Machinarium - Lukas

Hi guys,

It's good to be back with some super exciting news!

Guess what - a new hilarious adventure game from the creators of Machinarium, Botanicula and Samorost is coming to Steam early in 2018!

Watch the slightly crazy new trailer and screenshots on CHUCHEL's Steam page & don't forget to add this adorable hairy guy to your wishlist if you're in for countless laughs, cool puzzles and wild music. We can't wait to hear what you think of our new game!

http://store.steampowered.com/app/711660/CHUCHEL/

Machinarium

Every week, we ask our panel of PC Gamer writers a question about PC gaming. This week: what's your favourite game soundtrack? We also welcome your answers in the comments. 

Evan Lahti: Cuphead

I'll go with the best soundtrack right now, and surely of the year: Cuphead. The ragtime, '30s jazz looks to Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway as big influences, but it's so much more than an attempt to put a period-authentic sound into a game inspired by the animation of that era. Cuphead's music is inseparable in its style and tempo, and the big band/jazz sound enhances the calamity of its boss fights and platforming, where you're meant to feel off-balance and improvise to stay alive.

This great Paste interview with composer Kris Maddigan (who'd never written game music or this style of music before), highlights one unique approach they took to recording, too: "... [I]n most of the big band tunes you'll have some ensemble piece which is written out and then you'll have a section where someone takes a solo and then you'll have another ensemble section, and what we did with all the solo stuff is we recorded all of that separately," Maddigan says in the interview. "Once we had completed all the big band sessions we brought in half a dozen soloists and we recorded them playing over top of a lot of the solo sections on the charts. So that's why you might have one tune but six different versions of it. So each tune, you can have the same tune but it's going to have different solos on it, just to keep things interesting in the game. So if you die at a boss, if you leave and you come back to that tune, it's going to be the same tune but it's going to have somebody else soloing over it. We were conscious of it that way, too, trying to maintain a certain amount of interest on repetition like that."

It's also almost three fucking hours long. Runners-up: Any of the Crypt of the Necrodancer soundtracks, Samorost 3, Doom 2016, and Brigador.

Phil Savage: Command & Conquer: Red Alert

Obviously the correct answer is a Command & Conquer soundtrack. But which one? Clearly not Tiberian Sun. Its brand of dark, ambient electro is pleasantly late-'90s, but I played that game for tens of hours and I can't remember a single one of its tunes. Red Alert 2 is strong—Grinder is arguably the best bit of menu music in PC gaming. But HM2 is just a touch overproduced, and I'll be damned if I'm calling a soundtrack with the second best version of Hell March my favourite.

It's between the original Command & Conquer and Red Alert then. I have a lot of love for the former, mostly because of how weird and experimental it is. Act On Instinct is a legit good industrial pop song, soundtrack or not. And Just Do It Up is just amazing. Yes. But, if I'm honest with myself, there's something that feels slightly off kilter and embarrassing about it all, sort of like that time in Nine Inch Nails' Pretty Hate Machine where Trent Reznor—for no particular reason—recited the nursery rhyme “rain, rain, go away” and it felt inherently silly but we all collectively agreed to pretend it didn't happen for 28 years. So: Red Alert, the Broken to Command & Conquer's Pretty Hate Machine. It's full of driving, churning aggression trapped inside a harrowing machine, which is probably a metaphor or something. Also, it's got Hell March, so obviously it's the best.

Jody Macgregor: Bastion

Darren Korb calls the soundtrack for Bastion "acoustic frontier trip-hop", because he's a musician and they say things like that. It's a mix of folksy guitar, sampled beats, and instruments from all over the world that sounds unique to its fantasy setting. It's excellent enough on its own, but even better in context.

You're exploring and rebuilding fragments of a broken city, and one of the vocal tracks, Zia's Song, has an entire level built around it. You walk across rusted train tracks, cross wooden beams connecting floating islands, and as you do the music gets louder. Vocalist Ashley Barrett's singing gets clearer too, cutting through the reverb. And then you realize why—this isn't just a soundtrack you the player are listening to. It's being sung by another survivor, a lament both sad and hopeful, and at the level's end you meet its singer.

Bastion's music isn't just good stuff to listen to while you smack monsters with a hammer or shoot them with a bombard cannon. It's a part of the game that matters to its characters the way great music matters to us, that allows them to remember their past and look forward to a better future even while their world's in ruins. The soundtrack is available at Bandcamp

Wes Fenlon: Neotokyo

Here's a bit of an odd one: Ed Harrison's soundtrack for Neotokyo, a years-old multiplayer shooter mod for Half-Life 2. It's not that the music is odd—it's just a slightly strange pick for me, because I've never actually played Neotokyo. I once went hunting for moody electronic music that evoked cyberpunk, and I came across Neotokyo. It's the more menacing alternative to Deus Ex's peppier score, and for years one of my go-to soundtracks to write to. I could put it on, lean back into it, and enter a cyberpunk trance. 

