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OCRA-0043 - BadAss: Boss Themes: Volume II


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You know how in movies or games or whatever, when there is a sequel they tend to be way darker than the original? Well, here's our sequel. But while it's not on a boat and lacks chipmunks, it'll be horrifying nonetheless.

After 2 years of hard work, we bring you BadAss: Volume II. A collection of boss and battle themes done in a style that is both awesome and kick-ass, as well as mean. Really mean. As soon as we released Volume I, we went right to work on Volume II. The thing we wanted to do with this album was make it even meaner than the first; to make the hardest album on OCR yet. Volume I had a few tracks that were meant as a respite from the onslaught of BadAssedness. You'll find none of that here, so abandon all hope... something something... OH! Abandon all hope, ye who enter here!

This will also be the last BadAss I direct, but I think it's a great swan song. There will most likely be newer entries in the BA line, and I've no doubt they will be excellent. As for me, I couldn't have asked for a better album than this one here. I've always been a big fan of the more intense VG ReMixes, and this is a fulfillment of what I wanted to do with BadAss, and one of the best things I've gotten to be a part of in OCR. I thank all the arrangers, and artists for all their hard work. We made a damn fine album, filled with kickassery hardcore style.

They say the sequel is always darker. From everyone involved in the project: Welcome to BadAss 2, hope you're ready for a beating! We swear you'll enjoy it, though, or your money back.

- David L. Puga

After the success of the first album, it's time to present its twisted brother. BadAss: Volume II is darker, grittier, and even more BadAss than the first volume was! As we did the first time around, David and I searched around to find the most twisted of artists to bring you the terror that is contained within BadAss 2. The sometimes heroic vibe of the first volume is completely gone now. This is the darkest stuff you'll find on all of OCR!

From the darkest guitar solos to the most sinister synths: You'll be terrified the entire way. And you'll love it because of that. Ladies and gentlemen, from the deepest depths of hell, BadAss 2 will swallow you whole! Enjoy, but listen at your own risk…

- Pieter van Os (pu_freak)

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  • 2 years later...

To hype myself for BadAss Volume 3, I revisited the first two volumes and thought I'd give them both a "small" review 

And now for the second: BadAss Volume 2: Electric BadAss

The BadAss takes its second form, and its stronger, more intimidating, and more….um….BadAss than the previous form. Seriously, the quality of tracks increased, the sources used combined both popular games and lesser known/underrated games. This may very well be, currently, the best compilation of boss battle arrangements you will find. The one thing I will criticize, and this is a tiny one, is that this album might intimidate those who don’t like hard rock as much. But, there seems to be slightly more representation of other genres than just hard rock in this album.

Before I go to my personal favorites, I want to make an honorable mention to the track “Broken Dreams.” The main body of the track struck me as repetitive and generic, but I absolutely loved how it sampled the best of the 90s Sonic cartoons.

Personal Favorites:

Track 1: Baby Bowser (Super Mario World 2 - Yoshi's Island) - Bowzilla [Lashmush]

God damn does Baby Bowser need a diaper change. This track is very angry, and very intense. The intro is outstanding, and I loved how the synth work in this track didn’t take away from the VERYANGRYANDINTENSEGOINGTOKILLYOU riffs. And way to make Baby Bowser seem more intimidating with those roars.

Track 2: Robot Bosses (Sonic & Knuckles) - Hedgehog Fodder [Devastus]

This track tricks you into thinking you’ll get a nice sounding track (just like Gilgamesh did in volume 1), and then BAM. The sirens go off, and the robots are out to kill you with more intense riffs. I love the liberal risks taken in this track as well. The original riffs really added to the track. And the subtle choirs and chanting really made it seem like this theme was fit for an army, rather than a single entity.

Track 3: Teddy Bear (Splatterhouse 3) - Hunger [Mak Eightman]

*From my original review of the track*

I like how the distortion blends with the music. It makes Genesis music, or Genesis inspired music sound that much more hardcore than it already was. It’s very intense, insane, and those build ups are so solid.

Track 4: The Combine (Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2 - Episode Two) - Mister Freeman [Justin Lassen]

I mostly appreciate this track for how different it sounds compared to most of the other, rock heavy tracks. It’s slower, more synth reliant, with a dash of a haunting orchestra bridge. Reminds me of something Trent Reznor would do.

Track 8: Dr. Wily (Mega Man 1, 3) - Top This [Flexstyle]

*From my original review of the track*

I can just see a DJ coming out to stage making a grand entrance at the very start of this track, and then saying into a mic “top this” right at the 0:29 mark. The percussion and bass work is outstanding. I want to dance to this, I want to jam to this, I want to rock out to this. The production here is……ahem…..top notch.

Track 12: Ultimate Phalanx (Demon's Crest) - Red Retaliation [Torzelan]

I love Demon’s Crest, and its soundtrack. I would have loved the final battle theme, if it didn’t last 16 seconds before looping again. That’s what makes this track so brilliant. These guys found a way to take a 16 second track, make it their own, add awesome lyrics to it, and stretch it out into 4 and a half amazing minutes. Whether you like this genre or not, anyone who aspires to arrange video game tracks should listen to this. Mainly to see that yes, it IS possible to make creative arrangements from original sources, no matter how short the source material is.

Track 13: The Great Mighty Poo (Conker's Bad Fur Day) - Poop [Brandon Strader]

Man, I don’t even know if anything I could say about this track would do it justice. The Great Mighty Poo theme was already an excellent track, and Brandon Strader somehow made it even better by making it a dark comedic rock opera.

Track 14: Dr. Robotnik (Sonic the Hedgehog 2) - Egg-Shaped Prison [David L. Puga]

At first I thought this album should have ended with the previous track, but by the end of the track, I was content with this being a good track to end the album on. It’s a nice take on the Sonic 2 battle theme, and whether intentional or not, the distorted ending does a good job making you think “is the BadAss onslaught REALLY over with?”

Spoiler alert: It’s not

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