oooooOOEEEeeeoooeoOOOEEeeEEOoooo! Be afraid, be very afraid, because it’s time for a special Halloween double bill of delicious game music remixes!

Yes, I know both of these tracks are the same tune, and you might wonder why. Well, simple really: They’re both so good that I couldn’t include one over the other, and since it’s a special occasion, I bundled them both into one feature so that you can decide for yourself which is your favourite.

Zolyx’s Game Music Monday #7: Halloween Ghouls ‘n Ghosts!

The original composer of this track was Tim Follin, a name that certainly ranks up there with the most respected 8-bit composers of all time. His work in games such as L.E.D. Storm, Black Lamp, and Bionic Commando – along with the two GnG games - is fondly remembered by many. Remixers Binster and Tim Forsyth have done well to preserve the classic feel with some modern flair.

Enjoy your Halloween and tune in next week!

Greetings! Another seven days have passed and it’s time to indulge ourselves in another SIDtacular remix…

There’s not a huge amount of background I can waffle on about this week. The original tune was found in one of the many C64 demo releases that there have been over the years, and artist RunStop64 plucked this one out of obscurity and dragged it somewhat closer toward mainstream recognition. I’m pretty sure it’s one that you’re not going to recognise, but if you do, hey – give yourself a cookie!

Zolyx’s Game Music Monday #6: RunStop64 – Albedo 2

Just be warned that this track is a bit loud – as per the warning at the start, be sure to turn your speakers down a little to avoid an unexpected surprise!

Next week: A special Halloween edition! I already know exactly which track I’ll be featuring…

Ahoy again, SIDheads!

Quite by accident I appear to have committed the grievous error of featuring the same composer twice in a row… but I’m not making any apologies. Surely you won’t complain at hearing another Rob Hubbard classic in glorious modern stereo? Of course you won’t! Still, I promise something different for next time.

Zolyx’s Game Music Monday #5: Graeme Slapp – Thrust 2009

After a quick check of the interweb before deciding on which remix to use I was very much spoilt for choice. Despite being a tricky beast to handle well there are nevertheless plenty of well-done variations of Thrust – I was on the verge of going for a different tune entirely, but eventually I made a hard choice and decided to go with a fairly recent effort arranged by maestro Graeme Slapp. A fine-quality piece of work it is too!

See you next week for another blast from the past…

Blizzard confirmed late last month that, as pretty much everyone already suspected, Diablo 3 won’t be falling into our sweaty mitts this year. Yes, there are beta keys to pray for, but unless you’re some kind of elite journalist, media juggernaut or high-profile WoW guild, you’ll probably be praying a long time to no avail.

What of Runic Games, then, and their game which looks set to steal the ARPG crown in the meantime? Sticking true to the roots from which the team grew, they too haven’t let slip any official release date for Torchlight 2, other than the hallowed quote of “sometime in 2011″ – blargh, the suspense!

To ease the interminable wait, you might want to spare a glance toward one of these two alternatives.

Drakensang Online - hanging around street cornersFirst, you can dive straight in to Drakensang Online‘s open beta. It’s a browser-based game, and thanks to Java it’s far more playable and graphically attractive than you may initially think (no huge downloads, either!). The cash shop sells the usual selection of stuff like XP boosts and special item sets, but in my experience it’s entirely optional and – if you do have money to spare – it’s more balanced and better value for money than a lot of other similar games. While it only has two character classes and suffers noticeably from production-line armour making everyone look the same, the game is otherwise quite polished and the developers seem to be working hard to capitalise on its potential for the future.

Path of Exile - ooh, stompy!Something else to check out is Path of Exile, a much darker and grittier affair that fans of early ARPGs should definitely appreciate – it has a good selection of loot and a system of gaining skills through socket gems, alongside a novel way of recharging your healing and mana flasks by killing enemies. Unfortunately it’s in closed beta as I write this, so you’ll need to register an account there and hope you get lucky with their random hourly giveaways (or have some kind soul pass you a spare key). My words of wisdom would be that you should definitely try and play it through whatever means possible – it has “rising star” written all over it and has picked up some good press from the various gaming expos of the past couple of months.

There are other forms of free click-kill-loot entertainment out there but they mostly fall into the smelly category of “Korean grindfest”, so I’ve deliberately avoided mentioning them. What games (ARPG or otherwise) are you playing to while away the days between now and loot-filled heaven?

For this week’s GMM you might want to immerse yourself in the atmosphere a bit by getting out your graph paper and grabbing some “potions” from the fridge. Things may get slightly fantastic…

It’s hard to talk about music in the 8-bit era without dropping the name of Rob Hubbard into the mix somewhere. He created so many legendary pieces of music that it’s hard to avoid addressing him as “High Grand Musical Master” or, more simply, “God”. There are hundreds of remixes of his compositions and it’s sad but fair to say that the larger portion of them aren’t very good. I hope you will share my opinion that this particular track doesn’t fall into that category…

Zolyx’s Game Music Monday #4: OJ Oscillation – Master of Magic (Medieval Cover)

The game itself, Master of Magic, is completely unrelated to Simtex‘s Civ-like creation that you may be thinking of. Published by Mastertronic back in 1985, should you find yourself in possession of a suitable emulator and game image, I would recommend trying it! Oh, and if you do, I really wasn’t joking about the graph paper… well, unless you enjoy being hopelessly lost, in which case, no need to worry about it. :P

Dungeon DefendersIt’s been a long time coming, but the wait is finally coming to a close!

Developers Trendy Entertainment have had something of an epic journey in getting their hybrid 3PS / tower-defence / action-RPG game up and running. Initially created as an Unreal Development Kit prototype before games such as Sanctum or Orcs Must Die loomed large on our collective indie radars, the characterful Dungeon Defenders was slated for a release around this time last year. But suddenly… something happened. Something bad. Yep - Microsoft and a bankrupt third-party publisher happened, that’s what.

Fortunately the Trendy devs were able to keep their heads above water by releasing an iOS and Android miniversion – Dungeon Defenders: First Wave – while the console and PC side of things was being resolved. The wait has been a strain but now we can look forward to the action beginning later this month – on the 18th for PSN and the 19th for PC digital platforms like Steam, Impulse, D2D and GamersGate. No doubt this will bolster the already impressive-looking launch title lineup for Sony’s PSVita handheld, something they arguably need to make people forget the events of earlier in the year…

But I digress. I’m hyped again, even though I didn’t think I would be after having to wait this long (yes, I’m an impatient git who frequently demands instant gratification). Roll on the 19th!

Aha! I know, cutting it fine again, but never fear – Game Music Monday continues onwards and sidewards with one of my all-time favourite remixes!

The Bitmap Brothers game from which most people will know this track was a bit of a Marmite title. A lot of people loved it for the amazing gameplay but there were also those who thought it was just too difficult. I myself never did beat Gods, but I definitely enjoyed trying…

Zolyx’s Game Music Monday #3: daXX – Gods Intro (DaxxTRS Remix)

Richard Joseph made something pretty special when he adapted the original music by Nation XII. Daxx’s mix doesn’t mess it about – it simply waxes and buffs it up a bit without doing anything to ruin the beat. For me this is pretty much the perfect remix, and I was surprised to see that it didn’t appear to be on YouTube yet.

As always I hope it gives you a pleasant few minutes of listening to ease those Monday blues!