As always, a friendly reminder that this post may contain spoilers.
Today’s article is going to be shorter than usual.
Konjak (Joakim Sandberg) is one of my favorite indie developers, his flashy style and great chiptune music always get high ranks from me. Noitu Love 2 is not exactly what I would call a natural progression of sequels. True, its story follows years after Noitu Love, but that is where the similarities end. Noitu love is a side scrolling beat ’em up where you need to measure your distance of attacks and watch the enemy patterns very carefully.
The best word I can use to describe Noitu Love 2 is ‘manic’. Wherever you click on the screen, as long as it’s something you can hit, Xoda will rush across to where you selected and start punching and kicking as many times as you click. Explosions are everywhere and the rapid action makes it a real guilty pleasure. Noitu Love 2 isn’t very long, but it has a bunch of great songs that I just want to share with you. I won’t pick any from the end of the game like I usually do, so you can experience all of it for yourselves.
This is the theme of the battle with evil conductor robot O2-Joy. A recurring theme for these songs is that they match the action on screen perfectly. For example, Joyous Occasion matches O2-Joy’s dancing in the background across the stage as his orchestra plays his song. At least I assume it’s his song, as only an enemy as classically trained as O2-Joy deserves this kind of theme.
I have to say I’m drawn to the eastern influences in this song. The level that Petals plays in is a clear reference to Japan and its culture, so of course the music matches with it perfectly. I love how upbeat it is, and the chiptune part the melody catches my ear all too well. This level is also a huge pain in the ass, and continues the tradition of making awesome music for a level that you’re probably going to be in for a while… not that I’m complaining, of course.
Now here’s a song that poses an interesting question (to me, at least). In the Turtles in Time post (my first non-introduction post), I mentioned that “Bury My Shell at Wounded Knee” reminded me of Spaghetti Westerns and had that same melody that I could hear in the theme of Fei Long. The mysterious catchy melody finds its way into Hover Guns, so it’s no surprise that I gravitated towards it.
Now I have to wonder if this melody is inherently western or if it is the eastern influences that I sensed from Fei Long’s theme. There are plenty of things I don’t know about music, so I would invite someone who has experience in the history of composition to teach me something new.
Regardless of its curious origins, Hover Guns is a great song for a great level, but the song of the stage’s boss may take the cake.
Locomotion is a remake (or contains parts) of the final boss theme from the first Noitu Love, but the crashing of the bass and drums associate better with the action on screen. Check out the picture of the boss in the video. Even with that still photo, I can imagine Sleeper Breakman (the name of the boss) running on the tracks with metal legs. The entire fight takes place on the hover board while the boss chases after you. He never catches you, obviously, but it’s intense enough to associate that crashing melody with a giant train chasing you. It sounds silly when I put it like that, but watching that train robot in motion makes for a tense fight. It was the first time in the game that I noticed how well the soundtrack went along with the action. The second time was also really notable…
The boss fight that Contraband represents is that of a 1920s speakeasy band. All the parts of the band are there and represented in the song, and the battle proceeds as such. The four bosses are part of a revolving platform where you fight each section. If I’m remembering correctly, the song broke down the more of them you killed. Even if this isn’t the case, it doesn’t change how I feel about the track. Right at 0:12, the arena shifts and the transition to the piano player boss matches perfectly with how the song changes. I instantly fell in love at that part. I’m a sucker for a smooth and quick melody, so it’s not surprising that I liked it so much. The boss isn’t very hard, and I really wish they were because the music was so damn good.
I got introduced to Konjak games when I was shown a side scrolling action fan game called The Legend of Princess. From the speed of the gameplay to the art and music, I knew I had to have more. I gladly paid 15 bucks for Noitu Love 2, because the games Mr. Sandberg makes are awesome and the money goes directly to him since he does all of them himself. You can imagine how psyched I was to hear that it was going to be on Steam. Noitu Love 2 is 5 bucks as of right now on Steam, and when it’s on sale it can be around $2.50 or even lower. You can even download a demo for it to give it a shot. If you like action games, and appreciate the dedication of one man to his craft, you will not regret it. I said as much for Terranigma, but you are doing yourself a disservice by not having played it yet.
Buy Noitu Love 2, and I’ll see you all tomorrow.
Make sure to watch out for the nuclear arm!