Music Mondays flips into some choice chiptunes.
Genres: Platformer, Puzzle
Developer: Terry Cavanagh
Terry Cavanagh’s VVVVVV is a brutal retro platformer centered around a gravity swapping mechanic. The indie title has made its way to everything from Windows and Mac to the 3DS, garnering praise pretty much everywhere it goes. However, as good (and challenging) as the core gameplay is, it wouldn’t be half as memorable without the musical styling of one Magnus “Souleye” Pålsson.
The Swedish musician brings an energy and sense of urgency to the experience that is invaluable. We’ve talked about effective retro scores plenty of times on Music Mondays, but none of the previous examples are quite as inseparable from their interactivity. Cave Story would still be a great title if you played it with the sound off. As clever as it is, VVVVVV just wouldn’t be the same without the beeps and boops.
Perhaps this is because the game itself has such a sterile aesthetic. Cavanagh masterfully recreates the simplistic feeling of a Commodore 64 game, which is both a loving tribute and a self-imposed handicap. Without lively tracks like “Pushing Onward” and “Passion for Exploring,” many players would likely lose the drive to overcome the game’s toughest obstacles. After all, there’s nothing more satisfying than a pitch perfect success sound effect.
The only real drawback to the adventures of Captain Viridian is that VVVVVV is an very short game. As a result, there are only so many Souleye songs to cover. Of course, this unfortunate caveat is completely overshadowed by the fact that the game’s soundtrack album is called PPPPPP. It doesn’t get any better than that.
You can pick up the whole soundtrack from Souleye’s BandCamp page right here.
Music Mondays is a weekly column by Austin Yorski and Robert Heck dedicated to discussing the most interesting audio experiences in electronic interactive media. Tune in every week for more original game soundtracks that you need to hear. Feel free to disagree with, add to, or question everything. I welcome your feedback.
With all the love that Super Meat Boy is receiving as of late it is nice to go and take a look at the other characters that are being featured in the game. Team Meat has a bevy of characters from other independent games that you can play as. So I decided to take a look at one of the PC exclusive characters of Captain Virdian and his journey in VVVVVV.
|PROS||Simple gameplay with an amazing soundtrack to accompany it|
|CONS||You want this game to be longer|
|WTF?!||Who came up with these names?|
The story of this game is very simple, while exploring a new dimension you and your crew come across some major turbulence and had to teleport out of the ship. Your crew is scattered all over this strange land and it is your job to recover your crew of Violet, Victoria, Vitellary, Vermilion, and Verdigris.
The controls are very simple, move left or right and your action button will allow you to switch between walking on the floor and the ceiling. The fell of this game is like Metal Storm in this mechanic but unlike that game you do not have any projectile weapons to fend yourself. The vibe it is trying to go for is an 8 bit platformer in the vein of Jet Set Willy with its graphics and loading screen.
Speaking of graphics is it bond and vibrant colors on a black background, everything will go and catch your eye and allows you to see the levels easily. However what you will be focusing on is the amazing soundtrack that this game has. I can not find a single bad track in the entire game, and that is a hard achievement to hit in my book. Congratulations to Magmus Palsson and your chiptune-esque songs to enhance the mood each area.
Now the difficulty of this game I would say is not that hard. Are there difficult parts of the game? Of course. Will you curse your monitor in certain areas as you continuous get killed? Absolutely. Will you feel that the game is purposely is going out of its way in making you feel like a bad gamer? It will not, all of the challenges in this game is based on the level design and once you complete each area it feels like an achievement.