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2012: The Year in ReView


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Here we are again, at the start of a new year. However, just as at the start of every year, there are quite a few uncertainties about what may come in the following 365 days. Sometimes it is comforting to look back at the year that just wrapped up and see all the various things that happened. As I have done for the previous two years, I now present to you 2012: The Year In ReView.

The year started off with a bang as C-jeff released Preschtale, a prog-rock masterpiece consisting of seven parts and even featuring some guitarwork by Danimal Cannon. OverClocked ReMix also posted "The Unbroken," a Cave Story remix; containing vocals and combining synthetic and orchestral stylings, it was quite the unique mix from Nutritious. Both of these were on the first too! As for the rest of January... The long-awaited Unsung Heroes was finally released on the 24th. Consisting of remixes from underremixed games, there were plenty of gems on the album that made it a must-have.

In February, Ben Landis released his Adventures in Pixels album, combining both a comic with chiptune accompaniment. On the 3rd, housethegrate returned to OCR with a Zelda II mix entitled, "Heroes Fall." Consisting of three guitars (one steel-string, one nylon-string, and one electric), the arrangement represents a trio much like the Triforce of Zelda's lore. February 22nd brought The Music of Retro City Rampage, featuring the works of virt, Norrin Radd, and Freaky DNA. February 28th marked the premiere of Touhou Tuesday on Arecibo Radio, hosted by OverCoat and occasionally TrueStar as well! The show takes a look at things in regards to the Touhou arrangement scene, and quickly developed quite the following.

Jake Kaufman had another masterpiece not long afterwards, when FX4 released at the start of March. Though it was the fourth entry in the FX saga, this was the first to be made entirely in Famitracker. As a result, with a bit of time, effort, and the right technology, all of FX4 could be played on actual NES hardware. March 9th brought the release of ella guro's dys4ia soundtrack, which is just as great as the game it plays in. A few days after that (March 13th to be precise), an Earthbound tribute album using the soundfont from the original game was released. Entitled I Miss You - EarthBound 2012, multiple artists combined their talents to show their love for the classic. The day afterwards, OCR released the gargantuan Mega Man X: Maverick Rising. Consisting of 5 discs and 62 tracks, the album took on songs from the entire Mega Man X series (and a track from Mega Man Zero 4). The day after that, Shnabubula released NES Jams. Taking chiptune mastery as seen on his Game Genie album and combining it with live piano, the album took on various songs from NES games and continued the narrative started with Game Genie.

April brought the transformation of OverClocked ReMix into VocalClocked ReMix, featuring such classics as "

," "
," and "
." Granted, it was all part of the annual April Fool's joke, but the last one actually did become posted in the end. ThaSauce had a brief partnership with OverClocked ReMix, adopting OCR's standards and releasing a Cityville/Farmville arrangement album. However, things quickly soured due to the intervention of a certain bearded individual and the partnership broke off. As a result, ThaSauce partnered with VGMix and released the VGMix Archive, a move that stretched past the April Fool's shenanigans and aims to centralize all the various VGMix tracks in one location.

The rest of April also brought some great stuff. April 2nd brought Diddy Kong Racing: Bootleg Circuit, an EP by Benjamin Briggs and one of the first GameChops releases. The 4th brought zircon's Unearthed, a collection of various songs from within the zircon archives of the five years previous, and the 5th brought SOUNDSHOCK 2: FM FUNK TERRROR!!, a phenomenal collection of FM mastery. The first Crash Bandicoot remixes to be posted on OCR also came on the 5th, both thanks to Rexy. OCR released Pilotwings: Take Flight on the 25th, a short EP by halc that comprised the original game's soundtrack, plus two tracks by Insert Rupee: one from Pilotwings 64 and another from Pilotwings Resort.

