As another year comes into place and the one we just finished slowly slinks into the past, so too comes the time when Mirby must stop being lazy and start writing articles again instead of letting the release dates of albums fade into the obscuring mists of time. With a new year comes new articles, and thereâ€™s no better article to bring it in than a retrospective of 2011. A lot of things happened this year, even moreÂ than in 2010, so Iâ€™ll keep it brief. And so, here begins the retrospective.
ReMix: ThaSauceÂ kicked things off on January 4 with three mixes; two from theÂ SonicÂ gamesÂ and one fromÂ Super Metroid. OverClocked ReMix posted their first mix of 2011 on the following day; this one wasÂ a mellow rock trackÂ fromÂ ilp0, remixing â€œGold Mineâ€ from the SNES game Wild Guns. With the mixpost came a call from djpretzel. â€œIf thereâ€™s one theme Iâ€™d like to personally endorse for 2011, itâ€™s ReMixing unmixed games.â€ Weâ€™ll see if his endorsement held up through the year. And then, on the tenth of January, the world gotâ€¦ The Answer.
No, not the self-help book, theÂ Armored Core Tribute Album.Â Mattias HÃ¤ggstrÃ¶m GerdtÂ headed up this album, featuringÂ Jillian AversaÂ andÂ DragonAvengerÂ as well. And then, on January 27th, SEGAÂ called OCR outÂ for having zero SEGA Pico remixes.
On February 3, OCR posted their first Pico remix courtesy ofÂ zircon; it wasÂ a mellow mixÂ from Tails and the Music Maker. Just four days later,Â Heroes vs. VillainsÂ was released. PittingÂ the Bad DudesÂ against OCR regulars, it took hero themes and villain themes from various franchises; OCR took the heroes and Bad Dudes took the villains. The result was a delight; the pairs of tracks work well on their own, but combined creates a melodious melee, one where each track plays off its companion. Near the end of the month, another original soundtrack was released on OCR, this one forÂ Missile Master Episode 1: Invasion; it was composed byÂ Kunal, one of the Bad Dudes. Fitting for the other album release that month.
March started off immediately, with the long-awaited PokÃ©mon album,Â The Missingno Tracks, dropping on the first. Paying tribute to music from the series so far (except for the then-unreleased Black/White), it was two discs of remixes ranging various styles. On the 25th, OCR released another pureÂ Joshua MorseÂ album, this one for the Mega Man series. EntitledÂ The Robot Museum, it took a single track from each of the first 8 games (along with the Data Base Accessed theme from Mega Man and Bass), and got the JM touch applied. Finally, on March 29,Â Benjamin BriggsÂ released hisÂ Attention Deficit EP, an eclectic mix of styles all containing his chippy touch.
April started off withÂ another OCR prank, this time a â€œrevealâ€ of the full yearâ€™s album lineups, totaling thirty-eight new albums. Some gems included â€œHers – Female Character Themes by Female Artists,â€ â€œUp, Up, Down, Down Lower – Porn Grooves of Game Tunes,â€ and â€œBeyond the Beyond – Beyond the Beyond the Beyond,â€ among others. Alongside the revelation of all of OCR’s albums for 2011, ThaSauce released the soundtrack for Fasto the Speedhog 2. The long-awaited follow-up to the original Fasto the Speedhog, it blew away listeners, many preferring it to the soundtrack for Sonic 4: Episode 1.Â In more realistic news,Â Sonic the Hedgehog: The Sound of SpeedÂ was released on the twelfth, completing the trilogy of Sonic albums on OCR. Though it was a single disc, the entire album was full of gems. Or should I sayâ€¦ emeralds?
May was a relatively quiet month. Support OCR Month, which usually happened in April, got off to a late start and carried into May. Though the goal was set at $5,000, people went abobe and beyond to bring the total for 2011 to an amazing $7,514! Incredible rally from supporters to get that much to OCR in just a month. halc released hisÂ Pixel Perfect LPÂ on the 16th, which fit perfectly withÂ his EPÂ from the previous year. Together, the two create a complete album, and a good one too!
