By Joseph Walter
The night culminated in playing the PS4 release of Raiden V: Director's Cut and, good God, the soundtrack in that game was so high-tier and incredibly bonkers that I'm not even sure how to approach it or talk about it on this blog. It's so overwhelmingly good that we earnestly were begging the game's relentless composer to just stop due to sensory overload.
Yes, we were drunk.
Regardless, the experience inspired me to make this week's Soundcheck about one of the best games of the evening, Hellfire. This gem features an awesomely innovative system where you are able to change your firing pattern from forward, to up-and-down, reverse and an X-shaped pattern at the touch of a button, with enemies and bosses (along with their weaknesses) being strategically placed to take advantage of this system, transforming this game from a generic genre-piece to something that stands on its own.
Since I've been inspired, I'd eventually like to do a list regarding some of my personal favorite "shmup" tunes, which will then hopefully give me the strength to tackle Raiden V appropriately one day. If my heart can handle it.
In the meantime, though, let's get right to business with Hellfire's awesome opening track, "Captain Lancer!"
It immediately transitions to its supremely-catchy (and deadly ear-worm) main musical idea, with flourishes every now and again, complete exciting and decisive-sounding build-ups before making its way to a calming bridge that still incorporates the infectious beat of the main body.
It'll then swing around and start things all over again... and by this point, the song won't be leaving your head for a lengthy amount of time, if ever.
Somehow, this short piece perfectly nails the ebb and flow of the gameplay, smoothly fitting with the action-packed, but also thought-provoking take on the genre.