Game Music Revue: Famicom Music


Famicom Music 

  • Credited Composer: Nintendo Sound Team (Koji Kondo, Hirokazu Tanaka, Yukio Kaneoka, Akito Nakatsuka)
  • Released May 25, 1986
  • Label: G.M.O./Alfa Records
  • VGMdb Information Page

This was the first compilation release that G.M.O records put out after the original Video Game Music, and way to start the show with the showstopper guys. Continue reading

Game Music Revue: Darius – Taito Game Music Vol. 2


Darius – Taito Game Music Vol. 2

  • Credited Composer: Zuntata
  • Released June 25, 1987
  • Label: G.M.O./Alfa Records
  • VGMdb Information Page

If Gradius is the grandfather of side-scrolling shoot-em-ups, then Darius is it’s weird uncle.

(In case you’re wondering, in this analogy R-Type is the cousin with the cool toys who won’t let you play with them.) Continue reading

Adventures In Mario UFO Catchers


Japan is one of the few places in the world where arcades still thrive, and this is largely due to UFO catchers, or what we in the States call crane games.

Most arcades dedicate at least one floor entirely to the machines, which can range from simple and relatively easy candy prize dispensers, to incredibly difficult/nigh impossible yen sinks that withhold a variety of amazing surprises.

I pretty much avoided these things the first six months I was here. I thought they were too damn hard, and I rarely saw prizes that I wanted. That was, until I discovered that many feature Mario and other Nintendo-related goodies. Then I was hooked.

Just check out some of the sweet shit I’ve scored. Continue reading

Tower Records’ Mario Celebration!


It’s Mario’s 30th anniversary, and to celebrate Tower Records in Japan is pulling out all the stops with a massive summer sale campaign featuring a bevy of exclusive Mario goodies. Myself, being both a Mario and Tower Records fanatic, had to check it out.

It’s pretty rad. Continue reading

Game Music Revue: Pia-Com 1

piano x computer0001

  • Credited Composer: Various
    Released November 25, 2009
    Label: Dog Ear Records/Sony Music Distribution
    VGMdb Information Page

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Game Music Revue: The Konamic Game Freaks

konamicKonamic Game Freaks (Compilation)

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Game Music Revue: Video Game Music (1984)

Since moving to Japan I have bought a lot of game music. Seriously, like probably too many. In my travels and adventures in buying these LPs and CDs, I’ve discovered that there isn’t a lot in the way of editorial information online in regards to these releases. Sure, there’s the VGMDB, but that’s just factual info on content, I mean reviews and more in-depth information.

While I don’t consider myself the end-all expert on game music (my lack of knowledge/interest in RPGs kind of makes that impossible) I’d like to think my obsessive collecting has given me some credence to talk about these releases. So I present to you the Game Music Revue, where I will take a look at all the crazy, bizarre and insane (as well as the boring, mundane and not very good) game music releases that I’ve bought and continue to buy in this wonderful country.

And I felt that it would be best to start at the beginning.

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Vinyl Review – The Music Of Grand Theft Auto V


Grand Theft Auto V was one of the biggest and best games of 2013. Its re-release on the PS4 and Xbox One also made it one the marquee titles of 2014, and it’s upcoming PC release might make it a standout release of 2015 as well. It’s a rare feat for the same game to be a newsmaker three years in a row, but GTAV certainly deserves it. Despite its heavily problematic elements, which includes a wicked misogyny streak and more than a few disgusting digs at minorities, the game is an absolute blast to play. This is in large part due to its amazing immersive world, which in itself is largely due to the stellar in-game soundtrack. Continue reading

Check Out This Dumb Thing I Bought: So Many Game Consoles

For the first seven or so months I was in Japan I really didn’t focus that much on buying video games. For the most part this was because I had a real shit TV with horrendous input lag, but I don’t know, I also had a general disinterest in playing games for a while. I think it went back to my depression/anxiety that I wrote about earlier. Whenever I feel down or out of it I make an active effort to get the hell out of my head and outside of my place.

But a return to a somewhat normal mental state + a new TV + HELLACIOUS SUMMER HEAT really made me dive back into gaming the past few months. I had bought a Retron 5, so that covered my basic needs. But with my Japanese skills more than severely limited, I soon found myself wanting to branch out into newer “retro” consoles.

This was around the time that I bought my Hanshin Tigers Gamecube, which also led me to make another decision; if I was going to buy any more old game consoles, I was only going to buy really weird/stupid/amazing variants.

Because any asshole can by a PS2 – it takes a special kind of person to buy a pink one.


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Check Out This Dumb Thing I Bought: Hanshin Tigers Gamecube

Japan has this chain of second-hand stores called Book-Off. Like it’s name suggests, it started as a second-hand bookstore, but over the years its morphed into a general secondhand media store. At Book-Off you can buy DVDs, CDs, video games, and even VHS tapes and laserdiscs at some locations.

Book-Offs are dope, and  have become my go to spots for finding the weird and unusual, usually at cut-rate prices. Thanks to my crate-digging at Book-Off I’ve found countless game music CDs on the cheap, a few weird movies, and even some great classic GBA titles. But last week’s score has to be a crowning achievement.





I don’t know why. Continue reading