This Video Game Grooves podcast episode finds itself bookended between “magicians making machine gun sounds” and “undeniable cello” somehow, so figure that out. We’re joined by Chehade Boulos from Mana Wave Media to talk about the work his young label is doing and how he plans to win the three-way-standoff with VGG cohost Caleb and Hiroki Kikuta. We begin this extraordinary discussion with Anthony’s feature of Magician Lord, which is itself one of the better-known releases on the extraordinary Neo Geo. We appreciate its preposterous gameplay and its equally awesome music score by Yuka Watanabe. The Neo Geo exists in its own special world, including its sound, and we immerse ourselves in the experience while sparing ourselves the financial burden of the singular game console. We then let Chehade entrance us with The First Tree, the first release from his burgeoning label. We spend time talking about the game itself and its rather low-key development philosophy, and discuss how the “cinematic” score by Josh Kramer (and cello by Tina Guo) elevate the entire thing to make it an unassuming hit across multiple platforms. We take a moment to discuss the relationship between the most rudimentary of creative work being done in video games and how music forms a synesthesia to become a new entity in your mind and experience.
…but that gets a little too deep so we head over to new releases and announcements to get you in on that dirty capitalism you love to hate.
Outro: “Magician’s Dream” – Magician Lord, by Yuka Watanabe
Death’s Gambit (Serenity Forge)
Windbound (Mana Wave Media)
Star Stories (Super Mario Galaxy arrangement) (Mana Wave Media)
Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania (iam8bit)
Evergate (Black Screen Records)
Power Stone (Ship To Shore PhonoCo)
NARITA BOY (Studio Koba)
Incredibox – The Unreleased (Bandcamp)
Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker (Square Enix NA) (Square Enix EU) (Square Enix UK)
Jettomero: Hero of the Universe (Stumpy Frog Records, EU) (Channel 3 Records, US)
Sable (Channel 3 Records) (Mondo) (Light in the Attic)