I hadn’t thought about the video game Alex Kid in Miracle World for probably around 20 years, until the other day I saw it was getting a re-release: a fancy, updated version for modern hardware, and one of those games where you look at the new footage and think “Yeah, that’s how I remember it looking” until you go back and look at original Master System / Megadrive footage and realise that actually what it looked like was a few dozen pixels thrown on a screen seemingly at random with barely any discernible detail and ordered to jump frantically around, the kind of thing that if you were forced to play now you wouldn’t last five minutes. I’m not going to play the remake, as I don’t want to be reminded of a) how old I am and b) how jaded I am, but knowing that it exists and is scratching a few people’s itching nostalgia is comfort enough. In my head, the soundtrack is exactly like this new track from fivepaw which is taken from his latest album, and if it’s not, I don’t want to know.
I’ve come to realise just how much of an impact computer game soundtracks – specifically the 8 and 16-bit bleeps of my Master System and Megadrive-obsessed youth – has had on the music I’ve enjoyed for the rest of my life. I compared last year’s brilliant Scacco Matto album by Lorenzo Senni to Lemmings, and now we have the outrageously prolific Patricia Taxxon back with yet another album including the wonderful Dandelions, which sounds like a cut from a modern version of a 90s Final Fantasy OST. As ever with Taxxon’s music the entire album Sapphire Apts is available to stream on YouTube, and even though Dandelions is a definite highlight, there’s plenty more nostalgic fun to be had throughout.
Like a lot of teenagers who discovered video games in the late 80s/early 90s, I played A LOT of Streets of Rage. The occasional out of control tantrum and smashed controller aside, I have very fond memories of that time, and especially of the soundtrack, so the newly released Streets of Rage 4 had a lot to live up to in that department. Happily they’ve delivered not only a fantastic game, but a brilliant OST which ropes in some of the original producers alongside newcomers like Olivier Deriviere who manage to preserve the frantic 8-bit rush of the 90s series while bringing the production bang up to date.