ReMix: Last Ninja 2: Back with a Vengeance "Central Park (Metal Mix)"

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Last Ninja 2: Back with a Vengeance

Get your weekend started off RIGHT with some Last Ninja 2 rock/metal action from newcomer Commando 64, aka Aki Järvinen:

"Here is my version of the ingame music from Last Ninja 2. Artist name is "Commando 64". Original composed by Matt Gray. All instruments and programming by me. Watch out for the solo in the end. Equipment: V-Amp 2, FL Studio 9 Producer edition XXL, Sonar, Sound forge, Jackson Soloist guitar."

Some side trivia: Composer Matt Gray went on to great success in the mainstream music industry and was part of the team behind Cher's autotune-popularizing "Believe" single, back in the day. Crazy, eh? So let me begin by saying that we don't get enough C64 and Amiga ReMixes. We don't get enough C64 and Amiga ReMixes. You too, Atari ST, I wouldn't forget you either. The Commodore systems sorta have their own scenes, and maybe that's part of it, but I'd love to see more artists submit mixes of games from those and other less-represented platforms. Judges were unanimous; OA writes:

"Pretty nice arrangement, and definitely a logical jump from the source material. Nice playing, with some really excellent soloing, and some tasteful use of synths as well. I wish the ending wasn't a fade-out though, as it just sounds sortof cheap compared to the rest of the quality of the track. The synth breakdown was nice, and transitioned well. The song plays it somewhat close to the original, but there are a good deal of minor interpretations, drum writing, and of course the soloing. I really like it, and it's an excellent source."

Agreed on the fadeout ending; I'm not 110% anti-fadeout across the board like some folks, but this one felt a little limp compared to the rockage-outage of the rest of the arrangement. Ultimately it didn't bother me too much, and the general chutzpah & aggression more than compensated. Mr. Wheeler concurs:

"not much to add here. I didn't have any big complaints with the mix, the performances and production were both solid (loved all the guitar slides and harmonics), and the arrangement is easily recognizable. never heard of this game, but great choice of source; reminds me of the Earthworm Jim soundtracks. nice work."

The whole Last Ninja series are pretty epic, and have some of the best music the SID was ever graced with, so check 'em all out when you get the chance, and in the meantime enjoy this epic metal jam from Commando 64!

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Crulex
on 2012-11-05 11:31:59

That intro is sick and hard-hitting as hell! Now this is the kind of thing I think of when I think of action, fighting, and maybe ninjas in the park. I've got to agree with the badass 80's feeling from this, especially in the purposeful guitar shredding. Sweet drumming near the second minute. The breakdown was a great break from the guitar and I didn't think it lasted too long, but I can see why some might. Freaking insane soloing and ending for this amazing ReMix.

WesternZypher
on 2012-03-23 11:26:25

Now I want to see NINJAS SHREDDING METAL in the Park.

Bahamut
on 2011-12-15 09:24:40

Good stuff, I'll take any good metal mix any day :) . I think the rhythms would benefit from a heavier sound to them for this song, it'd give them more oomph. Otherwise, I like the rock rolling feel this song has. I have to agree with djp the judges on the ending - what a copout to a generally solid mix! Continue with some soloing before an end or something!

I'd love to hear more though!

OA
on 2011-12-12 11:58:54

I love all the ridiculously showy dive bombs and shredding on this. It's like a ninja is shredding up stuff with his katana! This is definitely great fight music, and the only thing that I think that could be better is the ending.

Overall, a great track, and some powerful playing- I'm definitely excited to see what Matt comes up with next! :-)

Rexy
on 2011-12-12 06:28:24

With a name like Commando 64, I'm hoping you do an actual Commando mix down the line :razz:

Jest aside, this is actually a strong arrangement provided within the realms of the C64 community. Oftentimes when coming towards sources like this one may be expected for something almost entirely close to the source due to their complexity, though while there has been some change-ups here and there in regards to melodic progression it retains that familiarity with those familiar with the Last Ninja source material. The harmonics work at 2:10, though a little sour sounding at one point, can be seen as a key element for expansion, as was the more down-beat section at 2:35 set to offer a slight builddown towards going towards the rest of the track. The sweeps coming in at 4:50 were also very sublime, based around the last 30 seconds of the source; and it goes to show Commando's colors as a lead player as well.

This might've been a rambled paragraph, but to cut it short: C64, well personalised, nice playing chops. :wink:

Production-wise we have clear recording values for the guitar, though I can't help but notice the drums felt a little flimsy and didn't quite match with the quality of the synth instrumentation. But for what they are they fit the tone of the track appropriately. What seems to be the splitting decision more than anything though, and I believe it's been said already, is the weak fade-out ending which also involves the solo in it as well. I can understand the artistic direction given the nature of the source material, but in a genre like metal you've got to find more of an explosive way to finalise it.

As it is though, we've got a huge amount of promise from Commando 64, and I really hope he returns to OCR some point in the future with a stellar followup. I'll be keeping a hold on this one!

Martin Penwald
on 2011-09-10 11:12:39

Nice, powerful stuff, especially around 1:40 and 2:10. Synth breakdown is good, but as was said before, it is a tad too long. Solo is awesome, but comes in way late and is abused for the very abrupt fade-out.

For some reason I get a strong 80's vibe from this mix. Makes me want to put on a red headband a denim jacket and watch some Van Damme movies.

Hell yeah!

Fridge
on 2011-09-05 23:59:31

Great mix. Don't know the source, but the 80s metal feel here was strong. Solid drums, sweet soloing, the synth breakdown was nice, and enough variation all around that things didn't overstay their welcome despite the 5.5 minute running time. As said, if there's a fault it's in the fade-out... typically if a rock/metal track's gonna fade out on soloing it's a nice long fade, this one just felt a bit abrupt, especially right in the last second or so. Still awesome though.

Garpocalypse
on 2011-08-15 00:31:09

I was a little unsure of it at first but as I listened to it, it kept getting better.

For some reason I get a strong 80's vibe from this mix. Makes me want to put on a red headband a denim jacket and watch some Van Damme movies.

William Jackson
on 2011-08-09 10:27:09

Just heard this playing on http://ocr.rainwave.cc/ and I love it!

eshman
on 2011-08-07 16:26:13

While I'm not a big fan of rock remixes, I have to admit that this one is rockin' from the get-go and it feels just like a nice cup of expresso just slammed you in the face first thing in the morning... get ready to dodge some joe 'cause it's comin' atcha!

Swanky
on 2011-08-07 04:59:15

Great rendition, could've shortened the break though as I felt it takes away some of the arc for the final solo. Still having great melodie lines and riffing qualities.

DominusVita
on 2011-08-06 09:44:57

2 words come to my mind hearing this:

Freakin...heavy...metal. It's got solid riffs and some seriously blistering solos - I could easily have seen that on the soundtrack for Brütal Legend. Very good stuff indeed. If you're a metal fan, it's certainly worth the download.

KyleJCrb
on 2011-08-06 00:44:43

Been loving this one for a long time now, since playing it back on NGI #139. Great to see it here and getting more exposure, especially since this is probably my favorite song from the Last Ninja games. Nice work, Mr. Järvinen!

Subz1987
on 2011-08-05 18:34:05

Amazing! Nice to see you get a mix on OCR! I'm a huge fan of your Turrican 2 Intro mix and this one is just as awesome!

Brandon Strader
on 2011-08-05 18:23:16

Awesome mix. Lots of talent. Worst fade-out EVAR.

Good clarity and tone overall, very deft solos.