ReMix: Metal Slug 2: Super Vehicle-001/II 'No Need to Reload'

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Metal Slug 2: Super Vehicle-001/II

Back from Philadelphia and Video Games Live, which exceeded expectations and kicked generally large amounts of posterior. After picking up pixietricks in Baltimore, we drove up to zircon's dorm at Drexel, then left for Dave and Buster's, where the VGL after party for Wizard World was happenin', and hung out with Tommy Tallarico and company. Tommy really knows his stuff when it comes to game music and its history, and he's also a listener of OC ReMix, so the next day we managed to sneak backstage with the assistance of Paul, Paul, and Asif, who are working on a Video Game Music Documentary and were filming the event, and interviewed Tommy. We also got interviews with Michael Salvatori (Halo), Gerard Marino (God of War), Jack Wall (Myst 3/4, Jade Empire), Marcus Henderson (Guitar Hero I & II) and Martin Leung (videogamepianist.com) - the whole thing is available in an 87-minute long podcast extravaganza at OC ReMix's official podcast, VGDJ. It was quite the ego rush for yours truly, as I managed to end up on the meet and greet panel, signing posters and programs alongside of Marcus and Michael - about one in five people knew what OCR was, and the rest have hopefully checked out the site since then. Afterwards we chilled and interviewed, and the general atmosphere was just really laid-back - we were sitting on the floor in the lobby of the Doubletree hotel eating pizza with some of these guys. While their talent is equal to that of the best Hollywood film composers, their egos are not, and things were overall just really groovy. I'd like to thank Marcus, Jason Hayes (who had to get up early next morning and thus couldn't do an interview), Michael, Gerard, Jack, Martin, Paul, Paul, Asif, Becky (www.gamemusicradio.com), Andy, Jill, everyone else I might be forgetting, but most of all Tommy, who's not only a badass composer, Yankees fan, and Mustang owner, but also manages to find time in there to be a really cool, friendly guy. Video Games Live is highly recommended - if you go and you've got one, be sure to wear your OC ReMix T-shirt, and say hello to Tommy for us.

Ahh, back to reality. One of the coolest things about Chuen jik sat sau, besides Andy Lau as a psychotic assassin, is that at one point during a conversation they start talking about Metal Slug. Anyone that's played SNK's series of over-the-top 2D mechanized side-scrolling genius is "in the know" when it comes to these games' amazingly intricate artwork and animation and clever situational combat, and anyone that hasn't... should. A testament to the two-dimensional heavy-lifting capabilities of the Neo-Geo, the Metal Slug games constitute legitimate, inarguable modern classics. Thank goodness, then, that - courtesy of RoeTaKa - we finally have an MS mix here at OCR. The ReMixer writes:

"The mix is guitar focused, hard hitting and constantly varies to play around the idea. From hard rock to slipping into some funk based ground, with slap bass solos and mad drumming. Basically just good fun, and fun listening. I've been playing around with guitar ideas for a while, and wanted this to be a piece to show what I could do with fake guitars. I've dipped into some metal ideas, mostly with some of the drumming and bass, but kept it as energetic as possible. The synth work is just a layer of icing on the cake, to keep a unique feel about it, along with the second phased drum kit. This was great fun to work on in the end, I wish I could've made it longer, but I feel it does enough for its time. I hope Metal Slug fans can think fondly of it too. The games are a great series and really need more coverage."

To be honest, the aggressive, even abrasive introduction initially turned me off to this mix in a big way. It took a second listen to shake my first impression and appreciate what Roe's done here; a battery of edgy guitar textures, rolling rock drums, and well-integrated synth round out the arsenal, with a volley of percussive ticks and trips for rhythmic potency. Though some felt a threshold was crossed in terms of volume and clarity, JJT summed up the majority:

"For some reason this put me in mind of the kind of synthetic music that would be played at one of those cyberpunk bars in Shadowrun. That's kind of an aside though. The guitars are cheesy, but I find them almost charming. Kind of like a hat you'd get at some gift shop that's so obnoxious that you grow really attached to it. Is this making sense? Am I making too many iffy analogies here? Anyway. The overall package that Roe presents just works for me. That's some really good drum and bass programming, son."