MalcosÂ releasing hisÂ It Started in 2012Â album in June. Equal parts orchestral and electronic, the album takes the listener on a quest as it details future events that will occur in a universe separate from our own. And while not strictly music-related, everyoneâ€™s favorite person to blame Liontamer AKA Black Dynamite and his long-time girlfriend Paige became engaged this month as well. WillRock also released his own EP on the 19th, entitledÂ Refractions of a Dream. Loosely inspired by Lewis Carrollâ€™s classic â€œAlice in Wonderlandâ€ and possibly also â€œThrough the Looking Glass,â€ the album is comprised of some pretty trippy songs. Seriously, I blame this album for all my sleeping problems (not really). Also of note was the general publicâ€™s introduction to the OverClocked Plaid Muffins, through the mixpost ofÂ â€œSka Buffet (All You Can Eat: Clean Version)â€, a clean cut of their track on the upcoming Milky Way Wishes album.
July may not have kicked off with a â€œFour for the Fourthâ€ as in 2010, but it give usÂ NiGHTS: Lucid DreamingÂ on the fifth. Worked on with love for the game, Stevo Bortz, akaÂ Level 99Â or he of the awesome beard, the track featured two discs that took the listener on a journey through the game. Except guided by music instead of some flying jester. This was also the first album I reviewed without being familiar with the source material; doesnâ€™t really matter, as the album is fantastic either way. Also in July, YouTube favoriteÂ FamilyJules7xÂ began a hiatus from his weekly game music guitar covers; after a year of releasing a song weekly, he felt the need to relax. He ended Year 1 withÂ a cover of the Super Mario 64 Credits theme.
August happened to be Metroidâ€™s 25th anniversary, so a bunch of Metroid music was released. First it wasÂ Harmony of a HunterÂ on the 7th, and thenÂ Theophanyâ€™sÂ Crystal FlashÂ EP later that same day.ShnabubulaÂ and a friend also made a tribute song for the anniversary along withÂ a video, which was laterÂ featured on IGN. The song itself wasÂ posted on the 12th. On August 14, Mazedude revealed his self-proclaimed opusÂ American Pixels, the long awaited follow-up to 2006â€™sÂ American Album. It will remix a bunch of songs from American composers, including Jake Kaufman and Danny Baranowsky. August 15th brought the release of Amphibiousâ€™s debut EP,Â Oceans. A soothing aural trip into the ocean, through its deeps, and back out once more, it was an excellent effort. Nario released an EP on the 19th, entitledÂ More of Me. A chippy mix of a bunch of different songs, itâ€™s a rather nice listen on the whole.
This was even referenced in the albumâ€™s trailer, and remedied shortly thereafter withÂ Rockinâ€™ Sockinâ€™ Cinder Blockinâ€™ – A Concrete Man Remix EP. Spurred on by this grave injustice to the most concrete of â€˜bots,Â DarkeSwordÂ arranged an emergency mixing round. Calling on all mixers via the forums, DarkeSword challenged everyone to make a mix in one weekâ€™s time. The album was posted a week thereafter, album art and all. A great tragedy was indeed averted (and the also neglected Castle of Evil got a mix from Jason Covenant, formerly known as Prophecy.) Jimmy Hinson, akaÂ Big Giant Circles, also released a chiptune album on the 12th, entitledÂ Impostor Nostalgia, withÂ virtâ€™sÂ Bloodrayne: Betrayal Official SoundtrackÂ released throughÂ UbiktuneÂ the following day. Shnabubula also released hisÂ Game GenieÂ album, a marvelous collection of original songs. The Binding of Isaac was also released at the end of September, withÂ a soundtrackÂ byÂ Danny Baranowsky. The style was similar to hisÂ Super Meat Boy soundtrack, which is to say it, too, was excellent.
October was nowhere near as busy as the previous month (though that was mostly due to Concrete Manâ€™s omission), but it was a good month nonetheless. The tenth heralded the release ofÂ Super Dodge Ball: Around the World, another of OCRâ€™s albums that had been in the works for several years. Itâ€™s never planned that way, but thereâ€™s a few where that has happened (such as 2010â€™sÂ Threshold of a DreamÂ or 2009â€™sSummoning of Spirits). A lot of great tracks were to be found here, including two mixes of the Versus Play theme (appropriate for the 2-player motif of versus play itself). And on Halloween, the oft-loved Castlevania mixÂ â€œJuese Belmontâ€Â finally made it to OCR. Albeit it was by Shael Riley and the Double Ice Backfire (who covered the song as part of the Kickstarter campaign for their album â€œUltimate Songs from the Pitâ€) and not the original Disk Mastah Smokabitch. Longtime OCR members may say otherwise though, and for good reason.