You can listen to it for free on Bandcamp, and I especially like disc one of the double album. It all blends together for me—I can't call out any particular tracks—but if cyberpunk to you is more ominous than Vangelis, you won't be disappointed.

Austin Wood: Nier: Automata 

I love Nier: Automata's soundtrack for its quaking, operatic ancientness, but I'm highlighting it here because, like the game itself, it gets better with age. Automata's layered endings gain poignancy with each subsequent play through, and the music piles on verve in kind. Composer Keeichi Okabe did a fabulous job of not only keeping pace with Automata's replay value and preventing the music from getting repetitive, but also leveraging that design with a truly dynamic OST. On top of orchestral and vocal variants, there are low, medium and high intensity versions of most tracks—which add up to roughly six hours of music altogether. There are some real bangers tucked away in the song list, and the way versions build on each other is a tidy echo of Automata's central themes. 

Andy Chalk: Machinarium 

The one soundtrack I always seem to come back to is Machinarium, by Czech artist Tomáš Dvořák, also known as Floex. All of Amanita's games are beautifully musical, but this is the one that that's stuck with me. A lot of it is mechanically percussive, and some of the songs are really upbeat—the Robot Band Tune comes to mind—but what I particularly enjoy is the distant dreaminess of the ambient electronica in tracks like The Glass House With Butterfly or By the Wall. Wonderful game, wonderful music.

The soundtrack is available for purchase or free listening here: http://store.floex.cz/album/machinarium-soundtrack

The bonus EP is a free download: http://store.floex.cz/album/machinarium-soundtrack-bonus-ep-free-dwnld

Steven Messner: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn 

MMO soundtracks are massive, messy beasts meant to accompany an entire world's worth of themes and flavors. But Final Fantasy XIV's soundtrack deftly explores new sounds and styles while still feeling true to Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu's original work. There's a stunning breadth of genres on display, but each becomes a piece of a mosaic that colours in the wider world of Eorzea. And like the best Final Fantasy scores, each composition becomes a part of the area it accompanies. I love the quiet, comforting piano that plays as I walk the streets of Ul'Dah at night.

One other aspect that deserves being recognized is how incredible the boss fight music is. It turns every raid fight into a WWE match, where the boss steps into the area accompanied by a theme that becomes inextricably linked with their persona. That music sets the tone and makes each raid fight feel climactic. Again, there's an amazing breadth of musical flavor on display, from the raging tempest of guitars that accompanies Garuda to the rousing and catchy Lakshmi theme.

Samuel Roberts: Silent Hill 2

If I had to pick a single entry from Konami's once-great series, it'd be Silent Hill 2. Akira Yamaoka's score is somehow extremely chilled out despite being the soundtrack for one of the best horror games ever made. The highlight is probably The Theme of Laura, as embedded above, but there are tons more great instrumental tracks that make for perfect working music. Heaven's Night, for example, or Restless Dreams

The series has fantastic music across the board, particularly the title tracks. A special shoutout for the grunge-infused and deeply mid-'00s Cradle of Forest from Silent Hill 4: The Room, which is a personal favourite, and obviously You're Not Here from Silent Hill 3. I saw Yamaoka and his band play a bunch of these live two years ago, and it was an amazing experience. 

My only gripe: Konami appears to have pulled Silent Hill 2's soundtrack from iTunes in the UK (you can still get it in the US), so even though I've bought Theme of Laura to listen to on my phone, I can no longer redownload it because they stopped listing the album, which is...shit. Ah, the digital future. The music's amazing, though. 

What's your favourite game soundtrack? Let us know in the comments. 

Machinarium - Lukas
Dear robot citizens,

It's been an exciting year for Machinarium, hasn't it? After getting the free "Definitive Version" treatment, many of you asked for the addition of Steam Trading Cards content. So here it is!

What exactly are we adding?
  • 6 trading cards
  • 5 regular badges + 1 foil badge (called "Inventor" to make it even cooler)
  • 5 profile backgrounds
  • 5 emoticons

Hopefully this little update gives you a good reason to return to Machinarium and save the rusty robot city once again.

Who's going to become the first Inventor? Have fun collecting!