May 3rd brought the phenomenal tracer, by coda. Telling the tale of four members of a lost space shuttle, the album takes the listener on an adventure across a strange blue planet as told by the tracer modules left in each escape pod. May 19th kicked off the start of SNESology; the Genesis/Mega Drive scene has long had people interested in the sounds and system therein (take April's SOUNDSHOCK 2, for example) but the SNES has never really had that same type of deal despite having some great tunes and sounds of its own. SNESology aims to remedy that, and already has to some extent, thanks to Shnabubula who founded the site. The 29th marked the release of Starbound, by Shnabubula. Just as with all his works, this one is a phenomenal addition to anyone's library. The end of the month marked an exclusive listen to the then-unreleased Rokko Chan Arrange album on Noise Channel Radio; due to the unfinished nature of the album, the show had no archive.

June brought the fantastic Where Good Marbles Go To Die, headed by Stemage and featuring a different guest artist on each of the album's seven tracks. June 14th brought Inverse Phase's Pretty Eight Machine, a dedication to the Nine Inch Nails album Pretty Hate Machine; as such, it reimagines the album on eight different 8-bit systems, ranging from standard fare such as Game Boy and NES to more exotic systems such as the Sega Master System and Atari 800. halc's Pixel Perfect Complete released on the 15th, ending the Pixel Perfect saga by collecting the tracks from the LP and EP and adding in some arrangements and new entries. On June 18th, OCR released Final Fantasy: Random Encounter, a metal take on the original Final Fantasy's soundtrack. "My Innermost Apocalypse" was added to The Binding of Isaac in an update on June 21; the song features guitar by FamilyJules7x, who was approached by Danny B about it after Jules did some Super Meat Boy and Binding of Isaac guitar covers on his YouTube channel. The 23rd brought the posting of VocalClocked ReMix's "...Tetris Play You" arrangement, which was great anyways. The final day of the month brought the first part of the long-awaited Mega Man 3 album by The Megas, entitled History Repeating: Blue. It's quite evident that the group has improved immensely compared to Get Equipped just on the first track, and it leaves the listener eagerly awaiting History Repeating: Red.

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Hydrocity released on July 2nd, which only had one remix of Sonic 3's Hydrocity Zone despite the title. Regardless, halc put a lot of work into it, and WillRock and Level 99 show up for good measure. On July 9th, OCR entered unprecendented territory by starting a Kickstarter for the upcoming FF6 album, entitled Balance and Ruin. The initial goal was quickly met and surpassed (reaching $50,000 in about 3 days), but 10 days after it started the project mysteriously vanished from the internet. It had reached somewhere between $83,000 and $85,000 in the short time it was up, but no news was heard for days afterwards. The pledges were not charged as per Kickstarter's policies, but the money was the only thing of which the whereabouts were known.

July ended and August began without updates. The Kickstarter fiasco had certainly slowed down the work at OCR as they tried to figure out just what happened. August 11th saw the first mixpost from Mega Man II on Game Boy, courtesy of Luke Keever and entitled "The Will of the Forest". The game itself is notorious for having a horrible soundset; despite the fact that the arrangements (unique from the NES originals) were solid, the soundset made them positively atrocious. The 20th brought news on the Kickstarter: though OCR was able to reach amiable terms with Square-Enix, Kickstarter was unable to restore the project. So work began anew on drafting a new project. Some Pokémon spinoff love in the form of a Pokémon Mystery Dungeon remix was posted on the 28th, arranging "World Calamity" from Red Rescue Team. The mix, entitled "The Sky Will Be Your Limit," was the first remix from that series, and TheGuitahHeroe made sure that first mix was a phenomenal one.

September started, and on the 10th we got Game Duels Vol. 1, courtesy of the folks at KNGI. Inspired by Nitro Game Injection's Versus Month, the EP pitted three warriors (Cowboy, Ninja, Warrior) against each other in a musical battle royale; in reality, the artists combined songs that could be tied to two of the warriors for a mashed-up melee. The next day, Jake Kaufman released the Double Dragon Neon Official Soundtrack, which, much like the game itself, is a massive love letter to the 1980s. The OneUps also released Intergalactic Continuum the same day, following up 2011's Intergalactic Redux. On the 25th, OCR relaunched the FF6 Kickstarter, this time with an initial goal of $30,000 as opposed to the first one's $15,000. This was reached within 12 hours of launch. September 30th brought the release of the Mega Man 11 soundtrack project, a fan-created tribute to the Blue Bomber that speculated as to what a hypothetical Mega Man 11's soundtrack would be.

