Today it was announced that gaming music label Brave Wave Productions have teamed with DotEmu and Lizardcube to create the soundtrack for the upcoming Streets of Rage 4. This means the strong talent already working with Brave Wave are assembled and are working on the new music! Who is involved? Series stalwart Yuzo Koshiro, Motohiro Kawashima (Streets of Rage 2, Streets of Rage 3), Yoko Shimomura (Street Fighter 2), Keiji Yamagishi (Ninja Gaiden) and our friend Hideki_Naganuma (Jet Set Radio, Sonic Rush). This undoubtably means we will see some sort of soundtrack release from Brave Wave.
After the break, check out a preview video featuring Yuzo Koshiro.
While some people will say that remixing a track of Persona 3 isn’t a huge deal, it is when its Hideki Naganuma who has delivered some of the best remixed soundtracks of all time. If you didn’t know Hideki Naganuma is known for composing soundtracks such as Jet Set Radio, Jet Set Radio Future, Ollie King, Sonic Rush, and more. The last time he worked within SEGA was in 2012 when he did minor work on Yakuza 5.
Seems that he is back, at least at Atlus. He has confirmed via twitter that has joined the Persona 3 Dancing Moon Night soundtrack and will be remixing “When the Moon’s Reaching out the Stars”, which you can hear above. Another company name that made the remix list is Yuu Miyake of Namco-Bandai fame, who is doing a remix of “Deep Breath Deep Breath”. But he has been on Persona soundtracks in the past. Nice to get new soundtrack featuring a track by Hideki Naganuma, even if its just a remix. Hey, maybe SEGA or Atlus will hire him more in the future. Here is hoping.
Persona 3: Dancing Moon Night hits PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita, in Japan, on May 24, 2018. As far as I know there hasn’t been a Western release announced yet. Atlus plans to also release Persona 5: Dancing Star Night on the same.
While SEGA’s arcade skateboarding title Ollie King is often given Smilebit credit, as mentioned in our kick-off retrospective, the title is still very much an Amusement Vision game. Still, given the Smilebit talent involved in Ollie King‘s creation, I can easily see why people make the mistake. Hell, I thought the game was a Smilebit arcade game until I played it for the first and only time at a GameWorks in Schaumburg, Illinois back in 2005 and saw that “AV” logo. While Ollie King‘s art style and graphics are very much in the same style as Smilebit’s JSRF, and what really pushes the Smilebit feel over the edge is the incredible soundtrack from SEGA music veteran Hideki Naganuma. Not only does the game feature original tracks including pulse-pounders like “Boarder 70”, “Let It Go”, and “Too Fast”, slower celebrative tracks like “Funk to the Top”, as well as the lovingly wacky “Brother Goes Away”, the game also features two remixes of original tracks from Jet Set Radio Future!
The question of “What makes a SEGA game a SEGA game?” is often debated amongst fans of the company. Some believe it is as simple as looking at the package and spotting the SEGA logo, others believe that there is a magical mix of various elements that give that true “SEGA feel”. While I’ll admit that I believe any game funded by and owned by the company qualifies, I can’t help but feeling that some games have a certain je ne sais quoi (or is that je ne sega quoi?) that elevates them to another level.
Jet Set Radio is one of those games. It is a game that oozes style, featuring unique characters that are adventurous and edgy. The game puts a unique spin on established concepts, and pays tribute to the company’s arcade past by featuring fast paced gameplay. Most importantly of all, the game carries on the grand SEGA tradition of memorable music – so much so that I’d argue that Jet Set Radio is one of the greatest SEGA soundtracks of all time.
Set to appear on PC/Mac/Linux, XboxOne/PS4, as well as the Wii U if a stretch goal is met ($100,000), Hover intends to feature “a fun and cartoon style”, “immersive and dynamic sensations”, a “grandiose and technologic environment”, and (if a $60,000 stretch goal is met) original music tracks from Hideki Naganuma of Jet Set Radio fame!
Here is a trailer for the indie title, Hover, which tries to blend the styles of Mirror’s Edge and Jet Set Radio. I guess that isn’t all, Hideki Naganuma is now composing music for Hover, since he did most of the music for Jet Set Radio, expect it to stay funky in style.
There is a God! While we’ve been expecting the Naganuma-centric version of the Jet Set Radio soundtrack to hit, not only did we get that, but Sega also included a JSRF soundtrack with all of Naganuma’s tunes and the soundtrack to Ollie King! Ollie $#@king King! Why are you still reading this?! Shrink this window, go to iTunes, buy the soundtracks, listen, then come back here and comment!
Hideki Naganuma has a very distinct style that is very difficult to miss, often mixing Japanese techno with hip-hop and funk. He’s probably one of the most notable composers to ever work with SEGA, having contributed a number of songs to games like Jet Set Radio, Jet Set Radio Future, and Ollie King. His work set the tone for these games, and meshed very well with the off beat Japanese style of these games.
Needless to say, his work on Sonic Rush is similarly revered. It’s composed of some of the most eclectic, energetic and unique songs you’ll hear in a Sonic soundtrack, such as the above song. Fans of Naganuma will also be happy to hear that as of today, the Sonic Rush soundtrack is now available on iTunes for everyone to download!
This week’s Tuesday Tunes will showcase the music of Hideki Naganuma, one of the funkiest composers working in video games today. The song above is from Ollie King, and as you can see, it’s as out there as anything else he’s done. If you really allow yourself to zone into it and appreciate all the craziness that goes on in a typical Naganuma track, you’ll see that there’s very little else like it. His work for the Jet Set Radio series remains some of the industry’s most iconic; his funky, up-beat, and totally unpredictable tracks really set the scene for these games and, arguably, played a major role in making them as great as they were.
Many people remember the song entitled “That’s Enough” (which you can hear after the break) in particular, mostly, I think, for its use of the rather memorable line, “the music just turns me on,” a sentiment that fits the Jet Set Radio games like a glove. Since then Naganuma’s created music for other SEGA games, including the first Sonic Rush game, a track or two from Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz, and much of the music for the cel shaded arcade skateboarding title Ollie King. In my opinion though Jet Set Radio and its sequel remain his crowning achievements, games that made brilliant use of a sound he pretty much defined.
And though his other work may not be quite as well known, his sense of style, his ability to surprise, and, of course, the breakneck speed at which his songs propel themselves forward, all are aspects that carry across his entire body of work, unquestionably demonstrating his style, talent, and invention. Keep reading to hear a very familiar track from, of course, Jet Set Radio.