#WeeklyGameMusic: Unreasonable Behaviour (Off)

#WeeklyGameMusic: New week, new music.

This week, we listen to yet another sad music, although it’s a rather different kind of sad compared to Gone Home. I’m also going to be unconventional, and select a dark track, Unreasonable Behaviour by Alias Conrad Coldwood for this week’s cult hit freeware game, OFF. Compared to the more popular Peper Steak — an offbeat swing music that plays during the normal battle sequences — Unreasonable Behaviour brooding tone better fits with the actual mood and narrative of OFF: dark, twisted, and a terrifying deconstruction of JRPG tropes.

Developed by yet another one-man team, OFF is a very French take of JRPG (FRPG?). You, the “puppeteer,” are suddenly dropped into an unusual world where you take control of the Batter. A quick walk leads Batter to a Cheshire cat named Judge, who politely introduces both the Batter and the player to a world composed not of earth, plants, wind, and water, but rather, metal, meat, gas, and plastic. What is there to do in such a bizarro world? Simple: do what the main character says, and purify the world from evil, first starting with the ghosts, and eventually to the violent guardians of this universe.

Much like the older Final Fantasy games, OFF uses random encounter and an archaic turn-based battle system where the party attacks after their cooldown time is over. This does mean that while selecting an attack, enemies can attack your party as well. That said the battle system isn’t exactly known to appeal the fans. Rather, it is the fourth-wall breaking story that progressively gets more complex and violent that turned this game into a cult hit. Much like Spec Ops: The Line, the player’s action is constantly in question as he or she blindly follows the Batter’s direction…and watch in horror as the world steadily loses its unique colors.

OFF is a free PC game that was originally written in French. A translated version is freely available at Starmen.net.

Weekly Game Music: Jeremy (Granado Espada)

New week, new music.  We need…more MMORPG music!  Here’s Jeremy from Sword 2 (or Granado Espada outside of North America and Europe).  It’s composed by a group of South Korean composers, known as S.F.A.  The dramatic crescendo best portrays the wonders of discovering a new world.

Sword 2 is free-to-play at GamersFirst.com.

Sword 2 is loosely based off of the European colonization on the North American continent.  In the mist of a losing war, the king of Opoluto commands the explorers to Gilbert Granado and Ferrucio Espada to find an ocean route to get its upper hand on its enemies.  Instead, they find a new land, Granado Espada.  The discovery was a big surprise…for the enemy countries.  Soon, many nationalistic people ventures to this new land of hope, not letting the monster-infested land get in the way of their desire for power.

Sword 2 plays similar to the World of Warcraft: click to attack enemies, collect loot, gain experience points, etc.  It does, however, have one distinct twist: instead of controlling one character, you can control up to 3.  This allows for some neat party system, such as allowing the player to devote one character into healing without the need to be defended by their friends.  Surprisingly, this makes it an engrossing experience for even people preferring to play as the lone warrior.

Sword 2 was released on the PC in 2007.

Weekly Game Music: Soaring In The Stars (Flight)

New week, new music.  Time to drop those remixes, and back onto original music.  Here’s a movie-like music, Soaring In The Stars by David Orr.  The title quite literally points out the objective of the free flash game, Flight.

You can play Flight at its own website.

Flight depicts several disgruntled figures who write their wishes on a piece of paper, fold it into a paper airplane, and throw it as far as possible.  The gameplay, of course, involves throwing the paper airplane, and controlling it with limited fuel to extend it’s flight as far as possible.  Along the way, the plane can bump into stars, which acts as a currency to buy better upgrades on the next throw.  The distance of the plane’s flight accumulates, allowing it to reach to new locations.

Weekly Game Music: Sweet Georgia Brown (Charles Barkley Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden)

New week, new music.  What’s the absolute, most epic boss music you can ever play when you fight against your worst rival?  According to Barkley Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden , it’s Sweet Georgia Brown by Ben Bernie and Maceo Pinkard.  …I don’t really have a good joke to follow up on that one, so I’ll let the jazzy tune explain for itself.

Barkley Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden is a hilarious self-referencing game. You can download it at Tales of Games.

As the title suggests, Barkley Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden follows the famed basketball player, struggling to support his son, Hoopz, in a post-apocalypse world. While secretly teaching his son the outlawed basketball dribbles, Charles is falsely accused by the head of B-Ball Removal Department, Michael Jordan, for killing 15 million people with a Chaos Dunk. Charles naturally escapes from Michael’s clumsy grasps, and seeks for a safe refuge while hunting for the real culprit.

Barkley is a turn-based JRPG that uses a quick-time mechanic to enhance your attacks, much like Super Mario RPG series. The puzzles may remind some people of the Golden Sun series as well.  And the enemies appearing readily on the map will remind many of Earthbound , down to touching the back of enemy giving you an extra turn.

Weekly Game Music: Above the Treetops

Goodness, I keep forgetting about this.  Better late than never: I’ve got yet another MMORPG music for all of you.  Here’s Above the Treetops from ultra-popular MapleStory.  Unfortunately, the name of the composer(s) seems elusive at the moment, but enjoy the mellow tune as it is.

You can play the game for free at Maplestory’s website.

The plot of MapleStory is a simple one: the Black Mage, once sealed by 5 legendary heroes, has unfortunately re-awakened!  As the knight of the Maple World, you must fight!  Cue all the cute monsters that tries to rock your level 1 boat.

The gameplay is a little more interesting.  Much like Legend of Zelda II ,MapleStory is a 2D side-scrolling RPG, with some light platforming.  As with the MMORPG tradition, the collectible weapons and character costumes significantly spices up the action.  Any player should be able to find their most ideal play style, whether it’d be short-range, brute-force brawler style or long-range, tactical style.

MapleStory was released on the PC in 2005.  Offspring versions exists on the Nintendo DS and, oddly enough, Facebook.

Strange Free Games: Dear Esther

New week, new game.  Since indie game Dear Esther is all the rage these days, it’ll be great to look back at what started it all, Dear Esther prototype version.  So, without further ado, lets get started with the intro

Dear Esther is a first-person narrative that adds vocal interjections as you travel and observe the island.  Each narration is supposed to be relevant to the view at hand, including writings on walls, landscapes, etc.  Frequently, the narrative will contradict itself, leading to a surreal and disjointed experience.

The free, Half-Life mode can be downloaded at Mod DB.com.