I’ve been playing a lot of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. Let me tell you about a weird little moment I just experienced in this sublime cyberpunk role playing game.
The Durutti Column, aka Vini Reilly, is my favorite guitarist of all time. His vast discography stretches over countless incredible rhythms, solos, and experimental moments of unbridled joy. To hear him play is to witness a musician in total communion with his instrument, his true voice.
This week has burned by in a whirlwind of heat and new music, pushed along by the constant pulse of discovery. I stumbled up loads of totally new artists and revisited some recent material, resulting in radical newfound appreciation.
Since it’s finally acceptable weather here in Michigan, I’ve spent a lot of time outside. But I brought my music with me. D.K., Studio OST, Sepalcure, and even Drake enhanced my time in the humid lakeside.
Let’s get into it.
What happened this week? What didn’t happen?
No more rock gods died. We’ve got that going for us. Aside from continuing my Prince binge and getting cereal lessons from Kendrick Lamar, I replayed one of the greatest video games of all time. I luxuriated in some deep house tunes. Oh, and Beyoncé dropped one of the biggest surprises I’ve ever heard from a pop star.
Things are looking pretty good from here.
We’re in the final stretch, guys. Fallout 4 will arrive in just three days. The hype train is barreling full steam ahead, and I don’t mind feeling caught up. The last two games in the series are easily the most played in my adult life. Also, have you seen that launch trailer?
The above screenshot is from my last play through of Fallout: New Vegas. My character is a hard-nosed woman named Scotch, who often travels with a flying eyebot and a cowgirl who chugs whiskey. I’ve got 234 hours logged, according to Steam, and I’d be happy to double that if there weren’t so many other great games to play.
I decided that my friends would be a great resource in collecting the ultimate list of classic old school video game music. To start us off with an example that’s been bouncing around my head for probably 25 years now, I present the music of River City Ransom.
River City Ransom was the first game I fell absolutely in love with. It’s a hybrid beat-em-up RPG that plays like Final Fight but lets you spend calmer moments in shopping districts, enjoying meals or steam baths between battles. You can raise your stats by eating noodles and asking for smiles from the burger shop waitress. It’s got a hyper-cheesy plot about high schoolers Alex and Ryan fighting hundreds of local gang members on the way to face Slick, who has taken over the town and kidnapped Ryan’s girlfriend.
The best part is that this game works far better as a two player affair. I spent days upon days teaming up with my stepbrother, Greg, and completing the game in one go. To be fair, we had to; the only “save” system was a three-line code you could write down with pen and paper to give yourself updated stats when you restarted. It was less of a pain in the ass to just play it all over, mostly because the game is incredibly fun.
The game was the perfect two player, co-op game. While fun on its own, RCR is an utter riot with a partner. Some of my favorite gaming memories involve sitting on the basement floor with Greg first thing on a Saturday morning, not getting up until Slick was defeated and all of the noodles were devoured.
The most memorable aspect of the game itself is the music. I can unspool any of these tunes in my mind just by thinking of the game. What I would love is for you to comment with your favorite 8-bit or 16-bit era game scores. Leave youtube links for any particular songs if you want. I know everyone (of a certain age at least) has a few absolute heartwarming favorites they’ve loved for years. Let’s share! I will be making more posts with more of this music as long as there’s interest.