Machinarium - Lukas
Windows PC version:
  • Improved Windowed mode - now you can freely move the window with the mouse cursor
  • Fixed Dualshock 4 Wireless Adapter compatibility
Machinarium - Lukas
These changes apply to the Windows PC version of the game.
  • Windowed Mode option in the Settings menu
  • Language change button to the main menu (in the left bottom corner of the screen)
  • Adjustments for Xbox One controllers
  • Several minor bug fixes
  • Enabled WSAD cursor controls

Experimental:
  • Anti-aliasing option button for users experiencing performance issues on lower-spec computers and/or 4K screens
  • V-Sync option button. Turning V-Sync off might reduce input lag, however we HIGHLY RECOMMEND to keep V-Sync on

How to access experimental features: Right click on Machinarium in your Library, go to Properties and then Set launch options. Put in "-vsync" to enable the V-Sync option button and "-aa" to enable Anti-aliasing option button or "-reset" to reset all settings to default.
Machinarium

Machinarium, the point-and-click adventure about a bug-eyed robot named Josef and his girlfriend Berta, was originally released in 2009 and is very good—in fact, it was the game that hooked me on Amanita Design's later work, including Botanicula and Samorost 3. But it hasn't aged particularly well, mainly because it was built using Adobe Flash. So Amanita has updated it with a completely redone "Definitive Version" that's now available on Steam

"We’ve reprogrammed Machinarium from the scratch. The game is now using a custom made DirectX engine instead of Flash which has become quite old-fashioned in recent years," Amanita wrote. "Therefore you can finally enjoy Machinarium even on modern high resolution screens. And thanks to added gamepad support, the game works perfectly in Steam Big Picture." 

The updated version also features 12 Steam achievements, Steam Cloud saves, and even leaderboards for "Quickest Win" and "Explorer," which measures total distance traveled. It's also been localized with 14 different languages, and the studio said that Steam trading cards are also planned, hopefully in the summer. 

The Definitive Version update is free for existing owners of Machinarium, and it makes a tremendous difference: It looks fantastic at high resolution, and runs like butter. Machinarium is also currently on sale for $2.50/£2/€2.50 as part of the Steam Summer Sale, which runs until July 5. 

Left 4 Dead 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Brendan Caldwell)

The Steam summer sale is in full blaze. For a while it even blazed so hot that the servers went on fire and all the price stickers peeled off the games. Either that or the store just got swamped with cheapskates looking for the best bargains. Cheapskates like you! Well, don t worry. We ve rounded up some recommendations – both general tips and some newly added staff choices.

Here are the things you should consider owning in your endless consumeristic lust for a happiness which always seems beyond reach. You’re welcome.

… [visit site to read more]

Left 4 Dead 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Brendan Caldwell)

The Steam summer sale is in full blaze. For a while it even blazed so hot that the servers went on fire and all the price stickers peeled off the games. Either that or the store just got swamped with cheapskates looking for the best bargains. Cheapskates like you! Well, don t worry. We ve rounded up some recommendations – both general tips and some specific staff choices.

Here are the things you should consider owning in your endless consumeristic lust for a happiness which always seems beyond reach. You’re welcome.

… [visit site to read more]

Machinarium - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Philippa Warr)

Machinarium

John is our usual Amanita correspondent but he’s off on hollybobs so I get to poke about in the gorgeous world of Machinarium [official site] this time! The reason the eight-year-old game is back in our newsbox is because it’s swapping Adobe Flash for a custom engine. So far so technical. What does it actually mean?

WELL!

“It’s using DirectX and the game feels much smoother, but most importantly, Machinarium now plays in full screen, even on modern Full HD and 4K displays.”

This sounds DELICIOUS. … [visit site to read more]

Machinarium - Lukas
We are excited to announce that the "definitive" update of the award winning adventure game Machinarium is rolling out on Steam right now! It's a free update and a replacement of the original Flash version.



So what exactly is new?

We’ve reprogrammed Machinarium from the scratch. The game is now using a custom made DirectX engine instead of Flash which has become quite old-fashioned in recent years. Therefore you can finally enjoy Machinarium even on modern high resolution screens. And thanks to added gamepad support, the game works perfectly in Steam Big Picture.

With new engine, new achievements, new languages and a new way to play, now is the best time for both fans and newcomers to accompany Josef the Robot on his little big adventure to save his girlfriend Berta. Please see the full changelog below.

The definitive version of Machinarium for Windows PC is rolling out on Steam now.
Mac version will be available soon.

Thank you for the patience and the overwhelming support!

Changelog:
  • Completely new custom engine
  • Improved full screen support. The game now uses all of your screen even on high resolution displays
  • 12 new achievements
  • Support for Xbox 360 and Xbox One gamepads (other controllers with experimental support)
  • Steam Cloud saves
  • Localization to 14 languages including Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Russian
  • New Steam leaderboards: "Quickest Win" and "Explorer" (based on distance travelled)
...

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