November kicked off withÂ â€œCover Your Light,â€Â a remix of the main theme of the Commodore 64 game Deflektor. OCR had been holding it for the German hard/glam rock band Zero Division since August of 2010, wishing it to be released after their latest album was released. However, since that took longer than expected, this mix sat around for 15 months. Itâ€™s fantastic, and sounds just like it was ripped from the â€™80s.Â The 6th heralded the release ofÂ Ultimate Songs from the Pit, the album of which the Kickstarter campaign that produced the â€œJuese Belmontâ€ mix mentioned above was for. I hope that made senseâ€¦
The first R:TS mix of the year saw release as an OCReMix on the 17th, giving JH Sounds his first mixpost and Cyril the Wolf another one; the mix is an emotional acoustic rendition of Final Zone from Sonic 1, entitledÂ â€œFinality (Radio Edit).â€Â Itâ€™s an edit from JH Soundsâ€™s albumÂ Hedgehog Hysteria, releaed in 2010. On the day of release for the latest Zelda game also came a surprise album:Â 25YEARLEGEND: A Legend of Zelda Indie Game Composer Tribute. Released on the 22nd, the album took composers of various indie games and mixed them with songs from across the entire franchise and its 25 years of captivating minds of all ages.
Danimal Cannon started December off with the release ofÂ Roots, a collection of chiptune originals. He was even nice enough to include the project files so that others could experiment with them. OCR releasedÂ BadAss: Boss ThemesÂ on the 6th; this album was just boss themes from a bunch of different games, mostly rock and metal but with a great orchestral track and a couple others too. This is also only Volume 1; the Volume 2 threadâ€™s already up and running in the projects board. The Bad Dudes released another album on the 20th, theÂ Metroid Arrange 25th Anniversary Album. Iâ€™m working on getting a copy of this to review with the other two for a Metroid Triple Review, donâ€™t worry. Also released on the 20th was the long-awaitedÂ Wild Arms: ARMed and DANGerous. This album took the the soundtrack of Wild Arms and arranged it in a multitude of styles, all of which worked wonderfully for them. And on Christmas, ProtoDome released his albumÂ BLUESCREEN, a follow-up to Juneâ€™sÂ BLUENOISE. This begs the questionâ€¦ is this the dangerous formula he saves Christmas with? Possibly, but itâ€™s awesome regardless of that. As for the theme DJP set at the yearâ€™s startâ€¦ I think that with all the albums released, it was more than met.
December also happened to beÂ Reviews MonthÂ at OCR. The premise this year? OA had attained the Power of the ReMix and was poised to destroy OCR. Thus, King djpretzel and his ReMix knights had to review mixes to deal damage. Each remix dealt 50 damage to him, but each remix OA wrote healed 50 HP. Rexy and Bahamut annihilated OA, with a lot of help from many other members. However, that was but OAâ€™s first form;Â the ground began to rumbleâ€¦ and then his true form awoke. AÂ tentacled beastÂ bearing the facial likenesses of other judges (including Jooj-cat) revealed itself and challenged the community to review 200 tracks to finish him off. Everyone kept doing their best, and I even got involved, doing 16 reviews a day on the 23rd and 24th, and then 16 more on the morning of Christmas. By Christmas night in my time zone, Final OA was down to needing a mere 20 reviews to finish him off. So I took the initiative and reviewed 20 more songs (bringing my total to 36 for that day alone; 78 total) to finish him. What were the spoils of battle, you ask? Well for every review written, a raffle ticket would be entered to win one of three $35 eStarland gift certificates or one of three custom avatars on the OCR forums. Rexy finished the month with a grand total of 200 reviews, and Bahamut with 118. It was a noble effort from all!
And now we find ourselves in 2012. The final tallies for the previous year are 206 mixposts and twelve albums on OCR, and thirty-nine mixposts for ReMix: ThaSauce. Thatâ€™s twenty-one more songs and four more albums than 2010 for OCR, and nineteen fewer for R:TS. Regardless of that, thereâ€™s plenty more to come, just as there is plenty Iâ€™ve missed (I know for a fact thereâ€™s stuff I havenâ€™t mentioned here). If you know of something else great from 2011 that wasnâ€™t mentioned here, just post it in a comment! It was a wondrous year for the community, and I know that 2012 will be even better! So until next time, game on!