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REX ROCKET Original Soundtrack Review

Rex Rocket, otherwise known as ‘A Hardcore 2D Death Trap‘, by Castle Pixel Games joins the vast array of current existing games with chiptune soundtracks. This was yet another game to become possible through the power of Kickstarter and can be now purchased on Steam. The man behind the soundtrack, Nigel Shields, a.k.a. Saskrotch, has put out various chiptune tracks, EPs, and albums via Bandcamp in the past, and does a stellar job of keeping the listener involved in the game with these addictive tracks.

Clocking in at just under an hour and twenty minutes, this soundtrack contains many lively tracks that give off a feeling of storming through areas with rapid succession. The chiptunes soundtrack is full of 8-bit / 16-bit greatness that is sure to take people back to the days of good old retro gaming upon listening. Many of the tracks throughout are both fast and upbeat, exhilarating as you repeatedly die another frustrating death.

Given the sci-fi like scenery that the game delivers on, lots of the soundtrack sounds robotic. Many of the songs offered in the 37-track album are reminiscent of Mega Man, Earthworm Jim, and Sonic, which is, of course, fantastic. Tracks such as “The Barracks – Area 2” and “EnforcerBot Battle” are definitely Sonic-esque, and the latter even has the “go sounds” from Sonic 3. Nostalgia is peppered throughout, hailing memories from NES and Genesis’ glory days.

Others such as the “Engine Room – Area 2” and “I Told You Not to Go in There” are tracks perfectly encapsulate the feeling of running and gunning through chaotic level. With a constant beat and spot-on electronic drumming, resisting the urge to bob your head along to it will be a difficult task. Given the chaotic nature of the game, this are exactly the kind of feelings you’d hope for — as much as it does for any difficult, old-school platformer.

This isn’t to say there aren’t some slower tracks on the album which are good in their own way. “In the Pit of My Stomach” is ominous and murky with deep, melodic swaying hums, while the dark “Crack Your Knuckles (Boss Intro)” brilliantly epitomizes those classic, rage-inducing boss fights. On that same note, the intro to “Tension Headaches (LitterBot Battle)” makes you feel like you’re about to march into a deathtrap. Once again the electronic drumming stands out to be able to pull off this effect and does it while keeping the feeling of needing to be on-the-go. One doesn’t even need to play the game to get an idea of what is going on — even though you should play it anyway.

This is one of those albums where the music is paced well and the instrumentals give you a good idea of what to expect in-game. Soundtracks that pull this off tend to be the most memorable. One of the albums later tracks “For Your Vigilance and Bravery (Ending Sequence)” is a proper and fitting ending fanfare that will leave you with a true sense of accomplishment. This is one of the few places where the overall pacing of the album slows down a bit, as if to say that you can now rest easy — in music form, of course.

On this same soundtrack, you also are treated to some bonus tracks that are equally as good, consisting of an alternate menu screen track, two “trailer versions” of the main theme and one more in which the start of the track is very similar to the “Get a Weapon” theme from Mega Man 2, leading into one of the most creative and frantic tracks on the album.

There’s a different feel you get from hearing a gaming OST without actually playing the game. The imagination goes wild and you try to think about what would be happening. When music gets you to do that you know you have something worth listening to. This soundtrack is right up there with Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game and Shovel Knight as a must listen, likely leading to a must play.

Rex Rocket has quite the catchy soundtrack, if you are into hyper chiptune tracks. When asked for a recommendation for some modern video game music soundtracks, this is a great collection of songs that can certainly stack-up with the best of them. Additionally, if you like what you hear, you should also check out Handheld Heroes for various chiptune music, which is contributed to by Saskrotch himself.

5 out of 5 stars

5 out of 5 stars

Cover Source Image via Saskrotch Bandcamp

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Categories: Video Game Reviews

Author:Victor Vellon

Victor has been gaming since his early childhood and plays many games. From retro to modern, his gaming knows no bounds. When not writing or playing games, he can be found engaging conversation on the Twitterverse as well as managing Video Gaming Hard Corps and it's many outlets.

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