Sound Test Saturday: Tales of a Hedgehog

Now let’s be honest for a second: there aren’t enough remixes of songs from the Storybook series, so far comprised of Sonic and the Secret Rings and Sonic and the Black Knight. Say what you will of the games themselves, but you can’t deny that they have their golden moments, their soundtracks being no exception. That’s why I’m a little stumped as to find only a handful of Storybook mixes out there! Disappoint, Sonic community!

For that reason, this week’s Sound Test Saturday will pay tribute to the spin-off (or is it canon now?) entries and the music that accompanied them!

Let’s start things off with DjReds‘ take on “The Palace That Was Found” from SatSR‘s own Evil Foundry!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfaz55_66G4

Dive into the “Dragon’s Lair” and finish with the “Unawakening Float” after the jump!

Continue reading Sound Test Saturday: Tales of a Hedgehog

Sonic Stadium Soundtrack Squad Review: Tales of Knighthood

Tales of Knighthood Review

JezMM
To me, Black Knight was a disappointing game to play, but it had a saving grace of being presented beautifully – the script, interface, and music being my favourite things about the game. Maybe it’s just because I’m a sucker for orchestral being mixed with modern styles such as rock, but I found it to be one of Sonic’s best soundtracks to date. Particular stand-outs for me were Misty Lake – that saw Jun’s signature style taken from guitars to violins, Deep Woods with its enchanting layers of instruments and beautifully melancholic melody, and the epic and exciting trio of tracks that were Crystal Cave, Molten Mine and Shrouded Forest. The cut-scene songs are also notably good, with Calm After the Battle… Arondight and Merlina – The Queen of The Underworld being favourites of mine. To the Rescue… A Knight’s Law is also a highlight – it’s so catchy and uplifting I almost wish it could be some kind of recurring “Sonic’s theme” in future games! Even the menu themes are expertly composed – The Ash Grove, Name Entry, and Option are wasted on the small amount of time you hear them in-game!
My only non-personal-taste-driven criticism for the soundtrack would be the oddities that are Titanic Plains, Faraway Avalon and Knight’s Passage. These stage themes have a surprisingly short running time before repeating and somewhat outstayed their welcome after a minute or so. Camelot Castle also drags on a bit longer than it should on the CD. [9]

Thumbs Up: A huge variety of tracks and styles, despite the comforting “Ye Olde English” vibe overseeing every theme.
Thumbs Down: Variety however does come at the cost of there assuredly being a fair few dud tracks for each individual listener.
Favourite Track: Deep Woods

BlitzChris
While I wasn’t too phased by the lacking game play or dull predictable story to Sonic and the Black Knight, the music saved the game from being a complete shipwreck. When you play a stage in a Sonic title you want music that engages the ears; the stage themes to SatBK do just that. I do love a good guitar and it was great to see Senoue back to his finest, accompanying the almost orchestral sound the entire album takes. I was a little ticked at the over use of violins throughout the album. I understand that they are a great orchestral instrument and that they are quite fitting for a ‘knights-themed” game, but to have them in almost every song does begin to drain the individuality of each track. Most of the ‘event’ music sounds the same, but are excused as every other track is a stage theme, and they are bloody fantastic. If a track on this album is shorter than 1:58, I wouldn’t bother listening to it.
Being a lover of remixes and covers I was relieved that they included the It Doesn’t Matter guitar/violin cover used in the fan art area of the game. [7]

Thumbs Up: Stage Themes. Fitting for the stages and just plain fun to listen to.
Thumbs Down: The overuse of violins..
Favourite Tracks: Molten Mine and Shrouded Forest.

T-Bird
In the same vein as Sonic and the Secret Rings, the soundtrack cleverly plays on a rockier take on the archetypal music from the region; with Secret Rings there were a lot of middle-eastern scales used along with sitars and associated percussion. Unsurprisingly with Black Knight, grandiose orchestral pieces are the primary framework for the majority of the pieces composed for the game. In many places this works; for example Howard Drossin’s Dragon’s Lair is a hard hitting rock track with cleverly used synth vocals to emulate a horn section, while Senoue’s Camelot Castle retains his signature guitar sound while pounding ahead with a rather militaristic snare drum. However I am slightly disappointed by the frequency of the hard hitting tracks, with the large majority of the music featuring on this soundtrack falling into the trap of becoming generic incidental tunes. Hopefully with the up-and-coming titles such as Colors, we can expect to see a bit more variety. At least you can enjoy some reworkings of classic tracks like It Doesn’t Matter while you enjoy fan art, eh? [6]

Thumbs Up!: A fitting selection of grand tunes and hard-hitting rock anthems!
Thumbs Down:
Another album full of samey incidental tunes that could have featured on any soundtrack from the past four years.
Killer track:
Dragon’s Lair

A collection of songs with some entertaining rock tracks and orchestral scores. Some fans may find the soundtrack formulaic with the heavy reliance on incidental pieces,  and may be disappointed with the lack of originality in places.
Completely disagree? Let us know in the comments!