Magician's Dream and Blue Rose Ruin. Other notable elements are the Go-Go Time sections claiming more than half of the song's running time and a short hit-balloon near the song's beginning, zooming away under a Namco-friendly x7.65 selective scrolling multiplier.

  Nightmare Survivor (ナイトメア・サバイバー)
Version
All


x10 (876)
 Taiko 0 S, Taiko 3DS 2, Taiko Wii U 1, Taiko PS Vita
 114-160.59
 none
 ???


The first 10* Oni chart work for Notecharter Sentai Khan (カーン) also happens to be the only high-difficulty challenge made for Namco Sounds-originated songs on Sorairo Version, aside from the CreoFuga-born 10-star Oni songs. The result is accomplished by amplifying note clusters from the regular Oni and mixing in 1/16 and 1/24 clusters, in order to elevate the "following guitar solos with the drums" started with No Way Back's Ura Oni to art form.

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