October followed, and the first marked the posting of OCR02500, a milestone for the site. I also got namedropped in the mixpost (the song being "Hot Pursuit in the Lost City of Wily," by Disco Dan). The Kickstarter also continued to get backers; on the 8th it broke $100,000, shattering all expectations. October 17th brought the release of the Bitstream Original Soundtrack, halc's first such work. Two days passed, and Chip Country was released, full of fantastic chiptune covers of music from the Donkey Kong Country trilogy. The OCR Kickstarter ended successfully on October 25th, about three and a half months since the original Kickstarter was started. The end result? 2,509 backers pledging a total of $153,633, over five times the initial goal (ten times if counting the first Kickstarter's goal). That comes to about $61.23 per person! Needless to say, the Kickstarter was a resounding success. The following day, Make Music, Throw Music: A Yoshi's Island Tribute was released; much like the Earthbound album from earlier in the year, this one was a tribute to Yoshi's Island and used a soundfont ripped from the original game. My personal favorite is Monobrow's "Yoshi In The Sky With Fuzzies."

November started off with a bang thanks to 9-bit Blitzkrieg, the first release from halc's new label 9-bit Records. Comprised of 25 original chiptune-inspired tracks by 16 artists, the album gives promise of more greatness to come from the label. November 10th brought the Jottobots original soundtrack, courtesy of Josh Whelchel, and the 13th brought Goombette, an arrangement of tracks from Super Mario RPG and the first two Paper Mario games. Harmony of a Hunter: 101% Run dropped on the 17th, the 10th anniversary of Metroid Prime. Initially slated to be a smaller companion to the original Harmony of a Hunter, it instead went the opposite direction and became much much larger and content packed. November 22nd brought Attention Deficit: Gold Edition, an expansion of Benjamin Briggs's original Attention Deficit EP and featuring arrangements from that album.

Finally, December came around. On the first day of the month, RushJet1 released his Mega Man 3 Remade album, remaking all of the original's soundtrack using stereo sound and Konami's VRC6 expansion for fuller sound. Two days later, OCR finally released the much-anticipated Donkey Kong Country 3: Double the Trouble, the site's largest album to date. You can read my review of it here. December 7th brought the release of Tuberz McGee's Certainty, released by 9-bit Records, and the 12th brought another anticipated album. This time it was zircon's identity sequence, a cyberpunk masterpiece telling quite an emotional tale. Then on December 17th, Capcom released Street Fighter X Mega Man, with a soundtrack by A_Rival. Combining tracks from both franchises to fit the scope of the game, the work is quite fitting for the classic series; the soundtrack was released on his website soon afterwards. The end of days was soon approaching, as per the Mayan prophecy due to come true on December 21. The only thing that happened that day, though, was the release of Theophany's Time's End: Majora's Mask Remixed, which is a stellar take on the world of Termina. Then Christmas came, and with it the conclusion to ProtoDome's Blue trilogy. BLUESHIFT ties it off nicely, featuring nice vocals and a non-pixeled cover that is just as awesome as the rest of the package.

All in all, OCR posted about 209 mixes in 2012, a mere 3 more than in 2011. There were only 6 albums posted, however; this is half of the amount posted in 2011. Regardless, that's quite a bit, and the growing trend for mixposts continues (albeit barely), and as usual there are surely happenings that I have neglected to mention here. 2012 was great, and as usual I'm expecting even more greatness for 2013! So until next time, game on!!

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I honestly didn't realize this many VGM-related albums were released in a single year.
and as usual there are surely happenings that I have neglected to mention here.

there were more. this is a lot but there were more

That was fun to read and check which of the releases I had heard. Preschtale and tracer were probably the highlights of my year, but there are a lot of goodies (and fun trivia) in there. yay gameduels! Thanks Mirby for putting the post(s) together! (:


hey i had to give props to that, man! :D

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