It’s a highly melodic episode of The State of Gaming Podcast for May 2020 – which can only mean one thing: game music! Our jam this month is all about the return of acclaimed gaming musician Yuzo Koshiro to the genre he does best and the game wrapped around it. Assisting in this booty-thumping boogy are none other than hosts Cory Galliher and Nathan Evans, greased up and ready to take things back to the streets. The streets of gaming, that is.
In what appears to be the final gasps of the nasty coronavirus pandemic there’s still lots to talk and gab about what’s shaking up the gaming industry for May 2020. There’s a lot so let’s get to it!
The Streets Rage Once More
Speaking of taking things back to the Streets – and return of Yuzo Koshiro – that’s exactly what you’ll get with Streets of Rage 4, an all-new game reactivating a franchise that’s been dormant longer than most of you listening have been alive. Developer Lizardcube (along with Popzara fav Ben Fiquet) has crafted the next chapter in Sega’s classic arcade brawler that makes all the jaw-shattering, bone-busting punches and head-cracking jump kicks look and play better than ever. Even better, Koshiro returns to the franchise, assisting new head composer Olivier Deriviere and several other major contributors.
As a game as famous for its soundtrack as its gameplay does Streets of Rage 4 live up to its lofty expectations? Generally, yes, and this leads our hosts to a lengthy reflection about some of the best and brightest tracks ever produced on Sega’s 16-bit powerhouse console. Shinobi, anyone?
Streaming Dreams and Mega Fun!!
As Sony and Microsoft prepare to unleash their PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X megaconsoles, megasoftware giants like Epic Games are also preparing their next-gen gaming engines to make them sing, like the just-revealed Unreal Engine 5. But what can they offer, besides better visuals and more improved game physics? One look at “last-gen” graphics on Sony’s PlayStation 4 with a game like Ghost of Tsushima and you can’t help but wonder.
Being online these days risks seeing massive spoilers for upcoming games, and with Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us 2 about to release it’s been a tough road for the hugely anticipated sequel. Thankfully, our hosts skip the spoilers and focus on what fans might – and should – expect from this and other games where simply watching gameplay has become a kind of active participation.
On the lighter side of game streaming, Cory reminds listeners that the sensation isn’t even new, or populated solely by megafans and multi-colored hairstyles and cleavage. Enter GameCenter CX, AKA Retro Game Master, the classic Japanese show where comedian Shinya Arino plays some of the best – and worst – classic console games for your amusement. The pandemic has ushered in a revival of the show’s best episodes on streaming channels around the world. Have you tuned in yet?
Speaking of classic gaming, remember the TurboGraphx-16, NEC’s early 1990s “16-bit” console? Even if not, that hasn’t stopped Konami from readying their answer to Nintendo’s NES/SNES Classic and Sega Genesis mini micro-consoles with the TurboGraphx-16 Mini, which arrives packed with some of the console’s best, including Bonk’s Adventure, Air Zonk, Ys Book I & 2, and even Japanese hits like Castlevania: Rondo of Blood and Snatcher. Your import-friendly hosts take a rose-colored trip down memory lane about their favorite (and lesser-known) TurboGraphx/P.C. Engine games, an impressive lineup that skews heavily on the Japanese side. Ganbatte!!