As a fan of the series, I can at least throw my two cents in and mention that I spent some time listening to the first and second OSTs and my general take was that they'd be very difficult to arrange; this is challenging source material to interpret, in my estimation. Ultimately, though, if you're a fan of more rough-and-tumble production and aggressive combinations of guitar, acoustic and electric drums, and synth, some of the judges' concerns won't bug you as much. After all, if you're trying to take on an entire army with a handgun, a partner (if you're lucky), and a boatload of grit, you're probably not gonna be listening to slickly-produced trance. Different, risky stuff from RoeTaKa that covers some long overdue source material with surplus energy.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
evktalo
on 2011-07-25 08:46:31
This track uses the fake guitars very well. Real nice, purposeful harsh sound. Excellent drum and bass sequencing as well. Lots of energy and power here.
--Eino
Polo
on 2011-06-25 02:02:33
Three seconds in (following a humming tone), we get a vicious invitation that sounds like: "YA READY FOR THIS? WE'RE PACKIN' FANGS AND FURY!" A fitting attention-grabber, because every guitar in this mix GAWRAOWRLZ like a foaming-at-the-mouth canine. If I become one with them, I get the urge to bite and tear off a person's flesh with my teeth.
In other less violent news, I appreciate the occasional changeup/freshener like 1:12 that acts as a buffer against the wall of sound. What I like best about the drum-led breakdown at 1:52+ isn't the industrial vibe or the way the bass slap kinda hops and slicks and slides on its time off, but rather the brief laser-like wind-down at 1:57. (Are those lasers? Cuz that's what I think of when I hear them.)
As for arrangement - Judg(e)ment's main melodic riff consists of 3 notes (1st 2 = same, 3rd is higher), notably in the beginning and after those voices LT hates, whereas No Need to Reload not only audibly pronounces those deeper notes in that riff span, but gives it a neck, a torso, and some limbs to help it go places (higher up the scale, down in the trenches, running back to the front lines [2:11], etc.).
Sweet chills all around.
OA
on 2009-11-27 17:44:05
Wow, this track hasn't been reviewed in a looong time- like a few months after I joined the OCR forums. :O
Anyways, it's some nice sounding bass and drums mix in with a pretty cheesy sounding guitar and some cool synths to produce a track that is more than the sum of it's parts. Melodically there isn't much of a hook to grab on to, but there are a lot of great rhythms present- the drum breakdown is especially tasty, and the huge fill right before the end was very effective as well.
So while the guitars at first are pretty grating, the great rhythms really draw you in. Definitely worth a listen.
Brim
on 2006-06-23 20:20:35
Wow, its been awhile since I've listened to new remixes on this site. I like this song, a lot. The guitar's sound doesn't bother me, in fact, I like it.
Finally, Roetaka gets a YES'd mix.
Its METAL SLUG.
Two amazing features!
Martin Penwald
on 2006-06-23 08:49:01
Don't know what to say other than that I like it. Definitely going to my OCR-Rock-playlist.
Ichitootah
on 2006-06-22 05:17:37
Good on ya. :)
sheamistheninja
on 2006-06-16 10:23:51
This is music ive been waiting for for a while. ive always loved the metal slug games and the music that they have. This peice is an awsome tribute to those games. Even though the guitar is unrealistic sounding it still fits this song extremely well. You know a song is good when it makes you go back and play through your old stock of games. Definitly one of my favorites. This one is gonne be relayed for a good while. Great job on this track RoeTaka.
Signed,
-X
CIaude
on 2006-06-15 11:52:43
What I've been waiting for since I first disocovered this site in 2004. Words cannot describe how happy I am right now. Thank you Roe... I love you.
kthxshittyjudgefgtlol
Jered Cain Denton
on 2006-06-13 09:42:35
I'm just gonna say this, Roe.
You made me a fan with your work on DSoP. And this is just making me love your work even more. And it's true, this sounds perfect for the Metal Slug series.
RoeTaKa
on 2006-06-12 10:35:06
Haha, thank you everybody, it's really uplifting to have a mix on site finally! I've probably been NO'd about 20 times now, but I don't care. I hope to do more stuff soon when I get back. I'm sorry if my production really bothers people, this song was really pushing it.
Keiseth
on 2006-06-10 20:32:54
Metal Slug is given proper attention from RoeTaKa! Although I'd choose Metal Slug X over Metal Slug 2, they're basically identical anyway. This remix really captures the insanity the game offers in good supply, and dare I say... enhances it? Compliments to the Remixer! Forget all about reloading and throw this remix into your favorite playlist.
Cheese Soda
on 2006-06-10 05:30:01
Finally a metal slug remix <3
Seen the metal slug tank wandering around the page here and there but no remix xD
Well, great remix! and lately been playing all the metal slug series over and over again and this remix came with perfect timing! Great job on the remix, love every second of it. This one goin straight into my special list.
Red Shadow
on 2006-06-08 02:23:43
This will be played on repeat for a bit. Quite.
Mr. Fox
on 2006-06-07 19:28:13
Red Tailed Fox wrote: Oh yeah! Finally ever since I saw this on the To Be Posted I've been double checking the front page. This is so fucking awesome... The Slap Bass is so hot it melts in your mouth.
It has the energy, it has the groove, and the arrengment is very well put together.
Awesome stuff.
PS.: Where are you man? You and Shnab abandoned me on AIM, we were suposed to be a family... :cry:
PS2.: The sex eyes worked.

Just adding that tough the guitars are un real, they fit the song very well and like JJT said they have a certain charm...
Navi
on 2006-06-07 17:35:24
Yeah, I brought that up with him last night. I love that movie.